Last week I ripped the Broncos fan base for being spoiled, and I included myself in that cohort. We are exactly that, because in team history, it has never rebuilt. It initially built for a long time, did well for 30 years, faded, and now needs to be rebuilt for the first time ever. We’ve covered this, and I feel like my continually talking about the perils and stupidity of unannounced rebuilding has spread the word to others, who are also talking about it.
I believe that Monday may have been the darkest day in franchise history. That occurred to me within minutes of learning of the firing of Josh McDaniels, and I’ve now spent over 24 hours considering whether I’m being overly hyperbolic. As I said on Twitter Sunday, my words count in perpetuity, so I’m careful-ish of what I say. I don’t think I am overdoing it, friends. Let’s consider what really just happened.
I’m a total multitasker, and technology has made me worse. Twitter is one of my diversions at times, and I’d say I use it very sporadically, unlike a lot of people who use it all day. Today, I was relaxing in my bathroom, taking care of some things, you know how it is, and I fired up the old Tweetdeck on my iPhone 4 to let my mind have something to do. I happened across the following Tweet from my good pal Adam Schein.
I’ve been feeling pretty hostile toward a large part of the Broncos fan base lately. I used to think that we were a really educated and reasonable fan base. Through the magic of Twitter, I’ve learned that neither is actually the case. Broncos fans, by-and-large, are tremendously spoiled, and short-sighted. They don’t know much about football, and they don’t try too hard to learn about it from resources like It’s All Over Fat Man and Mile High Report. (The Broncos MSM only has negativity and obviousness to contribute, of course.)
On that note, here’s the ever-growing media narrative: the Denver Broncos are on the wrong track because their young egomaniac coach has set out to destroy a once-proud team. Doug Farrar from the often-craptastic Football Outsiders grew up in Denver, and this is the truth, according to him. Mark Kiszla thinks Josh McDaniels looks like a beaten man. (Which for Mark, would be a big success!) This whole thing reminds me of when noted assholes TJ Simers and Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times successfully ran Dodgers’ GM Paul DePodesta out of LA after 2 years. They hated the young, Harvard educated, Moneyball-reared DePodesta, and called him Google Boy, like knowing how to use The Google is a bad thing. Luckily, Pat Bowlen said Monday that it’s not going to work.
I’m a corporate finance guy, by profession, and one of my favorite words is fungible. It’s a fairly specialized word, and many of you may not know it, so I’ll explain what it means. If an item is fungible, that means that individual units of that item have mutual sameness, in terms of value, and are easily substituted. (Commodities tend to be fungible, as mutual sameness is a lot of what makes something a commodity rather than a product.) Currency is fungible. One dollar bill has the exact same value as another dollar bill, even if the second one has a phone number written on it lipstick. A bushel of corn is also fungible, as is a barrel of light sweet crude oil. Here is the Wikipedia article, if you’re interested.
Employees tend not to be fungible. Do y’all know of Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders? He’s kind of a B-minus football thinker who thinks he’s an A-plus. Like all the guys at Football Outsiders, and others of their ilk, they tend to over-value statistics, especially the proprietary ones that they create. Anyway, this fellow Barnwell had a silly tweet the other night.
Happy Monday Night, or Tuesday morning, or whenever you it is that you read this. A funny sidebar just occurred to me, as I embark upon this throwaway paragraph. I always say Happy Monday, or whatever, which long-time readers will recognize going back to my ST&NO days on Mile High Report. It was recently pointed out to me at work that my use of that greeting convention is rubbing off, and that other people are starting emails that way too. I can get colleagues to write and speak like me without trying, but I have a harder time getting them to do what I ask in the actual emails. You know, like sell new business, and get new projects underway. It’s funny how the power of suggestion works.
I’ve recently been accused of loving myself too much (and not for the first time, incidentally). This paragraph is expressly designed to be a completely irrelevant, and pointless throwaway, since it has recently come to my attention that some readers skip my first paragraph. That way, cleverly, they can ignore all the nice things I say about myself. I mean, hell… chances are nothing interesting about football could be there. I’m just warming up, right?
Now, the real Ted Bartlett version of things. First, a heart-felt thanks to Bill “Pork Chop” Williamson, James Walker, Alex Marvez, Adam Schein, and Mike Patrick for inspiring some of my language and thinking in the humble version of my pregame column. They are truly the best at what they do, and stand as excellent examples for a young writer who’s trying really hard to be simultaneously silly, unstylish, and boring. I humbly thank Jewish G_d (it’s his turn, and he doesn’t like the “O”, you heard?) that I have those All-Stars to crib from.
Happy Tuesday, friends. I have some thoughts, about football and other things, which shouldn’t surprise you unless you’re new to this rodeo. If you are, welcome. Hold on tight, because the bucking is about to start. If you’ve been here before, you know what’s coming next. Ready……. BEGIN!!!!
1. I’m going to tread on potentially touchy ground, so I may as well start right off the bat with it. Do you remember the 2004 Presidential election in the United States? I would imagine that most of us do. I don’t want to make public value judgments about the policy positions of the two candidates, George W. Bush, and John Kerry, but I do have a football point that is germane to that election.
I’m sort of an instant football analyst, which has its pros and cons. Often, I’m way ahead of other observers in noticing things, and pointing them out, which is a pro. Sometimes, I see JaMarcus Russell look really good in a preseason game, and it leads me to opine that he’s turning the corner as an NFL QB, which can end up being a con. For me, it works out more often than not, because I’m a very sophisticated observer of the game, and because I’m always accountable for thoughts that turn out to be wrong. Not to be immodest, but I know vastly more football than the average person, so I don’t mind admitting a mistake when I was almost always the first to the party saying anything.
A lot of average persons, and no doubt, some below average ones, have been providing some “instant analysis” on Twitter about yesterday’s Colts-Broncos game. I was going to take a screenshot of some of the foolishness, but I decided that I didn’t want to put anybody specific’s name on the lines of thinking that I am about to completely eviscerate.
Criticizing Josh McDaniels is lots of fun, and it’s not too hard to do. I mean, let’s face it. He’s young, (the same age as me, incidentally) and he thinks he knows how to build and run a winning football program. It’s the same kind of deal as with Raheem Morris, who I’ll be writing about on Tuesday evening. (I have a planned event tonight… sorry that my around the league stuff will have to wait a day.) How can it be possible that these young guys would dare to act in complete defiance to the football cognoscenti? (Think about it… it’s really funny to consider fools like Peter King, Mark Kiszla, Woody Paige, and Pete Prisco as being part of a cognoscenti, isn’t it? No? How about an intelligentsia? I didn’t see Dinner for Schmucks, but I’m picturing some distinct similarities.)