Why John Elway should stop talking

When I write a long column, I number my different topics and always retire Number 7 for John Elway.  I've seen that done by others, here and there, and I always think it's cool to be the guy who started it.  As a player, John Elway's career was amazing, and he's very well-deserving of having his greatness honored in whatever little way that people like us can do it.  I advocated for the hiring of Elway to a front office role, and I was glad when it happened, but I have to tell you, I'm troubled with what I've been seeing from him.

I have no doubt that Elway is a smart guy, and I have little doubt that he can be a good front office guy.  I keep hoping that he'll stop with the media blitz, and that he realizes that it's inappropriate, but there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.  I listened to Brian Xanders on Sirius NFL Radio last night, and he's been at it too.  It seems like they want to be the public faces of the Denver Broncos, and this is a huge mistake.  The front office should speak to the media sparingly, and only in the offseason.  Otherwise, they severely risk handcuffing the Head Coach, who is essentially required by NFL policy to be the public face of the team.

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Shannon Sharpe, Hall of Famer Lard 2-6-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's a beautiful day for the predominantly orange and blue, as Shannon Sharpe is now a Hall of Famer. Has a fantastic ring to it, no? Big Play Shay was one of seven men elected to the HOF last night and will be enshrined in Canton on Saturday, August 6. Tickets are available here and range from $35 to $70.

Shannon was on NFL Network following the announcement, and this is an absolute must watch (go to 1h15m). It's quite an emotional segment, as Shannon spoke about his 88-year-old grandmother who raised him and took a phone call from his big brother Sterling. There's even a bonus appearance by Daily Lard "favorite" Jeff Legwold, who is bizarrely listed as still being with the RMN. Of course, it was Legwold who was tasked with presenting the case for Sharpe's election yesterday, and obviously he did Shannon right. While it took three attempts, we do have to tip our hats (or at least I do) to Legwold for doing his part to help get deserving Broncos into the HOF in consecutive years (Floyd Little last year).

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The Broncography of Shannon Sharpe, Hall of Famer

He was born a Chicago boy, but was raised on a farm in the town of Glennville, Georgia. His family had made a decision to flee the violence and grit of the city to raise their boys in a rural community where life was simpler. But working a farm means 12 hour days, day in and day out, from the first touch of light to its last rays. Sterling and Shannon Sharpe grew up knowing how to work hard and to never give up. It was a lesson that would serve both in good stead.

Sterling, by three years the older of the two, was in elementary school when the family moved. Shannon was still too young for school, but he never forgot the lessons that the farm would teach him: patience, perseverance and dedication. Keeping enough food on the table for two rapidly growing boys was often a challenge, back in those days. The farm taught him other things, too. Shannon once joked that the family was so poor that when a burglar once came to the house to rob them, the family caught him and robbed him. It wasn’t a joke by much.

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Shay Shay’s day? Lard 2-5-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Here we are - it's election day for the Pro Football HOF, and therefore time for Broncos fans everywhere to get that nauseous feeling in anticipation of Shannon Sharpe getting snubbed yet again. As we get further away from his career, it's bizarre how the conversation changes. Throughout his career, he was rightfully considered the best TE in football and a player who changed the game. Every time his name came up, it was as a surefire HOFer, and his eight Pro Bowl and four All Pro selections can never be taken away from him. But today, the dialogue is about Shannon's blocking skills, whether he was a true TE or should be viewed as a WR, and therefore compared statistically with actual wide receivers.

It's mind blowing, truly. Shannon Sharpe was a dominant player by any measure, remarkably clutch and for much of his career the NFL's only TE who demanded a large portion of the opposition's defensive game plan. Even the teams that knew just how much havoc he wrought could do nothing to stop him (hello, Kansas City and San Diego). Early in his career, Sharpe was the Broncos' only receiving threat worthy of any attention, but he still came through whenever John Elway & Co. needed to convert a crucial third down. For many years, everyone in the building (and watching at home) knew Shay Shay was the guy on third-and-medium or third-and-long, and yet he still got open and made the play - every time, it seemed.

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Friday Trivia Trough: Super Bowl edition

Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest gluttonfests in the United States, second only to Thanksgiving. Being that we're only two days away from SB XLV, it's time to start stretching out our stomachs - and what better way than by stepping up to the trough for some tasty trivia? In honor of that greatest of sporting events, today's Trough consists entirely of Broncos SB trivia. It's pretty high on the difficulty scale, especially since our team's first four visits to the big stage were entirely forgettable. As always, you are not required to respond to questions in order - you can navigate around the quiz by clicking different questions of your choosing. Good luck everyone, no cheating or peeking, and feel free to post your scores and discuss the answers in the comments!

