The Daily Lard 2-8-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Wow, can you imagine being one of those folks who got kicked out of their seats on Sunday? Sure, the NFL is stepping up a bit and trying to make up for it...but that's only really nice if you're not a Packers or Steelers fan, right? Surely at least some of those people were taking a once-in-a-lifetime trip to see their favorite team play in the Super Bowl and had laid out a ton of cash to do so. How pissed off would you be?

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Hip surgery for Royal; 6 months of rehab ahead

Vic Lombardi reported via Twitter that Broncos WR Eddie Royal had surgery on his hip and will require 6 months of rehabilitation. This likely will end any speculation that the Broncos will be trading away one of their veteran receivers... (Thanks, Ponderosa!)

UPDATE 3:08PM ET: Team spokesman Patrick Smyth says the Broncos expect Royal “will be ready for OTAs in late May.”

Gut Reactions - Super Bowl Sunday

It's finally over, Broncos fans.  The 2010 NFL season is in the books.

During perhaps the wildest year in the history of the Denver Broncos, the Super Bowl was won yet again by an unexpected wild-card team.

I saw it fitting, then,  to give you one last wild Gut Reactions--a dollar late and a day short.

Let's get right to the Positives, the Negatives, and the Who The Heck Knows.

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So much for balance Lard 2-7-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Couple interesting notes from last night's game - there was but one Super Bowl record broken, yet it was quite a meaningful one: the 36 combined rushing attempts by the Packers and Steelers set a new low. But winning in the NFL is all about balance and running the ball well, right? There's no question that the Packers had a great defense in 2010, and they're just one team; but they won the Super Bowl so let's examine a few things:

  • The Packers ranked 20th in the NFL in rushing attempts
  • They ranked 24th in rushing yardage
  • They were tied for 18th in the league in rushing TDs
  • With 3.8 YPA, Green Bay ranked 25th in the NFL

Denver's ranks in those same categories? 27th, 26th, 12th (tied) and 23rd (tied), respectively. So, you that John Fox is in town and Brain Xanders is talking of running the ball a lot more, the Broncos will be back playing for titles, right?

The other point of note? Why didn't Green Bay go for it on fourth down at the end of the game up 3 points? I have no idea, but they should have...

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Super Bowl Sunday Open Thread

Enjoy the game, everyone!

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?