Sean Payton is now the head coach of the Denver Broncos, and because of that, he understands the importance of hating your division rivals. Among the many things discussed at his introductory press conference on Monday, Payton talked about having to finish out his time working in the entertainment business with FOX before Super Bowl LVII between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs, of course, are the Broncos’ most bitter rival at the present moment. The Broncos have lost every matchup they’ve played against the Chiefs since early in the 2015 season, and Payton — after spending 16 years with the Saints — understands what it means to hate your division rivals. He noted that, as a member of the media and now of Broncos Country, he’s picking the Eagles to win the Super Bowl.
Sean Payton understands Broncos rivalry with Chiefs
This is a noteworthy statement because, with Nathaniel Hackett, the Chiefs were just another team on the schedule, just another game. It was frustrating that the team had something to the effect of “Win the West” written on the walls but when it came time to talk about the division rivals at the microphone, they diminished the importance of getting out of the rut vs. Kansas City.
Payton went on to explain that the ideal weekend for the Broncos fan is for the Broncos to win and everyone else in the AFC West to lose. Yes, that is correct. It’s incredible that any coach of a team could diminish the importance of beating a division rival, yet here we are talking about it.
The whole press conference was a bit all over the place because there was a lot of ground to cover. Payton is taking his first head coaching gig since accepting the Saints’ job in 2006, and so there was plenty of time giving thanks to his previous organization, talking about how things are similar or different from when he was hired there, and how different his perspective is now that he’s a veteran head coach of the league.
Payton was understandably excited at the presser and refreshingly candid on a number of topics, which obviously extended into his pick for this year’s Super Bowl. Payton cleared up something pretty massive for a lot of fans (you’d be surprised) who think that rooting for AFC West teams in big games like this is somehow good for the Broncos, like in college when you root for teams in a certain conference to pump up the conference as a whole.
There are plenty of players around the NFL that could help the Denver Broncos and follow Sean Payton to the Mile High City in 2023.
It doesn’t work like that in the NFL. Fans should not care one iota whether the Chiefs or Chargers or Raiders have success. It means nothing for the Broncos (but bad things) if they do. Sean Payton gets it, clearly, and is helping many in Broncos Country understand what the mindset has to be regarding the Chiefs or any other division rival in the AFC West.