Today, football fans and non-fans alike celebrate the heart of the Independence Day weekend, a celebration that has long feted the signing of the Declaration of Independence: the cornerstone event in the founding of our nation. I consider the Declaration to be one of the most important documents in recorded history, as important to human rights and freedom as the Code of Hammurabi and the Magna Carta. While I strongly support certain causes which I consider to be aspects of the rights of human freedom, I’m not particularly political by nature. I am, however, a fairly devoted student of history and to me, the Declaration was a huge step in our evolution as human beings. The recent massive movements to protests against repression and even regime changes that recently swept parts of North Africa and the Near and Middle East can legitimately be argued to have some of their roots in the signing and implementation of that document. It’s affected global policies adopted by the US and been a beacon to people around the globe.
What does this have to do with football? Very little, I suppose. But, I’ll tell you a story that does.
Happy Fourth of July, Broncos fans! Mike Freeman has penned an open letter to De Smith asking the NFLPA leader to get lawyers Jeffrey Kessler and Jim Quinn away from the labor negotiations. Freeman hears that the two attorneys have been "picking stupid fights" which have "delayed the negotiating process." As Jason Cole wrote the other day, the thinking is that Kessler and Quinn are pursuing an agenda that holds out until a verdict is reached in the Brady antitrust suit, one the players would be expected to win in a big way.
Meanwhile, Florio points out that the players will also lose out financially if preseason games are lost.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Bradenton Herald caught up with Von Miller while he was at the NFLPA's rookie symposium last week, and the #2 pick spoke about his inclusion in the Brady suit and his lockout living arrangements. Miller admits it will be tough to top the season last year's second-overall choice Ndamukong Suh had, and he has a great perspective on the fact that he'll likely make a lot less money on his rookie contract than will Suh as a result of the expected new rookie wage scale. Miller told writer Alan Dell that he can't fear losing something he never had, and that
I am living with my parents, and they love me being there so everything is fine. To me, it’s never been about the money. I’ve played all my life for free, and if you take something here you’ve got to give something there. The great players will get their money in the long run.
The 4th of July is only a few days away. I am feeling patriotic. Rather than give you a lecture on the Boston Tea Party, however, I'm just going to make the following assumptions:
What's more American than getting drunk, blowing stuff up, baking in the ozone, and having your relatives steal your alcohol?
Nothing, my man, there ain't nothing.
In your drunken stupor, you're going to want to mix football and patriotism. You should probably resist that urge. Leave that to the professionals like Roger Goodell.
Instead, impress your father-in-law with some of these little known facts about the Founding Fathers...if they had had football back in 1776.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The yo-yoing of the labor talks has continued, as Thursday's grim midday news were followed by many hours of negotiations and a reported mending of the revenue split issues. The talks continued for a couple of hours yesterday before breaking for the weekend, and are expected to start anew on Tuesday. Adam Schefter says the main issues being dealt with at this point are still the revenue split and the financial source of the so-called "legacy fund" to benefit retired players.
Mike Freeman is hearing that player attorneys Jeffrey Kessler and Jim Quinn are the biggest impediments to a deal at this point, and he writes that the Eighth Circuit and Judge Doty are holding off their own rulings and hoping that Judge Boylan's mediation will be enough to see the two sides through to an agreement. Finally, Jason Cole writes that Kessler and Quinn are happy to wait out the courts because come September, the players are likely to win big with their antitrust suit, as the owner's lawyer before the Eighth Circuit did little to convince the judges that a lockout could be extended beyond six months.
Last week, we tested your knowledge of the players who scored 10 or more touchdowns during their Broncos careers. Today, let's switch over to the defensive side - the NFL began tracking defensive sacks in 1982, and since then 29 different players have amassed at least 10 sacks as Broncos. Sadly, this means pass-rushing legend Rich "Tombstone" Jackson is not included, as his career ended in 1972. As always, last names suffice and guesses need not be made in order; discuss your answers and scores in the comments section.
Click here for Sporcle quiz:
Can you name the Players with 10 or more sacks in their Broncos careers?
