Rarely do we choose to speak for Bronco Nation. The pink Jared Zabransky jerseys never let us get a word in edgewise.
But today, we are breaking from the norm and making an announcement on behalf of Bronco fans everywhere because we feel it is necessary, appropriate, and important. And no, we did not ask permission.
This weekend, Bronco Nation will be Idaho State Nation. Our rampant homerism will be theirs. Our incongruous sign verbiage will be theirs. And our loyalty, fervor, and support will be theirs.
There are several factors behind our one-week shift in allegiance.
- Boise State has a bye.
- Idaho State is playing Idaho.
- We respect the Bengals and despise the Vandals.
- We honestly feel that the Bengals can beat the Vandals.
The first factor is obvious. With the Broncos taking a week off before next Saturday's Bowling Green game, there is not a whole lot to do as a Bronco fan, other than write Jeremy Childs' macroeconomics paper for him. (By the way, Jeremy, should we be using MLA or APA citation?)
Secondly, any Idaho opponent is a friend of ours. We were blindly supportive of Arizona last weekend, and we plan on backing each and every foe the Vandals face throughout the year, including the weeks they face their own inadequacies and shortcomings. Go self-disavowal!
Third, the Bengals showed us something during last week's blowout. Even though the result was pretty much decided before the game even began, Idaho State still showed up ready to play. A lot more credit should be given to them for the way they battled for 60 minutes. For goodness sake's, they kept the Broncos from doing anything on their first two possessions! The Bengals were spirited, they played hard, they scored.
Idaho did none of those things in its first game. The Bengals earned our respect with the way they played on Saturday; the Vandals earned our ridicule (to be honest, they already had it).
And lastly, given the disparaging results from the first week, we have every right to believe that Idaho State stands a great chance at upsetting the Vandals. And really, at this point, it might not even be an upset.
The Vandals showed nothing in their 70-0 loss to Arizona. Nothing. Of course they're going to play better on Saturday, but only because they could not play any worse.
On the other hand, Idaho State looked like it could be a good team in the Big Sky this season. To be sure, they can run the ball. Ken Cornist and friends should be able to gain big yardage against the Idaho defense. Even Russell Hill could have a good game. The Bengals' quarterback didn't look downfield very often, but we imagine that the gameplan might be a little more ambitious against the Vandals.
Honestly, we expect Idaho State to win on Saturday. And that is based as much on fact and performance as it is on our intense dislike of the Vandals.
At the very least, we'll be rooting for Idaho State like they were one of our own. The Bengals will get the same love and affection that we typically reserve for our Broncos, complete with over-the-top expectations and full-hearted hope. For the remainder of the week, our One Bronco Nation Under God website might look more like One Zamberlin Nation Under Frank Mercogliano, and we are happy to have it so.
We'll bestow some Kellen Moore love onto Hill, we'll canonize Eddie Thompson, and when we say our prayers at night, we'll replace "God, please bless Coach Pete with the spiritual gift of discernment" with "God, please give Mitch Rudder the powers of Wolverine." When the game starts at 3:00pm local time on Saturday, we'll be glued to our ESPN360-rigged laptops, shouting at every bad call, cheering every ISU first down, and spilling beverages on our neighbors for every Bengal score.
You are ours this week, Idaho State. Welcome to the family.