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High expectations mean spoiled fans in Broncos Country

High expectations mean spoiled fans in Broncos Country

"Unlike in the Elway years we failed to watch the Broncos with wide-eyed amazement. Instead we anticipated victories and felt vindicated when they came. That's why the loss in the...

Radio Row INTERVIEW: Peter Burns scored his dream gig but the Press Box will remain in good hands

Radio Row INTERVIEW: Peter Burns scored his dream gig but the Press Box will remain in good hands

"The Press Box is my baby." Burns told me. "I am not looking forward to leaving it but I know it's in good hands." Read More ...

Drew Soicher’s bad joke pissed the Broncos off pretty good

Drew Soicher’s bad joke pissed the Broncos off pretty good

Drew Soicher's silly routine on 9 News got him in trouble this time. Audio provided by the Press Box Read More ....

Dusty Saunders takes Drew Soicher to task at long last

Dusty Saunders takes Drew Soicher to task at long last

"9 News employs dozens of excellent reporters and anchors who help the station set the gold standard with its local news product. Even its other sports anchors, Rod Mackey, Aaron...

The de-Masaiing of the Nuggets has begun

The de-Masaiing of the Nuggets has begun

When Masai Ujiri remained the GM of your Denver Nuggets he was held in very high regard as one of the NBA's finest wheeler-dealers. In his absence, though, some of...

Big idea: The Mile High Sports Magazine “Boys of Summer” issue.

Big idea: The Mile High Sports Magazine “Boys of Summer” issue.

"...they would be breaking every stereotype in the macho world of sports publishing."

Change nothing but change the name Redskins

Change nothing but change the name Redskins

"Once Daniel Snyder capitulates the matter will be swept beneath the rug within a week and our attention will be drawn elsewhere. That's the way these things work." Read more ...

Will we look back more fondly on the Tebow season than on the Manning era?

Will we look back more fondly on the Tebow season than on the Manning era?

If Peyton Manning never wins a Super Bowl with the Broncos it's quite possible that decades from now fans will look back with greater fondness on the 2011 season than...

Kathy Sabine's next level weather dong

Kathy Sabine's next level weather dong

Deadspin (http://deadspin.com/tag/weather-dong) (@Deadspin) has been tracking instances of weather dong for as long as we can remember so it's with all due credit to them that we present what...

Better grilling NOW with Mangrate, the grill enhancement system. Use promo code: Denver for a $10 discount

Better grilling NOW with Mangrate, the grill enhancement system. Use promo code: Denver for a $10 discount

We at South Stands have been using Mangrate (http://www.mangrate.com/) for years. What's Mangrate? It's the 100% made in America grill enhancement system consisting of solid cast iron grill grates just like...

Dear John: a face-painting fanatical Broncos fan confronts Reidy's disgust

Dear John: a face-painting fanatical Broncos fan confronts Reidy's disgust

The host of the South Stands Denver Fancast, our own John Reidy (@johnreidydenver), has been vocal in his digust for the Broncos since their disasterous performance in the Super Bowl....

Brian Shaw can cement his legacy as Denver's biggest jerk ever

Brian Shaw can cement his legacy as Denver's biggest jerk ever

"ESPN's Stephen A Smith, a giant turd of a human being, reported on ESPN radio on Friday that Shaw would like to come to the big apple and that he...

Michael Sam's kiss was jarring; not that there's anything wrong with that.

Michael Sam's kiss was jarring; not that there's anything wrong with that.

"Not everybody was prepared to see two athletes kissing on TV. And it wasn't only the kissing that rocked America. It was the gentle stroking of Sam's bicep, the hand...

Bandwagon vs. Fair Weather Fan : A Tutorial

Bandwagon vs. Fair Weather Fan : A Tutorial

"The actual bandwagon is reserved for those who do not follow sports, know nothing about the details and specifics of how the game is played or even the players who...

Don’t let Donald Sterling give racism center stage

Don’t let Donald Sterling give racism center stage

"This “look at me” rush to protestation gives too much credit to men like Donald Sterling and not enough credit to our society." Read more ...

