Legendary Broncos return man Rick Upchurch battling leukemia

Former Bronco Rick Upchurch embraced warmly by Puebloans
www.chieftain.com

“I am not the first and I won’t be the last (to have cancer), so for all the cancer survivors and everybody that is going through it right now, we are all going through it together and we can defeat this,” Upchurch said.

Former Broncos offensive tackle Dave Studdard was at the event supporting his best friend. “Rick and I have known each other since 1979. He took an offensive lineman under his wing and we’ve been buddies ever since,” Studdard said.

Studdard, a cancer survivor himself, said if anyone can beat the disease, it’s Upchurch. “Anything I can do to be there for Rick, I will do it. He’s like a brother to me and I have five brothers. You could never have enough brothers,” Studdard said with a laugh. “Rick right now is just understanding what is going on in his life and it sucks. He will deal with this and he already is doing a good job of it. I will love him until we both die.”

Our thoughts go out to Upchurch, the Broncos' all-time franchise leader in punt returns, punt return yards, and punt return touchdowns. During nine seasons with Denver, Upchurch was named to four Pro Bowls, was a three-time first-team All-Pro, and dated someone who would later become far more famous than he. (via PFT)

Shame on Mark Kiszla Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There's nothing happening in the football world, but one can always rely upon the Denver Post for low-hanging fruit to bat around.

Mark Kiszla wrote a blatantly xenophobic column about the Nuggets' draft the other day, got called out for it, and his reaction is rather pathetic.

It's this simple: the lazy, ugly angle Kiszla took is no better (and hardly any different) than criticizing the pick based upon the color of the guy's skin or the way his name sounds. It's one thing to stir up one's readers to debate an athlete's skills, but it's altogether something else to incite them over a player's country of origin.

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1990s Broncos inspired RGIII to play football Lard

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! Only days after pushing late kickoffs back 10 minutes, the NFL will reportedly make more important changes to improve the gameday experience for both ticketholders and home viewers:

  1. Teams will have the flexibility to set blackout thresholds as low as 85%, allowing teams to both add seating and avoid blackouts
  2. During replay reviews, fans in attendance will be able to see the same footage as officials
  3. Fans will no longer be on their own when it comes to creating noise before key downs; of course, this will be key with the wine and cheese crowd at SAF@MH
  4. Some or all stadiums will finally have free WiFi
  5. Smartphone apps will allow fans to listen to mic'd up players

All of these changes are welcome and long overdue, especially those first three items. Along with the later kickoffs and the coming availability of All-22 film, the league has taken several fan-friendly steps of late. It's not often we say this, but well done, NFL.

Continue reading "1990s Broncos inspired RGIII to play football Lard"

Donovan McNabb is starting to sound like Terrell Owens Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday marked the first annual Drive for Dinger, a golf tournament held at Vanderbilt to honor the late Mike Heimerdinger. Of course, Dinger was a longtime Broncos, Titans, and Jets coach, and the college roommate who saved Mike Shanahan's life after he had ruptured a kidney during practice at Eastern Illinois.

Shanahan, Gary Kubiak, Rick Dennison, Jay Cutler, and Brandon Marshall were among those who gathered in Tennessee yesterday to honor their late friend/coach. Said Kubes, "I really miss him. It’s still hard to believe."

The kindest words for Dinger surprisingly came from Marshall, who tends to be quite stingy in his praise for coaches:

That first year, he was on me. He treated me like a rookie, but it was for my best interest. He has a talent for pushing people to the limit, but keeping that respect there, getting the most out of people and also showing them love at the same time.

RIP, Dinger.

Continue reading "Donovan McNabb is starting to sound like Terrell Owens Lard"

Weekly Limerick Schtick

You can stop emailing me. Back by popular demand, it's peanut butter jelly time--otherwise known as IAOFM's Weekly Limerick Schtick.  This week's topic? Demaryius Thomas' route tree:

Demaryius Thomas so free
did not run the routes from the tree.
But the Teebs is gone,
replaced by The Don
of quarterbacks John could decree.

Take your own shot--if you've got something clever and can remember the finer arts of anapest meter. Or you may be drunk.  In that case, just try and rhyme without passing out.

Phrase of the day: Willis McGahee’s pimpette

A Blow-By-Blow Account Of The Fred Davis Lawsuit, Which Is The Strangest Lawsuit Involving A Female Pimp We’ve Seen Today
www.sportsgrid.com

Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis has been involved in an 18-month legal battle that is among the strangest we’ve ever seen. Makini Chaka, a 33-year old woman that Davis alleges to be a “pimpette,” was granted a temporary restraining order with regard to Davis back in January 2011, and later sued for a permanent one…She also claims that Davis continually violates the temporary restraining order and “harasses” her, and that he “blacklisted” her from DC nightclubs with his influence, and that he once impersonated Santana Moss on the phone to keep her out of one, saying no Redskins would go if she was allowed in. She claims this has lost her business and clients, and she wants compensation. Davis says she’s extorting him.

