The Denver Broncos need to apologize to the fans

This is painful to write because I love the Denver Broncos.

I have been a diehard fan since John Elway laced up his cleats for his first Broncos game.  I have endured the lowest lows and the highest highs with this team.  Watching the 2014 Super Bowl, my emotions ran the gamut from excitement to disappointment.  After a couple days have passed the feeling that is left is disgust, the lowest of the low.

The Broncos need to apologize to the fans for the pathetic performance on display last Sunday.  Apologize not just to Broncos fans, but also to fans of football.  An apology issued not from Elway, but from every player and every coach.

Many fans scraped together their hard-earned money just to support their beloved Broncos in the Super Bowl.  Orange was abundant in the crowd at MetLife stadium as thousands of fans screamed for the team they love in the biggest game of the year only to be disappointed by the Broncos’ players not showing up.  It was blatantly obvious as the first snap of the game flew past Peyton Manning and into the end zone.  The quality of play was terrible from the kicker to the quarterback.  The Broncos’ faithful in the stadium and in front of television sets everywhere were hoping for a different team after halftime, but the second half kickoff quickly erased any wishful thinking.

This was the worst Super Bowl I have ever watched and that includes the San Francisco 49ers’ destruction of the Broncos in 1990.  Why was this Super Bowl worse than a 55-10 drubbing?  This was not a game where one team was overmatched by a superior opponent, filled with future Hall of Fame players and led by a future Hall of Fame coach.  The Broncos could have won this game, but instead they folded like a napkin and gave away the game like they weren’t even there.  They were not ready to play mentally, and worse, they gave up with more than four minutes left in the fourth quarter by playing like they wanted to run out the clock to avoid losing by more points.  That was disgusting.

Clearly the Broncos were more talented than the New England Patriots, having soundly beaten them in the AFC Championship game, but it is a certainty that the Patriots would not have laid an egg in the Super Bowl like the Broncos did.  I am not a fan of the Patriots and dislike Bill Belichick, but I have to give credit where credit is due.  Belichick may be a lousy loser, but he has his team ready to play and they are competitive every Sunday.  Why?  He has instilled a mental toughness in his team that many of the Broncos players seem to lack.

This lack of mental toughness has been evident throughout the season and reared its ugly head in the most important game of the year.  There has been an inordinate amount of fumbles, dumb penalties, and players not named Peyton Manning sliding feet first instead of taking a hit.  Wide receivers throwing up their hands for a pass interference call instead of fighting for the ball that hasn’t yet hit the ground or these same physically-imposing receivers being manhandled by a jam at the line by much smaller defensive backs.

It is agonizing to watch Eric Decker run out of bounds instead of fighting for more yards when stopping the clock is not a necessity.  I never saw Rod Smith unnecessarily run out of bounds.  He fought for every yard and played every play like it was his last.

Denver Broncos

John Elway played with determination and heart

The reason why Elway will always be revered and Manning won’t has nothing to do with statistics.  It is mental toughness.  Elway could will his team to victory even when playing with a supporting cast much inferior to what has been assembled for Manning.  He fought with his cannon right arm and his mobile legs and he sacrificed his body to win.  It mattered not if he had gotten into a rhythm with his wide receivers or if the defensive line was giving him pressure.  If the game could be won by sheer will, Elway was up to the task.

Remember The Drive?  How about The Dive?  Peyton is intelligent, a hard worker and a great quarterback, but when the chips are down I would rather have a player who keeps fighting at all costs than one who’s slumped over body language clearly says “I quit.”

There is no way to sugar-coat it, highly paid professional athletes with a lack of mental toughness are painful to watch which is what the Denver Broncos were on Super Bowl Sunday.

  • joe

    I will be the first to admit I am NOT a Manning fan at all, never have never will. Two things stood out to me watching this game that makes me ask WHY? For the last 3-4 games prior to the super bowl you heard the audibles shouted and the word Omaha 90% of the time. The first thing that stood out, I don’t remember hearing any audibles nor Omaha. WHY did they change what worked for this game? Second, when they zoomed in on Manning behind the center it was NOT the same Payton I have disliked watching over the years. He would look at the defence and sometimes point or shout a comment but nothing close to normal. It appeared to me that they were getting to the line much later than normal because normally we are all waiting forever for the time clock to get down so the play will start. They threw at Sherman once or twice the while game, why? Because he’s the best corner in the NFL? After the 49′ers game I was hoping Payton would throw 2 or 3 touchdowns against him but apparently we were told he was the best and was afraid to beat the best. Beat Sherman and maybe, just maybe the #1 defence in the NFL will start doubting their defence. Seattle made it clear they did not change the game they played all season because it worked. Why did Denver change the offence when it worked, why did they play an offence that wasn’t theirs and one that Seattle would eat up? Did Denver watch any of Seattle’s films? I believe Tebow would have put more on the scoreboard for sure. Hopefully Manning hangs his hat up now.

