The biggest offseason concern for an NFL franchise is becoming irrelevant. Irrelevance bleeds apathy among fans. And an apathetic fan base is nothing more than a group of hopeless cynics. As a certified cynic myself, I can promise you that we’re not good for the bottom line.
NFL teams spend the offseason doing everything from hiring new coaches to spending money on big-name free agents to upgrading stadiums in an effort remain relevant and reinvigorate their fans. Some teams do this better than others, but there’s no doubt that the Denver Broncos are the undisputed champs of staying in the headlines.
Since joining the ranks of NFL executives John Elway has “won” the offseason every year. From signing the biggest free agent (Peyton Manning) in the NFL to firing a 12-4 coach (he who shall not be named), the Duke of Denver continues to keep the Broncos in the spotlight year in and out.
Admittedly, I look at this from two separate perspectives; first, as someone who makes a living covering Denver sports, and second, as a diehard Broncos fan since birth. Both perspectives have enjoyed the current state of affairs at Dove Valley.
Lets start with my journalist perspective.
The old saying of “No news is good news” is complete rubbish. No news is boring. No news is depressing. We need interesting and compelling storylines from Denver’s favorite sports franchise now more than ever.
Can you imagine the stories that would have dominated sports radio the last two weeks had Elway not fired he who shall not be named? It would have been brutal.
Stay tuned as we breakdown the Nuggets implosion at Golden State, losing by 43.
No thank you.
The Colorado Rockies avoided arbitration with career backup Michael McKenry and career gas-can Rex Brothers.
The Colorado Avalanche win four of five to claw back into the playoff hunt, only to lose four of five to fall right back out of it.
Groundhog Day anyone?
Like it or not, the truth is that the Broncos saved everyone from some pretty depressing storylines. No one wants to turn on their radio and have to hear about the dumpster fire that is the Nuggets or the inconsistent play of Patrick Roy’s team again.
And heaven forbid something will get us to April, when we need to start paying attention to the Rockies.
The continual stream of Broncos headlines isn’t only a good thing for the media fodder, it’s also good for Broncos fans.
Denver ended the season with an embarrassing playoff loss to the Colts, just as they did last year and the year before that and the year before that. Does Broncos Country really want the last headline of the season to be “Unprepared Broncos fall to Andrew Luck and the Colts”? Of course not.
Had that been our final memory of the 2014-15 Broncos, it would have been impossible to shake the ho-hum feelings that accompanied the team the last six weeks of the season.
Had Elway not fired ol’ Foxy, training camp would have been a nightmare. Broncos’ beat writers would have force-fed fans the same puff pieces they do every year. When in reality, every fan would have known that deep down Denver was about to waste another year of Manning’s career with an incompetent head coach.
Had Elway not done what he did, Broncos Country would be devoid of hope. But instead of a dark cloud hanging over Denver this offseason, the city has been revived.
The walking cliché machine of a head coach is gone. Gary Kubiak has arrived. And it feels like the franchise is refocused on the goal of winning from now on.
The Broncos have risen from the ashes during two chaotic weeks and proven their relevance. Elway has given fans a reason to believe that next season won’t end the same as the last four. And that’s all we can ask for.
Each of the past four years, Denver has seen its share of peaks and valleys during the offseason and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t loved those valleys. It’s undeniable that the valleys have been good for business, but they’ve also shown fans that Broncos front office isn’t asleep on the job.
This year, just as last, the chaotic offseason for the Denver Broncos has been a blessing in disguise.