Of course, Chaka says it’s not about money. To prove that, she boasted a bit. Davis claims she’s a “pimpette,” providing prostitutes for athletes. A man named “Prince,” who has worked as Davis’s bodyguard and is also friends with Chaka, backed up the claim that Chaka is a “madam/pimpette,” saying that it’s widely known in DC. Chaka denied that, describing herself as a “celebrity broker who organizes parties for sports and entertainment stars.” She claimed that she does well and doesn’t need money from Davis, citing that one of her main clients, Willis McGahee, “happens to be a first round draft pick. He makes over 40 million dollars… yet you’re saying that I want to get Mr. Davis for money and he’s a second-round draft pick, and his, he doesn’t even gross anywhere close to Willis.” Boom, roasted, Fred! For the record, McGahee is a veteran with significantly more career earnings than Davis, but Davis is making much more than McGahee this season. She also name-dropped Snoop Dogg, Vonta Leach and others as clients.

Moral to the story: if you must impersonate Santana Moss, do a better job of it.

Psychiatrists: ADHD meds don’t aid players who don’t need them

Is There An ADHD Epidemic in Major League Baseball?
mlb.sbnation.com

Professional athletes will look for any edge, they said, and only those who truly require ADHD medication in order to properly function should be permitted to take it. Moreover, Dr. Hallowell added, Ritalin, Adderall and similar drugs do not produce a super-focusing effect for people without ADHD. Those drugs work by altering the brain’s chemistry. According to Dr. Hallowell, if a ballplayer’s brain chemistry doesn’t “need” altering, then he’s more likely to experience the unpleasant side effects of the drugs—like elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, insomnia and weight loss—and none of the benefits.

In the end, Dr. Tuckman noted, “when ADHD is appropriately diagnosed and the medication is appropriately prescribed and taken, it doesn’t give someone with ADHD an edge any more than giving contact lenses to someone who is far-sighted.”

The NFLPA has quite a bit on its plate at the moment; but once they get past the Saints bounty scandal, we hope they'll turn some of their attention to the Ginger Hammer's inconsistently levied and often heavyhanded penalties for ADHD medication use.

27-year-old ex-NFLer suffering “almost total loss of function” Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Another sad story has emerged regarding the health of a former NFL player, although it's not the typical tale of a longtime player suffering in his 50s or 60s. This time, it's a 27-year-old whom Tampa Bay drafted in the second round of the 2007 Draft. Arron Sears left the Bucs in 2009 under worrisome circumstances, as the Tampa Bay Times reported at the time:

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held offseason workouts in mid March, guard Arron Sears was there. But he wasn't the person teammates and coaches remembered. He was distant, even for someone with his shy demeanor. Sears participated for several weeks, until shortly after the team's minicamp in April, when he simply stopped communicating. He was unresponsive when asked questions. At times, he resorted to replying in writing.

Unfortunately, things haven't gotten better for Sears, on whose behalf his parents filed a suit claiming the NFL, helmet maker Riddell, the Bucs, and other teams were negligent and withheld information on concussions and their effects. A portion of the suit reads:

Sears has almost total loss of function, is unable to care for himself and cannot take (care) of his day-to-day activities. Further, Arron Sears has extreme displays of temper and anger with the appurtenant risk of causing harm to himself and others.

According to the TBT, Sears has been taken into protective custody by the police on several occasions in the past two years, and the lawsuit, which has two other ex-Bucs as plaintiffs, says Arron is now under the guardianship of his parents. Let's hope things take a positive turn for Sears and his family, as unlikely as that may seem.

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2009 Draft was so terrible, Denver’s haul doesn’t look that bad

Flash-forward: 2009 AFC West draft review
www.coldhardfootballfacts.com

Denver collected a lot of high draft picks, but they did a poor job when it came time to turn those cards in for players…It was a lot of effort for not a lot of value.

Denver has one starter on defense, a running back that could contribute something if healthy, and a depth player at safety…In the 2009 NFL Draft, apparently getting anyone to fill a roster spot is a noteworthy accomplishment. This was not a good draft by any means.

The Broncos' performance in the 2009 Draft (the first by Josh McDaniels) was immediately panned by football analysts far and wide, and it didn't take long for Alphonso Smith to become a favorite target of the McDoofus Sux crowd. Over time, it has grown impossible for even this McDaniels apologist to suggest Denver fared well four Aprils ago. But the overarching theme to Scott Kacsmar's thorough examination of the 2009 Draft is that a lot of teams flopped.

To that end, Knowshon Moreno, who hasn't lived up to even his critics' expectations, actually has a higher CarAV (15) than twelve other first-rounders; Robert Ayers is right behind him at 14. Surprisingly, among the AFCW teams, Denver's picks have played in the most NFL games and amassed the highest CarAV.

Demaryius Thomas: Route tree is back in vogue

For Demaryius Thomas, the Arrival of Peyton Manning Means it’s Time to Run Routes Again
sportsradiointerviews.com

On having to run more routes with Manning at quarterback:

“You’re gonna have to run the whole route tree now. The comebacks, the slants, the posts, the ins. And I didn’t have to do that much when I was my first couple of years in the league.”

For those who don't remember what it looks like:

 

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