Category Archives: Broncos

Week 1: Explicating the Inexplicable

How much should Denver fans realistically expect from this man and his football team? Thankfully, McDaniels usually looks more decisive than he does in this picture. Photo Credit: everyjoe.com

How much should Denver fans realistically expect from this man and his football team? Thankfully, McDaniels usually looks more decisive and confident than he does in this picture. Photo Credit: everyjoe.com

September 12, 1:46 PM:

I’m currently stretching in anticipation of the Broncos season opener tomorrow. I pulled my back out this morning, and I now have less than twenty-four hours to make sure my back and arms are limber enough to hoist large objects and lob them at my TV. I’m not necessarily planning to throw anything at my TV, but I must be ready at a moment’s notice to hurl inanimate objects because things could get ugly rather quickly tomorrow.

Yes, I’m a very worried man. I’m worried that I just pulled my back out and I’m only 23 years old. I’m worried that I might break a pricey plasma screen before noon tomorrow. I’m worried that Josh McDaniels might ultimately regret leaving Papa Belichick and Brother Brady, the comforts of Gillette Stadium, and blazing his own trail westward through this sick and twisted world; we all die alone, Josh…we all die alone! And I suppose I’m now worried that I just referenced death a mere 150 words into this column. I haven’t even discussed the Broncos’ playoff chances yet. Things indeed look quite grim at the moment.

September12, 2:33 PM:

You tell me that he doesn't at least make you slightly nervous. Remember, he has a lot of nukes to back up that terrifying gaze...Photo Credit: Time Magazine

You tell me that he doesn't at least make you slightly nervous. Remember, he has a lot of nukes to back up that terrifying gaze...Credit: Time Magazine

Nevertheless, perhaps I should re-evaluate my fears? I’ll always dread heights, flying on small airplanes, sharks, and Vladimir Putin, but enough is enough. I can rationally explain why I remain weary of each entity I just listed (Note: Putin was in the KGB, knows judo, is a despot, and his cold stare haunts my dreams). Yet, upon further reflection, I cannot fully explain why I’m so afraid of watching the 2009 Broncos. I can speculate that the defensive line is porous and raw, the offense is overrated and anemic, and that Kyle Orton’s odious pre-season play will carry over into the regular season. But I cannot confirm any of these suspicions. The truth is no one can, and not just because the Broncos have yet to play a down. Simply put, we do not know enough about the Denver Broncos to declare them a horrendous football team.

The Broncos are a mystery wrapped in an enigma shrouded by vagueness. They are far and away the most puzzling team in the NFL. Every facet of this team is new. The lineup is one enormous question mark. Though it is easy and tempting to hastily write off question marks as flaws, I caution you to avoid doing so. If an NFL team is heading towards a disappointing season, one can usually isolate and identify said team’s specific problems. For instance, this year you could say, “Jamal Lewis is old, used up, and bad,” or “Norv Turner and Wade Phillips are spineless dweebs, who will each serve as President before they can so much as spell ‘playoff win’,” or “Matt Millen spent eight years ‘building’ that franchise.” Trying to identify the Broncos’ specific problems is a futile exercise because we currently know so little about the components of Our Town’s football team.

Does he scare you now?? Photo Credit: huntersmark.com

Does Mr. Putin frighten you now?? Credit: huntersmark.com

September 12, 3:27 PM:

The offseason was turbulent. The regime change at Dove Valley has been tough to swallow, and the Broncos struggled mightily during the pre-season. But pre-season football is meaningless; the Lions went undefeated during the 2008 pre-season. I expect the Broncos to prove that they are a better football team than most expect, especially on defense. Mike Nolan is a brilliant defensive mind; he worked wonders for the Baltimore Ravens as a defensive coordinator between 2001 and 2004.

