Tag Archives: Denver Broncos

Rough Year in the Football Stable

As I have mentioned before I group the football and baseball teams that I follow into “stables.”

This stabling of teams usually allows for the weaker teams to be carried by the stronger teams and almost always ensures that I have at least one team to follow deep into the playoffs.

Of course that is what usually happens but this year a funny thing happened in the stable as many of the teams that are usually carrying the banner never really got out of the gate and others seem to be limping into the final stretch of the regular season.

As a reminder the teams in my football stable are the Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos.

It should be noted that the Baltimore Colts were in the stable until that March night 30 years ago when the team’s owner moved them to Indianapolis in the dead of the night.

While it is easy to understand my fandom for most of the NFL teams that I follow based on having lived in the areas near the teams at one point in my life (Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Jacksonville Jaguars) it is a mystery as to why I first started following the Broncos since I have never lived in Colorado and was a Broncos fan long before I ever stepped foot in the state.

Among my five team football stable only the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos have any hopes of reaching the playoffs this year. Photo R. Anderson

Among my five team football stable only the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos have any hopes of reaching the playoffs this year.
Photo R. Anderson

Speaking of stepping foot in Colorado, if one ever has the chance to travel to the Four Corners region it is worth the drive for the opportunity to step foot in four states at the same time.

So while the origin of my fandom of the Broncos remains a mystery best solved by the likes of Mulder and Scully, it is those very Broncos who are carrying the stable this season.

The Broncos started out of the gate strong and despite a few missteps that showed they are mortal they stand at 11-3 with a playoff spot locked up.

The Ravens are the next team in the stable who still have postseason play within their sights. A win tonight over the Detroit Lions would give the Ravens an 8-6 record and allow them to capture the division title if they win the rest of their games.

Even without winning all of their remaining games though the defending Super Bowl Champions are still in line for a wild card spot which very well could have them facing the Broncos for a rematch of the first game of the season.

Playoffs, don't talk about playoffs. After going to the playoffs last season the Washington Redskins have fallen back to earth this year and have the record to prove it. Photo R. Anderson

Playoffs, don’t talk about playoffs. After going to the playoffs last season the Washington Redskins have fallen back to earth this year and have the record to prove it.
Photo R. Anderson

So while the Broncos and Ravens are in control of things, the same can definitely not be said for the Redskins, Buccaneers, and the Jaguars.

After going to the playoffs last year, the Redskins are a miserable 3-11 this year.

The Redskins have benched their starting quarterback who they gave up many draft picks to get last year and will likely be embarking on yet another head coach search at the completion of the season.

While a season this short on wins would normally mean a high draft pick it will be years before the Redskins have a first round pick again after giving up their picks for the right to pick early last year.

Off the field the Redskins are also once again battling for the right to keep their name as a rising storm of opposition organizes against them.

While there is no one area that can be pointed to as a cause for the collapse of the Skins it is certain that the season has failed to live up to the expectations of those in and around the Beltway.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have won four games after starting the year with an 0-8 mark. Photo R. Anderson

The Jacksonville Jaguars have won four games after starting the year with an 0-8 mark.
Photo R. Anderson

The Redskins will remain in the stable despite the poor season but here’s to hoping that next year brings better results.

Things are not much better in Florida where both the Jaguars and Buccaneers went through the first half of the season winless.

After each starting the season 0-8 the Jags and the Bucs have managed four victories apiece in the second half of the season including a two-game sweep by the Jags of the abysmal Houston Texans.

Much as I wish for a better season next year for the Redskins I will hope the same for the Jaguars and the Buccaneers. It appears that both Florida teams in the stable  are definitely headed in the right direction after such a slow start to the season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won four games this season despite starting the year 0-8 and cutting ties with their starting quarterback. Photo R. Anderson

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won four games this season despite starting the year 0-8 and cutting ties with their starting quarterback.
Photo R. Anderson

As for this year there are still the Ravens and Broncos for me to cheer for. I am hoping that they each go deep into the playoffs, or at least as deep as they can go until they collide in a game where only one of them can move on to face the best the NFC has to offer which will likely be Seattle or New Orleans.

Ironically both the Seahawks and the Saints had stable membership at one point or another before I settled on a stable of five teams a few years back and they were left on the outside looking in.

Even though they are not official “stable” teams I still routinely cheer for the Seahawks and the Saints.