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Wednesday, 17 October 2012 10:14

Welcome to Denver, Peyton. By Zach Sheely

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Film maker and one-time Vic and Gary show runner, Zach Sheely, weighs in on our football addiction and lofty expectations while formally welcoming Peyton Manning to town.

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When Peyton Manning chose to play for the Broncos in March, it's hard to know if he realized exactly what he was getting himself into.
This ain't no basketball town.

People in this region have a blue and orange addiction, and the quarterback of the Broncos may as well be Walter White – feeding that craving with every touchdown pass.

Oft cited as the most important man in the state of Colorado – all due respect, Mr. Governor – the quarterback of the Broncos faces scrutiny, pressure and adoration like no other sports figure in these parts. From the die-hard fan to the casual observer, every one knows who leads the Broncos on Sundays.

John Elway cast a shadow longer than Longs Peak over fans here and left an indelible mark on the game, but this is a different era. Since Elway retired, the NFL has belonged to the former Colt and four-time MVP, Peyton Manning. Manning redefined the quarterback position and rewrote the record book in fifteen illustrious seasons in Indianapolis.

It's been a bit odd seeing him in a Broncos uniform. He's the guy we knew all too well in Denver, but certainly never loved.

The perennial picture of excellence, Manning amassed a .673 winning percentage with the Colts, including a Super Bowl championship. He made the Broncos look like an overmatched college team in two playoff blowouts. His career numbers are staggering, and he'd receive a Hall pass in his first year of eligibility regardless if he'd continued playing, or retired after his last full season in 2010.

The Colts could have retained Manning and drafted Andrew Luck with the first pick in April's draft. After all, who better to tutor Luck than Manning? But Colts owner Jim Irsay thought Manning's tank to be empty and opted to release him and his surgically repaired neck and bloated contract to the free agent market.

In the famous words of Jerry Seinfeld, sports fans are merely rooting for laundry in the free-agent landscape that sees players change teams every year. However, a player like Manning comes along once a generation (unless you're a Packers fan) and Indianapolis releasing him is a move that Colts fans have to be lamenting. The masterful Manning looked every bit his vintage self in leading the Broncos back from the depths versus the Chargers Monday night.

The Broncos are contenders and they owe it all to number 18.

Manning put up great numbers in the first five games of the season, and save for a forgettable first quarter at Atlanta, has been relatively mistake free. Regardless, critics began chirping as the Broncos fell to a 2-3 record. They said his passes looked wobbly, his arm weak. Columnist Jason Whitlock went as far as to call him “fool's gold” after the opening win against the Steelers, noting that Manning “can't stretch the field anymore.”

I wonder if Whitlock watched Monday's game?

The Broncos fumbled and bumbled themselves into an all too familiar position of this young season – looking up. In previous contests against the Falcons, Texans and Patriots, the Broncos faced double-digit deficits at halftime and had to rely on the right arm and moxie of Manning to lead them back, to no avail. Manning's Herculean efforts proved to be too little, too late in each of the three losses.

Despite the 24-0 halftime deficit, this game was different. Aided by second half mistakes of the stupor Chargers and Philip Rivers, the Denver defense finally showed signs of life, scoring the Broncos first points off a Tony Carter fumble recovery. It was the jumpstart Manning needed, as he passed for 167 yards and three touchdowns with only one incompletion in the second half. Manning finished the night 24-30 with 309 yards and three touchdowns to only one interception. It was the kind of performance that Broncos fans aren't accustomed to. Manning's early season projections would put him in the Broncos record book in every major single season passing statistic. (4,821 yards, 37 TDs, 410 completions)

It was a game that many will remember long after this season is over and long after Manning's bust is enshrined in Canton. It was the first time in NFL history that a team facing a three touchdown deficit at halftime came back to win by double digits. It was the biggest comeback win of Manning's career that has featured 47 such efforts. It was the fourth largest comeback in NFL history. It was a legendary performance from a legendary player.

That Bronco uniform finally looked right on him, and Monday night Peyton Manning became a Bronco where it matters most – in the hearts of Broncos fans everywhere.

Last modified on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 10:56

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