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Published on 12/02/2009 at Wed Dec 02 09:00.
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Stink List Graphic
I’ve discussed the Broncos slowly simmering breakdown. The same breakdown that can be wholly connected to myself and my slowly simmering breakdown. Last week after the San Diego Chargers owned us, I finally reached my breaking point, something had to give.
Now, anyone who knows me, is used to seeing me as a slightly chubbier Jake Plummer, or a slightly lighter John Bonham, or a pretty dead on Zach Galifianakis, this to say, I have a huge beard and a lot of hair. Oh, also to say that I’m an awesome football/handball player, amazing dead drummer who does serious drugs, and hilarious comedian/actor who does some serious drugs. I’ve looked this way for a good three years. Why? Don’t ask me. It grew, I didn’t cut it.

Jake "The Snake" Plummer

Jake "The Snake" Plummer

The late John Bonham

The late John Bonham

Zach Galifianakis

Zach Galifianakis



Monday November 23rd, the day after the Broncos had tallied their fourth consecutive loss, I woke up and a switch had flipped, something had to give. I had been growing this ridiculous beard/hair for three years and it would take three minutes to get rid of. Gone. No hesitation, no regret, it was time. I had called my personal players only meeting, it consisted of myself and Angelo, the barber around the corner from my apartment. There were some harsh things said in the meeting, Angelo asking me why I’d chosen to look like a girl for so long. Emotions were running high when he nicked my head and had to go one level lower on the clippers to cover his mistake. But in the end, we both came out stronger people. In the end, the something that had to give, had given. I am now a new person. Literally. I couldn’t count the number of people I’ve freaked out in the past week, the people who only knew the caveman me. What’s the moral to this story?

No, really, they do, the amount of action I got in that three year span was unbelievable.

On to the next one.
I was sick after the Chargers game, as I’m sure most of you were too. I couldn’t even finish the game, or my beer, I abandoned ship at the conclusion of the third quarter.
I refuse self torture. Too many yellow flags. Too many missed tackles. Too many turnovers. Too many backup QB’s starting. Too many fumbles at the goal line. Too many consecutive losses. Too far in the past. I still regurgitate bile thinking about it. On to the next one.

Think on this: I’ll take Rivers.
Yes, we all hate Phil Rivers, but what if Brees was still in the AFC West? That guys was a maniac Monday night, he played out of his head nutty. He had a monumental game, and that’s with a bunch of role players at WR, he doesn’t have a #1. Something to be thankful for.

Click on this: Pro Bowl Ballot
Time is running out for us to get our guys some National recognition. Let’s, at the very least, make sure Clady/Marshall/Doom/Dawk/Bailey get there.

In the four short days between San Diego and New York, I vocalized my ultimatum to the Broncos numerous times. Win this game or disconnect, 5 straight loses would force me to protect my heart. This has been a rocky relationship over the past few years, and I’ve finally come to an understanding….I care too much.
If Denver was to lose to NYG, I would have to emotionally disconnect myself from the team. Not give up, not quit, not love another, simply take my feelings out of the equation.
My multiple weekly conversations with other NYC Broncos fans would still take place, just with less fire. The talk would turn towards the off-season, the draft, and free agency.