    • Tebow before Peyton

      Been a Denver fan since Craig Morton wore #7, seen some great times and some very low times, none of them top what I saw Sunday. For the first time in 33 years I was ashamed to be a Denver fan, same old Peyton,John Fox “play it safe and chock” game. Elway (always the best) could have played better than Peyton and he hasn’t strapped on his cleats in years! Need to look long and hard for a coach and quarter back combo with a pair.

  • Jerry wilson

    I Would Like to The Bed Bugs Hotel Stay Was Astray . The Eve Of the Super Bowl They had Been Bitten Many times You Know So The Bugs Won The Show .

  • Madmax

    You complete boob! The Bronco’s were trounced by a superior team, That’s it, no further explanation or apology required. Football is a game, and the Bronco’s were incapable of competing at the same level as their competition on Super Bowl Sunday. Plain and simple. The fact that you failed to mention the Seahawks in your article tells me you are in lala land.

    • Joe

      Seattle played a good game but not a dominating game that the score board would make you think. I’m not saying that Seattle shouldn’t have or wouldn’t have won if Denver played their game at all. Seattle put more pressure on Manning than any other team did this year, but Seattle was NOT a superior dominate team.

      • Johnny59

        Did you even watch the game? I was glad they dominated at every level cause I thought it would keep away those whiners (like SF) who will come up with excuses like a bad call or cheating. Seattle man handled them at every level and scored in every way possible. If 43-8 is not dominate then what is?
        Now stop making excuses, take your medicine, and realize the AFC is powder puff compared to the NFC.

        • trebor

          before apologizing, let the Broncos play the NFC West this year and then decide if the AFC flower child is worthy.

  • BlackKnight

    While I understand your comment, you don’t have the facts on the game. First, the defense for Seattle cracked the code on Manning’s signals making it possible for them to know in advance what routes were going to be run, and from the films they knew the timing and the location. Thus they flooded the zone on the routes and Denver was in trouble. Second, if you must place blame, place it where it belongs. On John Fox. He did not catch the fact that their game plan was compromised, and did not prepare his team with alternative signals that would allow him to stifle Seattle. Thirdly, the collapse of the team was a total team effort, not just Manning. Our defense has been fairly weak all season. Defense wins championships, and Denver had the most prolific offense in the country, but the Defense was mostly in the bottom 10 for most of the season.

  • Buckmeister Wheatbowl

    Bronco fans, at least your team made it to the Super Bowl.
    How ’bout them Cowboys!! How long has it been now. 18 years? Thanks a lot Jerry.

  • Ron Wenz

    No kidding! I drove from Big Piney Wyoming with my son to see the game. Great time but Broncos choked!! Im a Broncos fan big time . But my son Zach is even bigger fan stood up the whole 1st qtr yelling his heart out for the Broncos. I felt bad for him hes 21. They do owe us FANS an apology We drove 4225 miles to see them. They could have at least showed up!!
    ps no more orange jerseys 0-4 now in super bowl?

  • Ron Wenz

    Should have added we drove . I Picked my son up at UWyo and drove all the way to the Super Bowl!

  • getiton

    Totally agree. You could see the give up effort in the …what you would call tackling keystone cop effort like, “Well we got here”! There were a lot of people really wanting to see an all out fight from both teams.

  • Diappointed is a unerstatment!

    As a Bronco fan I believe we all are thinking with our hearts when we disect the game…yes, Seattle beat us. Period! What I agree with is the fact that the Denver Bronco organization does owe their fans an apology! I was one of those fans that spent my hard earned money to watch a game that I didn’t get to celebrate once! Not once!!!!! I don’t know about anyone else but I’m not wealthy but, I made it a priority to make this trip happen, and for what? I basically paid the teams salary and walked out of that stadium emabrassed as a fan. I came home not to go on vacation like the players, but to go back to work to pay off this trip. Had Denver showed up and lost, I wouldn’t even be writing this comment. I don’t want to root for a team that allows it’s players to give up. It’s been fun but the days of me paying money to see garbage is over.