We all remember the Super Bowl. The one we watched covering our eyes, crunching our nachos nervously in our mouths. It was a dramatic game, we all felt the pain and the anxiety of the players. No, I’m not talking about the Patriots/Seahawks game that occurred last year at Super Bowl XLIX. I'm talking about the Broncos last appearance in the Super Bowl, where they were defeated by the Seahawks in a 43 to 8 loss.
For Broncos fans everywhere this game was painful: the decision whether to laugh or cry was debated. Should we shrug it off and laugh, pretending not to care, or admit how emotionally invested we were in the game and release the tears?
I am certain I'm not the only Broncos fan who is thrilled the Broncos are going to the Super Bowl. I am also anxious that we don’t have a repeat of that experience. Most of us are still in recovery from the horrors of the game and wonder, “What will happen this time?”
The Broncos have an interesting history with the Super Bowl since their first appearance in the 1978 Super Bowl against the Cowboys. The Broncos had their first taste of a solid defeat in the most televised sporting event that year with the Cowboys defeating the Broncos 27-10. In 1987, 1988, and 1990, the Broncos suffered three crushing defeats against the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins, and the San Francisco 49’ers. The 1990 San Francisco 49’ers crushed the Broncos 55-10 in the most lopsided game in Super Bowl history.
Not all of the Broncos’ Super Bowl history is a tragedy though. The Super Bowls of 1998 and 1999 are the years that Broncos fans look back on with joy. Those were indeed the “good ol’ days.” The Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers and returned to the Super Bowl the following year to defeat the Atlanta Falcons. It was the golden age of John Elway; he became the god of football to the state of Colorado.
The next Broncos appearance was the painful Seahawks showdown which has left all us fans scarred. We can only approach this upcoming Super Bowl with caution. What are we to expect from this upcoming performance? Will we hide our Broncos hoodies in shame or will we joyfully proclaim our love of the noble blue and orange?
Our history with the Super Bowl is an interesting one. It appears there are only two outcomes for us: a victory or a crushing defeat. There is no middle ground for this team. The Panthers are a team to be feared, their record alone strikes fear into the heart of any devoted fan. Many are viewing the Broncos as the underdog in this upcoming game and with just cause the Broncos record for this season is not as decisive as the Panthers.
So how do we as Broncos fans go into this game? We will enter this Super Bowl as we always do, confident that a victory is not out of the realm of possibility.
Anything can happen in the Super Bowl, as proven by last year’s game, where the Seahawks threw the game away. We are not without cause to hope. This could be the year for the Broncos, our defense (typically the Achilles’ heel of the Broncos) is strong, Peyton Manning, nearing retirement, will be willing to go all out for this last game. Everything is possible.
Stay strong, Broncos fans! This could be our year!