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Published on 10/25/2010 at Mon Oct 25 12:51.
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Fans attending practice at INVESCO Field at Mile High  (BroncoTalk/Kyle Montgomery)

Fans attending practice at INVESCO Field at Mile High (BroncoTalk/Kyle Montgomery)

Famed veteran player Fan Loyalty, commonly used as the twelfth man on the field, was placed on Injured Reserve this morning after suffering a season-ending injury to its heart early in the first quarter against the Raiders yesterday, team sources said. According to team coach Josh McDaniels, “We did a lot of soul-searching overnight while we waited for word from Greek [Broncos trainer Steve Antonopulos] about its condition. When he told us it would take at least three months to heal, we had to end its season. We know things will be tough without Fan Loyalty on the team, but it is what it is and we will have to find a way to persevere.”

Fan Loyalty has had a rocky career the last few seasons, and NFL insiders believe that Loyalty’s career with the Denver Broncos may be in jeopardy. In 2008, Fan Loyalty suffered a broken nose in a 31-10 home loss to Oakland, but recovered quickly only to be injured again in a horrific 52-21 loss to San Diego to close out the season that resulted in the firing coach Shanahan. Privately, Fan Loyalty asked for a trade, and while the young players Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler were all granted the trades they requested, veteran Fan Loyalty remained with the team despite some grumbling.

Fan Loyalty looked to experience a resurgence in 2009 when the Broncos started the season 6-0, but spent the rest of the 2009 season in Josh McDaniel’s doghouse when the team proceeded win only 2 of the remaining 10 games to end the season 8-8. And while Fan Loyalty did manage to play out the entire season, a turbulent off-season brought more questions about Fan Loyalty’s ability to play yet another season with the Denver Broncos. With the drafting of Tim Tebow, season-ending injury to defensive playmaker Elvis Dumervil, and the surprise trade of Alphonso Smith to the Detroit Lions, controversy constantly surrounded Fan Loyalty. The preseason saw injury after injury, particularly to the running backs and offensive line, and Fan Loyalty rarely failed to voice an opinion.

This season, Fan Loyalty has barely seen the field. Aside from one good performance against the Seattle Seahawks, Fan Loyalty has continued to be benched after critical mistakes were made. As these mistakes mounted, more team losses piled up and Fan Loyalty saw less and less field time. Now, with the Denver Broncos about to go to London to play an international game against the San Francisco 49ers, Fan Loyalty will not even be making the trip.

An independent 49ers blogger recently posted, “Oh man, I would not want to be the Denver Broncos right now. Star players on injured reserve, questions about remaining star players, no running game, no pass rush, and no Fan Loyalty? They’re tied last in their division and just got not just beat but humiliated by one of the most woeful teams in the league that also just happens to be their best division rival? How are they supposed to face their wives and mothers now? I mean, the Niners have problems too, with Singletary and Alex Smith and I mean, they have David Carr as his backup, and we all know how that goes. But how can you even play football without a heart?”

Indeed, how do you play without a heart. We asked Fan Loyalty that same question: “I do hope to be back next season,” Fan Loyalty said. “But contract negotiations have stalled. You’ll have to talk to my agent about that, though.” After a moment’s thoughtful pause, it added, “Even if things go poorly, though, I don’t expect to hold out of training camp next season, if that’s what you mean. Assuming the docs say I’m ready to go, that is.”

Said owner Pat Bowlen, “Don’t worry, Fan Loyalty is still an integral part of our team, even if it has struggled recently. Fan Loyalty has been with this team for a long time, I’m sure we’ll find a way to bring it back, even if we have to make changes to the organization to ensure there is a spot.”

In the locker room, the rest of players remained quiet. While nobody would say it, it was clear that with Fan Loyalty gone, any one of them could be the next one on a bus to Detroit.

  • TheTroglodyte

    lol awesome

  • Gary_in_SD

    I really feel bad for those fans who are making the trip to England this weekend. I know one and I'm glad that I am NOT one!

  • Hope

    Thier is no way in hell I would go to england to see them get beat.Not after yesterday's game.Going on strike hit owe Pat were it hurts in the pocket.I can't belive we will get swept by the Raiders and end the seson dead last in afc west.Got to face it now so it won't hurt as bad.

    Like I said before let Baily go so he can win a superbowl.Why take him down with poor and I mean very poor team?


    You're an idiot!!!! Stop worrying about the Broncos and get an education…LEARN HOW TO WRITE!!!

  • JM

    Josh has got to go, I will “No” longer go to a game again, He's trying to create an offense with out, a good sound running back, Orton can't keep
    on passing, without a prevent offense, I feel sorry for Orton, Tebow is not the answer either. What happen to the orange crush, We were the most
    dreaded team in football at home,teams hated coming here, they all now have are number and play us like fiddles. He's got to go. JM of Denver

  • Mergrath

    This was definately one of those games that will tug at your team loyalty! I had a few instances throughout the game where my voice of reason said “why do you put yourself through this? There's gotta be something better for you to do with your time!” It wasn't a question of bailing on my team…more of bailing on the game.

