Paige vs. Orton Lard 5-19-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest mailbag, Woody hints at there being a lot more to his collection of negative stories about Kyle Orton and reminds us that Josh McDaniels came very close to trading him away last summer. Without getting into details, he basically says that Orton is two-faced in presenting himself publicly as a good teammate while behind the scenes being something else entirely. It'll be interesting to see whether Woody comes through with details at some point, or if anyone else does, for that matter. He also (as expected) claims credit for Orton having shown up to last week's group workouts and for John Elway having been hired, and writes that Denver is (of course) not going to sign Nnamdi Asomugha.

I've written here before that I think Woody has it in for Orton. To be clear though, I'm referrring to the way he slips these little nuggets in as asides and his column last week saying Orton should be leading workouts. I see those as Woody's way of turning public opinion against the QB in a manner that strikes as insidious. However, I do not believe that Woody Paige has ever played fast or loose when it comes to presenting facts, and I am not accusing him of doing so here, either. If Woody says that Kyle Orton hasn't been the good soldier everyone assumes he's been, and that he hasn't treated Tim Tebow with much in the way of respect, I believe him. It's understandable that he doesn't just come right out and tell us everything he knows about Orton, as that could place Woodrow's own relationship with the organization in jeopardy, and what then if Orton isn't traded?

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Tweets of the Week - Mustachioed ladies edition

We can't talk lockout all day, can we? I know I can't, nor do I want to. In that spirit, it's time to again churn up the ole' tweet machine, folks! As I expressed in our first installment, please try to take everything that follows (the players' tweets and my commentary) with a generous pinch of salt. These are young men who have spent much of, if not their entire lives chasing the dream of playing in the NFL. Life perspective, proper spelling and grammar don't always fit in or go along with that pursuit - so while we're making light of their tweets, we probably shouldn't view them as painting accurate pictures of who these young men really are. With that in mind, let's see what our favorite players have been up to of late...

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The Daily Lard 5-18-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Andrew Brandt thinks that the Eighth Circuit's decision to permanently stay Judge Nelson's lockout injunction points to the owners also winning their appeal, and expects that decision to be delivered in late June or early July. On the flip side, Brandt points out that the players are still likely to score big victories in the Brady antitrust case as relates to the draft, free agency and the salary cap, should we reach the point of the players actually litigating those issues. However, such actions are quite far away from actually happening, and likely wouldn't reach a courtroom for perhaps a matter of years. So although mediation is not due to pick up for another three weeks from yesterday, Brandt wonders if we've reached a window where a deal could be reached.

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Fat Camp: The Box

Since we're notably still in legal limbo, I decided to invent some more content today.  I almost said "out of whole cloth" at the end of that sentence, but I stopped myself.  What does that even mean anyway - whole cloth?  As opposed to what, partial cloth?  Sometimes the urge to use stupid cliches is strong and unconscious, but we must fight it so that we don't become Clark Judge-like.  (Remember the Broncos' coaches "calling 911" about the defense?  SMDH)

Speaking of stupid, don't ask me why I follow Jay Glazer on Twitter, but for some reason, I do.  I'm long on record saying that he's a name-dropping douchebag who can usually be found publicly kissing the haunches of Dana White or Jared Allen.  Some random fan asked the ever-brilliant Glazer if the stay being granted by the Eighth Circuit made football less likely in 2011.

Glazer said no, because it could force the players to finally negotiate.  (You'll hear a lot of this inanity, that it's an unwillingness to negotiate by one or both parties.) I told Glazer and his interlocutor that that was completely moronic, because it is.  If the injunction stands, there will be football.  This we know with 100% certainty, because the NFL would be forced to impose rules and have a season with no CBA while litigating in the background.  That's not what the NFL wants, but it's what would happen.

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Longer lockout Lard 5-17-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The NFL last night won its first victory in the labor battle with the players, as the Eighth Circuit made permanent their stay of Judge Nelson's lockout injunction, or in plainer English the lockout is back on in a big way. Even more plainly, yesterday means that there is in fact now a real chance that the 2011 season will be delayed, as the lockout will likely continue throughout the appeals process if not longer. Arguments before the Eighth Circuit will begin on June 3, although yesterday's decision makes it appear the owners are likely to win their appeal of Judge Nelson's lockout injunction.

Granted, this decision is not a huge surprise in light of the Eighth Circuit's prior granting of a temporary stay, the lengthy time it took to make that decision permanent, and its expedition of the appeals process. And while this most certainly swings a good deal of leverage back to the owners, whatever penalty Judge Doty imposes in his looming decision regarding the TV lockout insurance money is expected to give "momentum" back to the players. Of course, the owners will surely appeal that decision as well, as is their right...

