Cracking the Zombie code

I love freedom.  I’m not going to cry about it like Glenn Beck, but I am feeling a little verklempt today, after reading a breathtakingly stupid comment on TJ’s Tebow post, and it has stirred up my patriotism for American freedom.  I know what some of you right-wingers are thinking – liberals don’t like freedom, and they aren’t patriotic.

You’re free to believe that stupidity if you want to.  (I’d like to see you serve four years in the military.)  The commenter on TJ’s post is free to call us religious bigots if (s)he wants to.  If (s)he’d gone further over the line, we’d feel free to delete their comment and ban them.  Freedom is a good thing; nobody is going to throw any of us in jail for doing any of those things.

This is not going to be much about football.  I’m free to write an article about another topic, and you’re free not to like it.  Incidentally, I couldn’t care less whether you do or don’t, so spare me the whining about it.

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Paige: Fox, Elway, Manning seek Elway-like exit

Magazine: Denver is John Fox’s last stop

“I’m 57, and I don’t want to be coaching forever. I can’t see myself coaching well into my 60s, so this is it.”

There is, though, the other side. If they don’t win a Super Bowl this season or next, or the next, or perhaps the next, this also will [be] their final stop, and a new quarterback, a new coach and a new executive vice president would take over.

But Manning, Elway and Fox strive to ride off together from the Broncos and the NFL as champions.

It's not clear if Woody's suggesting any of the Elway/Fox/Manning triumverate would consider retirement if the Broncos were to win this year's Super Bowl. Rather, it reads likes a vague prediction that he'll later spin as proof of his own genius reporting. Either way, let's hope they're presented with that dilemma in a few months' time.

Anonymous Broncos: TYJE

They say you should never kick a man when he's down he's deactivated due to a rib injury.

I guess several of your Denver Broncos are making an exception, though, for a guy that did thisthisthisthis, and finally, this.

"When Tim was here we saw the issues up close," said the Broncos player who, along with other players, asked not to be identified. "The Jets didn't, and now they are seeing the problems, too."

"Of course we're comparing this year to last year," said another player. "This year we won the division with four games left. That's all Peyton Manning. If Tebow was here, we'd still be squeaking out wins, or losing games we shouldn't be losing. The division would be coming down to the last game.

"I've been following Tim in New York and I feel horrible for him. Everyone here, I think, wants the best for him. He's a good guy. But you can't turn Tim into something he's not, and he's not really an NFL quarterback. He's more of a gimmick player."

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These Broncos are for real Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The 2011 Broncos needed 16 games, three tiebreakers, smoke, and mirrors, to win the AFCW, and did so while topping the 30-point mark just two times, and being outscored by 81 points.

Peyton Manning's Broncos (9-3) require no gimmicks or common opponent calculations, and have already clinched the division outright after just 12 games, thanks to their 31-23 victory (Gamebook, ANS box score) over the visiting Bucs (6-6). Through the regular season's first three quarters, Denver has already scored 30 or more points eight times, and have outscored their opponents by 105 in total.

It took Manning only 12 games to set a new Broncos single-season standard for touchdown passes, with one to Mitch Unrein (ZOMG) and two to Demaryius Thomas (what else is new?) giving him 29 on the season. The old Denver record had been 27, shared by John Elway (1997) and Jake Plummer (2004).

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Gut Reaction: Week 13 - Broncos vs Bucs

Last year it took the Broncos until Week 17 to win the division.

What a bunch of drama queens.

This year, the Broncos clinched the division so fast, there was still time to hit the links.

Golf, anyone?

Okay, how about a seven-game winning streak?

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Open Thread: Sunday Week 13

Denver's inactives today are WR Brandon Stokley, FB Jacob Hester, DE Robert Ayers, QB Caleb Hanie, G/C C.J Davis, CB Tracy Porter, and TE Julius Thomas.

The absences of Ayers and Hester are no surprise, while not having Stokley, who's been bothered by hip and wrist issues all week, means Andre Caldwell will dress.

Tampa Bay will be without RB Michael Smith, LB Najee Goode, G/T Derek Hardman, WR David Gilreath, WR David Douglas, and DT Matthew Masifilo.

Here are rest of the day's inactive lists. Enjoy the games, and Go Broncos and Steelers!

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KC horrors prompt endless questions Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans. The Chiefs and Panthers will play their game today as scheduled, some 28 hours after their starting middle linebacker unfathomably killed the mother of his three-month-old daughter, before taking his own life at Chiefs headquarters.

It doesn't feel like continuing with the game today is the right thing to do, yet the league left it up to the Chiefs, whose head coach (who witnessed Jovan Belcher's suicide) and captains voted unanimously to play.

Could they really be equipped to make such a decision? That's doubtful, considering what they are dealing with. Kansas City - the team, and the fans - will go through the habitual motions of a football Sunday, but will anyone really be thinking about football? It's hard to believe they will. Then again, would playing the game tomorrow instead of today make any positive difference? Not necessarily.

Belcher's high school coach and agent wonder what went wrong for a young man they describe as intelligent, hard-working, generous, and caring - a person most of us knew little or nothing about prior to yesterday.

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STDL: Broncos gone streaking

The Broncos may have struggled to beat the Chiefs last week, but the victory still extended Denver's winning streak to six games - the NFL's longest current one.

Another win tomorrow, over the visiting Bucs, would make for only the fourth win streak of seven or more games in Broncos history. It would also make Denver AFCW champs in consecutive seasons for just the third time ever.

With the Broncos' rivals embroiled in streaks of the losing variety - KC's dropped eight, Oakland four, and San Diego three - the division title is a foregone conclusion. And once that formality is wrapped up with the next Denver win or San Diego loss, the team will be assured to open the playoffs at home.

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Tragedy at Arrowhead Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans. There's some horrifying news coming out of Kansas City today.

Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher reportedly killed his girlfriend at a residence this morning, before going to Arrowhead, where he committed suicide in the parking lot, apparently in the presence of Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel and GM Scott Pioli.

Belcher was a fourth-year linebacker who joined Kansas City after going undrafted out of Maine in 2009; he was born and raised on Long Island, in New York.

Our thoughts go out to the families involved, and the Chiefs organization, players, and fans.

The team is scheduled to host the Panthers tomorrow, and the league has not yet decided whether to go ahead with the game.

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Alex Marvez is what’s wrong with the Hall of Fame

Did you get a load of this, from Doug's most favoritest football writer Alex Marvez?

This is a guy who used to be a voter for the Hall of Fame, as president of the Professional Football Writers Association, but doesn't presently hold one of the 44 seats.  Other reporters, such as his colleagues John Czarnecki and Nancy Gay, do get to vote.  Remember my Rule Number 1 of sports: anything which is decided by reporters voting is diminished by that fact, and I'd go so far as to say it's inherently worthless.

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