Becoming Titanic: Molly Brown’s Path to Their First National Title

How did Molly Brown break through the walls that had stood in their way for so long?

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SAN DIEGO — As a kid, my family didn’t really allow us to watch TV or movies except for a four hour period on Sunday afternoons. Since our time was limited, movie choices were treated with reverential sacrality. That’s why I distinctly remember the day my father brought home the original Rocky movie. Not only was this beyond our in-house catalogue, but it was a sports movie, and our family loved sports. Something wrong happened at the end of the movie, though: Rocky lost, and the good guys aren’t supposed to lose.

The writers made up for it in Rocky 2, giving him the win he deserved and setting to rights the injustice that had been caused in the first film with the initial loss.

When Molly Brown first reached the semifinals in 2015, they lost. The team was undeniably the “good guys”, and they lost. At the time our staff was writing articles like “Denver Molly Brown Takes the Leap” and including blurbs like “Molly Brown Stepping Up” in previews while speaking of the team’s chemistry, defensive prowess, and stars who were at the peak of their powers. Still, they lost.

If Molly Brown had been given the Rocky treatment, they would have won in 2016. All three other teams that made semis had already won before, and Molly Brown was due. Instead, they lost.

And then they lost and lost and lost.

Molly Brown’s narrative over the past seven years has had them move from fan favorite, to the fan disappointment, to fan ambivalence and everything in between, but they still couldn’t make it out of semis. As of now, we all know the story finally has a happy ending, but Molly Brown’s road to a national championship is like if the writers of Rocky only allowed him to win a fight in the Creed movies.

Still, after seven seasons of heartbreak, Denver finally has their trophy. It wasn’t just a preordained narrative that got them here, either. There was no Deus Ex Machina, luck didn’t have to break their way,  nor did a team lay an egg to give them an easy path. They were the best team at the tournament and it won them a national championship. Molly Brown’s path to that championship wasn’t straightforward, though. This season wasn’t simply a rehash of years past. It took a revamped roster, a new system for line-calling, an elite endzone defense, and a little help from two Colombian twins.

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  1. Graham Gerhart
    Graham Gerhart

    Graham Gerhart is a Senior Staff Writer at Ultiworld, focusing primarily on the Women's and Mixed divisions. Graham graduated from the University of Cape Town in South Africa after playing 4 years with the UCT Flying Tigers. He now lives and works full time in San Diego. Follow him on twitter @JustGrahamG

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