Some people are fans of the Denver Broncos. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Denver Broncos. This 2015 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: the Denver Broncos. THE FIGHTIN’ HORSIES!
Your 2014 record: 12-4. Cue the snuff film…
Your coach: Gary Kubiak. Wait, really? WHY? Listen, man: If you’re gonna fire John Fox and his entire staff (It was a good staff!) in a fit of rage, you better have a plan. You better come back to everyone with a reasonable replacement. You can’t trot out Gary fucking Kubiak and tell people it’s an improvement. Fox’s career record was 118–89 when he got shitcanned. Kubiak’s? 61–64. This is a scandal. This is John Elway using Fox as a scapegoat for Peyton Manning’s deterioration, and then hiring his backup from the old days. This is the beginning of the end.
Did I mention that Kubiak is installing a new offense? Is there anyone on Earth who thought that the Broncos problems last season all stemmed from the playbook? Boy, Adam Gase was such a lousy OC that virtually EVERY other team interviewed him for a head coaching gig! Good thing you fired THAT guy. What fucking purpose could it possibly serve to make a 39-year-old quarterback who can barely throw the ball learn a new goddamn offense when he has already demonstrated complete mastery of the old one? This is insane. The only innovation Kubes is bringing to this team is a fart tax.
At least Wade Phillips is back. They love Wade in Denver! Jesus. You guys have a long walk to Pueblo ahead of you.
Your quarterback: This is the end… Beautiful friend… THE END…
“I can’t feel anything in my fingertips,” Manning said Thursday. “It’s crazy. I’ve talked to a doctor recently who said, ‘Don’t count on the feeling coming back.’ It was hard for me for about two years, because one doctor told me I could wake up any morning and it might come back. So you wake up every day thinking, Today’s the day! Then it’s not.”
Uhhh… that doesn’t sound good. Being able to feel stuff seems like an important part of the quarterbacking job.
We all agree that Peyton Manning should have retired this offseason, right? I don’t wanna watch him spend this season getting his brains whipped into foam. This entire year is gonna be like watching Brett Favre get his skull bounced off the Metrodome turf on a loop. All the debate about RG3 playing after his fake concussion kinda pales when you realize that Manning will be an invalid before midseason.
Peyton is done. He can blame a sore quad all he wants for that playoff game, but it’s horseshit. His arm is shot. His neck is shot. His right hand is essentially a phantom appendage. What are the odds of this ending well? I bet there was more to that Texans trade rumor than the Broncos would ever dare admit. Peyton’s gonna get paid $17.5 million this season to die on live television. I can’t look.
[peeks through fingers anyway]
You broke the record, man. Take your record and your dumb shirt and cut your losses. Even if Peyton miraculously recovers the use of his appendages, he’ll still fuck up in the playoffs anyway, probably because the scoreboard was too loud for him or something. This isn’t golf, asshole. Learn to deal with noise.
What’s new that sucks: The team gave Demaryius Thomas a fat new contract this offseason that TOTALLY wasn’t the result of colluding with the Cowboys. That means that Thomas and Manning now account for roughly 98 percent of the team’s payroll. They couldn’t afford to keep Julius Thomas. Or Terrance Knighton. Or Orlando Franklin. Peyton is gonna have to operate a new offense with one arm and the only protection the Broncos will be able to afford for him are a couple of bales of hay. Ryan Clady is already lost for the year. And Owen Daniels is here to replace Thomas. Owen Daniels is the TJ Maxx Dallas Clark. Third-round wideout Jeff Heuerman has already torn his ACL. Jesus, is there a rookie wideout this year that is NOT injured? This team is a rebuilding effort waiting to happen.
What else is new? Oh, right! Pat Bowlen’s son is an accused woman beater. And so is Elway’s kid! When the Broncos front office isn’t getting tagged for DUI, it’s dragging you down the stairs by your ponytail.
