Honestly, I was looking forward to the Pro Bowl - probably more than I had ever looked forward to it before. I wanted to see Peyton Manning and Champ Bailey play one last time before the off-season. As it turned out, though, the Pro Bowl only reminded me that those guys won’t be in the Super Bowl.
It’s kind of cruel, really, having the Pro Bowl a week before the Super Bowl, so that the teams that lost in the Divisional and Conference rounds of the playoffs are able to send their players. There’s something not-very-pleasant about seeing guys who had a shot at the whole ball of wax backslapping and laughing and hanging out in Hawaii. This is their punishment? I would have almost rather seen Peyton and Champ playing chess on Guantanamo Bay.
Watching last nights game only served to remind Broncos fans that it’s over.
The next week will be spent building up to the Super Bowl. The Ravens and the 49ers are the only two teams in the NFL now. And the Ravens might win the whole thing. They were seconds away from elimination two weeks ago in Denver and now they have real shot at being kings of the hill.
Meanwhile, back in Broncos Country, all that’s left is to discuss the draft and who Denver should seek out in free agency. Will DJ Williams be back? Do the Broncos need a running back? Were they happy with the play of the offensive line? How much will Ryan Clady wind up making?
We will try not to ask the really tough questions: can Manning still get it done? What about Champ? Is John Fox really the answer? Can the Broncos get back there again? Will any level of success next season erase the painful memory of how this one ended?
The season was over long before the Pro Bowl was. At least we had that one thing still to look forward to, though. Now the off-season has truly begun. Camp opens in late July and, until then, the Broncos are a thing of the past.