I have a confession to make.
Right up until the Broncos beat the Chiefs, I was rooting for them to lose. I was embracing the tank; throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I was 100% on the Caleb Williams band wagon, wanting my hometown team to suck and badly as they could possibly suck. And, I was convinced that Sean Payton was sabotaging the season. I mean, why else would he have brought Vance fucking Joseph back into the building?
The Broncos were anemic on offense and, shockingly, pathetic defensively. They couldn’t do anything right and I was totally on board for it.
For one thing, I do NOT like Sean Payton. I think he’s an asshole. I don’t want arrogant pricks like him to succeed. At anything. I feel like that guy rode one magical season, with Drew Brees at quarterback, to Belichick status undeservedly. I also strongly believe that the Broncos settled for Payton – that they exhausted all of their other options and were left with no choice but to bust open the piggy bank and pay this dude stupid money to come here – in the hopes he could somehow resurrect the corpse of Russ Wilson. Yuck.
I’ve been pissed off about the Wilson contract since the moment I heard that the Broncos were going to pay him a quarter of a billion fucking dollars. That was an act of utter desperation by a completely inept front office that was grasping at straws. I knew then what I know now (and what every fan knows): that the Wilson contract would be and is an albatross around the necks of the Broncos.
Draft and develop. That’s what I want. I want the Broncos to draft and develop a young quarterback whose 15 year career with the club I watch unfold. I’ll take the skinny years. I did with Elway and I will happily do it again. I’m sick of rentals. Yeah, sure, we got a trophy with Manning at the helm, but he was still a Colt to me at the time. That was Von’s trophy – always will be.
That 18 has stuck around and has become a part of our Colorado community is great. Awesome. It definitely softens my attitude toward him. But, still, I dream of watching a young player become a Bronco rather than watching a Colt – or a Seahawk – come in here to try and ride our team to a cheap championship.
Vance Joseph: We hate that guy. What in the hell is he doing here? We got rid of him once already. Just seeing him on the sideline makes me crazy. He does not belong back in Denver and he has made it awfully hard to pull for my Broncos this year.
Despite all my concerns about the Broncos headed into the season, I started out optimistic. Then, in week one, the Broncos lost at home to the shitty Raiders. Ugh. That’s when the thoughts of scrapping the whole damn thing started to enter my mind. Then, a close loss to something called “the Commanders”. Then the ‘Fins famously dropped SEVENTY on us – again – at home. Wow. 2023 was the lost-est of lost causes. Tank away, Sean.
The Broncos managed to squeak out a couple of wins against the lousy Bears and the pathetic Packers, but to lose by ten – again, at home – to the dog butt Jets. No excuse. Against New York their defense was utterly inept. They managed to make Zach Wilson into Aaron Rodgers. But that was okay, because I was actively rooting against them. My attitude toward the 2023 Broncos was like playing the Mad Magazine game I had as a kid – where the object was to lose.
It’s not fun.
Actively rooting against a team you have loved your entire life really sucks. That’s why beating the Chiefs changed everything for me.
I met my friend Josh at the DNVR Bar at about noon on Sunday, October 29th. The Avalanche, Broncos and Nuggets were all on the schedule for that afternoon, so a sports bar seemed like the right place to be – and it was. The Avs took a beating at the hands of the Sabres, but we had an absolute gas, amongst a hundred rabid Denver fans, watching the Nuggets eviscerate the Thunder. It was a high that we didn’t want to come down from; yet, here came the Broncos to bust our bubble. Or so we thought.
Instead of watching the Broncos get whooped – as we were certain they would – we saw a team that absolutely came to play. The Broncos looked prepared and well coached. The defense gave Patty Mahomes fits and all but eliminated the Taylor Swift-less Travis Kelce. It was awesome. A magical thing happened sometime in the second quarter. “Holy shit,” I thought: “I am rooting for the Broncos … to WIN!”.
I was liberated! All of those horrible thoughts of tanking disappeared completely; overtaken by my hatred for Kansas City, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, his ugly mom and that bubble-headed bitch, Brittany. Fuck ‘em all. God dammit, the Broncos beat the fuckin’ Chiefs, 24-9. They didn’t just beat them, they smacked them around. It was great.
And then, the Broncos got to go on a bye. We’ve had two weeks to soak that victory in. Now, my entire perspective on the season has shifted. What a difference a win can make! The squad is 3-5 now, two games under .500, with Von Miller and the Bills on tap for Monday night. To be clear, they will probably be soundly beaten; but, if they somehow win, they could be 4-5, one game under .500, and have a semi-realistic shot at a Wild Card berth.
Tank no more, Sean.
This is how beating the Chiefs changed everything. It is SO MUCH more fun to root FOR the Broncos than it is to root against them. That victory altered the Broncos’ trajectory for the season and my entire approach as a fan. I’m going to be pulling for my favorite team with all my might on Monday night; because everything is different now – now that they’ve beaten Kansas City – finally – after sixteen straight losses to them.
The curse is broken. The streak is over. Hope has been restored. Go Broncos.