Happy Friday, Broncos fans! John Elway was a guest on New York's WFAN with Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton yesterday morning for a good half hour, and there were plenty of great anecdotes and perhaps a few insights.
Our favorite takeaways, in chronological order:
One of the interesting things to me about how sports are understood in America is that people get their information about them mostly through media members who don’t really know what they’re talking about. The average sportswriter knows (privately) that their knowledge isn’t what a lot of people think it is, so they rely on insiders to the sport they cover to give them information. That means that what they say is clouded by the agendas of the information sources.
One enduring belief among sportswriters and sports fans is that owners should just stay out of the affairs of their teams. They should just trust the “football guys” and limit their involvement to hiring and firing those people periodically. This belief exists because those football guys moan and groan about “meddlesome” owners to their media friends, and then every time an owner says something about a football matter, the media people reflexively frame those comments as being detrimental to team success, because what does the owner know about football anyway?
The idea that an owner of a business worth an average of $1 billion should just shut up and sign checks, and leave the management of that business to hired help is pretty absurd. The owner may not be able to judge ankle flexion in a cornerback prospect as well as some scout who specializes in doing so, but he can learn enough football, as a generalist, to participate in the decision making of a business he owns.
Very few doctors, fans or players deny that the risks associated with cumulative head injuries are a primary concern in the NFL today. The league itself has paid lip service to its commitment to reducing the effects of multiple brain traumas and their frequent outcome, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
The heat was turned up on the league when in December of 2011, Browns quarterback Colt McCoy was sent back into a game shortly after he had clearly been concussed. Given the general acceptance of the potential severity of this concern, it might suprise you that the league is now claiming that having a neurologist available on sidelines (who would have checked McCoy before he was sent back in) would be a detriment to player safety.
The NFL claims that they are doing everything possible in the fight against the outcomes of years of impacts to the brain and spine. This contradictory quote came from Richard Ellenbogen, current co-chair of the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee, and was reported two weeks ago by Doug Farrar:
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday, we focused on the misfortunes of Denver's division rival Raiders to try to reduce the sting of the Broncos' shocking loss to Baltimore.
If that didn't help, or if you're still angry over what happened, perhaps we can redirect your ire to some of the things worth hating about the NFL.
For us, topping the list are the long-term health effects for ex-NFLers that we've come to learn about, and the league's dismissive treatment of them over the decades. Along those lines, and to no great surprise, the Seau family filed a wrongful death suit against the league, alleging that it was football's physical and psychological impacts that led to Junior Seau's deterioration and suicide.
Underscoring the NFL's ordering of prioritie$ is news that Tom Brady (appropriately) was fined $10K for his Ty Cobb-style slide against Baltimore's Ed Reed, but incredibly, Frank Gore was fined more for WEARING HIS SOCKS TOO LOW.
By now, you know the hideously grotesque details.
The 2012 Denver Broncos--who had effectively ruptured the spleen of their opponents on eleven straight occasions--were 41 seconds away from hosting its first AFC Championship since 2005.
Their opponents, the Baltimore Ravens--a team featuring more centenarians than the Sardinian Blue Zone--were coming off just six days of rest; they'd just played through almost four quarters of penis-shriveling cold at an altitude of five thousand, two hundred, and eighty feet; they stupidly had no timeouts; the noise of the Denver crowd was so loud it was rumored to have shattered the eardrums of the rotund (meaning a lot of inner-ear fat) Peter King.
Manning to say 'Aloha' to new coach
As a result, Knapp has joined his new team in Hawaii and he is expected to work with the rest of the Denver coaching staff at the Pro Bowl this week
The Broncos wanted Knapp to take advantage of the time to spend with his new colleagues and get to know everyone in a relaxed setting. Knapp will also get a chance to coach his prized pupil. Peyton Manning is the starting AFC quarterback at the Pro Bowl.
Ugh, leave it to Williamson to work Aloha and pineapple slices into a 161-word piece on Denver's new QB coach. Bill is the worstest.
The Broncos have signed CB Mario Butler and WR Greg Orton to future contracts, bringing the number of players signed to such deals to ten.
Butler joined Denver's practice squad on October 30, while Orton spent the entire season there after failing to make the team out of camp.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! As we all struggle with the hangover of a season that ended far too early for our Broncos, there's always some classic Raiders schadenfreude to brighten our moods.
Raider woes are like Prozac for Broncos-induced depression, and today we've been blessed with a monthlong supply of the stuff.
As mentioned yesterday, Tim Brown has apparently ventured off into the deep end, suggesting that then-coach Bill Callahan sabotaged the Raiders' chances in SB 37 by making a late change to the team's offensive game plan against Chucky and the Bucs. Brown even went on to blame Callahan's change of heart for the notorious bender that undid center Barret Robbins's career and life.
Brown says the original tack was a run-heavy approach, but that it was scrapped just two days prior to the game for a more pass-oriented strategy.
John Elway on Manti Te'o: 'Why wouldn't he know?'
“It’s a little bit mind-boggling to think what did happen, what he did know,” Broncos executive vice president John Elway said. “He’s going to get asked about it probably 32 times at the Combine. Everyone is going to ask him about it. It’s hard for us to understand—why he wouldn’t know?”
Granted, it's lying season (as if there's any time of year when football execs actually tell the truth). But it's really difficult, even if Te'o were to fall to them at #28, to picture the Broncos drafting the kid.
What, he (best case) falls for some fake Facebook/Twitter advances and doesn't figure it out for years, and he's supposed to quarterback Denver's defense against the likes of Tom Brady, Eli Manning, RG3, and Andrew Luck next year?
Worst case, of course, is that he was in on it and is a delusional, pathological liar...
Broncos guard Chris Kuper has opted out of the Pro Bowl, and will soon undergo surgery to repair a reaggravation of the injury that ended his 2011 season.
Kuper endured a gruesome leg injury in the 2011 regular season finale which included a dislocated ankle, several torn ligaments, and multiple breaks in his fibula.
A broken forearm suffered during training camp last summer caused the seventh-year guard to miss the season's first five games, and he reinjured his leg injury Week 9 at Cincinnati.
Initial X-rays revealed no further damage, but the injury ended up keeping Kuper out of Denver's Week 14 game at Oakland, and it was at that point discovered that Kuper's leg was again in poor shape.