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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The Daily Lard 5-15-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! You know, just the other day I was both wondering if Dennis Allen was trying to keep some super-low profile and wanting to hear more out of our new defensive coordinator. Happily, Krieger caught up with Allen on Friday and helps us get to know him just a bit better. While Allen is frustrated by the inability to coach up his new players due to the lockout, he's keeping busy by studying film of the Broncos' AFC West rivals. Plus, he expects the players to be familiar with the terminology of his defense the next time they meet, as they all got their new playbooks during the brief window of Judge Nelson's lockout injunction.

Like John Elway and Fox and Brain Xanders have been stressing all offseason, Allen made it clear he plans to employ a defense characterized by pressure, aggression and athleticism. Granted, we've heard this from each of Allen's many recent predecessors, but the rookie DC plans to get after the quarterback, turn the ball over, prevent big plays and be stout in the scoring area. Also echoing his bosses, Allen admitted that the Broncos may be interested in bringing back Justin Bannan (and perhaps Jamal Williams), the cutting of whom to avoid a $500,000 bonus looms as the biggest personnel blunder of 2011 (so far) for Denver.

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The Dude’s Mail Revue, weekend edition: Paige, white boys, and tasers

Dude's Mail Revue 400x145Fat Man writer TJ “The Dude” Johnson posts The Dude’s Mail Revue on Thursdays whenever the hell he gets around to it.  He takes your questions and gets your opinion about the state of the Broncos and the NFL. 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: Marmots were harmed in the writing of this Revue)

TJ, I read your stupid column last week blasting Woody Paige for suggesting that Kyle Orton never offered encouragement to Tim Tebow.   Let me jump completely into bed with Woody here.  You are guilty of cherry picking.  You took one shot of Orton on the sideline and used it to suggest that Tebow and Orton were fast friends during Weeks 16 and 17.   That's ridiculous.  Paige is onto something here.  I can feel it.  Orton is a sulker.  You should be ashamed of yourself. You call yourself "The Dude?" I don't like your name and I don't like your blog.  

-- Roy Hardman Oliver, San Paulo, Brazil

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The Daily Lard 5-14-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Johns Elway and Fox apparently told Chris Mortensen yesterday that Brady Quinn is truly in the running for the starting gig, as hard as that is to believe. Of course, Mort probably just asked about Quinn's status - and what else could the Johns have said? "Yeah, he's on a one-year, $800K deal to be our backup, and if he's comfortable in that role we'll re-sign him next year. Tebow's our starter and we'd like a second-rounder for Kyle but will be glad to end up with a third-rounder for a guy who's going to make over $7 million this season with no team control beyond 2011." That may be what they're thinking, but of course they can't say it...

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A case for pursuing Reggie Bush

Happy Friday, friends.  I’ve been moving over the last three days and have had really minimal time to write lately.  So you don’t forget about me, I decided to balance my ongoing time constraints with writing briefly today about something that I’ve been thinking about.  I think that when free agency starts, the Broncos should consider proactively trying to sign Reggie Bush.  He’s technically still under contract with the Saints, but it’s pretty clear that New Orleans isn’t going to pay $11.8 million for a part-time player, so everybody expects Bush will be free before long.

I know Reggie isn’t everybody’s glass of vodka, and I think there are some things about him that are troubling.  His stupid tweet last week about how great the lockout is showed an obliviousness to his world and how he fits in it, and the whole dating-a-Kardashian business is a red flag.  I’d hate to see the guy as a regular on a stupid reality show like Lamar Odom.  He also pretty clearly took some improper benefits in college, and embarrassingly had to vacate the 2005 Heisman Trophy.

Then there will be the stat people, who’ll say, well, Reggie’s career high in rushing yards is 581 in his second season, and he hasn’t even been over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in any season except for his rookie one.  These are good points.  That 2006 rookie season was also the only one where Bush ever played in all 16 games.  It’s reasonable at this point to question the guy’s durability.  I’m almost starting to talk myself out of this before I even make the case, because of all these “red flags."

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