What has always sucked: Thanks to lax weed laws and the need for literally EVERY male resident of Colorado to open his own terrible microbrewery (“HURRRR I CAN MAKE BEER FOR A LIVING AND GIVE IT FUN NAMES HURRR”), Denver is now a horrifically expensive boutique neighborhood for hippie assholes, and it is surrounded by suburbs packed to the brim with loony Promise Keepers who live in Colorado because its elevation above sea level brings them that much closer to Jesus.
As for Broncos fans, they’re pretty much about as unreasonable as John Elway himself. I will enjoy watching them freak out for the next decade as Manning wastes away and they run every promising possible replacement out of town.
What might not suck: They got the weed discount on Shane Ray! I bet he was ELATED to end up in Colorado. I can’t blame him.
Also, Wes Welker is gone, so at least you don’t have to watch TWO people contract CTE in real time.
Hear it from Broncos fans!
Josh McDaniels traded for Laurence Maroney.
Colorado is skinniest state in county, but if you go to game or any public place before a Broncos game is on, every person wearing a Broncos jersey is 100 lbs overweight.
The on-ramps in CO are short as fuck. You might make it to 50mph before having to merge on interstate.
People here in Denver legitimately think Brock Osweiler should start over Peyton Manning.
Also, fuck Joe Flacco.
It’s the local sports radio. Being that Denver is a transplant city, no one over the age of 30 is actually from Denver, meaning the radio hosts who are supposedly “experts” about the team in reality aren’t really Bronco fans to begin with. I’m looking at you Darren McKee. Darren McKee (or D-Mac as the people of Denver refer to him as) is a scummy east coaster from Boston who sits alongside Bronco (and CU Buffalo) great Alfred “Big Al” Williams. D-Mac constantly calls his father, on the air mind you, to see what the old MASSHOLE thinks about the Broncos which of course turns into a talk about the Red Sox and D-Mac actually thinks that this is good fucking radio for Denver.
D-Mac makes me want to stick my finger through my eyeball, into my brain and twirl it around. Then you come across a photo of what D-Mac actually looks like which can only be described as a hamster with glasses and you sort of feel bad for him just up until he starts talking which is when you want to shove a bunch of used tampons into his mouth to keep him quiet.
The whole town is officially sick of Manning’s shit. This guy threw a scoreboard operator under the bus for the audacity of trying to make a football game fun. He refuses to take plays off during a blowout despite being made of particle board. The man choreographed a prank ON HIMSELF for crissakes. Fuck this guy and fuck me for thinking his humble perfectionist shtick was charming.
Peyton, for his part, has made it clear he will keep playing until vertebrae shoot out of his nostrils. I can’t wait to watch this record chasing dullard audible out of every called run for the next three years.
Our fans still talk about Tim Tebow like he’s the one that got away.
We just signed our best receiver to a ridiculous deal that ensures we will have to clean house and have lots of cheaper, shittier players in the future.
Oh and we still don’t have any linebackers, there’s just been a big gap on the field where they should be and opposing runners tend to notice this.
We’ve got a QB who’s past his prime and is as fragile as a paper kite.
They hold the record for most Super Bowl losses, and their closest margin of defeat in those losses is 17. SEVENTEEN. They have never lost a Super Bowl that’s been within two possessions.
Starting around the turn of the century, Denver transformed from Indianapolis at the base of the rocky mountains to one of the most educated, cultured, liberal, healthy, young and vibrant mid-sized cities in the country. It is Seattle with more sunshine, a more attractive and less insufferable population (at least for now). It is Portland with actual employment opportunities. It is San Diego with the mountains instead of the beach and fewer MMA fighters beating the shit out of their significant others.
This is the new Denver. But not on Sundays in the Fall and Winter. Not at any bar or restaurant on game day. Certainly not at the tailgate or Mile High Stadium where Denver reverts to 1987. Being at Mile High on an NFL Sunday is essentially the same thing as being at a Nebraska Cornhuskers game, except the fat, white trash bodies are clad in orange and blue starter jackets rather than red and white.
