There are no happy Denver Broncos fans right now.
From owner Pat Bowlen to Head Coach Josh McDaniels, through the ranks of coaches and administrators and all the players in the locker room, including all fans near and far who are feverish in their support of Broncos Country, everyone is disappointed.
And one of the reasons for this is the team’s success.
The final 8-8 record was as good as or better than almost all media members predicted, but due to the way the season unfolded it ended badly.
But they all end badly when you don’t finish in a championship game.
So let’s take a look at why we all feel so bad.
The Denver Broncos began play in 1960 and did not have a playoff season until 1977.
That year the Orange Crush defense led Denver to its first playoff and first AFC Championship as Broncomania reached fever pitch.
Since and including that 1977 campaign the Broncos have won regular and postseason 202 games at home. That total of 202 home wins over the past 33 consecutive years is the most home wins that any pro, college, or high school team has ever won in any 33 consecutive seasons in the history of the sport of football, in the history of the world.
It’s the most — 202.
And in that time the Broncos have won seven AFC championships and gone on to play in six Super Bowls—it might not seem like as much as we would like, because it did not happen NOW, but only the legendary Dallas Cowboys franchise has participated in more Super Bowls than have the Broncos. Further, Denver is one of just six NFL franchises to have won back-to-back world championships.
And of course, along the way, the Broncos went undefeated for a calendar year, 52 weeks, from the end of 1997 through most of 1998, both years ending with bling.
I know these stats don’t make us feel any better, but they show us where we have come from, where we have been, and therefore where we want to be.
We consider it our right, part of the natural order of things to have a winning season and make the playoffs. And no one from Pat Bowlen on down would want it any other way.
The standard stays high, and that is how it is always going to be.
The tradition of the Denver Broncos is a barometer for our success and subsequent happiness.
Remember, if you are a Bronco season ticket holder and have been to every game since 1977, you have seen more home wins than any fan of any team over any 33-year period in the history of the sport.
So let’s respect the past, embrace the tradition and push toward future success. But we have to do it together.
When that success then comes, everyone involved knows he or she was rowing in the same direction, and that makes the triumph that much sweeter.