Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Thus did William Shakespeare describe the loss each of us felt this week with the passing of our internet friend, Mike Gomez, a.k.a. Bronco Mike.
I did not know Bronco Mike. I never met him. I did not know his family or his friends, his phone number or his address, or even what he looked like. But Mike was my friend. Such is the strange world of internet friendship.
Mike was my friend, as I'm sure he was all of yours. Mike loved his music. He loved his students. He loved his football. And he loved his Broncos. Of these things I am sure. If the measure of life is not in the paltry hours we strut upon the stage but in the fullness of which we partake life's bounty, the love we give in the brief time we have to give it, then Mike, for all the brevity of his 31 years, lived a full life. The fabric of the vast universe we all share has been rent asunder just a bit this week, and we are all diminished by it.
I knew Mike solely through SBN, so perhaps it is fitting that my final tribute to him comes in the form of a bit of doggerel I posted as a fanpost when I lost a bet to Mike regarding the Broncos. Nobody enjoyed talking a little trash about his team more than Mike, and he seemed to really enjoy reveling in winning the bet with me, so much so that if I recall correctly he posted this egg-on-my-face concession poem on MHR's front page. It made Mike laugh, and I was happy to do something in my lost bet that brought laughter to a fellow SBN writer. I re-post it here in tribute to Mike and his beloved Broncos. Maybe it'll bring you a chuckle too. I think Mike would have liked that.
Greetings Broncos fans. It is I, Smackdad, staff writer from your sister site, Gang Green Nation. I have come to pay tribute to the great Peyton Manning and your beloved Broncos. I have been inspired by the transcendent brilliance of the Broncos and Sir Manning (not to mention losing a bet to your own Bronco Mike on the outcome of yesterday's game). So, without further ado, I congratulate all of you and your superb team, and pay tribute in the form of some verse. I hope you find some favor in it.
Ode To Manning Magnificence (Or Orange You Glad You're A Broncos Fan?)
What media despised warriors are these
That run the Chargers down?
Why they are of royal line
Siblings of Peyton's crown
Heirs of King John the First
Along the narrow Elway
Come to trounce the pretenders
Under Prince Philip's sway
King Manning, always debonair
O! What vindication sweet
To send to sudden death's despair
The Chargers to defeat
What sublime arm, what noble brow
What calm and true demeanor
Much better with Orange Julius
Than Lucky Coby Fleener
Why were the Ponies so despised
Unloved despite their seeding?
Perhaps 'twas boredom in disguise
Acclaim is always fleeting
Let history record this day
The King was not alone
Defense arose and came to play
With hits of crunching bone
To overcome adversity
And turnovers twice
The defense strove to crush SD
And did more than just suffice
Yet no champion is ever crowned
Without facing the abyss
And Bronco Mike's true faith was tested
Would Peyton shoot and miss?
A mighty comeback from Gold and Blue
Onsides kick and fumble aided
Led direct to moment true
Would Royal Orange be upbraided?
Nay! Again I say Nay!
It was not meant to be
Not this day, this special day
Of football destiny
One final drive, toward football glory
The crowd at fevered pitch
King Peyton erased the Charger story
With throws of perfect pitch
Not once but twice third down was faced
Did King Peyton worry?
Nay, for this was Peyton's Place
Now covered with Peyton's Glory
Division rival vanquished
The Chargers duly slain
What further pain and anguish
Will the Broncos inflict again?
Two battles are yet unfought
Two teams to yet Orange Crush
History will show what wrought
The Broncos in a rush
To vanquish a pretender to the throne
A Tom invited for lunch
Will find too late, he is the meal
Confit of Brady Bunch
Then East young man! To Fair NJ
Smackdad's current lair
The Broncos will come to play
In frigid Jersey air
The NFC's favorite sons
On Metlife's altar offered
For Peyton's ritual sacrifice
They will be duly proffered
Then all Denver will rise up
In riotous cacophony
To celebrate the chosen one
King Peyton's SB trophy
The game is won, the tale is told
Smackdad has reached an end
May fate in languid time unfold
And prove to be your friend
Congratulations to Bronco Mike and all Broncos fans on your victory. May you crush the Brady Bunch like grapes and make them whine.
I leave you with a video of Mike jamming on his saxophone. Mike's solo comes a little more than 3 minutes in.
Farewell Bronco Mike. You will be missed.