The Daily Lard 1-16-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Chris Mortensen is reporting that with Jeff Fisher having chosen St. Louis over Miami, the Dolphins today will interview Denver OC Mike McCoy, who joins Miami interim HC Todd Bowles, Packers OC Joe Philbin, Bengals DC Mike Zimmer, and Bears ST coach Dave Toub on their list of candidates. Cue the "we need a better play caller who understands Tim Tebow anyway" music...

Meanwhile, it's expected that in a news conference today John Elway, Brian Xanders and John Fox will declare that Tebow is their starting QB for 2012. But considering that Brady Quinn is an unrestricted free agent and Adam Weber is on the practice squad, there's not really anything else they can say, no matter their intentions - Tebow is the only quarterback under contract for next season. Even if they do plan to build around Tebow and are fond of Weber, the team has to acquire two quarterbacks between now and the beginning of training camp, whether via free agency or the draft. And anything but outwardly unequivocal organizational support for Tebow for at least the next six months would be shock-inducing foolishness on the FO's part - so expect plenty of Tebow certainty out of EFX until camp begins. It's their only option.

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Morrissey details facing the zombie horde

Worship more like hardship
www.suntimes.com

A certain sports columnist from Chicago — we’ll call him “Rick Morrissey” — writes that Tim Tebow isn’t a good quarterback and that God doesn’t care whether the Broncos win a football game…The columnist then gets inundated with emails from Broncos fans, Tebow fans and, for some reason, what seems to be most of the white population of Oklahoma…

...I don’t think I’ve seen a bigger emotional investment in whether one player wins a football game. People see a Tebow victory as proof of all sorts of things, mostly that God is squarely on his side…

...There was an assumption in many of the emails I received that if you’re not on board with the Tebow movement, you must be anti-religion, pro-abortion, anti-gun rights, Obama-loving and in all likelihood attracted to farm animals. And you know this about me because I don’t think Tebow is a particularly good quarterback? I also got the sense that being a practicing Catholic is not quite Christian enough for some of you. I’ll have to work on that.

I can’t tell you how many emails I received that included the terms “Michael Vick,’’ “thugs” and “end zone celebrations.’’ As in, would you rather have that than Tebow’s overt religious enthusiasm? If I recall, Vick served prison time for his dog-fighting cruelty. And if I’m not mistaken, we’re called to forgive one another. Apparently, there’s something in the fine print about Vick that excludes forgiveness.

That sliver-sized space for absolution is what worries me about Tebow’s future. People have constructed a world for him in which there is no room for mistakes, only perfection. And if he should stumble? What then? It’s frightening how much belief followers have put in a 24-year-old. I feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for the woman who marries him. I can’t imagine the glare of the spotlight and the pressure to be sinless. Tebow seems like a very nice guy with a very big heart. It’s the people who worship him, rather than just admire him, who make my skin crawl.

Bailey does his best John Elway

Patriots Stop Tim Tebow: Why He Will Be Missed
newsfeed.time.com

Denver’s defense lost this game, but Tebow was still pretty terrible: he completed just 9 of 26 passes, for 136 yards. (John 1:36 – “When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’”)  One 3rd-and-19 pass late in the third quarter was so wobbly and off the mark that Denver chose to kick a field goal rather than go for it on fourth down, trailing 42-7. The message was clear: Denver coach John Fox had no faith that Tebow could convert.

After the game, Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey was asked if Tebow should be the starter next season. Bailey looked the other way, providing no answer.

Champ has hedged his QB bet several times this year.  First he was in the Orton camp.  Then he switched to Tebow's.  After the KC loss, he was neutral.  With the win against Pittsburgh, it was safe to leave the house again.

Now, mum's the word. Can't say I blame him.  It's best to declare after the fact so you're on the right side of history.

Tom Kensler had a different version of events, though.

Team player, or Team Tebow player?

Tebow Performs Better in Sideshow
www.nytimes.com

Soon they were all praying together, while a protective cocoon of Tebow’s people formed around the pair, getting huffy when a couple of reporters stopped to observe. “Private family time,” one said, which was strange, since the scene was a hard-to-miss public spectacle, like so much of the Tebowing phenomenon, and it lasted considerably longer than any Denver drive.

He comes off as exceedingly earnest and sincere, though his religious invocations can have the same repetitive effect of those uttered during a Miss America pageant. Being uncomfortable with them doesn’t make one a hater or a heathen, just one of many who wonder if there is an appropriate time and place and if the football environment doesn’t always have to be one of them. Maybe as part of the growth process Tebow will figure that out.