The Broncos defense possesses an attractive mix of aging wisdom and young, raw talent. Alphonso Smith and Darcel McBath will learn how to play NFL football from Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins. Could you ask for better teachers? Bailey and Dawkins are not only top-ten players of all-time at their respective positions, but they are also consummate professionals. Josh McDaniels almost certainly considered this when he traded next year’s first-round pick for Smith. (Note: I watched Smith and McBath at training camp. McBath possesses nice size and is a ballhawk, who will likely take some time to adjust to the speed of the NFL. Smith is a legitimate talent. He might not be as great a punt returner as the Broncos expect him to be, but his footwork is fancy and he is freakishly athletic. Smith does not jump. He bounces.)

Alphonso Smith was great at Wake. Now the Broncos need him to step up his game in the wake of this coaching change.

Alphonso Smith was great at Wake. Now the Broncos need him to step up his game in the wake of this coaching change.

I’m also excited about the Broncos linebackers. Elvis Dumervil will excel in his new position as an end-backer hybrid; he also plays at 200% on every down, which I love. Andra Davis, a savvy veteran, plays hungry football. Remember that Davis recorded twenty tackles in a single game several seasons ago. He is a bargain for the Broncos’ cap and brings an intensity and positive attitude that this team desperately needs. At 30, Davis is playing for financial security, so he will listen to his coaches, execute the game plan, and never take a play off. Additionally, look for Mario Haggan to flourish in blitz packages. Haggan is enormous (a taller version of London Fletcher) and looked great in training camp. The team recently named him a defensive captain for the upcoming season. Super Mario might be my new favorite Bronco.

The defensive line is the Broncos’ most looming question mark not named “Kyle Orton.” Many analysts argue that the Broncos lack necessary star-power up front, and therefore will not mount an effective pass-rush and will struggle to contain the run. Yes, the Broncos do lack proven talent along the front-three. However, who says a star will not emerge from this group? Ron Fields was an All-SEC tackle at Mississippi State and Chris Baker might have been a top-50 draft pick had he not been kicked out Penn State for assaulting two of his classmates. At least we know that Baker will play with some emotion; the last thing the Broncos need is another Jarvis Moss.

Mike Nolan dresses for success...and is a much better defensive coordinator than head coach. I feel quite comfortable with Nolan directing the Denver defense.

Mike Nolan dresses for success...and is a much better defensive coordinator than head coach. I feel quite comfortable with Nolan directing the Denver defense. You should, too. Credit: sportscrackelpop.com

I anticipate that Nolan will rely on his linebackers and hybrid end-backers to rack up sacks, not his front-three defensive linemen. The defensive line will perform inglorious, grunt work while Dumervil, DJ Williams, and Super Mario assault opposing quarterbacks. So, who cares if the Broncos’ front-three lacks star power? All that matters is that the front-three are big, strong, and do not take plays off. Fields and Baker, like so many faces on this defensive unit, are playing for their reputations and future contracts. The defensive line will make mistakes, but I predict the line will always play with enthusiasm and learn quickly from each mental lapse. I mean, these guys have no choice but to perform each Sunday or else they will hit the waiver wire the following week.

The mix of journeymen and prospects on defense, specifically along the defensive line, is indeed a major question mark for the Broncos. But do not write off the unit just yet. The defense will benefit from its lack of proven pro-bowlers. Uncertainty could inspire players to work harder and rise to the moment, leading to increased productivity. For the record, I have much less faith in Kyle Orton’s arm than the Broncos’ revamped and unproven defense. Ok, I’m going to say it: Nolan will have a top-fifteen defense by season’s end.

September 12, 4:19 PM:

Change is often an uncomfortable exercise. As humans (and Broncos fans), we crave and strive for change while simultaneously rejecting its nerve-racking effects. But we can’t have our cake (or coach) and eat it, too. In the words of former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, “He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” The Broncos had to make a change. They may not be Super Bowl contenders yet, but the organization had slowly decayed for the better part of a decade under the direction of Mike Shanahan. At this point in time, fans obviously cannot confirm that the organization has significantly improved. In the same breath, it is fruitless to convince yourself that the Broncos have regressed since last season.

We don't have to forget what Shanahan accomplished. The late 90s were the best of times. Too bad last year was the worst of times. Fare thee well, Shanny.

We don't have to forget what Shanahan accomplished. The late 90s were the best of times. Too bad last year was the worst of times. Fare thee well, Shanny.

