The more things change, the more they stay the same. I remember back in 1997 when the heavily-favored Packers were projected to trounce John Elway’s Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII by 11-points. I also remember Cam Newton’s 2015 Panthers favored by 4.5-points in Super Bowl 50. It’s not just the disrespect coming from Vegas, but it’s also the narrative surrounding these games from the national media.
“Elway can never win a Super Bowl.”
“The Broncos can’t beat Brett Favre.”
“Gilbert Brown is too big for Denver to handle.”
“No way Peyton Manning can outscore Cam Newton.”
“The ‘No-Fly Zone’ is no match for Carolina’s high octane offense.”
The list of knocks went on and on leading up to the actual games. Studio analysts delighted in picking against the eventual Super Bowl champions. I remember every single analyst on the CBS Super Bowl pregame show, with the lone exception of Tony Gonzalez, predicting a Carolina victory. It’s truly remarkable how wrong everyone has been when it came to the Mile High City.
Now, here Denver sits with an incredible basketball team in the Denver Nuggets and it’s more of the same. When the national media spends all their time talking about how great the other team is despite their inability to compete with Denver, it starts to feel personal. Then, when it becomes apparent that they have all been dead-wrong, rather than own it and talk to the strengths of a team from Denver, they clam up and decline to discuss anything with regard to the demise of their predictions.
With the exception of the Rockies, Denver sports deserve more respect. It’s not just about the altitude. It’s not just about other teams collapsing. Sometimes, like in 1997, 2015, and now in 2023, the team from Denver is just better, despite what the national media wishes were true.
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