  • No longer would I have yelling matches with Lou, the guy who runs the Pet Shop, who brings his Elway jersey with him to work everyday, even though he dons the mandatory blue polo shirt emblazoned with the words Pet Central across the chest, we’d simply talk.
  • No longer would my friend Mike and I trade “Yeah, but..”‘s and “Well, if…”‘s, competing in our own heads for Brian Xanders job, fixing the Broncos problems with a compact fiery five minutes between where we were and wherever we had to be. Instead, “There’s always next year…” would be my phrase of choice.
  • No longer would the I spat with the BT staff through huge e-mail chains, each of us having our own opinion on the state of affairs and sticking to our guns. Reported as spam. Done.
  • No longer would my boss, who claims to be a Broncos fan, even though he’s from NY, and wears a Seahawks hat, call me in the morning to check in, and lament about what has to be done on offense, and who needs to help us out by doing us “a big one” and beating the Chargers for us each week. The phone would just ring, I would eventually be fired.
  • No longer would I have to listen and retort to James, a grizzled 40 something bitch, about not seeing Patrick Hillis on the field, “he killed for us last season, just killed”. “Yeah, well guess what? He’s done man! Done! Let it go, GOD!”, I would say in response, that would be that.
  • No longer would I be bullied by Ian Henson, ex BT staffer and current head of The Orange Page, into feeling bad for feeling bad. A critic of the negative slumps I sometimes sink into during the games, he often shouts expletives my way, ya know, to cheer me up. All I would have to do is stop going to the Broncos bar, just GameCast it instead.
  • No longer would me and my buddy JP share knowing looks during the games, unspoken, yet full of meaning. Something goes wrong, all it takes is a glare and a slight nudge of the beer pitcher in either direction, an understanding of “we’ve been here before, let it play out”.

No, if the Broncos lost their 5th straight game, I wouldn’t want any of these friends. I would hole up in my apartment, pack all of my jerseys and shirts and hoodies and blankets and cups and backpacks and Crocs away for the season, and work on growing all of my hair back, alone.
Thank the lord we beat the Giants!

side note: Usually after a Denver win, I send a txt to a friend that happens to be a fan of the opposing loser team. Oddly enough, even though I live in NYC, I only have Giants friend, he is an elderly Jewish man named Sid, he doesn’t know what a text message is. I sent one anway, into the unknown, into the data ether: Sid, sorry the Giants stink, you should be in bed anyway, Shalom.

Truth is, I wasn’t ready to disconnect, with the Team or any of the people who have come into my life because of our wild obsession. That is what football is about, a connection, something that can’t be, or shouldn’t be explained to anyone who doesn’t get it, because if they did get it, they wouldn’t be asking.
I’m looking forward to beating the Chiefs Sunday, and looking forward to all the BroncoTalk that comes along with it.

I do realize that I have failed to classify anyone or anything as Stinky in this post. Thanks should be given. Don’t worry, many will fall next week, many will be dubbed, many will have the privilege of being added to the SL.

  • IanHenson

    Just for full disclosure, JKK gave me not my first but my SECOND win in the BT Fantasy Football league on Monday.

    That being said, glad to have you back on the dark side so to speak. Hope to get to see you at Sidebar and I can complete my BT Staff meetings for the week.

  • WhidbeyBronco

    what an exhausting read… but I found myself getting it… sick

  • appleshampoo

    Nice post, I too am rocking a similar hair/beardstyle and have been compared to Plummer by my friends (who aren't Broncos fans but who know of my fandom for them and arguably unhealthy obsession with the Snake even today).

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  • Pay the Piper

    I loved your post (as it was chock full of what less-honest conformists would call “neuroses”).

    Actually, I may have misspelled that (but who has time to reach for the dictionary?)

    But I appreciate the way you sacrificed for the team (and who knows: shaving off the hirsute-look may have triggered the Broncos hitting bottom and coming up for air?)

    One can never accurately speculate what divine equation the “Football Gods” are currently relying upon.

    As a fellow New Yorker with long-hair and a beard that my O.C.D. never allows to become Brent Mydland length, I can only differ with one conclusion about the chicks loving the “freak flag flying” look (so to speak).

    But there may be valid and additional reasons for that (such as height, age, relative-hermitude and even neighborhood-residing… on the more-stuffy-than-is-realized U.W.S.).

    Anyway. I always like to throw a kudos this way when someone ventures into the great beyond (past mere football-based commentary).

    And I also appreciated the shout-out and recommendation to the always-insightful Ian Henson's new site (“The Orange Page”).

    Lots of room for Broncomaniacs all over The Empire State (apparently).