We at Grubb Hub never thought it could hurt more to be a fan of the Denver Broncos than it did after getting drubbed 55-10 by Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV, their third embarrassing loss of historic proportions in four years.
We never thought our passion could feel more purposeless than the day John Elway announced he had played his last game. As for myself, I had never known what it was like to root for a Broncos team without the best quarterback to ever play the game. Quite frankly, he was the primary reason I became a Broncos fan in the first place.
All those years spent rooting for John to get just one more shot at a Super Bowl, so that he could once and for all prove to the world that indeed, he could win The Big One. And after he finally did – twice – The Duke of Denver mounted his white snorting horse and rode out of town, leaving Bronco fans everywhere to wonder, “Well, what now?”
What’s the main difference between those two events and the recent fiasco resulting in the trade of Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears? Both of those you could see coming from a mile away. Both of those made some modicum of sense. This makes none.
I for one never took John Elway for granted. I knew I was watching something special: every game, every throw, every play. But in the years following Elway’s retirement, it didn’t make watching his heirs apparent – The Master of the Dink-and-Dunk, Brian Griese, or his successor, Jake “The Mistake” Plummer, any easier.
The one-time Broncos “head coach for life” Mike Shanahan felt the same way, so he decided to do something about it. In the 2006 NFL draft, he traded up, swooped in and grabbed quarterback Jay Cutler with the number 10 pick overall.
In the days leading up to that draft, experts argued vehemently over who was the best quarterback available, University of Texas star Vince Young or USC pretty boy Matt Leinart.
We now know the answer to that question: neither.
That was the genius of the move by the man known as The Mastermind. And don’t forget, many questioned this move, as the Broncos fell one game short of the Super Bowl the previous season with Plummer at quarterback. With most of that team returning, many – including myself – questioned why you would spend your number one pick on a quarterback. But as we all know now with Jay Cutler, we’re not talking about any old quarterback.
Let’s be honest: If they could get access to a time machine and do the 2006 NFL Draft over, who do you think the Tennessee Titans would take with their number one pick?
If you answered Jay Cutler, give yourself three points for not being as retarded as Josh McDaniels.
Coincidentally, that is the first and last time you will see me refer to him by his real name. Henceforth, he will be referred to using some bastardized and sophomoric form of his name such as McDumbass, McDone-Nothing, or McDingleberry.
I know, I know. Childish name-calling only makes me look bad and lessens the effectiveness of whatever valid arguments are presented here. Well, I don’t care. If there was ever an arrogant jerk that deserved a little name calling, it’s McDumbass.
Anyway, starting with Cutler in 2006 Shanahan began assembling one of the youngest and most potent offensive attacks in the league. This included drafting Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall, rookie standout receiver Eddie Royal, and rebuilding the offensive line into one of the best in the NFL, anchored by another rookie – left tackle Ryan Clady.
For his efforts, Shanahan – the “head coach for life” – was fired by Broncos owner Pat Bowel-en (yes, he gets a childish nickname too). Sure, the Broncos were 8-5 and needed just one win in the final three weeks of the 2008 season to lock up an AFC West division title – and couldn’t get it done.
But talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water. Anyone with half a brain could see that Shanahan was building a championship caliber team, with most of the important players only in their first or second season. Offensively, they needed only a running back that could stay healthy. Defensively, they were ranked 29th but had suffered a rash of injuries. Shanahan should have been given another season or two to rebuild the defense the way he had the offense.
After all, he had done it before. The Broncos had bottomed out defensively when Shanahan took over in 1995, but they had a strong-armed, franchise quarterback, a very good offensive line, and some good young receivers. Sound familiar?
Anyway, enter Josh McDumbass, the 32 year-old snot nosed puke who had never been head coach of an NFL practice let alone an actual game.
