Why Your Team Sucks 2016: Denver Broncos

Illustration for article titled Why Your Team Sucks 2016: Denver Broncos

Some people are fans of the Denver Broncos. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Denver Broncos. This 2016 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews here. And buy Drew’s new book here.


Your team: Denver Broncos.

Illustration for article titled Why Your Team Sucks 2016: Denver Broncos

Your 2015 record: 12-4, Super Bowl Champions. History will be kind to this team because the defense was sensational, and because they got Peyton Manning a second ring and sent him into retirement on a cloud of Jim Nantz’s cedar-scented farts. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that HISTORY LIES. This was one of the worst championship teams of my lifetime. Like the 2000 Ravens or the 2002 Bucs, the 2015 Broncos are gonna end up being one of those rare exceptions to the rule that you need great quarterbacking to win a Super Bowl. I need another, better Super Bowl champ to come along this winter to help wash the taste out of my mouth. Or I need to watch this again…

They shouldn’t have even awarded the Lombardi Trophy last season. When no team is good enough to seize the ring, they should just vacate the Super Bowl and give the ring to me for safekeeping. That way, I don’t have to pretend that it’s heartwarming to see Manning and his twelve-head limp his way to the title, after a long career of wiping his ass on trainers’ faces and using Seamless to have HGH delivered to his doorstep. And I won’t have to watch him ruin what ought to be a touching and genuine sports moment with subliminal mentions of shitty beer and even shittier pizza.

Your coach: Gary Kubiak. Again, we’re gonna get farther away from last season and everyone is gonna be like, “THAT guy won a title?” It’ll be just like Mike McCarthy’s title: inexplicable, unjustified, and somewhat irritating. Kubiak still can’t manage the clock. He sits on leads like a mother hen. It’s painful to watch this man coach. Gary Kubiak is the Ditka to Wade Phillips’s Buddy Ryan. His hair looks like it was drawn by an animator cooking up a new enemy for Voltron.

Your quarterback: Quarterback? What quarterback? You don’t have a quarterback. All I see on this roster are old sandwich crusts and pickle jar lids. Hard to believe there’s a step down from Manning posting a 9:17 TD-to-INT ratio in 2015, but the Broncos have managed to find it. MANY steps down, in fact!


John Elway puffed his horsey cheeks and chased Brock Osweiler out of town when the young QB dared to ask for a few extra million and a guaranteed starting job. We’re thisssss close to Elway saying the words “The Bronco Way” out loud during a press conference, and then everything will be awful.

As a result of Osweiler’s departure, there’s nothing here. Your current starter is future trivia question answer Trevor Siemian. Behind him is rookie quarterback and terrible omen for the future of American baby names Paxton Lynch (STOP NAMING CHILDREN AFTER ACTION MOVIE CHARACTERS THAT EXIST ONLY IN YOUR IMAGINATION). And then there was Mark Sanchez. Keep in mind that the Broncos actually traded for Buttfumble, only to immediately regret it, as one does. Sanchez is now in Dallas. Wait until he discovers the steakhouse titty bars there. Whole new world for him.


This offense will be miserable. You’re gonna have to pray for C.J. Anderson to break off a 20-yard run every fifth game if you want your dick to move. If you thought the Denver defense had to carry the bulk of the load last year, wait until September. There are single Catholic mothers who are less put-upon than this defense. Speaking of which…


What’s new that sucks: The defense! Yes, that swaggering, balls-big-enough-to-need-a-wheelbarrow unit that won a championship last year has suffered the traditional, post-Super Bowl free agent raid. Gone are studs Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan. And Derek Wolfe has already done his best Von Miller impersonation and gotten suspended for four games. [Correction: That was last season, whatever.]

It gets worse. The O-line also lost Ryan Clady and Evan Mathis, and then Elway attempted to compensate by signing Russell Okung, whose negotiating skills make even Ricky Williams wince. If I were you guys, I would drink myself stupid all season long, bask in the championship afterglow, and pretend my offense isn’t doing a perfect aesthetic imitation of the 2001 Dallas Cowboys. At least Von got paid.


