The day that the Broncos season ends always sucks. I suppose there have only been two days where the Broncos season ended that didn't suck. I can still remember those days like they were yesterday, and that does tend to give me some comfort....nah, it still sucks. If your team is close to making the playoffs - but doesn't - all you can think about is the missed opportunities. Obviously today's game was one big opportunity to make it, but since I didn't see the game (and here's a memo to myself - spend the money on the stupid NFL.com radio thingy next year so that when there is a crucial game being played that isn't on TV you can at least listen to it and not rely on the nigh-worthless ESPN.com game tracker) all I can remember is leaving Peyton Manning too much time on the clock after we'd tied it at 31-all in week 8, blowing the 24-7 lead against the Chargers in week 11, or letting the Seahawks convert that 3rd and long that put them in position to kick the game-winning field goal in week 13. Oh, and of course, Adam Sheffter's report just before the Chiefs game that Jake was going to be benched whether they won or not on Thanksgiving night. That really helped our cause - thanks a lot you dis-loyal bastard. So now they finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs - even worse, by losing they let the Chiefs in. As you can imagine, that just sizzles my bacon.
So the season is over - no playoffs, no Super Bowl - but I guess I should try to focus on some positives. First and foremost, we got ourselves a Quarterback. The kid has an absolute cannon for an arm, and that 99-yard drive he led against the Bengals (and the 80-yarder he led tonight to tie the game) was a thing of beauty. He got 5 games worth of invaluable experience as he takes over the reigns for good next season. We have plenty of play-makers on offense, the defensive player of the year (and if it goes to anybody else someone should be shot) and thanks to the events of the evening, we'll have a 3rd-place schedule next year!! W00t!! We do have some needs, and hopefully they can be addressed in the off-season.
Ultimately, while it didn't end the way I had hoped, I'll always remember the 2006 season because I finally made it to Denver to see them play at home - and beat the Chiefs :0)