Walking the road less traveled on the homeschooling debate

Tim Tebow Debate: Should Homeschoolers Be Allowed on Public-School Sports Teams?
ideas.time.com

Despite — or perhaps because of — Tebow’s success, the prospect of lots of homeschoolers joining high school sports teams has the education establishment up in arms. Many opponents to Tebow laws repeat the mantra, “High school sports are a privilege, not a right.” Others fret that the logistics will be too daunting; for starters, how can you ensure homeschoolers are academically eligible to play? And after years of deriding public schools, homeschooling advocates seem shocked they’re not being greeted with open arms. The controversy surrounding Tebow laws is at once a reminder that homeschooling is too lightly regulated and a cautionary tale for those who want to broaden support for public schools.

In a diverse society like ours, there is value in commonness. Opponents of Tebow laws have it backwards: integrating homeschoolers into our public education system advances the goal of commonality. Besides, given all the problems our public schools face, it makes sense to build bridges to different communities, not exclude them. It’s how you build support and political coalitions. Letting homeschoolers play sports is one way to do that — if the homeschooling community can get past its reflexive opposition to regulation and meet the public schools halfway.

I wrote a few weeks ago that this debate is one in which both sides have legit points; it's difficult to make it a black-and-white issue.  This piece does a decent job of trying to present a third alternative: compromise.  

The Daily Lard 2-16-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In addition to guard C.J. Davis, Denver signed former Jaguars and Niners WR Jason Hill to a one-year deal yesterday. The 6-foot, 202-lb receiver (he's apparently shrunk an inch since cattle call combine, or got a haircut?) has 76 catches for 1,028 yards and eight TDs in 50 career games; he has virtually no experience as a return man, with just one kick return as a pro and two punt returns in college.

Last year for Jacksonville he caught 25 of the 53 passes thrown his way for 367 yards (14.7 YPR) and three scores, along with four drops. Hill will turn 27 next Monday and was originally drafted by the Niners in the third round of the 2007 Draft (76th overall) out of WSU after running the second-fastest combine time that year among receivers with a blistering 4.32-second forty.

Hill's speed will be a much-needed addition to an offense that had hardly any in 2011, whether at running back or wideout. Andrew Mason seems to think the signing of Hill makes it even less likely that Denver would bring back free agent Eddie Royal, despite Woody Paige's claims to the contrary. Eddie will surely present a hopeful outlook on Facebook and Twitter about sticking around, but he's a sunny guy. We can take his pro-Tebow comments at face value, or we can note that Tim targeted Eddie just 48 times in 12 games -  28 times in Denver's last nine games. Anyone really think he wants to be third or fourth banana again and relegated to return duty? Don't count on it.

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Elway says Broncos to spend at least $3M more than last year

Elway says Broncos to spend more than NFL salary cap in 2012
www.denverpost.com

In 2011, the Broncos spent $117.5 million in cash on salaries, or 98 percent of the $120.375 million salary cap. The cap is expected to again come in at $120.375 million for the 2012 season.

“That $3 million difference, we’ll roll that over to this year,” Elway said. “And that really came from the savings of Orton, so we’ll have that money to spend this year.”

Certainly not worthy of the "Denver Post Breaking News" spam special email, but whatever. So the cash savings from the Orton release could turn into a player - don't laugh, that guy could be the 2012 version of Chris Harris.*

As for actual news, the Broncos signed 25-year-old 6'2" 308 guard C.J. Davis, formerly of the Panthers. Davis dressed for seven games in 2010 but none in 2011.

* The undrafted free agent who kicked ass this year, not the Panther/Bear who Mason mentioned as a possible FA target. Man, that would be SO annoying.

Scouting the Broncos: A first look at free agency

It’s that time again - almost spring - when a young man’s fancies turn lightly to free agency and the draft. Equally, it’s much like love in that there’s often more wishful thinking than reason to the players that are mentioned. That being the case, I thought I’d jot some things down regarding important areas of the Broncos' rebuilding project.

John Elway has confirmed exactly what a lot of our readers have expressed hope for - that the Broncos intend to build through the draft and fill gaps in free agency. The thing is, just as it is with Denver’s own, that most free agents would just as soon not move and have to rebuild relationships without a lot of good reasons, most of them green. The Carl Nickses of the league aren't likely shots, to put it mildly, although you never really know who will become available or have a tiff with their team. However - there are a lot of good players available who can help Denver immediately via either free agency or the draft. I’ll be covering this by position, post-Combine, to add some draft options, but here are some rarely stressed basics to think seriously about.

First on the list? Remember to check for unrestricted free agents (UFA) vs. restricted free agents (RFA). Folks should keep in mind that taking on an RFA would cost the Broncos a draft pick as compensation to the former team, in addition to the monetary value of whatever contract they give the player. It could happen with the right deal, but it's highly unlikely. Those valuable picks are going to be the basis for the rebuilding process - I can seen trading out of the 25th-overall pick for a couple of second-rounders, for example. Denver needs more picks, not less.

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Krieger: public deserves its cut, too

Is Denver's Skyline For Sale?
www.850koa.com

Is Denver’s skyline for sale? And, if so, what’s it worth?

