Give Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen credit for showmanship. His franchise is an utter disaster, but he’s been magnificent in diverting attention from the wreckage.
The Broncos have to be experiencing the most euphoric offseason ever for a team that finished 4-12.
Because Bowlen hired John Elway, Colorado’s resident folk hero, to oversee the franchise. When I talk to Broncos fans, there’s a strong sense of excitement along with a level of hope only Elway can deliver.
For 16 seasons, Elway turned desperate times into jubilant times for the Broncos. Maybe as he faces this new, staggering challenge, he can deliver one more revival.
Tim Tebow only adds to the fun. He proved little during his three games as a rookie starter and remains the NFL’s biggest question mark, but he offers all kinds of intriguing possibility.
Tebow is, like Elway in his prime, impossible to ignore. You might, after an exhaustive search, find three or four residents of Colorado who offer no opinion on Tebow. You will find these Tebow-ignorant residents living in caves.
Of course, showmanship is not the secret to winning football games. Bowlen has two employees, Elway and Tebow, who create buzz like no else could.
But those employees will have to deliver. Hope is easy; results will be brutally tough.
JIMMER’S NO JOKE – Was impressed with Jimmer Fredette’s performance Wednesday night. He sizzled the Falcons and inspired invading BYU fans to take over Clune Arena in the second half. Air Force fans will be hearing thunderous “BYU, BYU, BYU” chants in their nightmares for months.
Don’t get me wrong. Air Force defenders gave their all. When Fredette went to the rim, the Falcons collapsed on him with ferocious, felonious intent.
The hit Air Force forward Derek Brooks placed on Fredette in the lane must have made Falcons defensive end Rick Ricketts proud. (Ricketts was standing and shouting in the first row of Section 8.)
Fredette described the Falcons' defending/stalking as “very, very, very, very physical.” He was too nice to say this defending/stalking was very, very, very, very ineffective. Jimmer and his Cougars could have scored 100 points if they had been greedy.
Jimmer scored 25 points but was most dazzling with his passing. When the Falcons surrounded Jimmer, he found open teammates. The ball does not die in his hands. He’s no mere gunner. He’s a complete player.
SERRATORE WEARY OF SLOW STARTS – Air Force hockey coach Frank Serratore is impressed by his team’s ability to fight back from big deficits.
On Saturday, Atlantic Hockey Association powerhouse RIT seized a 4-0 lead on the Falcons. RIT was playing to a packed home crowd in Rochester, N.Y., and it looked hopeless for the Falcons.
Somehow, Air Force scratched back for a 5-5 tie. This follows a trend. The Falcons have fought back to win or tie seven times after falling behind by two or more goals.
But Serratore is weary of watching his team’s high-drama ways.
“We’ve shown the ability to get off the mat better than any team I’ve ever coached,” Serratore said. “The problem is we get on the mat too damn often.”