When it comes to actual football - there is ZERO hype for this upcoming season. We have accepted our fate. Peyton will throw 40 TDs during the first 10 weeks and we will roll to an 8-2 start. Then his arm will fall off and we will limp in to the playoffs at 12-4, while miraculously pulling two late-season games out of our ass. We will probably secure the 2 seed, get a bye and then get skull-fucked in round 2, just when we somehow convinced ourselves that we will get to the Super Bowl. We will all drive home drunker than Ty Lawson and the entire state will be in deep depression until May, when we finally crawl outside to drink craft beer and act like we don’t give a shit about football.
John Elway just hired his old roommate to coach up our quarterback of the future, who was his son’s roommate in college. It’s pathetic and small-minded and looks exactly like what it is. But don’t count on Broncos fans to see that, because John Elway shits truffles and his piss gets these really great tannins when it’s oaked.
What’s kind of amazing, is that the Broncos now take the cake as the most small-minded franchise in Colorado. Such competition! The Nuggets were bought by a useless Wal-Mart heir who gave the team to his kid, who promptly ran off the GM, coach and best player after a franchise record for wins. Joe Sakic runs the Avalanche, which is coached by his old goalie Patrick Roy. And the Rockies weirdly decided Walt Weiss was some kind of hero and made him manager. When I conveyed that to a friend from out of town, he smarmed me good: “Who’s the hitting coach, Dante Bichette?” Dante Bichette IS the hitting coach.
And yet the Broncos are somehow more pathetic than all of these franchises today. Because they fixed their small-mindedness problem, got amazing results, and then — then they just blew it up for some reason. Waste the last years of Peyton Manning to bring in the one and only Gary Kubiak. Bring back Wade Phillips! Even weirder, bring back Rick Dennison (you’re not a Broncos obsessive and are under no obligation to know him, but the team’s insistence on recycling him, and the fan base’s weird appreciation for a not-too-good player from the 80s is just weird, and sad). Overdraft players from Colorado State! Overdraft your kid’s roommate from college! What part of behaving like a normal, successful organization tortured these people so badly they had to start being fools again!
Also, Gary Kubiak’s offense has maybe 3 red zone plays (hello, fullback pass to the flat!), and I know exactly when he’s going to call that damned play fake with a 15-20 yard throw to the tight end outside the hashes. I’ll give you the answer: Every other play.
I worked for a company that had a substantial corporate partnership with theBroncos. We did an employee event once where you got free food, the chance to win free signed Broncos shit, and the opportunity to listen to Alfred Williams languidly drone on about his pro career with the Broncos and college career with the CU Buffs. Sidenote: CU fans are the worst, most obnoxious goddamn fans on the planet, despite their team sucking horrifically for basically the last decade.
Anyway, the amazing thing was that despite interacting with virtually every department in this company on a regular basis, the promise of escaping the bloodless grind that is corporate life to spend time at Sports Authority Field brought every sub-human mole person in this company that I had never, ever seen out of their dimly lit underground holes. One lady wore blue and orange camouflage pants (where she thought she might blend in with those is anyone’s guess) and put Broncos decals on her cheeks. Another dude, I swear to God, painted his face... for a corporate event that lasted maybe an hour and half. He had to work the rest of the day, presumably.
For as cool a city as Denver is, too many Broncos fans are embarrassing, mouth-breathing hicks.
Fuck Montee Ball with a tech 9.
When Peyton said he was coming back for another year, I was one of the few people who was disappointed. Great, another year of our drunk, redneck fans spitting coors light all over themselves while screaming “Omaha!” when Peyton’s at the line of scrimmage. Fuck Omaha, fuck our fans, and fuck me for caring.
Submissions for the 2015 NFL previews are now closed. Next up: the Indianapolis Colts.