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Horse Tracks: Reserved optimism in Broncos Country

The Broncos could be good. Or, the Broncos could have another awful season.

Denver Bronco Football Fan Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

Over the last few weeks, I have had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Santa Fe. I love that Broncos Country is so large and proud. In the few interactions I’ve had with some of these folks in these places, Broncos Country is more reserved than I’ve ever seen them.

In Denver, the Nuggets had just won the NBA championship and so I totally understand the Broncos gear being shelved in favor of Nuggs championship swag. In LA, the dude who flashed me his kickass Broncos tattoo on his leg at Universal Studios was more stoked about his tattoo than the Broncos prospects in 2023. In Vegas, the gregarious ‘go Broncos’ that once elicited an excited similar response from other fans was painfully muted - not as emphatic. In Santa Fe, the biker rocking Wes Welker jersey didn’t even respond to me... probably because his bike was so loud and didn’t hear me.

By now, the dour feelings left by tragically awful seasons have usually been replaced by free agent and draft pick love. That new coach? He’s got it figured out. Now we just may have figured out the quarterback position. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Broncos fans are victims of hype fatigue.

After last season’s let down with Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett, the fanbase’s ability to digest BS is at an all-time low. Don’t get me wrong, Broncos fans are some of the NFL’s most passionate, but there is an inflection point where expectation and performance have to intersect. That hasn’t happened in quite some time and it’s unfortunate since expectations for this team are at an all-time low.

Let’s hope that Sean Payton and all changes for the 2023 begin to turn the tide of miserable football in Denver. It’s helpful to think that we are more at the beginning of the end of that era, but until there’s evidence to the contrary...

So, for the leg tattoo guy, biker Wes Welker, the fans slurping on $36 yards-of-margaritas in Vegas, and those still feeling the buzz of a Nuggets victory, the NFL season is around the corner. It’s okay to hope, but it’s normal to protect those hopes.

Show us something. Then replay it on that massively awesome scoreboard y’all installed. Broncos Country needs it.


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