It is quite simple. The organization needed a new head coach. Pat Bowlen fired the coach that needed to be let go and hired a new coach. A smart, affordable, and unproven coach at that. Only time can solve the mystery of the 2009 Denver Broncos, so let’s just wait and see how this entire situation plays out. It is acceptable to be upset with and worried about the franchise, but what are you going to do? Not root for the home team? Not watch the games?

If you are particularly livid, perhaps you should hold off on purchasing tickets and traveling to Invesco Field; never invest in a faulty product, such as Kyle Orton. Yet, you should also consider that you and only you lose by fully boycotting the Broncos this season. You’re effectively punishing yourself for decisions that you had no hand in making. Sit back, relax, and at least be thankful that the Broncos have adopted a proactive mentality. The organization boldly displayed that it is willing to risk it all in an effort to avoid mediocrity. As a fan, what more could you ask for? We need to give this team a chance to prove itself before we take the easy way out by turning our backs on the franchise.

Uncertainty defines the 2009 Broncos. The team will live and die by its numerous question marks. But these question marks also reinforce the team’s overall potential, starting with Coach McDaniels. Be rational and keep in mind that the Broncos organization was headed towards the cemetery last January. These offseason moves have temporarily resurrected a dying franchise. Additional moves might be necessary, but allow the present to unfold before abandoning the future.

And how about now?

And how about now?

September 13, 2:15 PM:

Ok, I planned to write a running commentary of today’s game. Unfortunately, I found it too difficult to constantly muster up words to describe the events unfolding in Cincinnati. Referring to the game as “awful” does not say nearly enough about the overall level of play I just witnessed. Boring? Yes, the game was boring, but boring events seldom leave one incensed and shocked. Frustrating? This game was not just frustrating to watch, it was wearisome to tolerate. I’ve never suffered through three hours of football like I did this afternoon. Watching the Broncos offense was like eating mud. The activity did not kill me, but my health did not benefit from the experience and it was hard to keep myself from vomiting. So here are my thoughts on “The Game That Shall Not Be Named”…

Fouts was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in '93. He will never be voted into the American Broadcasting Hall of Fame because he sucks at broadcasting. Dan, please step down at CBS and stick your real passions: throwing footballs, golf, and beard growing.

Fouts was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in '93. He will never be voted into the American Broadcasting Hall of Fame because he sucks at broadcasting. Dan, please step down at CBS and stick to your real passions: throwing footballs, golf, and beard growing.

– Dan Fouts is the worst commentator on television…in any sport. Period. His jokes about what NFL players did and looked like during the 60s and 70s were so thoughtless, pitiful, and numerous that I considered muting my TV. I only kept the volume on because Gus Johnson is a golden god.

– Where was Brandon Marshall during that entire game? Hold on, let me rephrase that. Who pressed a scalding iron to Brandon Marshall’s hands on Saturday night thus rendering his fingers and palms useless for today’s game? I know Marshall missed training camp, but he looked totally “checked out” against the Bengals. I’ve never seen such a powerful man expend less energy and roll over as easily as the 6’5″ 250-pound Marshall did in his first game back from suspension. One more performance like today’s dud and it might be fair to claim that Marshall has indeed packed it in for the season.

Maybe Marshall needs a little more time to study the playbook. Yet, you’d think that he spent the bulk of his time away from the team learning the new offense so that he could earn himself a new, lucrative contract? Of course, that assumption is far too rational, considering I am writing about Brandon Marshall.

Marshall might as well have dropped his pants and pooped in the endzone at Paul Brown Stadium, and then followed that up by urinating on the Broncos’ bench. His performance today was that offensive. Furthermore, public defecation would have been more productive and required greater attention to detail than any route he ran or catch he “tried” to make.

– Kyle Orton was brutal. Broken pinky aside, Orton looked indecisive, weak, and confused all day. I understand why McDaniels acquired Orton to replace Cutler. Orton is smart, tall, and allegedly possesses untapped potential. Yet, I worry that Orton is hopelessly average. He therefore remains a poor investment for a franchise that claims to be so devoted to avoiding mediocrity.

