January 19, 2013
DENVER — As the rest of football America celebrates the ultimate doubleheader, consider this Sunday suggestion:
Join me in a silent protest of the NFL championship games. Don't watch.
The first time CBS replays the Mile High Mistake, you will thank me. Why agonize over Rahim Moore’s miscalculation more than is necessary? That’s what the next decade is for.
Let our football brethren waste their day off with the Falcons, 49ers, Patriots and the team that doesn't fit. Here in Colorado, we are problem solvers, not problem creators.
As a public service to our loyal readers, here is a to-do list to substitute for the AFC and NFC championship games. The list can be completed with 30 seconds and two timeouts, but must be completed by 5:59 p.m. — the time Baltimore’s Hail Mary was completed.
For Broncos fans who can’t help themselves, duct tape this list to the remote control. At the first hint of a Jacoby Jones sighting, click off the TV and consult the championship list.
It has six items, one for each of the Broncos’ Super Bowls.
Group therapy. Let’s get through this together.
1. Daydream of the Broncos offense under Adam Gase
The new offensive coordinator is 34 — two years younger than Peyton Manning and two years older than Mike Shanahan when he became Broncos offensive coordinator. Gase’s mission with Manning: "To play as fast as possible." With Gase as the quarterbacks coach, Manning often was fast to praise Gase's football intellect. I liked how Gase didn’t toe the company line when asked if he would have taken a knee against the Ravens. "It’s a disappointing deal," Gase said. Conservative isn’t part of the new OC’s scheme. It says here the next Broncos offense, after a year of fine-tuning, smashes the team record of 501 points, set by John Elway and Co. in 1998.
2. Watch Reggie Jackson at Pepsi Center
Four days ago, the Thunder whipped the Nuggets by 20. The Palmer grad had eight points and six rebounds. At the Nuggets' loss to the Wizards on Friday, I saw a Denver team content with drawing a paycheck. That is not Jackson’s M.O., nor is it Oklahoma City's.
3. Scout the NFL draft
Part of the Broncos' problems against the Ravens can be traced to the 2012 draft. Denver passed on a game-changing running back and traded the 31st pick. Tampa Bay used it on Doug Martin. As a rookie, Martin had more rushing yards (1,454) than all but four players. Denver has the 28th pick and doesn’t need much. But Elway didn’t win a Super Bowl until he had Terrell Davis, and Manning could use a power runner.
4. Call an imaginary girlfriend
Hard to say which is more unbelievable: Manti Te’o’s claim he was wholly honest, or the teary news conference from Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. Both deserve an Oscar. If Te'o takes the stage at the NFL draft, the animated crowd should make for fine theater. In this bizarre hoax, at least one thing is certain: Te'o won’t need a plus-one.
5. Predict the Broncos 2013 record
The Broncos won't wait long for Ravenge: Baltimore plays in Denver again next season. So will the Redskins (with Mike Shanahan), Jaguars (maybe with Tim Tebow), Titans, Eagles, Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers. The road schedule is highlighted by Manning’s return to Indianapolis. Denver also plays at the Patriots, Texans, Cowboys, Giants, Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers. For now, I see 13-3, again (losses at New England, New York and Houston). You?
6. Take a knee
And pray for a warm January (next year). One, the 2014 Super Bowl will be played in New Jersey. Denver is bidding to host a Super Bowl, perhaps in 2018. We need the first cold-weather Super Bowl to be a hit, not frostbit. Two, Manning is 0-4 in playoff games when the temperature is below 40 degrees. That’s a fact, not a fluke. On a frigid Saturday, the Broncos didn’t trust their quarterback. "I think the two best teams are in the (AFC) final," Tom Brady said. The other is at home with a to-do list on championship Sunday.