Who knows maybe it is time to invite them both back in from the cold and make some expansions to the stable.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Monday Night Football to get ready for and some stable expansion blueprints to commission.

Copyright 2013 R. Anderson

Ravens and Broncos Kick Off Season and I am Bowled Away

Last Night the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos played the first it really counts game of the NFL season in the shadow of the Rockies.

The game was originally going to be in the home stadium of the Super Bowl winning Ravens but, as they share a few parking lots with the also playing at home Baltimore Orioles, it was determined that having the game in Colorado would be best to avoid hoards of roaming Orioles and Ravens fans battling for the same parking real estate.

Having been born in Maryland the Ravens are a team that I follow very closely so the idea of seeing them play the first game of the NFL season as they begin their quest to repeat as Super Bowl Champions had me rather excited.

Now, it should be noted that while I have been a fan of the Baltimore Ravens for as long as there have been Baltimore Ravens, I am also a fan of the Denver Broncos.

While I follow both the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos whenever they play each other I cheer for the Ravens. Photo R. Anderson

While I follow both the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos whenever they play each other I cheer for the Ravens.
Photo R. Anderson

While it is easy to understand my fandom for most of the NFL teams that I follow based on having lived in the areas near the teams (Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Jacksonville Jaguars) it is a mystery as to why I first started following the Broncos.

Even though I have never lived in Colorado I have followed the Broncos since the late 80’s. Granted I visit Colorado now and then but when racking my brain I couldn’t think of an ah ha moment where it all clicked and suddenly the Broncos were in my NFL stable.

It should also be noted that even though I live near Houston, the NFL team that plays at the big stadium with the retractable roof named the Texans is not, and most likely never will, be in my stable of teams.

This fact has led to many debates through the years among family and friends and usually ends with the person saying, “but you follow the Houston Astros, why not follow the Texans as well?”

My response is usually along the lines of saying that at the time I moved to Texas there was an opening on my roster for a National League team and the Astros filled that void. There are not currently any opening on the NFL roster of teams that I follow but there are several teams that would take that slot ahead of the Texans.

It is not that I wish the Texans any ill will I just choose not to support them or really pay attention to what they are doing on the field.

So, on paper the opportunity to see the Ravens and the Broncos play should have been a joyous occasion albeit a torn allegiance one as a rooted for the Ravens to win and the Broncos to stay injury free. (For the record in head to head competition among the Ravens and other teams in my stable only the Redskins trump the Ravens in terms of who I am rooting for).

Unfortunately all of the promise of sitting on my couch stuffing my face with imported European cheeses and crackers were dashed by a prior commitment called the first night of the bowling season.

Assorted cheeses from Europe and Sushi may not be the all-American way to welcome a new NFL season but they do make a tasty snack. Photo R. Anderson

Assorted cheeses from Europe and Sushi may not be the all-American way to welcome a new NFL season but they do make a tasty snack.
Photo R. Anderson

While it could be argued that starting a bowling league in Texas on the same night as the start of the NFL season is downright ludicrous, the fact remains that is exactly what occurred. Of course if the Texans had been playing on the opening night of the NFL season I am sure that the opening day of the season would have been pushed back a week.

So, much of yesterday afternoon was spent in agony as I toyed with the idea of whether I could skip the first night of bowling in favor of my date with that cheese tray.

On one shoulder I had a tiny version of me in a Ravens shirt urging me to watch the game. On the other shoulder was a tiny version of me wearing bowling shoes telling me that my team needed me and that skipping opening night was not being a very good teammate.

In the end the tiny version of me wearing the bowling shoes won out but I did make a compromise with the other tiny version of me and decided that I would wear my Ravens shirt to bowling while praying that I could at least catch the second half of the game.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to the bowling alley. One of my teammates called and said that they would not be able to attend due to an injury and asked me if I would help them post bowl at a later date.

Of course, being the good teammate that I am, and not wanting them to be alone during the post bowling time, I agreed to make the sacrifice of skipping opening night of bowling to be there with them in their hour of need.

It was just a happy coincidence that my “sacrifice” allowed me to once again break out the imported aged European cheese and artisan bread while watching the game.

So, I was able to make peace with the two miniature shoulder dwelling versions of me and found a solution that was win/win. In the words of Hannibal Smith from the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Now if you’ll excuse me, I still have some leftover cheese to make disappear from last night.

Copyright 2013 R. Anderson