Written by: Angie Fisher
I’m not one to often hold back or mince words. Sort of a call-it-like-I-see-it girl, which usually gets me into way more trouble than had I just kept my mouth shut. As a matter of fact, I’m lucky I made it out of the stadium with all my teeth intact after talking smack during the only Broncos/Raiders match-up I was allowed to attend. So I tried it this year, the not offering my opinion thing, first when the Broncos traded Tim Tebow, and then when they announced Peyton Manning had chosen us. Okay,
I admit it; I didn’t say anything because I didn’t have the first clue WHAT to think. Shhh…
Yes, I was a Tebow fan. Why does that have the out-of-the-closet feel to it? I never studied his form, well, not his form as a throwing quarterback! What I appreciated most about Tim Tebow was his unwillingness to be anyone but the man he knew he was. We need more of those guys in the NFL. Hell, we need more of those guys period. I’m tired of the thugs in professional sports getting all the money, all the attention, and all the glory. I’m tired of the kids I teach thinking these are the kind of role models they should aspire to.
But I digress.
I drove my friends and colleagues crazy when they’d try to cajole me into revealing my thoughts on the subject. After all, they were used to me sharing my opinion on everything, whether they asked for it or not. But this time was different. This time, instead of running my mouth, I sat back and watched. And I listened. And I didn’t form an opinion based solely on emotion, which is my usual M.O. I trusted that John Elway had the best intentions of the club at heart, rather than be swayed by those who claimed he was, “Afraid someone at QB who would be more popular than him.”
Enter Peyton Manning. Surreal comes to mind. I remember him standing on that podium with Elway and that number 18 Broncos Jersey, and thinking, A-it’s so weird, and B-pretty much answers the questions about Elway. I was cautiously optimistic. And then we pounded the Steelers in week one. Everyone was on board. Peyton was indeed Peyton, and he was back, even though every time he was hit we held our breath. Cautious optimism grew into full blown giddiness overnight, and we were looking like the team to beat in the AFC West. As is common when one dares forget about it, reality comes crashing back to bite us in the, well, you know… And when you are floating that high in the clouds, the fall hurts a whole lot more.
I’m pretty sure Monday night’s game will go down in history for a number of things. Yes, the officiating was embarrassing, to say the least. Frightening for the players, absolutely. There were calls that could have potentially been game-changers, but I’ve put in my time as a coach for long enough to realize my old mantra to my volleyball girls about winning in spite of the officiating; not losing because of it was right on. Denver was not the best team on that field. The Falcons made my quarterback and my team look like they were starring into the football version of a grown-up Bad News Bears.
Monday night, I went through a whole lot of those emotions I spoke about earlier. I couldn’t sleep thinking about how bad that game really was. Somewhere in the wee hours of Tuesday morning I realized that perhaps, just perhaps, my expectations were a little high for what any one human being is capable of doing. Yep, Peyton reminded the world that he is indeed human. And I for one think I needed the reminder.
I came to work that next day to a whole lot of heckling from students as well as colleagues. And you know what? That’s okay. Loyalty always comes with a cost, and any true fan knows that there will be highs and there will be lows. Denver has a tough schedule this year, and I don’t mind being back in reality a bit when it comes to this Sunday’s game against the Texans. So for now, I’m going back to watching, and listening, and being cautiously optimistic. Oh yea…and keeping my mouth shut.