Devon O’Neil: Another agonizing week for Broncos rooters |

Devon O’Neil: Another agonizing week for Broncos rooters

I can only imagine what life as a Broncos fan has been like this year. Perhaps akin to life as a basketball?

Consider Sunday’s demoralizing defeat to Buffalo in single-digit temps. Take 13-0 lead. Blow 13-0 lead. Outgain opponent 532 yards to 275. Lose game 30-23 on dropped pass in end zone.

Thanks to said defeat, Denver finished the year 4-4 at home. We are talking about a team that for many years defended its turf better than any in the NFL.

Now, of course, the Broncos will have to beat San Diego a few miles shy of Mexico to go to the playoffs. You think the Chargers and their fans don’t love that prospect, after what happened earlier this year in Denver with the fumble that wasn’t a fumble? …

On that note, you think Chad Pennington doesn’t love Sunday’s opportunity to beat the Jets ” who tossed him in the trash can to sign Brett Favre ” in New York, no less, a win that would clinch the AFC East title for the Dolphins (1-15 last year, 10-5 now) and end the Jets’ season? …

After the Colts struggled to a 4-4 start, and given their key players’ ages, you started to think they might have been lapped by the young, hungry NFL. No. That’s what they said. No!

The exclamation point is there because they won their eighth straight game (six of them by seven points or less) to clinch a playoff berth last Thursday. Which is a nice stat, until you consider it is the fifth straight year they have won at least seven in a row, and then you think, now THAT’s a nice stat. …

Georgia Tech football coach Paul Johnson, who came to the Jackets from Navy, of all places, was rewarded for his ACC Coach of the Year effort this season with a 7-year, $17.7 million contract last week.

In a field of millionaire coaches saturated with spread-offense and West Coast-passing-attack gurus, Johnson presents a refreshing contrast: He got rich by teaching the option. …

Quote of the Week comes from ESPN’s SportsCenter on Monday morning. Keith Bulluck, Tennessee’s veteran linebacker, was asked about his team’s stomping of the Steelers’ Terrible Towel on the sideline after the Titans had cemented home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a 31-14 win.

“It’s not anything personal or disrespectful,” Bulluck said. Come again? …

Notre Dame (6-6), which plays Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl Wednesday night, hasn’t won a bowl game since the 1993 season. I just can’t get over how pathetic that is for such a storied program. …

The defending NBA champion Celtics are 26-2 and have won 18 straight games. No team in Boston’s illustrious history has won more games in succession. No team in NBA history has started with more wins against just two losses.

It’s easy to forget that when Boston assembled this “Big Three” cast of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and the incumbent Paul Pierce, the franchise was coming off a season in which it compiled the worst record in the NBA. Now, after less than a year and a half, I’m starting to think we’re seeing one of the greatest teams in the history of basketball. …

This week’s BCS rant focuses on the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, where tonight No. 9 Boise State plays No. 11 TCU. You might recall that Boise, which is going for its second 13-0 season in three years, beat vaunted Oklahoma two years ago in the Fiesta Bowl, the climax to that 13-0 season.

Which is why I think the fact that the Broncos were left out of this year’s BCS in favor of 10-2 Ohio State is rubbish. When will college football and the NCAA realize that it employs a system rooted in tradition and reputation, instead of performance and results? The decision-makers should be embarrassed. Instead they’re rich. …

In parting, let us remove ourselves from Denver’s maddeningly up-and-down season for a moment, and instead praise the Bronco players for their public-service announcements aimed at helping others quit smoking. It’s a subtle but moving gesture by some influential athletes; the kind that doesn’t happen as often as it could.

” Breckenridge resident Devon O’Neil’s $0.02 column runs Tuesdays. He can be reached at

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