THEIR coach could be past it, their halfback cannot kick, the pundits and punters are off the Broncos.
But Brisbane’s supporter base is keeping the faith.
In a couriermail.com.au online poll that asked who will win the 2017 NRL title, Brisbane attracted more votes than any other side.
The Broncos received 15 per cent of the votes ahead of Cronulla (12 per cent) Penrith (10 per cent), Canberra (10 per cent), Roosters (eight per cent), Melbourne (eight per cent) and Cowboys (six per cent).
If the voters are right, tonight’s season-opener between the Broncos and Sharks will be a grand final preview then.
And you can never question voters, just like those Americans who voted Donald Trump as US President.
The NRL premiership betting market at UBET tells a different story.
Penrith and Melbourne are joint favourites ($7.50) followed by North Queensland ($8.50) with Canberra and a blowy Brisbane at $9.
The Roosters are good value at $11 with the Sharks out to $15.
As a wise man once said, follow the money. Go with the head, not the heart.
The discrepancy between Brisbane’s odds and the title expectations of Broncos fans – to quote Welsh singing superstar Tom Jones – is not unusual.
The Broncos could field a team with blokes who could not catch a cold or run out of sight on a dark night and their loyal supporters would still want some silverware.
Expectation has been a resident of Red Hill since 1987.
The Broncos have been happy to carry that extra weight too.
The club is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the NRL off the field. They are a juggernaut the envy of the rest of the competition, if not sporting organisations across the country.
But dollars in the bank does not equate to wins.
The club aims for a top four berth each and every year and are happy to tell the world that is their pass mark.
The bar is high regardless of who is wearing the jumper.
That extra pressure was devoured by the equally talented and tough side in the 1990s when they won four titles and one more in 2000.
Knowing they carried the hopes and dreams of a state lifted them to great heights.
But the same expectation can crush teams that don’t have the same resolve. The same hardnuts, the same big time performers.
How will this Broncos side handle the heat?
The microscope is on Wayne Bennett. Ben Hunt’s average kicking game is also under the pump after also signing a multi-million dollar deal with the Dragons that has put him in the spotlight.
The front-row stocks are skinny, Warrington owned them in the World Club series and flying centre James Roberts will be watched like a hawk after more off-field issues.
But the Broncos faithful are going nowhere.
They are determined that the Broncos will be great again.