After watching Sunday's game, the Coen brothers decided to re-make their 2001 film "The Man Who Wasn't There." The re-make will be call "The Men Who Were Not There," it will star Marshall and Orton in place of Billy Bob and James Gandolfini, and the plot will chronicle the rivetting game that occurred in Cincy on Sept 13, 2009. Word on the street is that the re-make is a silent film, Joel Coen says it makes it adds shock value that makes you feel as though he or she was on the sidelines at Paul Brown Stadium."

After watching Sunday's game, the Coen brothers decided to re-make their 2001 film "The Man Who Wasn't There." The re-make is a silent film called "The Men Who Were Not There. " It stars Marshall and Orton in place of Billy Bob and James Gandolfini, and the plot chronicles the "electrifying" game that occurred in Cincy on Sept 13, 2009. When asked why it is a silent film, Joel Coen replied, "The deafening silence adds to the film's authenticity; the lack of speech makes you feel as though you were actually on the sidelines at Paul Brown Stadium...or watching it on TV in Denver."

Orton lacks the competitive drive that defines all successful NFL players. Think about it. He had the opportunity for four seasons to run away with the keys to the Chicago Bears offense. He never did. His competition was Rex Grossman and (our favorite) Brian Griese. Each time Orton won the starting job he managed to hand it back over to his lowly competition. He does not have “it.”

As far as weak-armed quarterbacks go, I’d much rather have Chad Pennington on my team than Kyle Orton. At least Pennington took losing the starting job in New York personally. He clearly used the Jets’ lack of faith in him as motivation to succeed once he landed in Miami. Maybe Orton is just reserved, but he did not look like a confident player or a leader out there today. This does not bode well for the Broncos’ offense. My mouth still tastes like mud…

– Rey Maualuga has already arrived. He should not have dropped to the second round of the draft. Maualuga and Keith Rivers make the Cincy defense one of the more underrated units in the NFL. I bet Knowshon agrees with me.

– Denver, please remain patient with Knowshon Moreno. He did not look good in his first regular season appearance, but he will move the chains by week ten.

– My faith in the Broncos’ defense remains firm. While the Bengals offense did not perform at an elite level, an NFL defense always deserves credit for holding an opposing offense to one touchdown and 86 rushing yards. Super Mario recorded a sack (num, num, num, num, num!), Champ’s legs looked healthy and fresh as he held Ochocinco in check, and the front-seven constantly harassed Carson Palmer and kept him from ever finding his rhythm.

– I’m a huge Josh McDaniels fan. Say what you will about his stubbornness or his offseason decisions, but this man is an intense competitor. He has a presence and belongs in the NFL. Coaching is his craft and he holds himself accountable for the performance of his players. Watching him berate Orton for taking a sack that pushed the Broncos out of field goal range and forced a punt late in the fourth quarter was the most exciting moment of the game…until the luckiest play in Denver sports history occurred.

McDaniels is also smart, meticulous, and persistent. He rebuked the officials when the game clock was incorrectly set to 20 seconds following the Bengals fourth-quarter touchdown. Moments later the game clock was re-set to 38 seconds, which paved the way for the luckiest play in Denver sports history. McDaniels hates mediocrity, and I bet he is also a sore loser. These are qualities you want to see in an NFL head coach. Plus, I think he and I are technically part of the same generation, which is exciting.

– I’m not a fan of CSI, CSI: Miami, or CSI: New York. The proliferation of primetime crime dramas has officially gotten out of control. If the government can control the H1N1 virus, then they can certainly solve the current crime drama pandemic. This is a real problem that affects all of us.

Sorry, Marvin. I too thought you had this one in the bag. Don't worry, things'll turn around...wait, they probably won't. At least you tried, right?

Sorry, Marvin. I too thought you had this one in the bag. Don't worry, things'll turn around...wait, they probably won't. At least you tried, right?

– I feel sorry for Marvin Lewis. He is not a great head coach and he is not going to win many games this season. He won today’s game, but then he didn’t win today’s game. Bummer, man.

