As a life-long Denver Broncos fan (I grew up in Denver), In The Fray is not so pleased with yesterday's trade of Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears for Kyle Orton (Kyle Orton!
) and draft picks. But as Red Grange's
biographer, I have a different perspective on the trade than most Broncos fans and so I am going to enjoy seeing what happens with Cutler in the Second City. The Cutler drama that has played out over the NFL off-season has made me think a lot about fandom. I continue to follow the Broncos with a great deal of interest, but my passion has been on a sort of auto-pilot for a decade or so. With Mike Shanahan leading the team there was an amazing amount of consistency with the Broncos. They haven't been particularly great since their last Super Bowl win but they have been consistently decent. Shanahan was fired and that marked the beginning of several blundering mis-steps. But something happened to me as I watched the train wreck: a renewed passion for the team. Becoming a fan (I wrote about this issue
in USA Today, too) can be quite complex. I have followed the team since childhood and I have been on emotional highs and lows through the years, but lately I have been a relatively impartial observer. For example, I was displeased when they didn't make the playoffs last season, but the end of the Broncos season didn't put me into a three-month depression. The disastrous off-season culminating in the Cutler trade shook me from my stupor: I haven't been this embarrassed and upset about my favorite team for awhile, and it's been nice to know that I still care so much.