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Gut Reaction: Eighth Circuit grants stay of lockout injunction

The Eighth Circuit today granted the NFL's request for a stay, by a 2-1 majority.  In the accompanying opinion, the two concurring judges disagreed with Judge Susan Nelson's ruling that this situation was a labor dispute, and not a matter of litigation.

They went so far as to say that the NFL was likely to prevail in their appeal, which will likely occur in June.

The Court, as the NFL had openly hoped, voted along partisan lines and delivered a pro-business ruling.  Frankly, the merits of the Court's comments don't make a lot of sense to me.

The majority completely ignored the fact that the NFL agreed not to pursue a claim of a sham decertification in 1992.  The NFL wanted the NFLPA to recertify at that time, so that they'd be afforded the antitrust protection of a non-statutory labor exemption, which we've been all through here at IAOFM.

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Broncography: Nate Irving

By now, most of us have heard the basic story about Nate Irving.

A top linebacker from North Carolina State, the now-22-year-old player decided to drive back to school in Raleigh late one June night from his home in Wallace, North Carolina. He fell asleep at the wheel of his truck, which struck two trees on the night of June 28, 2009. It was a life-threatening one-vehicle accident. His injuries included a broken rib, a compound fracture of the tibia, a separated shoulder and a punctured lung. To this day, Irving keeps a picture of the wreck on his cellphone to remind himself of the frailty of human life, and how easily it can be lost. Irving now has a metal rod in one leg, and also bears the tattoo of a cross on the underside of his left forearm, with the date of the accident - 6-28-2009 - perpendicular to the base of the cross. Noted Irving,

I noticed that within a snap of a finger it can all be taken away. I want to go out and play every play as hard as I can, every practice as hard as I can, be at every meeting and do every workout. Just to be out there and take full advantage of it and appreciate the game for what it is really worth.

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Cox pleads not guilty; trial date set

Second-year Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox pleaded not guilty today to two felony charges he faces stemming from an alleged sexual assault that occurred last September. Cox's trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, October 18 which is just after the Broncos' Week 6 bye. There's been no word out of Dove Valley as to what the 2010 fifth-rounder's status will be for the upcoming season, but it's hard to imagine Cox remaining on the Broncos' active roster this season while facing such serious charges (sexual assault while the victim was physically helpless and sexual assault while the victim was incapable of determining the nature of the conduct). If found guilty, Cox could face two years to as much as life in prison.

At first glance, it would appear the only feasible options for Cox would be to leave the team or face suspension from the Broncos. This is purely speculation on our part, but the distraction of a trial in this case will already loom large over the Broncos' season - and it has the potential to be quite detrimental to the team's image while perhaps even impacting their performance on the field. Having Cox suit up in uniform for any part of the year up to and including the trial seems a morally questionable possibility at best. As always, any ideas from our readership as to how Denver may proceed (legally or within the framework of NFL rules) are welcome in the comments..

The Daily Lard 5-16-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Former CU Buffs fullback Keith Miller is soon to make his debut with the Seattle Opera in their production of The Magic Flute. How did Miller go from being an NFL prospect to an opera singer? Well, it was the Broncos deciding they were not interested in him following a workout that sealed the deal. Miller had previously played in the XFL and Arena League, but after fruitless workouts with both Oakland and Denver, Miller decided in 2002 it was time to pursue his other calling. It was a good move, apparently - Miller has sung in more than 200 performances for the Metropolitan Opera and was featured in the NY Times a couple years back.

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Scouting the Broncos: The battle at Mike LB

Joe Mays is making news.

Mays was drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, beating the draft pundits and oddsmakers who had ranked him as an undrafted free agent. Denver traded twice-signed running back J.J. Arrington - or a conditional sixth-round pick if Arrington didn’t make the team - to the Eagles for Mays. Arrington didn’t stick in Philly, and Denver cheerfully gave up a sixth-round pick in 2012 to obtain Joe’s services.

Born in Chicago, where he attended Hyde Park High, Mays was the 2007 Great West Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He played in the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Challenge after his senior season at North Dakota State University, a school made special in the hearts of Denver fans by the Broncos' 1987 12th-rounder - Tyrone "Chicken" Braxton. Mays was named to the 2007 Walter Camp Football Foundation FCS All-America team and The Sports Network FCS All-America third team. Mays was also a candidate for the Sports Network 's Buchanan Award. 

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