What has always sucked: Aqib Talib! Yes, Aqib Talib got shot this offseason. Who shot him? Where was he shot? Why do guns always go off at Talib family barbecues? I’m afraid that Talib is too shitfaced to answer ANY of those questions at the moment. I will say this, though: there’s no shortage of people who wouldn’t mind shooting Aqib Talib. Like Dwayne Allen!

And Corey Brown!


Honestly, it’s a wonder that this man isn’t shot more often. He’s the dirtiest player in football. This whole team is dirty. The entire front office drives like they’re auditioning for a role in a Bad Lieutenant reboot. Shiloh Keo drives even worse and then blames it on The Man. Ryan Murphy pulled a Eugene Robinson before the Super Bowl. Wolfe gets in nightclub fights like an asshole. This team is full of raging dickheads, which makes them PERFECT for this spoiled little fanbase. If there were truly a God, he never would have gifted these fans another title after they way they handled the post-Elway years. He would have fried them with lightning for heckling Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler out of town and embracing Tim goddamn Tebow instead.


These fans, and this town, will only get more entitled and whiny as the year winds on and the offense suffocates to death in a snowbank. Denver has quickly devolved from a relatively low-key, affordable city into the next American nightmare urban dystopia. In five years, it’ll be San Francisco. The real estate market is already completely out of control. Condos are almost as expensive as New York, without any of the charm or culture. You pay Upper East Side rent to live next to a fucking Hard Rock Cafe. Wanna head to the mountains go skiing with your ski bros? Well then, that’s either a four-hour drive or $40 in luxury tolls. The whole area has been Aspen-ified into misery. And the Broncos, led by King Idiot Elway, are well on their way to being equally expensive and overrated. Suck balls, Denver. You’re not winning another title for a very, very, very long time. And when you do, you’ll have already been priced out of town, watching your team from Western Nebraska.

What might not suck: You won a title. You need no positive reinforcement from me. Take your championship and put it in your butt. I’m done here.


Let’s remember some Broncos:

  • Vance Johnson
  • Karl Mecklenburg
  • Glyn Milburn
  • Sammy Winder
  • Tom Nalen

Hear it from Broncos fans!


I’d rather put my balls in a crocodile’s mouth than endure watching the Broncos offense this year. I think there is a legitimate chance that the defense outscores the offense. Maybe they should just punt on first down.



Fuck Mark Brunell and those ‘96 Jaguars, fuck Josh McDaniels, and fuck Rahim Moore.



1. We drafted wife beater Montee Ball over Eddie Lacy! Also, never trust a running back from Wisconsin.

2. You can’t walk two steps in Denver or any suburb without Coloradans rubbing political opinions in your face or how you should buy a Subaru to fit in with Colorado’s “active” lifestyle. Same goes with Bronco fans. Even if you have a criticism, you will get knocked for being a bad fan for simply stating your opinion.

3. After going through Jay Cutler, Kyle Orton, and Tim Tebow, Broncos fans are only starting to realize that Jake Plummer wasn’t that bad of a quarterback.

4. We replace the Sheriff with ButtFumble?


Aside from the many racist fans in our ranks hoping to see Cam “get put in his place”, every other racist in the country, closet racist, Trump supporter, and Trump himself rooted for the Broncos to win the Super Bowl. We shared our greatest moment of joy with the Klan.

For a fanbase that had zero faith in our team midseason last year, we are pretty smug now, in the most annoying way possible: “Quarterback? Who needs that? We’re a defense first, blue collar, smash mouth, lunch pail, hard hat, swing that axe kind of football team.”

We only made the Super Bowl because Belichick made a rare bad decision with a failed fourth down conversion in field goal range with plenty of time left in the game, and he still had a chance to tie at the end. Tom Brady took a jail beating and was probably pissing blood for a week, he still looked better than any quarterback we could have ever propped up with a stick.

Mark Fucking Butt Fumble Sanchez couldn’t beat out a project rookie quarterback and a Wal-Mart bag boy for the starting job. Yet, we all get hard at the thought of the Sheriff (fuck us for that nickname) coming back to save us at the last second.



Aqib Talib was so drunk it’s unclear whether he shot himself or someone shot him.



After Brock Osweiler left town & Peyton’s corpse turned to dust, people started clamoring for the return of the football messiah, Tim Tebow. Yes, the same Tim Tebow that couldn’t beat out Mark Sanchez in Philly last season. And the presumptive starting quarterback for the Broncos is the SAME Mark Sanchez that Tebow couldn’t beat out. The fans here in Denver are so dumb they think that Chip Kelly was the reason Tebow didn’t succeed and honestly believe he deserves a second chance in Denver.