    I could never root for another team like i have done for the Broncos over the past 35 years. So…it's a decision I get to make, NFL or (???). I refuse to jump on coaches or players due to a bad loss. It was a collective team effort yesterday to get absolutely demoralized! I feel cheated!

  • herc_rock

    Loyalty isn't going anywhere. Times have been tougher than this.

  • herc_rock

    I don't feel too bad for anyone who gets to go to London.

  • E. Halsey Miles

    As Bowlen said, I'm sure it'll be back next season, after it heals up from this season's injury.

  • Grellan Harty
  • E. Halsey Miles

    Writing this article was cathartic for me. I can laugh a bit more at what happened now and move on from it. I've personally pretty much given up on the season (yes with the help of a miracle we could end 11-5 but I think we're headed for closer to 6-10 and that's going to require actual improvement to get to) but there's always next year.

  • Poppy-o

    “Times have been tougher than this.” I've followed the Broncos since the early 70's and have never witnessed a….ummm… “performance” like yesterday. Bolens fires a great coach, McD trades great players. What can we expect?

  • MrEast

    Unfortunately Bowlen just didn't fire a great coach. He fired a crappy GM as well. However, he hired the second coming of the same man he fired.

    Josh McDaniels may very well be a great coach in this league one day, if he inherits a pro-bowl roster or relinquishes drafting responsibilities. Until then, we'll roster a field of wash-ups, special teamers, and practice squaders. After yesterday I don't even feel bad about saying that.

  • flbronc

    i still threw on my bronco hat this morning.

  • Broncofan123

    great players like the one who threw four picks yesterday? like the big baby brandon marshall? oh wait, you knew alphonso smith was a great player and didnt bash the pick at all. i'll give you hillis, but we cant quite call him great yet. come on. shanny wasnt getting the job done either, and wasnt going to give up his gm title so the writing was on the wall when he refused to make defensive changes. in 1.5 seasons has it worked out as well as hoped, no. lets face it, the only way you are going to get your way is to pony up and buy the team.

    dont know how long you have followed our team, but if it is for 40 years, you probably ought to know that the owner is Bowlen… not Bolen.

  • Kyle


  • areferee

    Would that Pat Bowlen really feels as you have ascribed. Unfortunately, those were the author's words and not our Dear Mr. B. The only fan loyalty he is interested in is at the bottom of his P&L sheet.

  • E. Halsey Miles

    Fan Loyalty controls the bottom line of his P&L sheet. You can be assured that a loss of fan loyalty means a loss of revenue from ticket and merchandising sales and Bowlen cares greatly about that.

  • Poppy-o

    Bowlen, Bolen typo. soooo sensitive. Shanahan brought 2 superbowls to Denver. What am I missing here?

  • mobley

    Thanks for the laugh! We all need it. I am taking solace in a top ten draft choice next season (we still have next year's number one right???).

  • Ian Henson

    Absolutely beautiful Earl, poetic and just took the words from my soul =)

  • Jon

    Haha great read, E. Halsey Miles! Gave me a smile – and that's something the Broncos haven't been able to do in awhile

  • Jake White

    Can't wait to see what Fan Loyalty will be like when the Broncos face the division leading Chiefs in a few weeks. Something tells me Fan Loyalty will boo at every incomplete pass and every run that doesn't go for five yards or more. God help Fan Loyalty if the Chiefs lay down an ass kicking on Denver…

  • Vvigil719csc

    i cant believe we actually pay those playerzs and coaches. they dont deserve a penny after yesterdays performance. there needs to be benchings and firings. fans have to pay big money in this bad economy just to go look like a bunch of highschoolers playing against pros. after that disgraceful loss i would think the raiders are the 10 time back to back superbowl champions. fans shouldnt even support or pay big money to go to games for such a pathetic product. i hope they understand that this is just unacceptable. im literrally still sick to my stomach. i almost punched a couple of my raider fan family members in the face just a few minutes after the game started but its really every single person in the bronco organazation that needs to be punched in thier incompetant faces. i cant beleve how much we suck year in and year out since the 2 superbowls. i wonder if well ever be a championship contender again.

  • Spencerenergy

    Very clever indeed!!

  • Vince_marine

    Well said Broncofan123!!!!

  • Vince_marine

    I wore the jersey, still have the stickers on my truck and still love the Broncos!

  • Vince_marine

    The word mediocre!!!! That is what you are missing!

  • Sinsith73

    I was rolling joints of my $100 an eighth chronic during the whole game !!! way to go Oakland, you just made my week !!!! Let's run all over those Peacocks next week !!!!!

  • OG

    Anyone who pays $100 an eighth is a freaking moron.

  • broncoman24

    Shut up. Is that all you do is troll websites and correct grammar? Loser.

  • chess pieces

    One should not show so much loyalty. Stay safe :)

  • upcoming gadgets

    One should not show so much loyalty. Stay safe :)

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