The X-Man Goeth: Broncos fire GM Brian Xanders

The Broncos have fired Brian Xanders after four years with the organization and three seasons as their general manager. Although the story by Mike Klis portrays the decision as a mutual parting of ways, it doesn't take much reading between the lines - or of the DP's Breaking News email titled, Broncos fire GM Brian Xanders after three years in Denver - to discern that the choice was all John Elway's.

Xanders was originally hired by Mike Shanahan in 2008 as assistant GM before being elevated to the GM position following the hiring of Josh McDaniels. McDaniels and Xanders teamed up on a slew of controversial personnel moves, including the trade departures of Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler, and Peyton Hillis, the drafting of Knowshon Moreno, Robert Ayers, Alphonso Smith, Richard Quinn, Tim Tebow, Zane Beadles, and J.D. Walton, and the acquisitions of Laurence Maroney, Jarvis Green, and LeKevin Smith, among others.

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The Daily Lard 5-7-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As Mike Freeman details, HOF guard Joe DeLamielleure joined Kurt Warner and Troy Aikman as prominent ex-players to question the future of the NFL and express a reluctance to allow family members to play the sport. Said DeLamiellere to a San Diego radio station:

I have five grandsons. I have told my daughters from day one, those boys are not playing football. Now the oldest is eleven. There is no way. Not until they clean it up. They are trying to clean it up. But not until they take care of the guys who helped build this game, would I consider letting my children or grandchildren play.

We have sub-poverty pensions. [The NFL] does not want to give the guys livable pensions. Give them health care, so they can go to a private doctor without jumping through hoops with the NFL and the NFL union.

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The Daily Lard 5-6-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Chargers will hold a public tribute for Junior Seau at Qualcomm on Friday afternoon. Tim Brown says Seau was in good spirits at a golf tournament two days before he committed suicide.

Despite an announcement earlier in the week by the Seau family's pastor that they would allow CTE researchers to study Junior's brain, they have apparently taken a step back to reconsider their decision.

By now it's well known that Seau is the eighth member of the 1994 Chargers to have passed, but sadly the string of tragedies that has struck them began even before the end of their magical run to the Super Bowl.

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A tribute to MCA, the Beastie Boys, and the power of music and sports

This morning, Doug referenced the death of Adam Yauch, otherwise known as MCA, of the legendary rap trio, The Beastie Boys.

This event, of course, has nothing directly to do with the Denver Broncos and football.  And yet, on some level, it does.  That's because it provides the ability to reflect on those rare spaces--the crevices, if you will--of American culture in which America really is greater than the sum of its parts.

A brief explanation is in order.  Since the 1960s there have been two particular areas of American culture in which race (however we choose to define this term), class, and all other manner of categorical classifications blend and morph into the America we all puport we want and export across the world--a true melting pot.  This was never more true than in the 1980s.  This was the era in which we saw the emergence of the black quarterback in the NFL; further, we began seeing the fusion of music that had traditionally been considered black (hip-hop and rap) with music that had been considered white (rock). You saw the likes of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, blending funk and rock, but also the collaboration of diverse groups like Aerosmith and Run DMC, with the insanely popular remake of the Aerosmith song Walk This Way. This continued when Public Enemy (Fight the Goodell) and Anthrax combined to remake Public Enemy's Bring The Noise.

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The Daily Lard 5-5-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In its letter to the four players suspended in the Saints' bounty scandal, the NFL alleges that DE Will Smith helped Gregg Williams set up and fund the bounty system in New Orleans, that LB Scott Fujita also contributed to the fund during the 2009 playoffs, and that DE Anthony Hargrove was an active participant in the system.

In responding to the grievance filed by the union yesterday over the four players' suspensions, the league notes that the NFLPA did not challenge any of the facts in the case, nor the length of the penalties. In its statement, the NFL also alleges the NFLPA had never before suggested the players should possess immunity from punishment under the current CBA.

A legal expert says the issuance of suspensions by the Commish falls under the Ginger Hammer's best-interest powers to protect the league, and thus should pass muster with arbitrators.

Meanwhile, NFLPA counsel Richard Smith says the league has refused to provide the union with any of the evidence they requested, including player names, interview transcripts, or violation dates.