Why Denver sucks:

1. The Green Rush- This is where everyone from states that don’t allow weed move here to either (a) start a business (b) just smoke (c) treat their sick kids with medicine they can obtain in CO. This has fucked up our housing market where unless you make bank, you can’t afford shit. The shit houses are available are 300k.

2. Last year I wrote about how the on ramps are short as fuck. After getting different job in different part of Denver I have realized that at least 25% of the on ramps are also off ramps. While you are trying to speed up to get on interstate, some fuck is trying to slow down and get off of interstate.

3. All the jobs are in the fucking Denver Tech Center. There are only 2 ways to get there from anywhere in Denver and the first choice is always I25 which makes me want to have a prefrontal phlebotomy instead of driving down that road during rush hour. Also 25 fucking sucks during lunch, LUNCH. Fuck me.

Why the Broncos suck:

1. Fuck you, Brock. You handle a pizza better than you handle the football.

2. Aqib Talib fucking shot himself due to him being a drunk fuck then told everyone to not say it was him that shot himself.

3. Our new rookie QB Lynch looks like Guy Fawkes.

Fuck Peyton for always telling the fans to shut up.


While I strongly feel Elway is the best GM in the league over the last few years, his negotiation tactics are Belichickian in their ruthlessness, which is both annoying and going to implode the team as soon as we hit mediocrity again.



Half the current fan base is made up of people who were “Peyton Manning fans” and are waiting to dust off their Colts jerseys once the post-championship glow wears off. Meanwhile we get to strap in for the QB Hydra of Butt Fumble, Chris Cornell and Trevor Siemian. We don’t have one player on our roster who should be throwing a football outside of the 4th quarter of a pre-season game.

Also you just know when John Elway isn’t GM’ing the hell out of everything he’s espousing the merits of a Trump-based presidency and it hurts my heart trying to reconcile this.



This article written this spring is a perfect example. Here are just the opening few lines, talking about Paxton Lynch, the frat bro of the NFL draft:

Loyalty. It’s a word we don’t hear much in the parlance of the NFL or professional sports these days. We don’t often hear it in any form of life. We’re never satisfied with what we have and are always on the hunt for what we don’t. We’re just not grateful. In terms of the NFL, the loyalty lies with the bottom line. There are a few exceptions to the rule, and what hat we wear will show our allegiance and what we believe. When it comes to the Denver Broncos, it starts at the top.

Anyway, just thought you should be aware of this change in the team that for decades has only had the bragging rights of being better than the Raiders.

Fuck John Elway, fuck Mark Sanchez, and fuck the Broncos.


Broncos fans have a remarkable habit of believing every quarterback who ever completed a pass is the next John Elway.

In 2012, there was a legitimate faction of Broncos fans who thought Elway should have stuck with Tebow rather than signing Peyton Manning. Seriously, they thought we were better off with a pimply church camp counselor who managed to mount a few fourth-quarter comebacks (the only things he would ever mount) on our way to a 9-7 season than ostensibly the most dominant quarterback in the NFL throughout the previous decade. They thought we were better off with someone who, four years later, only makes headlines when he accompanies abstinent high schoolers to prom, rather than someone who would go on to lead the team to four division titles and two Super Bowls.

Then, in 2015, when Manning got injured because he’s literally the 900-year-old knight at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Brock Osweiler played at a slightly-above-average level for a backup, people in Denver thought Brock was the Messiah. Never mind the fact that he couldn’t do dick in the red zone. Never mind the fact that his debut against the Bears — a team with literally zero elite players — was a win only because our defense stopped a 2-point conversion with less than a minute left. Never mind the fact that he turned over the ball approximately 40 times in 35 minutes of play against the Chargers defense (which is not good).

