Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's kind of hard to know what to feel today. On one hand, there will always be a sense that the 2012 Broncos were good enough to win the Super Bowl, and we won't ever know what might have been had Rahim Moore gotten to his proper depth.
We've wondered for many years what would have happened had Michael Dean Perry just gotten himself off the field a little faster sixteen years ago, or if Champ Bailey had been able to pull in that early would-be pick-six against Ben Roethlisberger nine years later.
1996, 2005, and 2012 are years that could have been, and nothing that happens going forward will erase the sting of those losses.
The other main emotion, at least for this Broncos fan, is that 2012 is finally behind us, and we can all look ahead to the 2013 season in earnest.
That's not such a bad thing.
Denver and San Francisco have opened as favorites to win Super Bowl 48 in the swamplands of New Jersey.
We have John Elway (who got as far away from New Orleans as he could, at least within the US) entering his third season running the team, and Peyton Manning (about whom we don't have to worry, despite Tom Nalen's concerns) directing the offense.
Granted, four-fifths of the starters tasked with protecting Manning (Ryan Clady, J.D. Walton, Chris Kuper, and potentially Orlando Franklin) will be coming off surgery, but at least they have time to rehab.
For the first time in seemingly forever, the Broncos haven't fired or lost their defensive coordinator, and Jack Del Rio will surely get some more talent to work with in 2013.
In sixteen days, the 2013 Scouting Combine begins.
Eighty days from now comes the 2013 Draft, when the Broncos will pick 28th overall and enter with six choices (either a sixth- or seventh-rounder is headed to Philly to complete the 2011 Broderick Bunkley deal).
Only one team, and their fans, are celebrating today. Of the other 31, very few have an immediate future brighter than do the Broncos.
That's the sentiment we'll (try to) go with.
Super Bowl 47
Jim Harbaugh maintains that Michael Crabtree was interfered with in the end zone in the closing minutes; from Mike Pereira's vantage, the non-call was correct, but Cary Williams should have been tossed earlier for shoving an official.
Mike Tanier, Matt Bowen, Ben Stockwell, Bill Barnwell, Judy Battista, the Football Outsiders, George Bretherton, Mike Silver, Don Banks, Peter King, Scott Kacsmar, John Clayton, Jim Trotter, Dan Wetzel, Les Carpenter, and Jason Cole recap the game.
Why didn't Randy Moss even attempt to reach for the interception thrown by Colin Kaepernick? Bill Romanowski and Dwight Clark are at a loss for an explanation.
Keith Goldner applauds Baltimore's intentional safety but is puzzled by San Francisco having burned a timeout rather than accept a delay-of-game penalty late.
Obviously, it was quite ridiculous that Ray Lewis suggested God wanted the Ravens to win, but any Denver fans who were okay with the Ultimate Teammate's™ shenanigans last year should probably check themselves before criticizing Lewis.
As for the power outage, it was apparently caused by an abnormality in the electrical system of the Superdome.
Ed Reed says he has no plans to retire as he's set to enter unrestricted free agency. Speculation has already begun that he'll end up in New England.
For everything that people hate about the commercialism and glitz of the Super Bowl, or even its officiating, at least it doesn't have the specter of fixed games that hangs over soccer's highest levels.
Updates: 11:07am ET - Bill Barnwell link added