Good Morning, Broncos fans! We thankfully had a day without any new developments in the Aaron Hernandez story, horrifying or otherwise. We're probably all a bit fatigued from reading about this saga, but here's a fine trio of columns from Sports on Earth that should not be missed.
Chuck Culpepper visits with the Boston Bandits teammates of the late Odin Lloyd, providing another look at the person Lloyd was, and at the bewilderment for the Bandits of having lost their friend to a young man who appeared to be living the life they each dream of.
Mike Tanier pens the other two must-reads - first, an important chunk of perspective on the NFL and crime, and a reminder that we shouldn't demonize the rest of the NFL and its players for the heinous acts of one evil person:
No, the NFL does not have a "gang problem;" that is just ill-informed, exploitive fear-mongering. Yes, the NFL has a violence problem. AMERICA HAS A VIOLENCE PROBLEM. Our neighborhoods and high schools have a violence problem.
Indeed, the problem is ours, not just the NFL's.
Finally, and this is a bit lighter in its presentation, but Tanier digs into how tattoos are perceived in our society, especially by old people, sportswriters, old sportswriters, and without saying it, racist old sportswriters.
The ex post facto analysis has gotten so ridiculous that even Mike Florio is taking aim at the "I told you so" crowd who claim the Pats shouldn't have drafted Hernandez.
Bob Raissman is curious to see what Ray Lewis will have to say about the Hernandez case once he's working as an analyst on ESPN.
Sadly, people are paying up for Hernandez jerseys on eBay.
The secondary market for Broncos tickets this year is absolutely ridiculous, with the games at NJ and NE topping the league, at least according to one ticket site.
Gary Miller is leaving Channel 4 to do an afternoon radio show with Tom Nalen and Nate Kreckman, where the trio will compete with the KOA, KKFN, and MHS guys.
Neil Hornsby kicks off a look at potential starting lineups, but with a sensible twist - looking at the units teams actually put on the field, rather than the traditional ones that tend to include a mostly unused fullback. When he gets to the Broncos, that will mean avoiding the silliness of having Jacob Hester in the starting lineup, and will rightfully include Chris Harris on the defensive side. Today, he covers the Cardinals and Falcons.
Greg Cosell and Doug Farrar discuss the drafts of the NFCS teams in their latest podcast.
Saints corner Jabari Greer is PK's standin for today's MMQB column.
Chase Stuart is about to advance the statistical analysis of running backs in a very big way, by valuing first downs and touchdowns above simple yardage; while he hasn't necessarily settled upon a final formula, this is a great step toward the best metrics for quarterbacks - NY/A and ANY/A.
Jason Fitzgerald calls Joe Thomas's and Paul Kruger's contracts the Browns' best and worst, respectively.
Richard Dietsch kicks off his weekly column with a fascinating roundtable discussion of sports media and its future.
The NJ Devils capped off their 2013 NHL Draft with a very special moment, having their own legendary goaltender, Martin Brodeur, announce the team's selection of his son, goaltender Anthony Brodeur.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the 19 firefighters who were lost fighting a wildfire in Arizona yesterday.