Now? It’s Trevor Siemian. Trevor Fucking Siemian. The guy who was considered a “reach” at pick #250. The guy who, in a convert-or-lose 2-point conversion attempt in college, fell over. Didn’t get hit. Didn’t trip. No contact. Like in a slapstick comedy. Just fell. Is there one compelling reason to believe this guy is better than the other two quarterbacks on the team, one of whom is a seasoned veteran who has led his team to two conference championships (yes, buttfumble, I know, but still), and the other a first-round pick who at least has a high ceiling? No, there isn’t, and yet the Denver Post did an online poll asking who should be the Broncos’ starting QB this year, and TWO-THIRDS of the people said Trevor Siemian.

Drew, you could walk into Broncos training camp next week, complete a screen pass to Emmanuel Sanders for a six-yard gain, and fans would start a petition to rename Pike’s Peak to Mount Magary.



If there is a world record for shortest amount of time between celebrating winning the Super Bowl and having a garbage-level team that might not crack the 8-8 mark if they didn’t get the AFC South and NFC South this season, this Broncos team is up there in the rankings.

Also Denver fans are spoiled pieces of shit who consider anything but another Super Bowl victory a lost season that isn’t worth having. We’re like the Steelers West.



I fully expect that the Broncos will set a record for the worst performance by a team coming off a Super Bowl victory, even worse than the season after Elway retired.

Last year, the running game was a pile of shit. The offensive line was a pile of shit. What did the Broncos do? They kept the shitty running backs. The line still sucks. We’re still overpaying a wide receiver who drops every meaningful pass (6 touchdowns for a guy who caught over 100 passes). Our big free agent signing involved screwing over a guy who was too dumb to hire an agent.

The really, really good defense? Half of it hightailed it out of here. They did everything in their power to stick it to the one guy who they supposedly wanted to keep before giving him a contract that made Aaron Rodgers say “Holy shit, that’s a lot of money”. Von Miller will probably destroy his knee in week 3.



I don’t have to watch Manning throw the football like he’s pitching in a Whiffle Ball tournament. No, now I get to watch Mark Sanchez spontaneously combust behind center and evaporate before the pass leaves his hand and is gift wrapped for a defensive end. I have friends that are telling me our QB situation doesn’t matter. Did I mention that weed is legal here?



Despite winning the Super Bowl with an offense that couldn’t score in a strip club with a $500 bill, I still have actually heard the comment, “Can you imagine how good this team could be if they still had Tebow?” Fuck Josh McDaniels for making us endure such idiocy.

I have actually made the statement “Our offense is going to be so much better with Sanchez at QB this year than Peyton.”



We had a legitimate, no matter how small, petition going around to bring back Timothy Richard Tebow to play QB



Our descent into a shitheel fan base has begun.

Star player wants to get paid like the once-in-a-lifetime talent he is? Trade him! Playing for Denver is a privilege *sniffs thin-air fart*. Eye gouging? Ya gotta set a tone! Any suggestion that the Broncos might kind of suck this year? Fuck off haterz!

We’re becoming the unholy demon spawn of Seahawks and Patriots fans. Staring in to the abyss of shit fan bases has corrupted our collective soul and no amount Purple Nurple OG concentrate dabs can save us. I fully expect the Broncos to miss the playoffs and all of the “fans” from LA and Chicago and Texas to jump ship faster than a bullet exiting Aqib Talib’s calf.



Living in Denver with the plethora of transplants more than half the city didn’t give a shit when this roiding-ass team won the Super Bowl. I’ve been in KC for a Royals championship, Wisconsin for a Packers super bowl, and SF for a Giants World Series. All of those places were way more into the fact that their team won a championship than the city of Denver was for capturing their third* (salary cap cheats on the first two) Super Bowl. What other city in America could care less about a historic defense winning the ultimate American sports title than Denver, given its current make up of 90% Californians, Midwesterners, and people from anywhere else?



The last Broncos Super Bowl victory was a thorough shakedown of the Atlanta Falcons in 1999. I was 7 years old, and had moved to Indiana from Denver with my folks several years prior. Flash forward to present day, and I’m still here after going to college in-state. Now I’m surrounding by fair-weather, Bobby Knight-humping, neon orange-wearing hicks who have claimed this Super Bowl as their own because PEYTON IS A COLT FOREVER! Peyton Manning simultaneously validated my Broncos fandom with a Super Bowl and ruined the pinnacle of fanhood for me. Fuck Peyton, fuck his brand, fuck his brands. I hope the Bud Light he drank after the game in February was skunked.

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.