The Daily Lard 2-6-12

Welcome to the offseason, Broncos fans! For the second time in five seasons, the Giants took down the favored Patriots in the Super Bowl - this time 21-17 for their fourth SB title, all of which have come in the past 26 seasons. Eli Manning again earned SB MVP honors with a late fourth-quarter drive; it started with an exceptional throw and catch to Mario Manningham and ended with the Patriots intentionally allowing (ala the Packers in SB 32) Ahmad Bradshaw to score a TD he tried not to score. But momentum carried Bradshaw into the end zone, leaving Tom Brady and the Pats 57 seconds left to score a TD, and the game ended with a Hail Mary pass that ended up being a bit closer than anyone likely expected it to be.

The Manningham catch would easily be the longest play of the game, and arguably the most important one. From New England's perspective, the game turned just 20 seconds prior on a dropped pass by Wes Welker just outside the Giants 20-yard line. As Brian Burke details, there were few big plays and the game overall was rather unexciting for one with such a close result. This marks the NFC's third straight SB win, and the Giants are the first 9-7 team to take the title; the 2010 Packers, 1988 Niners, and 2007 Giants are the only 10-6 champs. 19 regular season wins in two SB-winning seasons - seven fewer than the '97-'98 Broncos tallied.

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This sure beats Alec Baldwin

Superior snow sculpture honors Tebow
westminster.kdvr.com

On a quiet street in a town near the foothills a snow version of the Broncos QB was ‘Tebowing’ in a front yard. “I personally moved about ten tons of snow for this sculpture of Tebow, Tebowing,” said Tracy Fox. “We just give all glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Neighbors took images of ‘Tebowed’ with snow Tim and in short just made the tiny circle a bit of a place to worship Sunday morning.

Next time the little woman asks you to clean the garage, tell her you've got this in mind.

Open Thread - Super Bowl 46

Enjoy the game, everyone! 

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The Daily Lard 2-5-12

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, Broncos fans! The NFL hosted their first ever awards show last night - Aaron Rodgers was named league MVP, Drew Brees took Offensive POY, Terrell Suggs the Defensive POY, Jim Harbaugh the Coach of the Year, and Matthew Stafford was named Comeback POY. Of course, Von Miller took DROY and Cam Newton was his offensive counterpart.

Meanwhile, six players were named to the Pro Football HOF yesterday: Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Curtis Martin and two AFC West stars - Cortez Kennedy and Willie Roaf. Did any of these players perform on a level different than that of Terrell Davis and Steve Atwater? I think not.

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Six named to Pro Football HOF

Former Jets, Pats RB Martin headlines Hall's Class of 2012
www.nfl.com

Running back Curtis Martin and four linemen were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, along with one senior committee choice.

Martin is the fourth-leading rusher in NFL history. He is joined by Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Willie Roaf, Dermontti Dawson, and senior selection Jack Butler.

Jerome Bettis, Cris Carter and Bill Parcells were among the finalists who didn’t make it.

Von Miller named Defensive Rookie of the Year

Von Miller's dominant season earned him the AP's Defensive Rookie of the Year award in a vote that wasn't nearly as close as expected. Miller took 39 of the 50 votes, while Niners DE Aldon Smith received the other 11 votes. Drafted second overall out of Texas A&M, Miller was credited with 11.5 sacks, 64 tackles, four passes defensed, and two forced fumbles.

But Von wasn't just exceptional relative to his rookie status - PFF rated him the best linebacker in all of football. His 50.3 overall rating nearly doubled the next best 4-3 OLB (Daryl Smith, 27.6) and easily beat the second best overall linebacker (Cameron Wake, 43.4). PFF also credited Miller with 12 sacks, 19 QB hits, 29 pressures, and 41 stops to go with zero missed tackles.

Sometimes these writer voted awards are popularity contests (like the HOF votes which were just announced), but they got this one right. Congratulations, Von!

The Daily Lard 2-4-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Two more groups of ex-players have filed suit against the NFL regarding its handling of head injuries, including HOFer Leroy Kelly, former Broncos first-round pick Ashley Lelie and perhaps most interestingly, NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger. At some point, Baldinger is going to speak up about his experiences, and the NFL and their network are going to have a delicate situation on their hands.

In related news, the Sports Legacy Institute, which is led by Chris Nowinksi and collaborates with Boston University in studying the effects of CTE, is suggesting that the number of blows to the head suffered by youth football players be tracked. Says Nowinski:

We have to find a solution for the children, who are most at risk, and the guidelines will help us get there...We have to recognize the (physiological) differences. They're not little men, they're children.

We'll have to have the guts to put down a number on paper and say, 'This is a rational goal. This is what kids should be under.'

We're not anti-football. But we are pro-child.

Thurday's AP article which focused on players' injuries recalled for Times Op-Ed writer Joe Nocera an article written 36 years ago by Clark Booth - as Nocera tells it, that piece was the first to honestly address the long-term health consequences facing players. Former Cowboys TE Jean Fugett talks of crying when his own son accepted a football scholarship, and he suggests that tackle football not be played before high school.

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You thought you’d never see Tebow naked and throwing a ball in a field of horses, but you were wrong

Tim Tebow is wearing jeans in his new print ad for Jockey
sports.yahoo.com

Despite all the hype Tebow is bringing Jockey this week, the front of the company’s website features two unknown models (one of whom looks like a less-sour version of the lady from “Gray’s Anatomy”) engaged in some light sparring. If I’m paying Tebow the big bucks, I’m putting him on every page of that site and letting him model everything, whether it be tightie-whities, boxers, briefs, socks, ladies activewear or sports bras.

I've got nothing...

Broncos replace capologist

Broncos' John Elway hires new cap guru Mike Sullivan
www.denverpost.com

The Broncos did not renew the contract of Mike Bluem, their longtime capologist, and replaced him with Mike Sullivan, who oversaw Octagon Sports agency football division, and has been negotiating player contracts for the past 25 years.

Bluem had been with the Broncos for 17 seasons working closely with general managers Ted Sundquist, Jim Goodman and Brian Xanders.

Sullivan created the option bonus — which is really a second signing bonus — and one-time playing time bonus in player contracts. They are now common part of the more lucrative NFL contracts, including almost every first-round draft pick.

One has to wonder what Elway thinks of Brian Xanders, as Elway continues to change the front office personnel structure surrounding the X Man.

Nate Jackson details his nationally televised near-decapitation

What It’s Like When An NFL Linebacker Nearly Knocks Your Head Off
deadspin.com

Being knocked out in a football game is not a painful event at impact. It is a dimensional vacuum through an extremely narrow wormhole. It is a piano falling on your head in the middle of your recital. It’s a system reboot. My adrenaline was always too high to feel the pain of a hit, anyway. When I came to, I didn’t know where I was. You’re lying on the grass, Nate. The crowd is roaring. But what are they roaring about? Oh, yes, it’s for you. You got knocked out. Yay! His brain is bleeding!

Even in my cranial reboot phase, I knew that at that moment, they’d be replaying the hit in slow motion. I also knew that my mother was watching back in California. And I knew that Greek was holding my head and neck. So I started moving around my legs and arms to let my family know I wasn’t paralyzed.

And hard booze found its way into the lemonade in my Dixie cup. I approached our team doctor as the flight closed in on Denver and asked him if he could give me something for the pain. He said the best he could do was one Vicodin and one muscle relaxer. “Really, Doc? That’s it? You’re gonna make me hit the streets for this one?”

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