Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos fans cheer before Super Bowl XLVIII against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

A Thank You to the Denver Broncos and Their Fans

This is not the article I was hoping to write one week removed from Super Bowl XLVIII because I was really optimistic that the Denver Broncos would find a solution to the stingy Seattle Seahawk defense. Unfortunately, from the first snap of the game, it went downhill for the Broncos AND their fans.  The Broncos were never able to establish anything and get a small amount of momentum.  While the 43-8 defeat was hard to take, and emotional on so many different levels, the team and their fans should be proud of what was accomplished during the season, and what a fun ride it was.

Thank you to the Denver Broncos!  From the opening game of the season, you put on an offensive fireworks show that set many records and will be hard to ever beat, even match. You earned another divisional title by sweeping the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs.  The Chiefs were undefeated coming into the Sunday night matchup in Denver, and a lot of people, mainly Chief fans, were talking about the Chiefs being in the Super Bowl. Your team handed the Chiefs their first loss of the season, giving both teams a 9-1 record, but you held first place in the division due to the tie-breaker.  Ten weeks into the season, the victory over the Chiefs was one of the highlights; a week later when you travelled to Massachusetts to face the New England Patriots you experienced, in my opinion, one of the lowest points of the regular season when you blew a 24-0 halftime lead, losing 34-31 in overtime.  Thank goodness you avenged this loss in the AFC Championship when the Patriots visited Denver and went home AFC runner-up after losing 26-16.  While slipping on a Thursday night in December against the San Diego Chargers, you were given an opportunity to avenge that loss one month later in the divisional playoffs and you did it, ending the Chargers season with a 24-17 victory in Denver.  The divisional win not only avenged the December loss to the Chargers, it also put to bed the hurt that still lingered from the divisional playoff loss one year earlier to the Baltimore Ravens.

In closing this “thank you” to the team, I will say that the season didn’t end the way I wanted it to, and while the pain of the Super Bowl loss will not go away completely, it will become less painful the farther we get away from it.  As a diehard fan, I will not hang my hat on “at least the Broncos made it to the Super Bowl,” because that wasn’t the goal.  Your goal was to win it, and unfortunately, you fell one game, or 36 points short.  I will rest comfortably knowing that the 30 teams and their fans that weren’t in the Super Bowl would have loved to have been in your spot.  A Bronco win, which will come next season, will go a long way to erasing the memories of Sunday, February 2, 2014.  It’s kind of like when your high school sweetheart breaks up with you – it hurts, but the next boyfriend or girlfriend goes A LONG WAY to eliminating the pain of the previous relationship.  All that being said, the memories you created during the 2013 season will be special in years to come.  I will not forget the great season and the playoff ride that consisted of two victories in Denver that I experienced in person.  The lyrics to The Garth Brooks song, The Dance, seems like a fitting end to this portion of the thank you – “And now I’m glad I didn’t know the way it all would end, the way it all would go.  Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.”   Thank you for a great season!  Have a great offseason and use the Super Bowl loss to motivate you and make you better.  I’m already looking forward to next season!

Thank you the Denver Bronco fans!  This “thank-you” is intended for the long-time, die-hard Bronco fans who have always stuck by the Broncos, win or lose, and don’t give up on their team because of one loss.  This “thank-you” is not for the fair-weather, casual Bronco fan who likes to be a Bronco fan when they’re winning, or it’s the cool thing to do in Denver or around the country.  You know who you are!  To those die-hard fans who watched the Super Bowl to the very end, I say congratulations to you.  While it was so disappointing to watch the Bronco lose, I know you will be counting down the days to the start of the 2014 season and anxiously waiting for a Super Bowl when the Broncos will, once again, represent the American Football Conference.  To the Bronco fans around the world who treat Bronco game day like it’s a holiday, I say hold your head up high and be proud.  To every Bronco fan who was at the stadium when the Broncos beat the Chargers and the Patriots in the playoffs, I say thank you for making those two Bronco games a memory that will last a lifetime.  A great big thank you to every season ticket holder in Broncos Country – you are part of the reason the waiting list to get season tickets is 40,000 names long with an estimated wait of 10-15 years!  To Bronco fans who displayed their Bronco stuff the Monday following Super Bowl XLVIII, I especially say “kudos to you.”  Many fans would be ashamed to show their support for a Super Bowl loser, but not you!  I wore Bronco stuff to work on that black Monday and proudly wore it that night, despite still being upset over the previous day’s performance by the Broncos.  The highlight of my day came when I saw two other people sporting their Bronco gear that night…..  and I live in the heart of Chiefs country!  I know in the city of Denver there were many Bronco fans proudly displaying their Bronco stuff.  While this is still just a game, it hurts deeply to watch your team lose, but know that the Broncos organization will continue to work towards winning the Super Bowl.  Being a fan, a TRUE fan, means you have excessive enthusiasm and intense devotion to your team (the definition of fanatic) regardless of wins or losses.  While the late Jim Valvano was fighting cancer and faced a much greater battle than ANY game, his famous ending to his speech at the ESPY Awards in 1993 is a great ending to this “thank you” to the die-hard fans in Broncos Country, “Don’t give up.  Don’t ever give up.”  Bronco fans get your rest, in six-seven months the ride starts all over!

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