What Being a Fan Means to Me

Josh GilchristContributor IJanuary 4, 2010

DENVER - JANUARY 03: A Broncos fan holds a sign expressing his sentiments about head coach Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos as the Broncos were defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on January 3, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images


Would you have stayed until the end?


Would you have stayed until the end?

I could rip the Broncos and Josh McDaniels after yesterday’s nightmare loss, but what would be the point? It really wouldn’t have mattered if Denver had beaten Kansas City yesterday with the way the Jets played against the Bengals. It is what it is. 32-32 for the past four seasons. It is not necessarily bad, and it is not anything good. It is just mediocre.

As a Denver Broncos fan, I would never claim to be any better than any other Broncos fan–or any other NFL fan for that matter. We have a tendency to question the fortitude of certain fans’ support. Don’t get me wrong; I am not a fan of the fickle-minded fan who starts to talk about burning his jerseys or getting rid of his season tickets when things don’t go well. Those people are not fans. A fan, to me, is someone who loves his team, cheers for them no matter what, and wants the absolute best for his team.

Here are some reasons why I love the Denver Broncos:

  • I eat up any kind of information on the Denver Broncos. I love denverbroncos.com, MHR, bleacherreport.com, and any other kind of media related to the Denver Broncos.
  • I have devoted myself to writing a blog about them. I will continue to update this blog at least two times a week regardless of  the depressing outcome of the season.
  • I have paid hundreds of dollars just to sit in the nosebleeds at Invesco Field after an 18-hour drive to Denver, and, let me tell you all, it was one of the best trips of my life.
  • When my wife and I started dating, we were both hardcore Broncos fans. Eight and a half years later, our two oldest kids (4 and 2 1/2) get excited when they see the Broncos emblem because they know that they are mommy and daddy’s team. It is a huge part of our family.
  • Since I live out of the market, I mute the Seahawks games on the TV and tune in to KOA online to listen to the Broncos games when they aren’t televised here.

Those are a few ways that I show my love for the Broncos:

  • The past four seasons have been very hard for me. The Broncos seem to get my hopes up every year in the early parts of the season only to lose it at the end. I will still follow them and support them.
  • Often times, my evening mood on Sundays or Mondays is heavily influenced by the way the Broncos perform. I will never yell at my wife or kids because of it, but it definitely affects me.
  • I get sick of the MSM’s endless campaign to make the world doubt the Broncos. I am more of a believer in taking things a week at a time rather than jumping the gun on assumptions and predictions. My team doesn’t have to get all of the love of the Patriots, Steelers, Giants, and Chargers get from the media for me to love them and believe in them.

I may have negative things to say about the way they are peforming:

  • I do not know more than the coaches or players. I promise you that I would lead an NFL team into the grave if I was a head coach, coordinator, owner, or GM, but does that keep me from being opinionated? Absolutely not!
  • Fans are a huge part of professional sports. The money and the time we invest to support our favorite teams and players certainly do not entitle us to run the show, but we see what is going on and, therefore, have thoughts and reflections on how things are going.
  • I appreciate the job Mike Shanahan did winning two Super Bowls for the Broncos, but I was ready for him to go after last season. Many people accused me of hating my team for wishing for such a thing. I am sure a bunch of those same people will say, “Be careful what you wish for. McDaniels didn’t do any better.”  Well, I have certainly made negative comments about Josh McDaniels as of late, but McDaniels hasn’t been with the Broncos for over a decade like Shanahan had been. McDaniels deserves a few years of patience to get things figured out.
  • The reason I was negative about Shanahan was that I felt like he cared more about what was best for Shanahan, not what was best for his team. Some might say the same thing about Josh McDaniels, but only time will tell. I want the coaches and the players who will help the Denver Broncos be the best team they can be.
  • The Broncos always show flashes of brilliance. They did it in Shanahan’s last three years, and they did it this year. When that starts to fall apart like it has the past four seasons, I get frustrated. I will compare it to the teacher who gets upset with a student who is just flat out intelligent and capable of doing quality work, but for whatever reason, time and time again, that student underachieves and never does anything to realize their potential. That is what I see in the Denver Broncos. It is not them that I hate, it is a hatred for them not doing what they are capable of doing.

Now that I have explained the last two ways that I am a fan, I want to talk about the fine line between supporting one’s team rain or shine and wanting the best for your team. Many fans seem to blur this line. I find a lot of Denver Broncos fans are intolerant of people who have anything critical to say about the Broncos.

I think we all have a right to an opinion. So, I want to offer my sincere respect to those who love Josh McDaniels and would never venture to say anything negative about him. I don’t question the strength of your passion for the Denver Broncos because we reflect on things a little differently. In fact, I don’t know most of you personally, so I feel like it would show immense weakness of character for me to turn something like some banter about football into a personal attack; too many people don’t think before they type.


I am, as always, very proud to be a Denver Broncos fan. I am happy to have the opportunity to write and interact with passionate fans like myself, and I wish all my fellow Broncos fans a happy 2010 and offseason. Please check in with the blog as often as you would like. I'll be around.