In his first game as the Denver Broncos quarterback, John Elway had issues with where he lined up on the field, and was relieved repeatedly by Steve DeBerg in the Broncos 2-1 start. Coach Dan Reeves named DeBerg the starter after that, with Elway soon returning after a DeBerg shoulder injury. An inauspicious start with Elway’s tail-kicking, in what would end up being a truly successful marriage.

When Peyton Manning started his first game with the Broncos, they stumbled to a 31-19 first win against the Steelers, with enough eventual losses following it to be both 1-2 and 2-3. Broncos Nation was aflame before Manning and what would become one of the NFL’s most historically prolific offenses would rip off 11 straight wins to finish the season. Another inauspicious start with Manning’s tail-kicking, in what would end up being a truly successful marriage.

Speaking of tail-kickings, a truly brave and overmatched Colorado State Rams football team spent the better part of last Saturday watching the dam they’d built against a national championship contender slowly crumble. As a CSU alum, I was lucky to get to watch the game with my buddy, a Michigan alum, while they slowly over-covered the spread. By the end, the only thing the Rams had left to leave on the field was their hearts, and still they did, with 59 newbies, including a redshirt freshman quarterback. When the game was over, my buddy expressed his admiration of how well a newly-formed Rams squad had performed, and fretted about all his alma mater needed to fix. It was the most hopeful ass-whupping I’ve ever experienced. An inauspicious start, but the talent in the coaching staff and on both sides of the ball have us hoping for a truly successful marriage.

So… When Monday night rolls around, and Russell Wilson takes the field for his first game as the Denver Broncos quarterback, there will be history – both recent and long-past – to say that things may be a little bumpy as Denver gets their wits about them, both between the helmet holes and on the field. But if history and odds and a few tumblers on a lock (thanks Jay Norvell and Justin Michael) all fall into place, things will eventually work out beautifully… but these Broncos may need a few swags at this thing to fully get it running smoothly. Even if Denver spends a game or four getting their tails kicked while they figure it out, the truly cautionary tale is that stacking the deck with talent and desire eventually should/could end up paying off in a helluva successful marriage.


Mike Olson is a weekly columnist for DNVR. The Colorado State University alum was born and raised in Fort Collins and has been writing about Denver sports for the last decade-plus. After over a decade away, he is thrilled to be back in and around Colorado. No place like home.