Good Morning, Broncos fans! American professional sports lost a great, influential man on Tuesday, with the passing of Marvin Miller at the age of 95.
Miller, the legendary former head of the MLB players union, helped athletes across America find their individual and collective power.
Under his watch, MLB players won free agency, the right to have their grievances arbitrated, more substantial pensions, and the ability to hire their own agents. Eventually, these improvements reached the NFL and other major sports, and we all have reason to be thankful in that regard.
The power of the individual athlete manifested in John Elway forcing his way out of Baltimore and into Denver, and that move is obviously having positive repercussions on the Broncos franchise to this day. Free agency has, of course, brought many important players to Denver, most recently Peyton Manning.
So, thank you, Marvin Miller, and RIP.
Doug Farrar, Charles Pierce, and Joe Posnanski consider the indelible mark left by Miller on American sports; former MLB commish Fay Vincent calls Miller's exclusion from the HOF a great injustice, Richard Sandomir says grudges were to blame for those repeated snubs, while Rob Neyer doesn't see something so sinister in the process.
Mike Klis correctly stresses in his mailbag that at this juncture, with the AFCW and a home playoff game a foregone conclusion, it doesn't really matter how the Broncos win, as long as they do so.
A day after wrongly suggesting the Broncos go bigger in their protection of Peyton Manning, Jeff Legwold changes his tune a bit and says they should have a pass-heavy attack against the Bucs, and he says that getting early leads might help the team lessen the impact of Doug Martin, Ray Rice, and Trent Richardson in the coming weeks.
Mike Freeman thinks Jamaal Charles's autograph request to PMFM evidences a losing attitude.
Tampa Bay placed T Jeremy Trueblood and S Cody Grimm on IR, and they claimed WR/KR David Gilreath off waivers from the Steelers.
The Bucs defense has struggled mightily on third down in recent weeks.
WR Vincent Jackson is a familiar opponent for Denver, but he's never fared that well against them, with just three touchdowns in 12 games.
The Ginger Hammer says the NFL might make a change in time for the playoffs to the challenge flag rule that screwed over the Lions, and he cites a difficulty with determining intent in the decision not to suspend Ndamukong Suh; Gwen Knapp says Suh's silence on the matter speaks volumes.
Philly placed WR DeSean Jackson on IR and surprisingly released DE Jason Babin, who has 36 sacks since the start of the 2010 season; Khaled Elsayed considers Babin's value and wonders if a team like New England, Green Bay, or Washington might take a shot at him.
The Niners gave LB NaVorro Bowman $25.5M in guarantees as part of a five-year deal; Chicago signed C Andre Gurode and dumped DT Amobi Okoye; Indy added DT Kellen Heard and placed Fili Moala and Josh Chapman on IR.
New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has seemed a bit nutty since he came into the picture, and this is potentially confirmed by reports that he's offering Jon Gruden a stake in the Browns in return for Chucky taking the head job at the University of Tennessee, which is Haslam's alma mater.
Ex-Raiders LB Napoleon Harris was recently elected to the Illinois Senate, but he will run for the Congressional seat made vacant by the resignation of Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Former Rams LB and Chicago/Washington/Houston coach Jack Pardee has gall bladder cancer and has been given 6-9 months to live. Pardee coached the Oilers to the playoffs four straight times before being replaced by Jeff Fisher in 1994; it was his team that lost to the Broncos in the Drive II and a year later blew a 35-3 lead against the Bills.
Peter King says Bills coach Chan Gailey and Panthers coach Ron Rivera are on the hot seat, and that Eagles DC Todd Bowles has blown any chance at a head job thanks to his defense's poor performance. Rivera admits the Panthers put a bit too much on Cam Newton's plate earlier in the year; Mike Lombardi says the next Carolina GM must take care to create a proper balance there, and he of course criticizes Romeo Crennel's meek decision-making from Sunday.
Jim Corbett expects plenty of quarterbacks to be changing teams next offseason, including Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel, and Alex Smith, and he figures the Jags will sign the Punt Protector Who Doesn't Protect the Punter Very Well.
Pat Kirwan thinks Haslam should keep Pat Shurmur around to coach the Browns, and he makes the case for the NFL to expand game day rosters as the season drags on and players are lost to injury.
Jason Whitlock says Jim Harbaugh should just admit that Colin Kaepernick is his QB, but we're talking about the same whackjob who still won't say the Niners pursued Peyton Manning, who was quoted in last week's profile by Sam Farmer as saying he spoke with Niners owner Jed York. Let's hope Whitlock's not right when he suggests that Sunday's close game shows the Broncos are already wearing down.
In his review of the 2012 season's third quarter, Mike Tanier trolls the readers who couldn't believe his placement of the Broncos among the league's best teams four weeks ago.
PFF's best (Orlando Franklin, Mike Adams) and worst (Wesley Woodyard) players of Week 12; Nathan Jahnke notes the massive success of Denver's WR screens; the staff unanimously have Von Miller at #2 in their DPOY voting.
Scott Kacsmar chronicles Week 12's comeback successes and failures, including the Chiefs' inability to knock off the Broncos.
Some unhappy Cowboys fans are petitioning the White House to have their omnipotent dictator Jerry Jones removed from power.