As he always does, he thanked his teammates for their support and effort immediately after praising God. But one was left to surmise that he, the Broncos’ purported leader, should have been with them late Saturday night instead of in the corridor tending to his own personal business, no matter how giving it was. There are times when duty to team has to come first. Surely one of them is in the wake of lopsided and season-ending defeat.

Open Thread - Divisional Sunday

Whoops, forgot to post this earlier. Enjoy the games, everyone!

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The Daily Lard 1-15-12

Good Morning/Afternoon, Broncos fans! There are a few enduring truths about the 2011 New England Patriots:

  1. They score points in piles: 32.1 per game prior to last night - and against everyone: at least 30 points 12 times in 16 games.
  2. They do so by amassing tons of yards: 428 per game - also against everyone: at least 362 yards 15 times, the only exception being the stingy Steelers defense.
  3. It also happens that they give up a whole lot of yards: 411.1 per game - to everyone: at least 361 yards 15 times - everyone except the anemic Jets offense.
  4. Prior to last night, it was stressed that the Pats had no quality wins; 12 of their 16 prior opponents had scored at least 20 against them; even the Colts, Jets, Dolphins (twice) and Redskins had done so

Given these facts, there was one thing the Broncos needed to do last night more than anything: score points, and a whole lot of them. They were going to get their yards, that was a certainty. Only, they didn't. Six days after hanging 447 yards and 29 points on the Steelers (175 more than the season average they'd allowed prior), the Broncos scratched out just 10 points and 252 yards - and 139 of those yards came on their last three possessions, when they were already down by five touchdowns - in a 45-10 thrashing at the hands of a coldly efficient Tom Brady (six TD passes, 363 yards, zero sacks).

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Scott Pioli may have gone all Dick Nixon on Handshake Haley

Arrowhead anxiety: Turnover off the field causes concern
www.kansascity.com

Looking up toward the ceiling, he darted into a back hallway before hesitating. Then he turned around, going back through a door and stopping again. Haley suspected that many rooms at the team facility were bugged so that team administrators could monitor employees’ conversations. Stopping finally in a conference room, Haley said he believed his personal cellphone, a line he used before being hired by the Chiefs in 2009, had been tampered with.

Paranoid? The Chiefs have adamantly denied that they tap phones or listen in on conversations. But as the team enters another period of transition after elevating defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel last week to head coach, interviews with more than two dozen current and former employees suggest that intimidation and secrecy are among the Chiefs’ principal management styles — and that Haley wasn’t the only one with paranoid thoughts.

“When you’re mentally abused, you eventually lose it, too,” one former longtime Chiefs executive said.

Wow.  Just wow.  What's more fun, watching Oakland pinch off Hue-bris Jackson or Scott Pioli act like he's dropping acid?  Quick, Scott, get down, I think I just saw the walls breathing. 

Gut Reaction: Divisional Round - Broncos at Patriots

In the real world, Goliath wins--a lot.

In fact, Goliath Tom Brady tonight almost threw for as many touchdowns (6) as David Tim Tebow had completions (9).

Tebow threw for 136 yards.  I guess that's 316 just written another way.

If we take 136 at face value, this from 1 Corinthians 13:6: "Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth."

In today's NFL, the truth is Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots.

Many Broncos fans will rejoiceth in the fact that the Broncos even made the playoffs to begin with.  If you like to think of the Broncos as a small-college football team happy enough to make a bowl game, then clap your hands.  If you're into winning championships, set your sights higher and save the rah-rah chants for the tourists.

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Tebow goes biblical

Tebow urges Denver’s Davids to conquer Goliath
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

As if there weren’t enough religious references and images enveloping the Denver Broncos and quarterback Tim Tebow, Jay Glazer of FOX reports that Tebow delivered a speech to his teammates on Saturday morning urging the team to play the role of David, against the Goliaths known as the Patriots.  Glazer says Tebow received a standing ovation for his passionate remarks.  In a few hours, we’ll find out whether it pushes the Broncos toward another postseason victory.

I always did think Tom "Goliath" Brady stood six cubits and a span, which is the bible's way of saying almost ten feet tall. That guy can really see over his linemen.

Open Thread - Divisional Saturday

Enjoy the games everyone, and Go Broncos! Doug Farrar previews the game.

Denver will be without WR Eric Decker, LS Lonie Paxton, S Brian Dawkins, TE Julius Thomas, T Ryan Harris, DE Derrick Harvey, and Mike Mohamed; the Broncos have no fullback on their 53-man roster, and reserve linemen Manny Ramirez and Tony Hills will again be active tonight.

Inactive for New England are QB Ryan Mallett, DB Nate Jones (yes, that one), RB Shane Vereen, LB Gary Guyton, G Donald Thomas, T Sebastian Vollmer, and NT Ron Brace

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