I can't do it anymore. I can no longer cheer for the Denver Broncos.
This is really difficult for me. How difficult? Let me tell you. I became a fan when I was just fifteen years old. That was 1977.
Forty years of fandom. Years. Fourteen thousand six hundred damn days.
From fifteen years old on, I watched almost every single game. It took a genuine emergency or some other major inconvenience to pull me away from the TV or radio. I didn't just watch the games; I listened to the pre-game commentary on KOA, "the Broncos' station," and then went back to it after the game was over.
We're talking probably four to five hours every single Sunday, or whichever day they were playing. Let's do the math, shall we? Let's say that averaged four and a half hours. Multiplied by sixteen games per year multiplied over forty years, you get two thousand eight hundred eighty hours. That's a hundred twenty days of my life completely devoted to that team.
And that's not counting the many years the team made the playoffs in that span.
I'm not done yet.
I loved reading all the articles each week in The Denver Post and other publications. I kept up with the statistics. I kept up with the players.
How many days should I add to the hundred twenty above? Probably, at least, twenty-five. So let's call my total devotion to the Denver Broncos over forty years a grand total of one hundred forty-five days.
I gave many precious hours of my life to that team, and I expected nothing back from them.
I went to many games as well. And I spent money on them--lots of money: gear, stickers, gas to training camp (lots of hours there too), and, for when they sucked, aspirin. Probably in total a thousand dollars or more.
I'm not even adding in the intangibles here, like all the time I spent in that four-decade span just thinking about the team. How many sleepless nights did I go through before a big game or a crushing defeat? That counts too!
So when I tell you I can no longer allow myself to be a fan of the Denver Broncos, I want you to understand the full weight of that decision, and appreciate the heartbreak with which I came to my decision. Chances are you, the person reading this, aren't even forty years old. Chances are you haven't been a fan of anything even half as long; and chances are you haven't been anywhere close to as devoted to whatever that thing is.
I have come to this decision as a direct result of John Elway's public support of illegitimate SCOTUS nominee, Neil Gorsuch, to the bench, one he actually put on Denver Broncos' letterhead.
Gorsuch is illegitimate because the "president" who nominated him is illegitimate. Gorsuch is illegitimate because that seat belongs to Merrick Garland and no one else. Gorsuch is illegitimate because Russia tilted the general election in favor of Trump. Gorsuch is illegitimate because the Republicans in the Senate perverted our democracy and Constitution to keep Garland, a centrist, from being chosen. And all because a black Democrat lived in the White House.
Those are simple, observable, and, increasingly, obvious facts. As more light is shed on the treasonous actions of Trump's illegitimate administration and campaign, and his own churlish and childish actions, those facts won't just come into clearer and clearer focus, they will also likely multiply. They have already shown a distinct propensity to do so.
I wouldn't have had nearly the same issue with Elway if he hadn't used Broncos letterhead. I would still be pissed off, yes; and I would still strongly question my continued fandom, yes; but chances are I would've looked the other way and held my nose and turned on the radio and TV come September. I would've done that because this is, in fact, a democracy, even if it is in tatters and under existential threat from domestic enemies--like Trump, like Bannon, like Sessions, like their brainless supporters, et al. I would've done that because people are entitled to their own opinions and their own viewpoints, no matter how much I may disagree with them.
This is different. Much different. By using Broncos letterhead, Elway is essentially declaring that the Broncos organization supports Gorsuch, and by extension the perversion of Senate rules that got him nominated, and by extension the illegitimate, narcissistic, psychotic sexual assaulter who nominated him. It's a moral outrage, and I cannot and will not stand for it or support it in any way, shape, or form.
These are extraordinary times. This is, truly, a fight between good and evil. That a man I've admired for decades would choose to support such moral vacuity, such mendacity, such maliciousness isn't just heartbreaking to me, it's genuinely crushing. I've known for a very long time about Elway's politics. Like anyone reasonable, I decided that I could stomach them. Live and let live, and all that.
But Republicans have utterly lost their minds--and, more importantly, their souls. Elway evidently has too.
Conservatism is about conserving. That's why it's called conservatism, y'all. Ostensibly it should be about conserving: family, privacy, efficient but small government, religion, our cherished institutions, the letter of the law prescribed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Our "melting pot" society and the means of joining it and contributing to it. Our military and its ability to defend us. And yes, our environment, our electoral process, fairness and fair play, the Commonweal and communities.
The modern Republican party, of which Elway is a vocal and very visible defender, cares about none of those things anymore. That became plain to every sane man and woman in this nation and around the world when Republicans illegitimately put Donald John Trump in the White House using a hostile foreign power to aid and abet them.
Again: simple facts. Not "fake news"; facts.
In the summer of John Elway's final year as quarterback, I wrote him a heartfelt letter thanking him for all his heroics and for inspiring me as he had for sixteen years. I knew he was going to retire at the end of the season, one that saw him take the team to the Super Bowl and win it again. I wanted to thank him before that season because it did not matter what happened that year, his last; it mattered what he did before that would stick forever in my heart and soul. His actions mattered. I wanted to let him know, win or lose, that he would always be a hero to me.
Well, his actions matter now, more than they ever did during any of his playing years. They matter now because real lives are at risk with Trump and Gorsuch. Real lives stand to be lost. Real families stand to be torn apart. Gorsuch is a pro-corporate, anti-immigration puppet. He will have no moral qualms harming folks: women, children, people of color, the elderly and the infirm topping them all.
And the Denver Broncos organization supports such a person.
And so I can no longer support the Denver Broncos.