So what happened Sunday?
The Patriot way officially gave way to Wild Horses.
The Master learned a lesson from the Student.
The Wizard fell to the talented initiate.
I am not sure if I should be singing "Wrapped Around My Finger" by the Police or looking up ironic connections between Raistlin Majere and Josh McDaniels.
Dragonlance reference! NERD ALERT!
What I do know is that the Denver Broncos are 5-0, with a 2.5 game lead in the AFC West and a 4-0 record in the AFC. A few more just like that one and I may risk offending the football gods by proclaiming that the road to the Super Bowl goes through Invesco Field at Mile High JR.
EGADS! Did he REALLY just say that?
"He did. He did. Poor fool. Brilliant once, but now lonely and confused. It may have been a blow to the head, but we think it was the hideous uniforms his footy team sported in yesterday's NFL match."
Yeah, that might be true.
But think about it. This team has improved each week. Yesterday, we saw the offense click for the first time, and the result was astounding. Kyle Orton...KYLE ORTON!...one more time...KYLE ORTON! stepped up and showed that he is capable of being more than a mere game manager. He carried the Denver Broncos on his back, engineering two drives over 90 yards, both ending in TDs.
Orton finished the day 35-of-48 for 330 yards, two TDs and a garbage INT. He outplayed Tom Brady.
KYLE ORTON! Did you hear that? KYLE ORTON!
If you are anything like me, you really did not think he had it in him. If you are anything like me, you have enjoyed this undefeated start, but up until yesterday, you never really believed we had a shot to play past December with KYLE ORTON! under center.
But yesterday the glove came off—literally—and he showed that he is capable of being THAT kind of QB when the rest of the team is cooperating.
The defense, in case you are not paying attention, has also shown that not only is it tough as nails and well coached going into a game, but they are also amazingly good at making adjustments during the game. Two weeks in a row they have fallen behind in the first half, only to stiffen and take the game away.
If the team continues to improve each week, we have as good a shot at not only making the playoffs as any team in the AFC, we may even play one at home.
ZOUNDS! He is losing it again! Someone get him a Cream stout in a frosted mug, STAT!
Yes, I know it's against some kind of sports law or religious edict to step up and proclaim faith in guys like KYLE OTRON! and the Denver Broncos...and I think one of the promises Obama and the Dem congress have kept was in making it a federal crime to say Tom Brady was anything but brilliant, if a bit shakey, even in a loss.
Saying KYLE ORTON! outplayed him and our defense confused and bothered him, even if it's true, may actually get me the chair.
But there it is. Kyle Orton can run this offense, and he can step up and lead this team when he is challenged to do so. The defense is making offenses look anemic and slow. The Broncos are becoming a balanced, dangerous team.
CALL THE GUARDS!!
Another strict law that could get me strapped onto a table with a bunch of syringes is allowing my perception to change. But guess what? It has changed. I am no longer a tentative Broncos fan striving to be objective and cautiously optimistic.
There used to be a curse...Greek, I think...or maybe Chinese. It was a very potent curse.
"May you live in interesting times."
It has been an interesting season.
I have hope now. Not only that, I am starting to develop expectations. A dangerous thing in the end.
I know I risk being ostracized and getting beaten about the head and shoulders with small vials of vitriol for daring be impressed by a team the national sports church has deemed anathema, especially at the expense of the canonized demi-gods of cult of the media darling. But it's too late.
I am full-blown Homerist again.
What I Now Know
I know that the Patriot way, essentially little more than a well-disciplined West coast offense, has now taken a distinctly Rocky Mountain flavor. Josh McDaniels, the Unacoach, the boy king, has broken the Patriot way and remolded it into something new.
We can call it the Denver Design, or the Rocky Mountain Manner, or even the Dove Valley Process. Granted, those would not sound as cool as "Patriot Way" for a street name, but it would serve notice that the Denver Broncos are more than just Patriots West.
I know that as much as McD wants to present himself as a stoic, humorless dictator in a hoodie, he simply can not pull it off. He is too open, too young, and too friendly.
His celebration after the win yesterday more than likely sent some of the stoics and lobotomized into apoplectic fits of traditionalitis, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it. His approach is, by his young nature, more open and invites everyone to join in the celebration.
And I know that that separates him from the Pope of New England in profound ways. McDaniels may have brought the core system with him, but the difference in this team is like the difference between an open, honest mid-west town and a cold, jaded, east coast city.
I also know that Wild Horses sounds cooler than Wildcat, but it's still the same damned thing and I don't like it.
And I know that the 1960 throwback uniforms grew on me like a plague.
Slowly. Painfully. Totally. Maybe terminally.