Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Curse of the Retro Uniforms

Brandon Marshall poses in his Vertically Striped Socks shortly before demanding to be traded away from the Broncos.

Josh McDaniels holds aloft a throwback Jay Cutler jersey only days before trading the quarterback away.

This trend is beginning to concern me. Although I find the Broncos retro uniforms that they will be wearing to be so ugly they are charming, I am beginning to wonder if they are actually cursed. You see, when it was first announced that the Broncos would be wearing replicas of their first AFL uniforms with the Brown and Yellow colors and the vertically striped socks which give this blog it's name, Jay Cutler was almost out of Denver. Shortly before his trade, Josh McDaniels held aloft a retro road jersey with Cutler's name on the back, and just like that, a very short while later Cutler was a Chicago Bear.

Now, Brandon Marshall is holding out from mandatory team activities, and reports are buzzing that he is also demanding a trade. Apart from being the most exciting player on the Broncos roster as it is currently constructed, Marshall is also the subject of the above photo in which he was wearing the home version of the retro uniform. (Minus the Brown helmet with his number on it, which I happen to think is one of the best parts of these throwbacks.)

These two events are leading me to believe that there is either a curse placed upon these uniforms which cause players to immediately want out of town the instant that they see their names applied to the back of one of these jerseys, or else the players find them so reprehensible that they instant they see one which has been constructed for them they instantaneously demand a trade. Either way, it's not a good sign.

The Broncos were a miserable 4-9-1 their first year wearing these duds in 1960 and then finished 3-11 the next year for a lifetime record of 7-20-1 in the vertically striped socks. Obviously, I tend to like these goofy uniforms in a "so ugly they're beautiful" kind of way, but I am beginning to wonder if there is a jinx upon them. They were definitely not popular in Denver the first go around as the socks were burned in a bonfire at the conclusion of the 1961 season, and perhaps part of the reason they were so vilified was that in addition to being somewhat ugly, they were also cursed.

The curse would help explain this horrendous off season in which the best coach in franchise history was summarily dismissed, then a young whipper-snapper was named head coach and he promptly ran off the franchise quarterback in exchange for Kyle Orton and some assorted picks, and now it appears that one of the more exciting wide receivers in team history is looking to get dealt out of town as well. I still love the vertically striped socks, but I also have to wonder if all this doesn't go down if they don't announce the retro plan. If there was a reset button for the off season in the same way that you can press it if this were a PlayStation game, I'd like to press it now.

This hasn't been the greatest summer in Broncos history, and I continue to wonder if it's possible that a head coach could get fired before ever coaching a game. Josh McDaniels has the

shortest leash ever for a guy who has never even been Head Ball Coach for a single game. Hopefully he has it together better than it appears from this Bronco fan's perspective. I want to be excited for the Broncos season, but it gets harder to do so with each passing week of this dreadful offseason.

Here is my hope. Brandon Marshall comes to his senses and comes back to the Broncos, McDaniels really is the genius that he thinks he is, Kyle Orton really is the overachieving hard worker everyone says he is (rather than the subpar quarterback I expect that he is.) and the Broncos put together a solid season with promise for the future. My expectations are so low that I would consider an 8-8 season to be a rousing success at this point.

Oh well, Go Broncos!

No comments: