Do not turn on the radio. Do not open the newspaper and do not read this post about the Broncos. These things aren't going to help you swallow the bitter pill that was Super Bowl 48. No spoonful of sugar is making this medicine go down.
Today there's nothing to by analyzed. The Seahawks were just better - better prepared - better coached - better on offense and on defense and on special teams - better in every conceivable way than the Broncos were. People are going to attempt to break down the game and hone in on what went wrong but they will be wasting their time. What we witnessed last night was an all out ass kicking.
The game began with a snap that whizzed over a confused Peyton Manning's head and straight into the end zone for a safety and it was over then. Seattle wiped the floor with the Broncos for fifty-nine minutes and forty-eight seconds. There's no one play or situation that might have caused the outcome to break another way.
Every single thing that could have possibly gone wrong did. Holliday fumbled. Manning threw picks. D.T. coughed up the ball on a first down grab. Percy Harvin went yard on a kick return. Any nightmarish scenario that you might have dreamed up came true. Denver's offense was weak, its defense was hapless and special teams was a disaster. Complete ineptness in all phases.
Peyton Manning claims not to have been embarrassed. The same can't be true for the rest of us. We Broncos fans are proud people. The way we feel today is old and too familiar. This reminds us of the way we felt back in the eighties when our boys would get drubbed every time they went to the Super Bowl. We knew then how the nation viewed us - as sad sack fans of a hopeless team. If that's not embarrassing I don't know what is. America is laughing at Peyton Manning and the Broncos just like they once laughed at John Elway and the Broncos. The only difference is that John still had his whole career in front of him and most of Manning's is in the past.
Am I the only Broncos fan who blames himself at least partially for what happened last night?
What could I have done differently? Did I jinx the Broncos by not watching the Super Bowl where I watched the other playoff games? Should I have bought a different brand of beer? Guacamole is green. Should I not have served any? Should I have been less confident, shown Seattle more respect?
Was pre-writing after-Super Bowl Tweets the straw that broke the Broncos' backs? I was ready to type "This one's for Pat", "You can stand up and salute in Denver" and "At least they've still got the Sonics". Instead I am choking on crow. I know I played a role in stacking the deck against the Broncos with my confidence before the game. I just know it.
There is no recovering from this loss. Things aren't going to get better. It's just like this now. Sure, the gaping wound of this loss will scab over. It will turn into one of those scars that sports fans wear. It'll be bigger an uglier than most, though, because this was the worst defeat in Denver Broncos history - and there were plenty of bad ones before this.
This was presumed to be the Best Broncos team ever to make it to the Super Bowl. They were supposed to be World Champions and instead they got throttled as America watched and munched hot wings.
Peyton Manning has presided over two disasters. And before you go saying that he can't be blamed for this loss consider the cost of having him. That salary of could pay a bunch of impact players on defense. That's Seattle's formula, after all. The Broncos paid a heavy cost to trot Peyton Manning out and to present him with opportunities that he has only helped squander.
Embarrassing? You had better believe it. Devastating? Yep. We can't forget Super Bowl 48 fast enough. But that's not the worst news. NFC football is back. Badass brash defensive football has been declared once again the winning formula in football and the Denver Broncos are nowhere close to being equipped to play it. We're entering an era when teams like the Seahwaks and the 49ers will dominate - just like back in the days when the Broncos were losing Super Bowls every season.
Denver can - and probably will be a force in the playoffs again next year in what will probably be Peyton Manning's final season. But they aren't going to hoist the trophy. No way. They didn't just lose this year's Super Bowl last night. They the lost hope of winning one next year.
Back to back disappointments.
After one more fruitless Manning season a new era will begin for the Broncos and nobody knows who the quarterback is going to be. God only knows how long it will be before they have another shot like the one that they wasted last night.