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An open letter to the Bronco defense

Dear Bronco defense,

Sorry for ignoring you these past 10 or so years. It was Ryan Dinwiddie's fault.

Seriously, though, we want to mend this relationship. We have not given you the respect you deserved, and we were wrong for doing so. Remember last year's Hawaii Bowl when we called you inappropriate names? That was not one of our finer moments. We can see that now.

Besides, you have changed so much since those Bronco days of yore. Sure, you had your star power back then. We vividly remember Korey Hall and Andy Avalos and that guy with one arm (we do not vividly remember his name), but those defensive stars were always secondary to the powerful Bronco offenses that we came to know and love.

My how the roles have reversed this season. Please give us some time for our feelings to do the same.

You see, loving you is not as easy it seems. We are so used to high-scoring games and shootouts, and we can't really wrap our heads around the fact that Boise State is winning games with defense. We thought "winning games with defense" was a euphemism for "doesn't play offense particularly well." You know, like San Jose State.

There is a big part of us that would still prefer the 50-point blowouts and the devastating barrage of points and yards. But we might not see that again for awhile. We are going to have to get used to celebrating passes defensed and tackles for loss. Woohoo?

Harder still is the fact that we don't really trust you yet. We have not forgotten the way that last season ended, not to mention last year's Nevada game. Those are wounds that do not heal quickly. We really want to believe that you can hold teams to seven points per game every game, but it's hard. We've never believed that before.

Then again, we've never seen you play like this before, either. You are unlike any other Bronco "D" we remember. You have star power and playmakers at every position. Over the past few games it has been sort of fun to see which ways you will find to dominate your next opponent. We like watching Mike T. Williams' spin moves and George Iloka's ranginess. Even Kyle Gingg is growing on us. How can he not with so many "G"'s in his name?

Therefore, we're willing to step out on faith and throw ourselves behind you. Here was the clincher for us: the Broncos are only to go as far this season as you, the defense, will carry them. It's as simple as that. The 2006 rushing offense is not walking through that door anytime soon. It is 24-7, grind-it-out victories or nothing. It is Bronco defense or nothing.

Don't get us wrong; we're still scared. This whole trusting the defense thing is fairly new to us, so you'll have to excuse our breathless gasps as teams throw deep balls and our balling up our sweatshirts every time a running back breaks contain. You've got it under control, right? Of course you do.

Here's to a great rest of the season, Bronco defense. You have rewritten expectations for a Bronco Nation so used to offensive dominance, and you deserve all attention and praise you are receiving.

Good luck tonight. Tell that one-armed guy we said hello.