Crushed — literally and emotionally.
Similar to most Denver Broncos fans, I’m frantically waiting for the moment that I snap out of this nightmare and get ready to watch the actual showing of Super Bowl XLVIII. After pinching myself multiple times, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s time to wake up and face reality — the Seattle Seahawks are World Champions.
Head coach Pete “Al Capone” Carroll was the brains of the entire operation. Quarterback Russell Wilson won America’s heart like John Dillinger and cornerback Richard Sherman was as slimy as Baby Face Nelson.
Together, the three ruthlessly stole the ultimate dream from the Broncos Nation on Sunday, acting just as their depression era bank-robbing counterparts would 80 years before. It’s all over now, as we close the book on such a promising season going down in the record books as No. 2.
However, it isn’t a sob story.
Denver made an appearance in the ultimate showdown this weekend for the first time since Jan. 31,1999, and they did it with the help from people like you and me. Fan support has lifted the Broncos organization back to a position that most teams would slobber over to be in, and it shows no sign of stopping.
Don’t get me wrong for one second, the Broncos are on a road to greatness — there’s just a little more traffic than expected. Remember that Denver owner Pat Bowlen still has two bedazzled Super Bowl rings, which is more than 20 of the league’s 32 organizations can speak of.
With all things considered, and being crowned kings of the AFC, Broncos fans can almost be considered spoiled when it comes to that matter. Nearly half of the league (14 teams) have never played in the Super Bowl.
Denver has done it seven times now, and the atmosphere during the last game of the season is unlike anything else.
As I spent my Super Bowl Sunday grimacing at each of the Broncos’ mistakes that ultimately cost them the only game of the season that mattered, one of my best friends went out of his way to give the simplest, yet most effective, words of wisdom that a die-hard fan can hear in a time of struggle.
“Win or lose, the sun will still come up tomorrow.”
There’s no possible way that any of us will be able to wake up Monday morning and think about anything other than the 43-8 embarrassment we were dealt during the nation’s top-watched television event of the year — sports don’t work like that.
But life does.
Yeah, so there wasn’t a riot in downtown Denver, and so there won’t be a parade rifling through the city streets on Tuesday morning like the one Seattle is about to receive. Sunday evening was about our Broncos family.
United in orange. For the first time in 15 years, the entire state of Colorado (as well as surrounding states Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Kansas and maybe even Nevada) was united in orange.
And the best part about that is no matter the outcome of the game, nobody will ever be able to take that away from us.
Collegian Sports Editor Quentin Sickafoose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @QSickafoose.