It’s sad to look at the Denver Broncos and no longer see Mike Shanahan. The relationshipo between the two-time Super Bowl champion head coach and Pat Bowlen’s franchise was an iconic portrait of NFL stability. It was like your grandparents’ marriage. Bowlen had once declared Shanahan the Broncos’ “head coach for life.” When that bond was severed this past January, the entire football world paused in shock.
But really, it shouldn’t have been shocking. Remove the names and faces and what you had was a fairly straightforward situation: Football Team X had only one playoff victory in the last 10 years and had just become the first club in NFL history to blow a three-game division lead in the final three weeks of the season. That is justification for a head coach firing.
Still, logic rarely trumps raw emotion. Tears were shed when Bowlen and Shanahan parted ways, and not a hint of acrimony leaked from the former head coach at his farewell press conference. After 14 years, the magic had run out.
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