I was at the rec center and got the bottles mixed up in my gym bag. I washed my hair with hand lotion and tried to moisturize my face with shampoo. The results weren't stunning. On the plus side, I noticed my athlete's foot was cured and the fungal infection of my right big toenail had begun to disappear, too.
It sounds like the beginning of a pro and con review of my first year at the public recreation facility after being a member of the private Snowmass Club for the previous 15 years. I wish this was going to be that enjoyable.
What I described are a few side effects of bare- naked reflection alone in a men's locker room two days after the Broncos' distressing defeat in the NFL playoffs. They had home-field advantage. They had the best quarterback in the business. Their defense was second to only one. The slick-suited odds makers in Las Vegas said they were going to win by nine and a half points; impossible, I know, but it sounded plausible at the time. What went wrong? More importantly, why do I care so much?
So, there I sat, staring at my toes. They call professional football entertainment? Ha!
Nobody could write an ending as bad as the one where the supposed best team in the National Football League blows a lead in the last 30 seconds on a 70-yard impossible touchdown pass into double coverage with the defense completely expecting it. Boooo!
I'll take the sad ending of a two-hour movie that coaxes a few tears so that I can vicariously experience the human condition from the safety of another's perspective. It's good payoff for a small investment. But, 13 long years spent following "our" team since the last Super Bowl victory, through the ups and downs of this season, building expectations, finally anticipating just rewards for excellence, all down the drain because our boys relaxed a little and played like crap? No thanks.
Remember coming back from a
24-point first-half deficit in San Diego to win the game that propelled the 2-3 Broncos to an 11-game winning streak? Von Miller's sack dances? Peyton Manning's remarkable comeback? The pick-sixes? The punt and kickoff TD returns? That's all for nothing now; gone, finito, pieces of pointless trivia. All the celebratory high-fiving, living room dancing, and pre-game superstitious rituals just seem stupid now.
Here's the thing about most other forms of entertainment: You get to decide if it was any good after you find out how it ends. You didn't have to pick your favorite book of all time before you read it. Do you really think I would have pledged my loyalty to the Broncos if I'd have known the season was going to end as miserably as it did? Call them "frontrunners" if you like, but the fans who choose their team after the Super Bowl are the smart ones.
You might take this to mean that I'm going to sell my season tickets. No way. In the old days that would have been the best option, but not in the StubHub era. I plan to purchase my tickets as usual and then unload them via the Internet ticket broker at the highest price possible to suckers who haven't learned their lessons. Do I pity the guy who buys them at quadruple face value, suffers through sub-zero temperatures, drinks his weekly paycheck in three beers, and stays until the bitter end of a double-overtime soul-searching loss to go away feeling like he got kicked in the stomach by his heroes? Heck no! He'll never do that again, and I'll be the one to show him the foolishness of it. You're welcome.
The poets say that it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. I have discovered the exception. Those literary types never fell in love with an entire football team of over-paid athletes who don't know me and wouldn't give me the time of day if they did and who would never even have called Colorado home except for the fates of the college draft or whims of wheeling and dealing general managers.
Wait till next year? I think not. I'm jumping off the bandwagon before it gets smashed to splinters again in a collision with somebody else's. Do you think the fans on the one that survives are going to reach down and help me up? No, they'll laugh and rub it in.
... Of course, a lot depends on who we get in the offseason.
Roger Marolt is selling his partially used face-paint kit cheap. If you look good in orange and blue, contact him at email@example.com.