His first move as Head Moron of the Denver Broncos? Attempt to trade all-everything quarterback Jay Cutler behind his back for McDumbass’s best friend and vaunted “system” quarterback Matt Cassel. This understandably angered Cutler. I’ve heard people argue that Cutler should have handled the situation more maturely, but imagine if you found out your new boss was trying to get rid of you behind your back, and then lied about it to your face?
And this sort of thing isn’t simply part of the business of pro football, as so many have stated recently. You don’t try to trade a quarterback like Jay Cutler that is just entering the prime of his career. Let me repeat myself: You don’t try to trade a quarterback like Jay Cutler. Not unless you’re certifiable.
I don’t believe for a second that McDingleberry was merely “fielding offers” from other teams for Cutler. I’m sure that sort of thing happened all the time. What team with a quarterback not named Brady, Manning or Roethlisberger wouldn’t want Cutler? I think Cutler would understand other teams making offers for him.
No, it had to be that Cutler was being actively shopped. Why? He didn’t fit into the Patriot System, whatever that is. The Patriot System apparently doesn’t require a superstar quarterback. In fact, from what I can ascertain, the Patriot System involves trading away all your superstar players for ones that are so grateful to actually be on an NFL team they’ll wash your car for you.
Well, I’ve got news for you. Tom Brady is no “system” guy, he’s a franchise quarterback. The Patriot System is a myth. If the Patriots didn’t have Tom Brady, they wouldn’t be three-time Super Bowl champions. And any system that Jay Cutler doesn’t fit into is a stupid one.
Case in point: Everyone went all gaga when Matt Cassel led the Patriots to an 11-5 record last season, including McDinkhead, who raved about how smart he was, and what intelligent decisions he made.
Does anyone besides me remember that the Patriots were 18-1 the season before? The team Cassel played with was the same team as that one. So under Cassel, the Patriots were seven games worse than they were under Brady. So what the heck is so great about that?
On the other hand, Cutler was 12-1 in games where his defense allowed 22 points or fewer. He also had the best record the last two years in games where his defense gave up more than 30 points.
Great job, McDumbass. You took the team with the 29th-ranked defense and you traded away their Pro Bowl quarterback. Huh?
Now you’re going to have the 32nd ranked offense to go with the 29th ranked defense. Good luck. Whatever your system is, it better be the greatest system in the world because otherwise you’re going to stink…bad.
Unfortunately, things like wins and losses, X’s and O’s, and statistics are only part of the story. Here’s where we get sentimental again, folks. The simple fact is: I like watching Jay Cutler play. He was a supremely talented guy that could make plays out of nothing with his mobility and powerful right arm. That’s a special thing that doesn’t grow on trees.
If anyone knows that, it’s Broncos fans. No, he was not John Elway, but he was close enough.
And I liked watching him play for my team. I thought I was going to get to do that for the next decade or so, and now I’m not. I was robbed by a 32 year-old snot nosed puke that thinks his system is what makes a team win, not the players in it. And that, more than anything, is what makes me angry about this whole ordeal.
I don’t want to watch Kyle Orton or Chris Simms. I’d rather watch Phil Simms. And I don’t care if they use these picks to turn themselves into a better team 2-3 years from now. They’ll still be boring to watch, and they still won’t win a Super Bowl.
Don’t believe me? Since 1991 there have been two teams with quarterbacks that could be regarded as “system” quarterbacks that have won a Super Bowl: The 2000 Baltimore Ravens with Trent Dilfer and the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Brad Johnson.
Pardon me, but I don’t think the Broncos defense is going to resemble the 2000 Ravens anytime soon.
Therefore, we at Grubb Hub hope Denver loses every game next year, and we hope they lose them as embarrassingly as possible. For the time being, we are anti-Bronco fans, at least until McDone-Nothing is run out of town with his head on a stick. And take Pat Bowel-en with you because he’s quickly turning into the next Al Davis.
When NFL historians look back on this trade, we want them to say, “This one’s the worst ever”.
When Bears owner Michael McCaskey holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy over his head, we want him to say:
“This one’s for Jay!”