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Why you shouldn’t listen to radio guys

I’ve been writing about football for the last four years, and when I am occasionally taking myself really seriously, I remember that that makes me part of the Broncos media.  Not the part of the media that feels the need to suck up to Jim Saccomano (I’ve seen that in action elsewhere), but still, we have a platform that tens of thousands of people have visited, and continue to visit, and we’re on a really rapid growth curve.  Throughout the Broncos media, lots of words and thoughts are generated and consumed about the Broncos, and some of them are mine, which is kind of cool.

Given that IAOFM has a place in the media environment, I have always found it interesting to consider the content producers in other places within that environment.  What are they bringing to the table?  Who exactly are they serving with their content?  Is any of it worthwhile, or is it a bunch of garbage?

I’ve always been fascinated by talk radio, for two reasons.  For one thing, it’s really old media, but it continues to be a really highly-used form of communication.  All kinds of new technologies have emerged over the last 80-90 years, and nothing quite kills the radio star.  I mean, just in the sense of a normal product life cycle, radio should have been destroyed and replaced many times over by now, and in some ways, it’s more successful than ever.  My main interest in radio as a medium is why that is.

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The Daily Lard 5-4-12

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! There is a growing dispute over the quality of evidence the NFL holds regarding the Saints' bounty scandal. Former US Attorney Mary Jo White says the NFL has some powerful evidence against New Orleans, perhaps referring to DE Anthony Hargrove's reported written statement detailing the bounty system and acknowledging his role in it.

That would probably qualify as strong-to-quite-strong evidence, right? Well, an NFLPA lawyer doesn't think so, and Mike Silver says the NFL must publicize whatever evidence they do have, stressing that there appears to be no proof of money changing hands, or of any players actually suffering injuries resulting from hits delivered with intent to harm.

Meanwhile, suspended LB Jonathan Vilma requested a meeting with the NFL prior to the announcement of his suspension, but he then decided not to go on advice from his lawyers.

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Terrell Suggs likely done for the year

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, the reigning AP NFL Defensive POY, is expected to miss the entire 2012 season due to a torn Achilles suffered possibly while playing basketball (or, not?) in Arizona. The former 10th-overall pick is due to make $4.9M this season and is expected to undergo surgery next week.

The Broncos will head to Baltimore for a Week 15 matchup that will look significantly more winnable if the Ravens are without Suggs, who accumulated 14 sacks, two interceptions, seven forced fumbles, and six passes defensed, and 75 tackles in 2011.

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RIP Junior Seau Lard 5-3-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans. We've continued to add quotes and links to our story on the death of Junior Seau, and will continue to do so. Some poignant words about player safety and the future of football from the man himself are worth emphasizing here, via Jim Trotter:

In March, we spoke about the perception that commissioner Roger Goodell was making the game too soft with his enhanced enforcement of player safety rules. "It has to happen," he said. "Those who are saying the game is changing for the worse, well, they don't have a father who can't remember his name because of the game. I'm pretty sure if everybody had to wake with their dad not knowing his name, not knowing his kids' name, not being able to function at a normal rate after football, they would understand that the game needs to change. If it doesn't there are going to be more players, more great players, being affected by the things that we know of and aren't changing. That's not right." (h/t Judy Battista)

RIP, Junior. You will be missed.

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Seau’s death ruled suicide; family will allow researchers to study brain

Originally posted 5/2/12 at 2:16 pm ET; latest update 5/4/12 at 7:52 am ET

Former Chargers, Dolphins, and Patriots linebacker Junior Seau was found dead at his home in Oceanside, California Wednesday morning, at the age of 43.

Police investigated Seau's death as a suicide, and the autopsy performed on Thursday confirmed it. Bennett Omalu, the forensic pathologist who made the initial discovery of CTE, participated in the autopsy, and on Thursday evening Seau's family announced they would allow CTE researchers to study Junior's brain.

Drafted fifth overall in the 1990 Draft, Seau played 20 seasons - 13 in San Diego,  three in Miami, and four in New England.  His best seasons came with Chargers, however, and often, his best games came against the Denver Broncos.

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