Sometimes you just cannot sugarcoat your disappointment, and the 2007 National Football League is one of those situations for the Denver Broncos.
Our franchise is a proud one which has sustained long periods of great success, but this season is a low ebb.
Everywhere you go, you hear people comment about what a bad season it has been.
But that is just a reflection of how much people care, or how much a part of the Denver community the Broncos are. If fans did not care, THAT would really be disappointing.
With the loss Monday night at San Diego to a team that only hopes to go where the Broncos once established residency, it is assured that the Broncos will have a losing season.
Absolutely disappointing, to be sure, but we can still look at a few facts that put things into perspective.
This is Mike Shanahan’s 13th season as the Broncos’ head coach, and it will be just his second losing season, pointing to a remarkably high level of consistency, particularly impressive in the NFL’s free agent era.
I have been fortunate to work for the team for 30 years, and this will only be the fifth losing season that I have witnessed in that time frame.
Those two statistics should serve to remind fans that all of us have watched what we have watched, been a part of what has happened before our eyes.
The Broncos had their first winning season in 1973, and in the 35 years represented by that chronology, no other NFL team has won more home games.
In the history of the Super Bowl, only the Dallas Cowboys have made more appearances than have the Broncos.
This is not an attempt to be blind to our 2007 record, but is an attempt to lend some perspective to how we see the world.
In other words, the Broncos will be back.
Is there any question about Pat Bowlen’s dedication to having a winning team?
Is there any question about the feverish desire Mike Shanahan possesses to be in championship contention year after year?
This is just not a team that is content to settle for mediocrity, and I know that every effort will be made to return the Broncos to a very high standard.
One might notice that I did not mention injuries, the number of key players lost due to injury for major parts of the 2007 season.
Injuries are a part of the game, and every year there are a couple of teams hit very hard in that department.
But the same teams don’t get hit that hard year after year.
Injured players will come back next year.
Young players — and we have a lot of impressive young players — will be a year older and more experienced next year.
And the passion will still be the same.
We have one more chance to play well, to end our season with a victory in a home game, and that is where the focus is right now.
As always, this week’s game is the only one you can control, and every player has a reason to play well.
Every time someone goes to work, he owes dignity and hard work to himself and to the task itself, and NFL players are no different.
We should watch this game and enjoy what Bronco fans hope is a Denver win, but we should also remind ourselves that the goal here is for the future to again be like the past, and that is the direction on which the Denver Broncos’ organizational focus soon will be placed.