Hello Broncos Country! I hope you were able to watch the game on Sunday even though it was at 11:00 a.m. instead of the usual 2:05 p.m.! The season thus far has seen many of our outstanding veterans become injured and unable to contribute on the field. And out of the adversity of this situation a rare phenomenon has occurred; the young players on our team have been given a unique opportunity. For some this may be the biggest challenge they have faced as athletes. Still trying to prove themselves as professional football players, they are being placed in new positions and unfamiliar roles and are expected to perform as well as players with years of NFL experience. This is an immense physical and emotional task, and I think the stakes are higher than many of us realize.
When a rookie makes a team, he knows that he may be a backup to one or two very strong veteran players. His focus for the year is to keep his roster spot by constantly improving. This year the mission at hand for our rookies has become a different one – assuming the roles of veterans and facing some of the biggest talents in the league at short notice. This past Sunday taught me a lot about the spirit and the character of our rookies – they may be new in the league, but when Coach Shanahan put them on the field, they delivered performances befitting our proud Denver Broncos Football Club and justified Coach Shanahan’s faith and trust in them. To be a professional football player, it takes more than muscles, speed, and physical endurance – it requires extreme mental strength. No matter how talented an individual may be, if he cannot endure the pressure, stress, and unexpectedness of a game, he simply cannot make it in this league. Sometimes it takes years to acquire the mental toughness needed to succeed in this league, but for our rookies, it is now or never.
The young men on this team have exhibited strength, passion, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to help the Broncos win. I have heard many of them being interviewed after games and a common theme has emerged: they are all willing to play any position and do whatever the coaches require of them. This shows that they all have a strong work ethic, and more importantly, are team players. Football is not an “I” sport; it is a sport that requires the effort of every member of the team. It requires selflessness. Throughout history, countless teams have crumbled because of players who have only cared about their own interests. A successful team beats with one heart – and our proud rookies understand this message.
So although the injuries this season have been devastating for our team, they have also given us a glimpse into the future. And I believe that the future holds many years of success for the Denver Broncos!
In a strange way, we can be thankful for the adversity the team has faced this season, because it has brought about remarkable teamwork and dedication. It may sound strange for me to say that we can be thankful for adversity; however, I believe there is a lesson we can learn from this and apply to our own lives. The fact is that we are all bound to face disheartening obstacles and tough times in life and these situations sometimes impede our ability to recall our blessings. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, let’s make it a Broncos Country mission to take a moment to appreciate the marvelous things in our lives, by thinking of our family and friends, the memories we have made, and the memories which we still have to make.
Before I go, let me say that I am very thankful for all the awesome fans of Broncos Country. Enjoy delicious turkey and a wonderful holiday! And of course – Broncos are atop the AFC West!!