Click here for Sporcle quiz:
Can you name the following SB Broncos of note?

More Elway Lard 2-4-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! John Elway spoke with Mike Florio on PFT Live and stepped back a bit from his earlier statement that Kyle Orton is the starting QB, instead framing the situation as a competition. Most interestingly, he clearly came down on the players' side of the debate over expanding the regular season, saying "I can't imagine playing 18 games," despite acknowledging that the extra games would be a positive for management and fans.

In another of his media appearances, Elway said he was shocked that Shannon Sharpe was not elected to the HOF in either of the past two years and that Sharpe "has been underestimated in the running game" in terms of his blocking ability.

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The Dude’s Mail Revue: Hacks, Josina Anderson turning me on, and testosterone injections

Dude's Mail Revue 400x145

Fat Man blogger TJ “The Dude” Johnson posts The Dude’s Mail Revue on Thursdays, in which he takes your questions and gets your opinion about the state of the Denver Broncos.

You wanna tie the room together?  Or say what you'd like about the tenets of national socialism?

Drop TJ a question: tjthedudejohnson@gmail.com.

(NOTE: This week, marmots  were actually harmed in the writing of this Revue)

Dude, okay, here's the deal.  I know that you've got this thing where you criticize the Denver Post each and every day.  It's like Fat Man's thing.  I get that.  I really do.  But do you need to do it so often?  Every day?  Certainly, Woody Paige can't be that bad 24/7.  Is Jeff Legwold walking around like a character from the movie Rain Man the very moment he awakes?  Did Mark Kiszla sell his soul to the devil?  Don't get me wrong, you guys are the best thing out there.  I get a laugh everyday from reading your stuff.  But you, Doug Lee, and now Ted are really laying it on thick, don' you think?  You going after Lindsay Jones next?

--Mark Woodrow Legklis, Arvada, Colorado

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Trade value Lard 2-3-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! While making the rounds at the Super Bowl, John Elway did his best yesterday to maintain Kyle Orton's trade value good side by saying that Kyle is still the Broncos' starter and it's "not a foregone conclusion" the QB will be traded. But frankly, what else is he supposed to say about the QB situation? If Elway were to declare that Tim Tebow is the starter or proclaim that he is already a good quarterback, then Orton's trade value would plummet. Not only that, but perhaps Kyle would then come out and publicly demand a trade, making the situation even worse. We'd have even more quarterback drama than is already inherent in the current set of circumstances, and haven't we had enough of that over the past dozen (Bubby/Brian, Griese's dog, Plummer's Element, Jake/Jay, Jay/Josh, Orton/Tebow) years?

Additionally, a declaration from Elway that Tebow will be the 2011 starter would be horribly disrespectful of head coach John Fox. No matter who ultimately makes the decision, or when it becomes public, one would have to think it will be Fox who announces it. Either way, try not to read Elway's comments as a real criticism of Tebow or anything more than posturing to prop up Orton's trade value. Tim Tebow is the future in Denver, and frankly the Broncos organization would be doing themselves a great disservice for that future not to be in place by the next season opener.

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Elway bewilders on The Jim Rome Show

John Elway was a guest on Jim Rome's radio show earlier today, and frankly he had some interesting things to say about the Broncos going forward. He talked about Josh McDaniels and his future as a head coach, the drafting of Tim Tebow and whether Tebow can be a successful NFL QB, and the Jay Cutler drama from last week. Most alarming notably, Elway shared some baffling thoughts insight as to why he decided to hire John Fox as the Broncos' new head coach: 

I think that we're we've been defensively with the Broncos, (having had) 6 defensive coordinators in 6 years...I had a mindset of (wanting) to get something done on defense...because to me that's how you win Super Bowls...you play good defense and be adequate or better on offense, you've got a chance to be Super Bowl champs.

Really, John? Adequate on offense? Oh, brother. Apparently John doesn't remember how he won his own Super Bowls...Listen to Elway's appearance with Rome in full here.

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NFL injury rates and the 18-game season

Why not add two games a year to the NFL regular season schedule? It’s a fair question, since the four preseason games that teams gouge season ticket holders for are almost universally considered excessive. The owners want to keep the total games at 20, but they are strongly in favor of moving two of the preseason time-wasters into profitable, full-stadium affairs. There’s really only one problem with that.

Well, make that two problems. The first is that players are already banged up and aching as the season wears to its close. Adding two more games is forcing players who are already injured, worn down and/or hurting to put themselves in a situation that can end their careers two more times each year, and ownership has been far less exuberant about talking compensation for the players for those two extra games.

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