My final RT on Twitter last night from Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) said it all: “Words I heard over and over in Broncos locker room: Devastated, disappointed, sad.”
Oh, the agony of defeat.
Anyone that knows me in person or follows me online knows I live and breathe Cincinnati Reds baseball and Denver Broncos football. For 40ish years, that’s what it’s been. Day after day. Week after week. Year after year. From my Dad teaching me how to read box scores in the early 70’s to tweeting with media members in the press box at the stadium today.
I’ve celebrated world championships with the Reds three times in my lifetime and with the Broncos twice — including seeing Denver’s first-ever Super Bowl win in person in 1997. And I’ve experienced heart-wrenching losses at Mile High Stadium. The 1996 playoff loss to Jacksonville and 2005 loss to Pittsburgh (when Jake Plummer fell apart) quickly come to mind.
But nothing prepared me for the back-to-back baseball and football seasons I just experienced. After 97 wins, a division title and a 2-0 series lead, the Reds completely fell apart and lost their playoff series to the eventual champion Giants. The devastation from that series left me numb for days afterward.
I know some of you are saying “seriously dude, get a life” at this point. If that’s you, just go ahead and stop reading. You’ll never understand. Just know this: I don’t spend time watching TV shows, I rarely watch movies and I don’t ignore my family at the expense of watching sports.
My friend Jim Mitchem (@jmitchem) said yesterday: “The greatest theater production of all time pales in comparison to the drama of sports” because “sports is unscripted. Unscripted drama is more dramatic.”
Through the ups and downs of a 162-game regular season, you live the daily drama. You begin to identify with the players. You have a little extra pep in your step after a big win. You feel a little down when you blow a lead and lose.
The comes the excitement of the postseason. Two huge wins and then… bam. Reality. It’s over. What do I do tomorrow?
Here come the Broncos and Peyton Manning to provide that magical word: Hope. After a 2-3 start, they reeled off 11 straight wins and captured the AFC’s #1 seed for the playoffs. Only for yesterday to happen. Leading by a touchdown with 69 seconds remaining, Denver completely falls apart and eventually loses in double overtime. Stunned. Again. Crushed. Again. Numb. Again.
Then, in my lowest moment after the game, I receive the following tweet from @BrianBaute: “I hope this helps cheer up @bohussey – #Reds pitchers & catchers report to Spring Training one month from today.”