Enough with this ‘first ballot’ garbage Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Probably because he's a baseball guy, Mike Klis follows up his characterization of Von Miller as a "near superstar" by using the retirement of Brian Urlacher to bring up the moronic concept of whether a player deserves to be a "first ballot HOFer".

A guy is either a HOFer or he's not, and we all know that Brian Urlacher is a HOFer

Now, in that column, Mike Tanier raises the question of whether Urlacher will be a first ballot HOFer, but there he's just acknowledging the HOF's stupid voting process, which caps the number of enshrinees each year. Tanier isn't splitting HOF-worthy players into first-ballot and non-first-ballot categories, as Klis obnoxiously does.

This plays out in baseball with someone like Tom Seaver - one of the few best righthanded pitchers in the history of the sport - falling five shorts shy of unanimity because some writers use their votes to make political statements, and others think that no player deserves inclusion in the first year of eligibility.

We already know, from watching the HOF voting process year after year, that the system is completely flawed, mostly because it's conducted by a bunch of sportswriters with axes to grind and egos to stroke (their own).

With their votes alone, these clowns have far too much power over whether all-time greats are immortalized.

But when they start getting into when a player deserves inclusion, things have gone way too far. It's an abuse of a power these people don't even deserve to have in the first place.

That it took players like Shannon Sharpe, Cris Carter, and Derrick Thomas so long to receive their just honors speaks volumes about how flawed the process is.

Let us not forget that we're talking about a violent sport that destroys minds and bodies, as Junior Seau will someday join Thomas in being enshrined posthumously.

HOF voters (and Klis isn't one - Jeff Legwold is Denver's representative) must start to recognize that they themselves have been honored by being offered the right to vote on the HOF. Within the football world, they hold a most precious power, and they need to start respecting that power.

Let's hope that come next winter, these writers demonstrate that respect by not getting into whether Urlacher is a first ballot HOFer, instead simply voting yes or no.

Fortunately for Urlacher, Klis and his baseball mind won't be in the room...

Broncos

Videos: Adam Gase, Demaryius Thomas, Louis Vasquez, and Ronnie Hillman (who says he's added 15 pounds and expects to play at 195 this season) speak after practice.

With Gase at the podium, the topics of the day were familiarity and tempo, although the new OC of course acknowledged that it's all up to Peyton Manning, and he says Mike McCoy was clearly grooming him last year in preparation for McCoy's own inevitable departure.

Peyton Manning says he's flattered that Jerry Jones wants Tony Romo to work as hard as Peyton does.

Jeff Legwold says it's never too late for Denver to add a veteran at the minimum, and he discusses the cap factors of Joe Mays potentially getting cut, as we've done here a zillion times.

Pat Bowlen was honored for his philanthropic leadership within the state of Colorado; David Bruton spoke at a YESS Mentoring Institute event.

News

The Ginger Hammer says that not only is the draft moving to May in 2014, but the owners are still hoping to expand both the regular season and playoffs. UGH. John Clayton sees several problems with moving the draft date.

WR Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles on Tuesday and had it surgically repaired on Wednesday, but the Niners are not yet ruling him out for the season.

The Giants are reportedly close to re-signing WR Ramses Barden; Denver draft target Arthur Brown, whom the Ravens chose in the second round, underwent minor surgery to repair a sports hernia; Rams lineman Rokevious Watkins was suspended one game for drug use; Carolina claimed LB Ryan Rau off waivers from the Browns, who waived QB Thaddeus Lewis.

Buttfumble is already in midseason form, as he threw three picks yesterday in OTA's. In a move sure to inspire disgusting racist comments everywhere, Geno Smith has chosen Jay-Z's new agency to represent him. Meanwhile, the first two free-agent signees of the John Idzik era have retired (David Garrard) and been arrested (Mike Goodson). You know there's a Zombie somewhere who is calling this karmic; Chuck Norris may just be that guy.

Brian Urlacher

Doug Farrar appreciates that even as he's being lauded in retirement, Urlacher can laugh about his biggest whiffs.

With some quotes from Jack Del Rio, Lindsay Jones discusses the shrinking role of the middle linebacker in today's NFL.

Granted, we're only in its thirteenth year, but Les Carpenter says Urlacher is the face of the Bears franchise for this century.

Mike Silver and Alex Marvez says Urlacher's retirement is all about the wounded pride that comes from not being paid what he feels he deserves. And given what we know about the physical price of playing football, who are we to suggest he should just suit up for less? (This also applies to Woodson's decision.)

Analysis

Chase Stuart considers where Charles Woodson ranks among players who returned to their original teams after hiatuses of more than five years.

As it prepares to list its 20 greatest coaches of all time, ESPN shows us the Paul Brown coaching tree.

Mike Freeman includes Wes Welker among his list of the NFL's most underrated players. Not so sure about that one, but okay.

Gil Brandt, who is clearly an objective observer when it comes to the team he spent 29 years working for, says the Cowboys will win the NFCE in 2013 due to their offseason moves.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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