Rocky Mountain Thunder Waiting To Be Heard


There’s one smiling Broncos fan today and it’s this girl. Instead of witnessing a 43-13 loss suffered at the feathered claw of the Arizona Cardinals, I spent the afternoon shredding down the slopes of Keystone, Colorado. 

Don’t call me a fair weather fan. I’m more of a winter weather girl with snow-filled pigtails and ice-laced goggles. Instead of pouring more salt into the wound, throwing additional sand into the eyes, and driving a nail through my toe, I opted for a Bronco Break. Don’t get me wrong – I followed part of the game on the car ride home, but frankly the standstill traffic on I-70 was more encouraging than what the Broncos were putting out on the field. 

Invesco Field (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, file)

By the start of the fourth quarter, it was kicker Jay Feely – 22, Broncos – 3. The life and times of the post-Josh McDaniels’ era never looked so bleak. 

As I pondered the game playing out in front of my eyes on my phone, all I could do was think about my snow-packed day rather than the Broncos’ turnover-packed day. My day was like Baby Bear’s porridge – just right. The Broncos’ day was just the opposite. It was a day that broke the camel’s Broncos’ back.  

The Broncos’ six turnovers (three by Kyle Orton) helped snap the Cardinals’ seven game losing streak. Now, if someone, anyone, could help the Broncos snap their misfortunate streak of losing eight of the last nine.   

As I nurtured my relationship with one of the things that Colorado is all about (the mountains), I couldn’t help but think about the other thing that helps define the state for so many people – the Denver Broncos. As hearts ache for the team and its prized history, my legs were in a similar state of anguish at 11,000 feet above sea level. The lactic acid was so hot that it felt like volcanic lava was spreading over the little town of my muscle fibers. Likewise, for Broncos’ fans, it feels like a sea of predominantly orange lava has rushed over the fibers of a great football city.

If you’re familiar with the mountains, you know the space of time between one storm hitting and another one on its tail and gaining momentum. In that juncture, you literally feel the pause, like the mountains are between breaths. Before another inhale, you are in snow from the previous storm, and then lifted with the force of the exhale that dumps more snow. Depending on the size of the storms, this revelation can be peaceful, penetrating, or even perturbing. I think that’s why the mountains can be so healing. It reminds you that life has rhythms.

Well, so do professional sports’ teams. The Broncos are currently in that lull between storms. We saw the Josh McDaniels’ storm that was so forceful that the city could’ve shut down, and now we’re waiting for a more serene storm – the kind that brings light fluffy powder to soften any falls that are to come – to hit with the hiring of a new coach.

With the snow patches dotting the cliffs, the trees standing solid and unwavering, and the air so silent, I found myself standing waist deep in solitary bliss. I was completely alone, save the animal paw prints that surrounded my snowboard. Sometimes it takes a bit of isolation to clear the head and continue on.

Perhaps this off season, the Broncos need to go into the backwoods and fall into the concealment to find the conquer.

Make it waist deep, please.

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