Yesterday, my senses failed.
I thought I was ready. I told myself I wasn't going lose my perspective just because the greatest Bronco of all time was now given the position of lower deity at Dove Valley. I was ready to watch the entire spectacle with a critical eye. I would not be fooled by the glitz and glamor of Elway's five Super Bowl appearances.
But then something happened. Elway stood up and showed enough enthusiasm to light the building on fire. He even said the magic words, "Mile High Stadium."
It was a pure mindfreak: a supernatural occurrence beyond comprehension.
I lost all perspective and objectivity. Hours later, drunk off the euphoria of hearing Elway talk about the championship days, I still couldn't bring myself to rational thinking.
I turned on the radio; I wasn't the only one.
Alfred Wlliams and Mark Schlereth were buzzing as well. This was suddenly one of the top ten moments in Broncos history, they surmised.
Who was I to argue? I mean John freaking Elway was now making decisions. The dude who once played an entire season and won a Super Bowl with a torn biceps tendon was going to be holding people accountable.
Suddenly, I couldn't bring myself to question why a general manager was hired with less ado about something; nor did I allow myself to wonder why Champ Bailey isn't wanted, dead or alive; I couldn't even muster los cojones to demand to know which personnel moves Brian Xanders has made in the last 24 months as chain-of-commander in chief.
The gleam off of Elway was too bright. I was blind and loving it. It would have only been better if someone had sprinkled me with Predominately Orange pixie dust. What were they going to announce next? Was Steve Atwater was going to head up the scouting department? Was Rod Smith going to be the new coach of the wide receivers? Was Simon Fletcher finally headed to the Ring of Fame after agreeing to teach Robert Ayers how to edge rush?
Josh McDaniels could take his hoodie and go right to fiery hell. I could have cared less if I ever heard his side of the story.
During the press conference, I did manage to gather some factual information. The Broncos, it appears, still had a slight hankerin' to run a 3-4 defense. And apparently, John Elway had not been infected with the H1N1-Tebow virus (symptoms include saying "god bless" at the end of every phone conversation) that has infected most Broncos fans in the last three weeks. Lastly, Elway actually did talk to Jim Harbaugh.
But facts really didn't matter. I was enraptured in the college pep rally atmosphere and embowered by Elway's motivational speech. I was only disappointed they didn't bring in the Broncos' cheerleaders--clad in white leather chaps and orange and blue pom poms--to gyrate to Lady Gaga's Poker Face.
Later I found out the rest of the country didn't care: ESPN hadn't covered the story or aired the press conference. They were too busy talking about Brett Favre and Tom Cable. You silly fools, I thought. You just missed Elway saying Woody Paige's name--more than once! You just missed the fact that Denver sits at over 8,000 feet!
Well, you know what, ESPN? You can just join Josh McDaniels right in fiery hell. How dare you disrespect the 1998 World Champions!
I wasn't having any of it. I didn't want to hear about draft picks or debate the merits of running the Colorado Crush. I didn't want to hear why Ron Rivera hadn't made the short list of coaching candidates. And I certainly didn't want to hear about Brian Xanders' statistically unsound research on the minor percentage spread between offensive and defensive coaches.
I wanted some pixie dust. So late last night I watched a CBS News 4 Poll in which 45% of viewers said they thought John Elway would lead the Broncos back to the playoffs within 1--2 years. I immediately went to the website so I could up that total. By the time I voted, the number had risen to 48%.
It seemed I wasn't the only Broncos fan who wanted to view the Broncos through blissful intoxication. To the contrary, it appeared as if most Broncos fans were ready to hold a kegger.
And why not? Broncos fans have had at least 5 seasons of being completely hung over--the pounding headache of blown draft picks, the dry mouth of busted free agents, and the nausea of Jay Cutler. They deserve a least a few weeks of partying, even if it takes John Elway to make it so.