The Centennial Soapbox
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Hello again, FN. It's been a remarkable year in the world of the Centennial Soapbox, and here's hoping that the rest of 2012 holds big things for each and every one of us. I'm happy to be able to say that I've made the transition from the existence of a college student to that of a working professional, and it's remarkable how life conditions us to deal with change.

The Denver Broncos recently signed Peyton Manning to play quarterback for the next few years, and I couldn't be happier. It will certainly be strange seeing Manning in the orange and blue, but if there's one thing we've gotten used to in the Rockies, it's change with our football team. It has been a tumultuous run over the past decade, but changes and heartache can't take away the dedicated fanbase that resides out here. I've always thought that there is no better fanbase than what we have here; not that we're any better than anyone else, but for nearly 40 years, every Broncos Sunday has been sold out, and we still believe in our beloved Broncos regardless of who is wearing the jersey. In recent years, we have survived the unwarranted benching of Jake Plummer, having our hearts ripped out by the Jay Cutler trade saga, the McDaniels era, and the untimely deaths of three young players in Darrent Williams, Damien Nash, and Kenny McKinley. We have also witnessed a team that most agree should have won the Super Bowl in 2005, the incredible run made by Tim Tebow and his band of misfits, and the sparkling play of Champ Bailey. In short, it's been a roller coaster.

Change always brings with it feelings of discomfort. I am a Tim Tebow fan; however, I am thrilled at the prospect of watching Peyton Manning leading my football team. It will undoubtedly be different, but it will be just as good. Last July, I moved from my home on Colorado's Front Range to a town on the Western Slope. I moved 300 miles from home, across the Rocky Mountains, and settled in to my new life. It has been a tremendous learning experience, and I love it. It's amazing, though, how you notice the little things. All of my life, the mountains have been west, the area where the sun sets. Now I look to the east, and I see the sun rise over the mountains, and it sets over the Utah desert. Rivers run backward out here; I am amazed that I notice that as much as I do. But, through it all, the sun still rises and sets, the rivers still run as they do back home, and I still get up every morning and do my best to be the best that I can be. It's much the same as a sports fan. We witness roster turnover, coaching changes, and new seasons. While everything seems to change, we still watch, we still live and die with each and every moment, and we still want our teams to win.

As I sit and watch whenever I get the opportunity, I am learning to cherish the good and look at the bad as a learning opportunity. Perhaps that owes to being a professional educator. We praise at every good thing that happens, we counsel in the bad times, and sometimes we overreact and must apologize and learn. Through it all, we learn to look at the big picture, while doing our best to make today the best that it can be. In the end, isn't that the best that we can hope for as a sports fan? As seasons come and go, we are forced to adapt or completely divorce ourselves from the proceedings. All the while, though, the good and bad as a whole are what makes the athletic realm the beauty that it is. We do what we can as fans to make the experience great, and we invest ourselves in the process to get there. And what a wonderful thing it is to really care and love something. It will be a joy to watch Peyton Manning in Denver, and if he wins, every heartache of the last decade will be worth it. It is a joy to work in a profession that you love, and if you have any small success, every heartache is worth it.

Take care, FanNation, and remember to give the best of yourself always, in both the good and the bad.

March 27, 2012  01:12 PM ET

Great blog Chief! Good to hear from you again my friend.

March 27, 2012  02:15 PM ET

"It will be a joy to watch Peyton Manning in Denver, and if he wins, every heartache of the last decade will be worth it."

And if he plays a couple of years and the Broncos don't sniff a championship, Elway will have let his ego jettison one of the potentially most electrifying, exciting, albeit polarizing (actually adds to the excitement factor) players of this era for absolutely no good reason, while the Broncos will likely fall back into major rebuilding mode. Sorry to rain on your otherwise optimistic post. By the way, the Rocky Mountains are always beautiful, but they still look better with the sun setting behind them. :)

March 27, 2012  03:24 PM ET

Great blog, wt. Good to see you on here again.

Good luck with your new QB.

