Year after year, they've seen it up on Brokeneck Mountain ...
A promising start ... with all their hopes and dreams culminating with (in the best case) home-field advantage throughout the playoffs ... perhaps like last season ...
But then (like so many of the seasons hence) ... suddenly, swiftly, and without warning, the capricious tides turn against them ... as they are so oft wont to do ... The pocket Aces they've raised upon pre-flop ... see a horrible first three ... the Jack, Queen, King of Hearts ... and damn it if neither of the Aces they're holding is a Heart. Why is it NEVER A DAMN HEART!?!
Up on Brokeneck ... SOMETHING ... ALWAYS goes horribly wrong. They've seen it all too many times. And they don't talk about it ... hell, they don't HAVE to ... it's UNDERSTOOD, this nebulous sensation that plagues them, to a man ... Sure, it looks good NOW ... but damn ... maybe this year is no different from all the others?
They can run the numbers up there (for it is, indeed, a most basic math) ... They know they have one of the NFL's all-time great QB's ... but they're also painfully aware that Their Savior is now playing in, what, his 16th season now? He's playing lights out, by any reasonable measure ... but he does so with a surgically-repaired neck, one that was operated upon numerous times ... an injury that kept him out of the game of Football for an entire year. And one that was so bad that a Kingdom that once worshiped him like a God ... did forsake him, and let him walk.
The liability inherent in such numbers ... it goes glaringly unspoken, but not unnoticed. In fact, they doth collectively and publicly protest ... everything looks PERFECT ... even whilst mumbling beneath earshot ... right now, anyways ...
But next up on the schedule? The MF'ing OUTLAWS of the NFL, A bitter Division Rival known as the Oakland Raiders. A disrespected team with a chip on their shoulder, with nothing left to lose. Not to mention, a team that's historically famous for knocking fools into the middle of next week, whether the hit is legal or not.
And guess what? Coming in, these brigands lead the NFL in SACKS.
But what else? The Savior's Left Tackle, who protects His blind side, just went out for the Season. His backup? A scrub, by any measure.
But most importantly, in particular, this Blind Side Scrub will be positioned directly up against the Pirate who's rated by PFF as the #2 most Disruptive Pass Rusher in the League, as things now stand. One #99, a Demolisher of Dreams, a Portender of Peril, and a Harbinger of Havoc ... in short, a wrecking ball who's just now coming into his own, and who's looking for a nice, hefty contract come next Season ...
Indeed, for those of you attuned to the human condition, it's most apparent that there's Terror on Brokeneck Mountain this week ... a palpable sense that the game this Monday night has the POTENTIAL ... to thrust their team squarely upon the very downward slide that's happened so often, and so reliably, over the years.
Perhaps they're to be pitied ... as the unfortunate denizens of the Mountain exist perennially amidst this miasma of Fear, and a Nameless yet lingering Dread ... ever the Elephant.
When alone, we may imagine, they console themselves thusly regarding the imminence of the infamous and near-inevitable Bronco Collapse: At least it won't happen during the Raiders visit this week ... it ALWAYS happens later in the season than THIS!?!" ... but deep down, they're painfully aware that there exists no reliable means of predicting when the ever-whimsical Hand of Fate might intervene against them. They know only that it will. The trenchant question truly being not if, but rather, WHEN?!?
To be sure, some weeks it is worse than others, but this particular week ... Raiders Week ... this is the one wherein you will catch them fronting with all their collective might, as if to ward off the Evil Spirits that portend the Season's Inevitable Doom through false bravado and sheer smug loquaciousness.
Thus, if you attend their Mile High activities this week, you will be inundated by their garrulous guffaws, brisk back-slapping, and conspicuous cockiness. Therein abounds a plethora of virtual jacked-up pickup trucks with 30" rims and gunracks on the back window ... in short, there, you shall bear witness to a Cornucopia of Insufferable Over-Compensation.
But verily, know this, my brethren ... that behind the boisterous facade, they do privately pray, with a fervent (yet feckless) piety ... Please, in the name of Sir Fivehead, Lord, I beseech thee ... let NOT these intransigent Raiders waltz into our kingdom, salt our fields, and take our women as their own ... and most of all, let them NOT casually flick upon the proverbial domino that sets yet another season's demise into it's ruthless, inexorable motion.
For surely, there could be no crueler a fate ...