– 1-0 has never felt less good. Recall that Ed Hochuli advanced the Broncos to 2-0 last season. That said, the defense looked solid, and this team could make some noise if Marshall and Orton never ever again play like they did today.

I’m excited for Hood Jr. vs. Hood Jr. when the Broncos play the Browns next weekend. I think the Broncos will build off of today’s improbable victory. Furthermore, there is no way next Sunday’s match-up will play out as unpleasantly as “The Game That Shall Not Be Named.”

Watch it one more time. I’m still completely speechless. I started laughing hysterically when it happened. First of all, thank you, Gus Johnson. Your passionate commentating on this play made the game interesting for the first time since kickoff. Dan Fouts, why did you have to ruin this moment? Please do not answer me out-loud, just think about it. Second, pay attention to McDaniels after Brandon Stokley scores. His intensity is awesome. He doesn’t even celebrate. Rather, McDaniels immediately screams at Orton to go for two. I swear the man is never satisfied, and that is a great thing. Finally, Kyle, I’m sorry, but you actually did nothing right on that play.

September 13, 11:45 PM:

I leave you with a parting treat…trust me, you’ll enjoy it. I will now go to sleep a happy Broncos fan.


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The Marshall Plan

How crazy is B-Marsh? Should we even care?

How crazy is B-Marsh? Should we even care?

Hypocrisy stands at the root of my issues with embattled Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall. His freakish strength and unparalleled ability to create plays after the catch do not mitigate his criminal record. It is the NFL’s duty to discipline Marshall when he steps out of line. As long as Marshall beats a criminal charge and escapes the League Office, it is legitimate that he dresses on Sundays. Protest the franchise, burn a jersey, or even picket on the stadium’s steps, but rest assured that nothing will keep Marshall out of the starting lineup if he is healthy and unsuspended.

It is nevertheless damning that Marshall continues to surface as a suspect in domestic abuse cases across the country. It is far too easy for Marshall to settle these disputes inside or outside of a courtroom for us to not remain at least cautiously critical of his character; I know Harvey Steinberg nodded his head and smiled when he read this last sentence. ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ may allow Marshall to remain on the field and earn his living, but our common sense should forbid him from advising children.

This is not to say that a person who has erred greatly does not deserve a second chance. Remorse at the hands of deep reflection occasionally qualifies a public offender to tell others cautionary tales about what not to do. Our city however can no longer trust Brandon Marshall. His “genuine” remorse expired two arrests ago.

Marshall has always managed to avoid jail time. He has also managed to worm his way back into the positive spotlight time and time again. His publicist and the Denver Post have made all of this possible. But enough is enough. If the judicial system exonerates Marshall and Roger Goodell clears him to play, so be it. He is nothing more than an All-Pro wide receiver on an offensively depleted roster. As a fan, I hope he continues to score touchdowns in orange and blue. I also hope for his sake that he earns a fair salary, considering he risks his life every time he steps onto the turf. Yet, I hope most of all that Denver ceases to offer him the opportunity to say he is sorry.

Shannahan could not get Marshall to act like a gentleman off the field. Will McD even try?

Shannahan could not get Marshall to act like a gentleman off the field. Will McD even try?

This is the only way that Marshall will ‘get it’ from here on out. The prepared statements Marshall reads to reporters and releases through his attorneys can no longer suffice. The Denver Post needs to remove itself from this public relations fiasco by saying “no” to Marshall’s publicist. Articles about Marshall’s involvement with Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives should never again appear in an issue of the Post. The kids at ODYGA deserve better from Marshall and their city’s paper. Both have used these at risk kids as PR pawns. Celebrity athletes only get one shot at being a mentor. Marshall failed. The media therefore must stop trying to turn Brandon Marshall into a positive societal story.

Casting Marshall as a mentor is partially what got us to this point of no return. The media and the Broncos tried to convince the public that Marshall is something he is not: a humanitarian. He is nothing more than a confused athlete with anger management issues. Though he has never been proven guilty, he has lost his credibility within our city. He publicly apologized and promised he could change. More importantly, Marshall used ODYGA as a road to redemption. Yet, he continues to let all of us down. Why would we want to be aware of anything this man thinks beyond his postgame reactions on Sundays?