Comment #4 has been removed
March 27, 2012  04:18 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

"It will be a joy to watch Peyton Manning in Denver, and if he wins, every heartache of the last decade will be worth it."And if he plays a couple of years and the Broncos don't sniff a championship, Elway will have let his ego jettison one of the potentially most electrifying, exciting, albeit polarizing (actually adds to the excitement factor) players of this era for absolutely no good reason, while the Broncos will likely fall back into major rebuilding mode. Sorry to rain on your otherwise optimistic post. By the way, the Rocky Mountains are always beautiful, but they still look better with the sun setting behind them. :)

I honestly don't understand why Elway's "ego" has anything to do with his decision making. He just brought in one of the best QB's of all time. Pretty much his equal in career accomplishments. If Elway is about "ego" he will want to build the most successful (SB winning) franchises possible. Winning championships will be the only thing that will satisfy this so called "ego".

I think you would be hard pressed to find many Bronco fans that didn't love watching what Tebow and Co. accomplished last year, but I don't think any rational fan could blame Denver for going after Manning. (without the benefit of time travel to see how it turns out).

March 27, 2012  04:27 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

"It will be a joy to watch Peyton Manning in Denver, and if he wins, every heartache of the last decade will be worth it."And if he plays a couple of years and the Broncos don't sniff a championship, Elway will have let his ego jettison one of the potentially most electrifying, exciting, albeit polarizing (actually adds to the excitement factor) players of this era for absolutely no good reason, while the Broncos will likely fall back into major rebuilding mode. Sorry to rain on your otherwise optimistic post. By the way, the Rocky Mountains are always beautiful, but they still look better with the sun setting behind them. :)

I honestly don't understand why Elway's "ego" has anything to do with his decision making. He just brought in one of the best QB's of all time. Pretty much his equal in career accomplishments. If Elway is about "ego" he will want to build the most successful (SB winning) franchises possible. Winning championships will be the only thing that will satisfy this so called "ego".

I think you would be hard pressed to find many Bronco fans that didn't love watching what Tebow and Co. accomplished last year, but I don't think any rational fan could blame Denver for going after Manning. (without the benefit of time travel to see how it turns out).

March 27, 2012  06:25 PM ET

I always look forward to your orations from your soapbox, Chief. You have a special way of saying things. You are my favorite Avalanche fan.

(signed)
Appleseed of the Winged Wheels

March 27, 2012  07:57 PM ET

You da mannnnnnnn!

<flips quarter to annoying guy golf fan at every single tournament>

March 27, 2012  11:11 PM ET

WT! So good to see another series of thoughts from you... glad to hear life is treating you well, even if things don't always seem to make sense in the new locale.

 
March 30, 2012  12:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

I honestly don't understand why Elway's "ego" has anything to do with his decision making. He just brought in one of the best QB's of all time. Pretty much his equal in career accomplishments. If Elway is about "ego" he will want to build the most successful (SB winning) franchises possible. Winning championships will be the only thing that will satisfy this so called "ego".I think you would be hard pressed to find many Bronco fans that didn't love watching what Tebow and Co. accomplished last year, but I don't think any rational fan could blame Denver for going after Manning. (without the benefit of time travel to see how it turns out).

You really think it's irrational to merely question the wisdom of signing an all-time great, but past his prime, 36-year-old quarterback who owns a losing playoff record and just missed an entire season while undergoing 4 neck surgeries? Is it still irrational to question that move when it also led to the departure of a promising young quarterback who led the team to an unexpected division championship and a playoff victory over the Steelers? I guess the vast majority of NFL owners, general managers and coaches must also be irrational, since only a handful of them showed any interest in pursuing Manning.

And, yes, I think Elway's ego was bruised by Tebow's overwhelming popularity. Elway seemed determined to show Tebow and the fans that he's the boss by bringing in "his" guy to quarterback the team and only grudgingly "supported" Tebow from the start. Even after that playoff victory over the Steelers, Elway could only manage a two-adjective critique of Tebow's play as he was bolting out the door. Signing a player of Manning's stature not only ensured that Elway's own hand-picked quarterback would now run the team, but it also allowed him to trade Tebow without causing too much of an uproar. Of course, it's also been suggested that any fan who has the audacity to disagree with this move is likely not rational, highly unstable and probably completely unfit to be entrusted with Broncos' season tickets. :)

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