In the span of 20 minutes, I saw two women wearing jerseys from Broncos players who are no longer with us. One woman sported a John Lynch jersey and the other wore the dreaded Javon Walker. In their own way, they were trying to show their Broncos Country pride prior to the Monday night showdown between the Broncos and the Raiders. But there are other ways of showing your pride than wearing a jersey most wouldn’t wipe their asses with.
I’ve asked this before, but the questions begs its own piece: How desperate are you to wear Broncos gear that you’d wear such an unpopular jersey? How little does someone know of the team that they would wear something like that?
This is a handy guide in which I’ve broken it down by acceptable jerseys to the unacceptable, based on how the real fan base sees these players.
Every day starters:
Any current player works. Yes, even Von Miller is acceptable despite his being a shithead. But if he gets traded or, god forbid, suspended for a year, he’ll definitely be moved to a different category.
Also, any classic player like Elway, Davis, Sharpe, Smith, Atwater or McCaffery will do as well. These guys brought fans a lot of good memories and are always fine to wear on game day. And best of all, they save you cheap bastards from buying a new jersey.
The aforementioned John Lynch is squarely in this category. Lynch came over as a free agent, but took to the Broncos while the fans took to him for a few good years in Broncos history. They didn’t win the Super Bowl with Lynch, but he was popular enough that you won’t get too many sideways looks if you wear it. These are not all time classic players, but they typically played well and didn’t burn down the organization when they walked out the door.
Jake Plummer, Mike Anderson, Neil Smith, Trevor Pryce, Al Wilson and Brian Dawkins are some other entries in the “acceptable” category.
Honorable Mention: a buddy of mine has the last name Perry and wears a Michael Dean Perry jersey which confuses people due to Michael Dean’s ignominious stint with the Broncos. But since his last name is Perry, this is perfectly acceptable.
What are you thinking? Or: Do you need to borrow some money?:
This is where we start veering into the area of “are you too broke and/or clueless to upgrade?” This is typically the jersey of someone long gone from the Broncos who, while not entirely offensive to fans, will still raise some eyebrows if you’re attempting to cheer for the Orange Blue while wearing this rag. Some of these guys were traded, left on semi-decent terms or just flamed out.
These would include: Brian Griese, Clinton Portis, Bill Romanowski, Jerry Rice, Kyle Orton, Ashley Lelie and Tim Tebow. I’m on the fence about Romanowski because while he brought two Super Bowl championships to Denver, he became a Raider and that’s reason enough to downgrade his jersey. Tebow gets a pass because he is well loved, won that thrilling playoff game and was traded out of Denver. But if you’re wearing an Orton jersey, you definitely need our sympathy and a few bucks.
The totally and unequivocally UNACCEPTABLE:
Eddie Kennison, Travis Henry, Dale Carter, Javon Walker, Brandon Marshall, Jay Cutler, Elvis Dumervil, Maurice Clarett.
We know why these are bad, but what they all have in common is the damage they caused and the lasting negativity they represent. If you are wearing one of these jerseys, you are either completely clueless to why these are offensive (bad fan) or you’re just trolling the fanbase (bad fan of other team). Or you’re flat fucking broke. Either way, if this is the jersey you wear on game day, you need to knock it off and not wear anything Broncos related. Some of these are a stretch for someone to be wearing (Kennison, Clarett), but I see Walker, Marshall and Cutler jerseys all the time. Why people continue to wear them is beyond me but my guess is the thrift store filled up with them after their dishonorable departures from Denver and someone, just wanting to show a little Broncos pride, took an inexpensive, yet highly offensive flyer on it.
Maybe the Broncos will take a cue from Robert Kraft and offer to buy these back from such clueless fans or at least offer discounts on new jerseys when they turn them in to be burned. Or made into toilet mats. Or toilet paper.