Laud Marshall’s on-field courage and feel free to label him an athletic specimen, but it is best to refrain from speculating about his off-field persona. Stick to football-related questions when it comes to Number 15 because that is all he understands. Plus, we have already devoted far too much spotlight to his questionable character, poor judgment, and pithy public apologies.

Hi, my name is Brandon Marshall, which in ancient Greek means "one who takes part in 7 domestic disputes in 3 states in a 4-year span." Pretty sweet name, right? I totally rack up numbers on and off the field.

Hi, my name is Brandon Marshall, which in ancient Greek means: "One who engages in 7 domestic disputes in 3 states in a 4-year span." Pretty sweet name, right? I totally rack up numbers on and off the field.

We can focus on the box score and forget about the humanitarian formerly known as Brandon Marshall, but how does a fan put morals aside and pull for an athlete like Marshall? What, if anything, does a professional athlete owe his or her fans and community?

These are pertinent questions as JR Smith enters the penitentiary, Michael Vick is released from federal custody, and Marshall heads to training camp in a week and a courtroom later this fall.

Charles Barkley once said, “Just because I can dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.” Chuck was absolutely correct. It is not a professional athlete’s responsibility to raise a community’s children. Parents must teach their children to distinguish right from wrong. Furthermore, an NBA power forward’s job is to perform in the paint, not educate local youths or volunteer on all his off-days. Though athletes can significantly improve a community by organizing charity events and spearheading positive local causes, it is ultimately an athlete’s personal decision whether he or she embraces community activism.

The general public often forgets this crucial fact because fans and media are so quickly lost amidst the fortune and fame of professional sports. It is nonetheless important to bear in mind that these gifted men and women are still individual citizens. They (usually) pay their taxes just like the rest of us, which entitles them to choose their own path and spend their money as they see fit. It is therefore naïve and idealistic to assume all player contracts are social contracts, as well. As long as an athlete fulfills his or her league and/or team’s community service requirements and obeys the law, the public cannot condemn an athlete for not exerting extra humanitarian effort.

By extension of Chuck’s logic, it becomes the public’s duty to highly scrutinize those professional athletes who have publicly sought and accepted roles as mentors within our community. We should commend athletes who uphold their public promises and remain consistent by criticizing those who fail to meet the lofty, well-publicized expectations they set for themselves. The integrity of our city hinges upon our collective ability to wade through celebrity rhetoric, discerning right from wrong, the genuine from the fraudulent, and the faces we can trust from those that will only let us down.

Furthermore, human experience demonstrates that few things are more frustrating and potentially harmful than teachers who neglect to practice what they preach.

JR just realized that 3 times 10 equals 30. Congrats, JR! Now you can quantify the number of days you have to sit in jail. If you didn't have such a great attorney, you would have spent 3 times as many days in jail. Work on that equation and get back to me.

JR just realized that 3 times 10 equals 30. Congrats, JR! Now you can quantify the number of days you have to spend in jail. If you didn't have such a great attorney, you would have been sentenced to 3 times as many days. Solve that equation and get back to me.

Brandon Marshall and JR Smith are like family members who you secretly dislike, but you are obligated to treat with civility. The NFL and NBA League Offices are your grandparents, and the Broncos and Nuggets’ management are only your mother and father. As long as your grandparents keep a relative in the family, no one else can kick him or her out. You do not have to love these players or respect their personal choices, but you might as well try and make the best of their performances in Denver.

That said, feel free to say whatever you like when your bothersome “relatives” are not around…or when you are not watching the game of the week.

The citizens of Denver are entitled to hold the city’s professional athletes to a certain standard of decency. A season ticket holder obviously reserves the right to complain about any member of the organization he or she has invested his or her money in; this goes for rude ushers and subpar chefs, as well as criminal shooting guards and abusive wideouts. However, Colorado’s non-season ticket holders and non-sports fans also deserve to be heard.

