The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Don’t go to Houston nightclubs if you’re a pro athlete Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Washington GM Bruce Allen steps in for PK in writing today's MMQB, and he spends the opener shamelessly fluffing the horrible owners he's worked under: Al Davis, the Glazers, and Dan Snyder.

He also says he dislikes "political correctness" (in a locker room), and how could he not say that when his franchise's name is the epitome of racism? Anyway, the whole column is a shoutout to his family and friends, and it's probably more self-referencing than anything PK himself has ever written.

We can only hope the boys at KSK will choose to obliterate this column instead of digging up more vintage PK, because between calling Snyder "brilliantly quick and witty," trying to portray D.C. as the greatest place in the world, and lobbying for his buddies to make the HOF, this is basically MMQB in his purest, most concentrated form. Eau de MMQB, if you will.

Updated 9:26am ET

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The sky isn’t always blue Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Former nemesis Priest Holmes is among the latest ex-NFL stars to speak up about the lingering physical effects of his playing career:

As much as I loved it (football), that same love now has put me in situations that I have to live with. The frontal headaches, the migraines. Laying in bed, it’s tough to get out mornings just because of the pain that is setting in with an arthritic condition, it’s things like that that you never would have really thought about.

Holmes also describes the on-field symptoms he experienced after concussions in frightening fashion:

For a moment, as bodies are peeled off a woozy ballcarrier by officials and teammates, the sky can change color or become a heavenly light.

“This color obviously isn’t going to be blue. It can be a color that can be orange. It can be red. The sky could turn green,” Holmes told The Daily. “There’s even an episode where you see a clear light, like light at the end of the tunnel.”

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Bubby Brister among latest NFLers to sue over concussions Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Chase Stuart's next look at franchise record holders covers receiving stats. Of course, almost all of Denver's marks are held by newest Ring of Famer Rod Smith, who will gain induction during a Week 3 ceremony when Kubes and the Texans are in town.

But there is one big record that Rod doesn't own, and it's the Broncos standard for touchdown catches in a single season.

Like Stuart has done with his trivia questions, I'll offer a few hints. But since I haven't figured out how to hide them just yet, I'll slip them throughout the Lard.

Gold star to anyone who can guess the player without a hint.

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Shanny’s control freakishness is rubbing off on his pal Fisher Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! The bounty scandal took its latest expected steps yesterday, as the NFLPA filed suit against the league on behalf of suspended players Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove, and Will Smith, alleging that the Ginger Hammer showed bias in his handling of the punishments and appeals.

Within the suit, the players stick to their claim they never participated in an organized bounty system meant to harm opponents, while the NFL responded by calling it an improper suit. In another court action, Roger Goodell filed a motion to dismiss Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against him.

And interestingly, in Goodell's letter to the suspended players turning down their appeal, he backs off the league's claim that it was Anthony Hargrove who uttered the infamous "give me my money" line.

But ultimately, Andrew Brandt thinks the players are swimming upstream and should have addressed the NFL's disciplinary system during the last CBA negotiations instead of fight it now.

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Raiders are just bad people Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There remains no real news to discuss, so we're going to keep hammering away at this Matt Prater discussion we've been having.

Much has been made in recent days about Prater's perceived clutchness, specifically in the fourth quarter and overtime. As a quick exercise, let's examine all of his 4Q and OT attempts from last season:

Week Opponent Quarter Distance Score Before Kick
7 @MIA OT 52 15-15
10 @KC 4 41 (Miss) 17-7
12 @SD 4 24 10-13
    OT 37 13-13
13 @MIN 4 46 29-32
    4 23 32-32
14 CHI 4 59 7-10
    OT 51 10-10

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Goodell upholds bounty suspensions levied by Goodell Lard

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans, and Happy Fourth! According to Mike Florio, Matt Prater got $4.25M in guarantees as part of his new deal - not $3M as had been reported by the DP.

If this is true, count me back on the side of disliking this contract. Prater will be making more this season than Ryan Clady and Von Miller (I know, rookie contracts, but still), and somewhere in the neighborhood of Joel Dreessen, Jacob Tamme, Tracy Porter, Chris Kuper, and Joe Mays.

This, for a 78.4% career kicker (76% last year, tied for 26th-best among kickers with 24 or more attempts).

Out of 34 active kickers, Prater ranks 29th in overall accuracy over his career. These are not figures that suggest Prater should be one of the league's highest-paid kickers.

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New blackout rule unlikely to curb fan abuse Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Just two days ago we applauded news that the NFL would be relaxing its blackout rules, thus allowing more hometown fans to watch games on TV.

But there's of course a catch, and the Chargers - who accounted for two of the league's sixteen blackouts last season, with four blackouts the year before - say they will not take advantage of the change.

Traditionally, when a team fails to sell out a game, local fans get screwed over by losing the ability to watch that game on television. The idea here is that the blackout rule encourages fans to attend games in person and drop $100 for a ticket, $40 for parking, and $10 per beer, rather than stay on the couch, watch the game for free, and change the channel during commercials and halftime. As if that's a reasonable choice for many people.

Of all the NFL policies that serve to abuse its loyal fans, there's probably nothing worse than the blackout rule. Fans in areas like San Diego are stressing about whether they'll actually see the upcoming game, rather than anticipating it with excitement. And obviously, plenty of these fans cannot afford the time or money required to attend games in person.

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Shame on Mark Kiszla Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There's nothing happening in the football world, but one can always rely upon the Denver Post for low-hanging fruit to bat around.

Mark Kiszla wrote a blatantly xenophobic column about the Nuggets' draft the other day, got called out for it, and his reaction is rather pathetic.

It's this simple: the lazy, ugly angle Kiszla took is no better (and hardly any different) than criticizing the pick based upon the color of the guy's skin or the way his name sounds. It's one thing to stir up one's readers to debate an athlete's skills, but it's altogether something else to incite them over a player's country of origin.

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1990s Broncos inspired RGIII to play football Lard

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! Only days after pushing late kickoffs back 10 minutes, the NFL will reportedly make more important changes to improve the gameday experience for both ticketholders and home viewers:

  1. Teams will have the flexibility to set blackout thresholds as low as 85%, allowing teams to both add seating and avoid blackouts
  2. During replay reviews, fans in attendance will be able to see the same footage as officials
  3. Fans will no longer be on their own when it comes to creating noise before key downs; of course, this will be key with the wine and cheese crowd at SAF@MH
  4. Some or all stadiums will finally have free WiFi
  5. Smartphone apps will allow fans to listen to mic'd up players

All of these changes are welcome and long overdue, especially those first three items. Along with the later kickoffs and the coming availability of All-22 film, the league has taken several fan-friendly steps of late. It's not often we say this, but well done, NFL.

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Donovan McNabb is starting to sound like Terrell Owens Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday marked the first annual Drive for Dinger, a golf tournament held at Vanderbilt to honor the late Mike Heimerdinger. Of course, Dinger was a longtime Broncos, Titans, and Jets coach, and the college roommate who saved Mike Shanahan's life after he had ruptured a kidney during practice at Eastern Illinois.

Shanahan, Gary Kubiak, Rick Dennison, Jay Cutler, and Brandon Marshall were among those who gathered in Tennessee yesterday to honor their late friend/coach. Said Kubes, "I really miss him. It’s still hard to believe."

The kindest words for Dinger surprisingly came from Marshall, who tends to be quite stingy in his praise for coaches:

That first year, he was on me. He treated me like a rookie, but it was for my best interest. He has a talent for pushing people to the limit, but keeping that respect there, getting the most out of people and also showing them love at the same time.

RIP, Dinger.

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