The first of these questions has gotten a lot of attention in the debate leading up to today’s hearing before the city planning board on The Sports Authority’s proposal to install three 178-foot, lighted signs along the metal band that undulates around the top of the stadium where the Broncos play in northwest Denver. The second question has gotten almost none.

...So perhaps the most surprising aspect of the debate is that at no time has the city or the stadium district asked The Sports Authority to pay an additional fee for the right to vastly augment the signage that went with the original naming rights deal. The money from the naming rights deal—approximately $6 million a year—is divided between the Broncos and the stadium district, which uses its share for upkeep of the facility. If there is excess, it is supposed to go back to the counties that provided the public funding that got the place built.

If the free market allows The Sports Authority to put its brand on the Denver skyline, then the free market should also require it to pay a market rate for the privilege. And that doesn’t mean just picking up the existing naming rights fee, which included much more modest signage rights.

MNF booth only big enough for so much QB slobbery

Ron Jaworski is leaving the Monday Night Football booth
www.awfulannouncing.com

While ESPN is careful not to deem Jaws leaving the booth as a demotion in any sort of way, especially given the five year contract extension, this is a stunning move.  One immediately has to ask whether or not the booth was becoming too small for both Gruden and Jaws?  There is always give and take with a three man booth and there were a few times where I sensed elbowing for position on MNF telecasts, but it wasn’t anything drastic.  I always thought Gruden and Jaws worked well together and made an enjoyable team with Tirico even if some of their QB love was redundant.

Count Drew Magary among those celebrating the end of Jaws and Chucky's sycophantic guffawing.

Instead, it's endless talk of how OUTSTANDING every player is. Yay!

The Daily Lard 2-15-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Adding to yesterday's news that Tim Tebow is working with new UCLA OC Noel Mazzone on his mechanics, it's worthwhile to note the duo has teamed up before. Prior to Tebow's pro day in 2010, he worked with Mazzone, Marc Trestman, Zeke Bratkowski, and Sam Wyche. Here's some of what Mazzone had to say back then:

I think it's going to change some opinions...He looks totally different to me...This guy's an NFL quarterback in my eyes.

I'm not trying to change the guy's motion. I went back and looked at his high school film. He's got a great motion.

It's different when you're in the gun your whole life and not making five- and seven-step drops. Bad feet make bad throws. We worked a lot on loading up his back foot, having good posture and getting his feet and body more involved with his throw.

(h/t AldenBrown)

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Tebow working with Noel Mazzone on mechanics

Tim Tebow working with QB guru
espn.go.com

The Broncos cannot work with him yet, but Tebow has gotten a jump on his improvement plan. Bruce Feldman of CBS tweeted that Tebow is in Los Angles (sic) this week to work with new UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone on his mechanics.

Mazzone is considered one of the premier quarterback coaches in the college ranks.

Once the Broncos can work with Tebow in the spring, Tebow is going to work closely with the coaching staff and John Elway. He has said several times he will work with Tebow, concentrating on his foot work.

Why something like this didn't happen last year is a great mystery, but hey - better late than never.

Mazzone has been the college OC for several future NFL QBs: Philip Rivers during the Chargers QB's senior year at NC State (2003), Derek Anderson at Oregon State in 2002, Jason Campbell at Auburn in 2001, and most recently ASU QB Brock Osweiler for the past two seasons. Mazzone joined Jim Mora's staff at UCLA in January.

Rosterbating on 60 stacks

Whatchall know about that scrilla?  I decided to follow the front page of the IAOFM site from Monday, and play off of the article that Doug referenced yesterday that put the Broncos on $50 million of cap room.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the Broncos' finances lately, and some other tangential thoughts.  It’s all part of being a football-thinking accountant, I guess.

Let’s start out with a provocative thought, right off the top.  It’s unquestionable that the Broncos were better off making the playoffs in 2011 than not.  I know that some of you disagree with that, and I’m here to tell you, you’re wrong.  That doesn’t make you a bad person, and in recognition of that fact, I’m going to explain what I mean by “unquestionable.”

First, let’s do away with the Draft Fallacy.  That’s the one that says that because the Broncos were 12th out of 12 playoff teams in talent, that they handicapped their future by making it too soon.  You see, say these people, the Broncos would have picked 17th in the Draft, and by making the playoffs, the best they could do was 21st.  By winning a playoff game (the horror!) they ended up at 25th. 

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The Daily Lard 2-14-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There's perhaps a bit of disconnect between the title and the article, but Mike Klis says there's a good chance Denver will use its franchise tag on K Matt Prater this offseason. The title says the team is "likely" to do so, while Klis simply writes that "Prater is the strongest candidate" to be tagged, so it's unclear how much of this is based upon something out of Dove Valley and how much is simply Klis speculating.

Either way, it's kind of a no-brainer if the team were unable to agree to a long-term deal with Prater, as according to Klis, tagging a kicker is like to only cost a team around $2.6M for the 2013 season. Plus, the tag is often used by teams to buy more time to agree to a longer contract.

None of Denver's other free agents figure to be tag-worthy, as placing the restriction on Brodrick Bunkley or Marcus Thomas would require overpaying either of them with a $7.9M salary; Wesley Woodyard would get $8.8M, and Eddie Royal would command $9.4M - it's pretty safe to say the Broncos will not be shelling out anything close to those amounts on a one-year contract for any of those players.

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