The citizens of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson County have paid $11.45 annually since 1991 to subsidize the construction of Coors Field; this tax expires in 2011 or when the stadium is paid off. The city of Denver gave the Broncos a $15 million stadium site for $1, and we tax ourselves a penny on every $10 spent in metro-Denver to pay for the field Brandon Marshall makes his money on. Pat Bowlen and Co. only paid for 25% of the new $400 million Mile High Stadium, while taxpayers agreed to contribute over $250 million to the project.*

Also, do you recall what happened to the sale of the Avalanche and Nuggets during the months before the Pepsi Center opened in 1999? Mayor Wellington Webb successfully blocked Donald Sturm’s purchase of the Avalanche, Nuggets, and Pepsi Center. Sturm refused to include a clause in the sale that prohibited moving the Avalanche and Nuggets out of Denver for the next twenty-five years. Webb argued that the city of Denver  had every right to be weary of selling these franchises to Sturm, considering the millions of dollars taxpayers had contributed to the teams in tax breaks, infrastructure costs, and other subsidies. Of Mayor Webb’s actions, author Dennis R. Judd wrote, “The city’s ability to veto the Sturm deal gave it leverage over future sales; it also indicates that other cities can establish conditions on selling publicly subsidized facilities that can enhance their odds of gaining a return on these investments.”

    Look, it's Denver attorney Harvey Steinberg! Oh my bad, that's just Michael Clayton. I get them confused because they both make a living performing miracles for less than admirable people.

Look, it's Denver attorney Harvey Steinberg! Oh my bad, that's just Michael Clayton. I get them confused because they both make a living performing miracles for less than admirable people.

The Broncos, Nuggets, Avalanche, and Rockies are privately owned, but they are still public entities. The jerseys our city’s pros don represent more than the organizations they play for. Those logos are funded by your tax dollars, giving you the right to critique each and every player in Denver.

All that I ask is that we criticize carefully. Consider all of the facts and occasionally put yourself in an athlete or owner’s shoes when forming your own opinions. The Broncos should not trade Brandon Marshall because the NFL League Office has not significantly punished him. He has a discouraging off-field track record, but the Broncos still need to satisfy their fan base by winning games and making the playoffs. Furthermore, the Denver media can limit Marshall’s celebrity by refusing to publish stories about his personality. In the mean time, the public can do and say whatever it wishes.

Just do yourself a favor and heed your mother’s advice: think before you speak.

Here's the real Harvey Steinberg exitting a Denver courtroom with "fan favorite" Todd Sauerbrun. Such a gentleman, emphasis on the "gentle." Just ask the cab driver Todd assaulted.

Here's the real Harvey Steinberg exitting a Denver courtroom with "fan favorite" Todd Sauerbrun. Such a gentleman, emphasis on the "gentle." Just ask the cab driver Todd assaulted.

* Figures taken from Dennis R. Rudd’s 2003 book The Infrastructure of Play: Building the Tourist City

Videos:

Watch Brandon Marshall defend himself

Watch an interview with Marshall’s ex-girlfriend

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Take a Minute and Give the Broncos a Chance

John Elway played 15 seasons in Denver. But you didn't get to watch him play for as long as you might think you did.

John Elway played 15 seasons in Denver. But you didn't get to watch him in action for as long as you might think you did.

I constantly tell my friends from other parts of the country that Denver is a Broncos town. We have the Nuggets, Avalanche, and Rockies, but we just don’t love these other teams in the same way we’d instantly take a bullet for our Broncos. Denver bleeds blue and orange instead of blue and gold, blue and crimson, or black and purple because no matter what happens we always believe the Broncos will make the playoffs up until the moment it becomes mathematically impossible.

Even then, we think someone at ESPN has fudged the equation. I personally don’t give in until Mark Schlereth stares into the camera and intensely states, “The Denver Broncos are now officially out of the running this year.” I can hear the disappointment in his voice. Through the screen we are on the same page. I finally allow reality to set in because I know it hurts Schlereth to break this piece of news as much as it troubles me to digest it.