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Jarrett Bell of USAT writes about the Broncos and the five biggest questions he deems they're facing this season, starting with whether John Elway will succeed as a front-office exec and if Tim Tebow can wrest the starting QB job from Kyle Orton. He figures the presence of John Fox means that hopefully the constant turnover at the DC position will finally come to an end, although Bell thinks the Broncos' selection of Von Miller over Marcell Dareus (of course, who knows if Dareus was even their second choice?) will be a hot debate topic going forward.
Bell concludes by wondering if Brian Dawkins has enough to contribute in his 16th season (and is it worth $6 million?) and if the Broncos can finally restore their home-field advantage. That last one should be filed under the "moot points" category, as good teams always have good records at home, while mediocre and poor teams (like Denver has been for the past five years) do not. They just have to become a better team, period. The rest (winning at home, beating division rivals and lesser teams, etc.) result from that...not vice versa.
According to Chris Mortensen and Mike Freeman, the CBA talks have regressed as the owners have apparently gone back to "playing games" by reneging on the reported agreement to give the players a flat 48% of all revenue. Reportedly, the owners have gone back to requesting an expense credit off the top amounting to between $400 million and $500 million which would knock the players' cut down to around 45%. Meanwhile, Albert Breer is tweeting that the negotiations are continuing at this hour in Minneapolis:
I've heard the cries for weeks now -- "Why aren't they locked in a building, 'round the clock?" Looks like people are getting their wish...Big shots arrived at around 9 am CT. All hell broke loose in the 4 o'clock hour with doom and gloom. Almost 9 pm now. They're still meeting...We're past 10 CT ... And they're still meeting. Entering Hour No. 14 of this day's negotiations.
Mike Florio's reaction is that it's about time the two sides burn the midnight oil in pursuit of an agreement, and that perhaps it's time for Judge Doty and the Eighth Circuit judges to issue their rulings and push things along. Finally, Judy Battista is hearing that the two sides are still close enough that a deal could be reached within 72 hours, although a settlement is more likely to stretch another week and a half, if not more.
Britt Davis is a bit irked by the whole planking phenomenon, and he apparently got flamed for sharing that opinion...
I can MAYBE understand young kids doing this "Planking" not knowing history but all you so called grown ups should be ahsamed...And someone already died from doing that please #DoBetter Society...this is embarrassing for all people not just black people...“@iamjennashea: shutup and #plank! @only1BDavis7” lol off twitter for the day let me know when it's safe to come back plankfree
Hmm. It sounds like Davis and Lance Ball got some incorrect info on the provenance of planking, which according to most related articles online is attributed to some folks in Australia who started the "Lying Down Game" only a few years ago...
What source you get this from ?!?! RT @Spoony29: I repeat : #Planking is a racist term used for stacking slaves in slave ships...Ok since my homie @Spoony29 schooled me on #planking >>>everybody need to chill out with it. Depicts a terrible time in black history!!!
Sure would be interesting to hear Davis, Ball and Brandon Minor discuss the merits of planking:
hey @BarackObama i think its bout time you plank bruh
Good Morning, Broncos fans! In Woody's latest mailbag, he shares some good insight on the Denver coaching staff, as John Fox retained 11 of Josh McDaniels' assistants, mostly on the offensive side. Paige writes that there was a divide among the staff last year, with defensive assistants comprising what he calls the "anti-McDaniels faction," most or all of whom have moved on. He also points out that Fox quite interestingly kept on Mark Thewes, McDaniels' best friend and assistant, citing the job Thewes did of insulating and protecting McDaniels as his situation in Denver worsened.
Woody figures that if Tim Tebow is the starting QB, we can expect to see more plays that utilize his ability to get out of the pocket, and he theorizes that Knowshon Moreno will at best either split carries or become more of a third-down type back. He also floats the idea of re-signing Daniel Graham, but that seems unlikely considering his advanced age and the diverse talent and youth already on the roster at that position. Woody expects little meddling from Fox on offense, not because it's Fox's way (it is) but because he'll need to focus on helping Dennis Allen in his first year as DC.
Woody says not to expect Justin Bannan back, and that he's likely headed eastward. Finally, he says that the only way Kyle Orton ends up starting at QB is if the labor talks go much later than expected, resulting in an abridged training camp.