There is something fleeting and nostalgic about NFL football that sets The League apart from other professional sports. The truth is that we have a very limited amount of time to watch our favorite Broncos perform. Yes, NFL careers seem to grow shorter every year due to the genetic mutation of linebackers. That however is not my main point here. We can understand our passion for the Broncos by considering the obvious: there are only sixteen 48-minute games during the regular season. If the Broncos don’t qualify for the postseason, we only view 768 minutes of Bronco football in a given year.  At 33 minutes per game, Carmelo Anthony plays 768 minutes of basketball well before the All-Star Break each season. Joe Sakic has logged more than 15,000 minutes of ice time in an Avalanche sweater. A baseball game could feasibly last an eternity, so for all we know Larry Walker may have played 525,600 minutes (a full year) of baseball during his nine and a half seasons with the Rockies.

Jerry McMorris has officially robbed Colorado of its baseball soul. Larry Walker is the most significant aspect of Rockies history. Walker, the best Canadian to ever play the game, is an even better story than the Rockies making the ’07 World Series. Plus, Larry rode his Harley to Coors Field on game days and occasionally rocked a great handle-bar mustache.

Jerry McMorris has officially robbed Colorado of its baseball soul. Larry Walker is the most significant aspect of Rockies history. Walker, the best Canadian to ever play the game, is an even better story than the Rockies making the ’07 World Series. Plus, Larry rode his Harley to Coors Field on game days and occasionally rocked a great handle-bar mustache.

Although John Elway played fifteen seasons in Denver and his legacy continues to awe us, how many minutes did he actually spend under center? The answer to this question makes me feel as though I took Elway for granted. Furthermore, I’m now clinically depressed because I was unable to TiVo every second of the Terrell Davis years.

Elway appeared in 234 regular season games and 22 postseason games during his career. Assuming the offense was on the field for exactly one half of each game in which he played, Denver fans had the opportunity to watch Elway lead the offense for only 6,144 minutes over the course of one and half decades. To put that figure in perspective, Allen Iverson logged 3,444 minutes on the court for the Nuggets during the ’07-’08 season. In one NBA season, we witnessed Allen Iverson, a player we traded three games into the following season, play for 56% as long as Colorado’s greatest athlete of all-time. Wow. Who feels like they let a moment pass them by? (Note: My hand is in the air)

There are precious moments in every sport. However, one minute in the NFL is more meaningful than in any other professional league. This is why we care so much about the Broncos.

Each year on the 4th of July, I begin thinking long and hard about the Broncos. I cast my doubts aside and optimistically ponder what the Broncos could become during the upcoming season. My fondest Bronco memories allow me to do so. I’ll always remember watching Alfred Williams dive into the endzone after returning a forced fumble for a touchdown against the Bengals in September of ’96. TD ran all over the Bengals that Sunday, but the Mile High crowd didn’t truly erupt until Alfred floated face first over the goal line. This was the only touchdown he ever scored. He danced and his trademark smile flashed upon the jumbotron. I witnessed Alfred’s moment. I smiled as Alfred smiled and watched as that NFL minute became his.

It’s these smaller moments that make each Broncos season special. Moreover, the significance of these moments never fades. In its time and place, Alfred’s swan dive convinced me that the ’96-’97 Broncos were contenders to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl. That fumble recovery is also what presently allows me to wipe the slate clean and dream on the ’09-’10 season.

Alfred says, "Give 'em a chance." He's 6'6" 265 pounds and he sacked an opposing QB 59.5 times, so let's just do whatever he says.

Alfred says, "Give 'em a chance." He's 6'6" 265 pounds and he sacked an opposing QB 59.5 times, so let's just do whatever he says.

Controversy shrouds the Broncos as they prepare for training camp ’09. This was an especially turbulent offseason. But let your favorite aspects of the Broncos’ past make recent events history. Do whatever it takes to smile like Alfred. Hark back to The Drive, visualize all of Rod Smith’s most impressive catches, or reminisce the Elway-TD Super Bowl seasons. Just do yourself a favor and start giving these Broncos a chance because you know you will eventually. It’s in your blood. Plus, an NFL minute is far too precious to sour before it arrives.

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