That’s enough already.
Can’t the Broncos call in sick – and tired – for the final exhibition Thursday night?
According to the NFL rulebook, if a team is unwilling or unable to play a game, the other team wins 2-0. In the only occurrence, Rochester forfeited to Washington in 1921.
Oh, I forgot. Broncos’ season-ticket holders – the most loyal in the NFL with a record 403 consecutive sellouts (since Game 1 of 1970) – paid good money, because they were forced to, months ago for a worthless game against the Cardinals.
Thousands of tickets are available through websites. But buyer beware. Drew Lock, Brock Osweiler and Tim Tebow have a better chance of playing in the demonstration event than Kyler Murray, the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Broncos coach Vic Fangio announced a few days ago that nobody of consequence would participate in Saturday’s occurrence in Los Angeles or the upcoming incident with Arizona. Rams coach Sean McVey didn’t play starters before last season’s real season, and L.A. made it to the Super Bowl.
I refuse to write the obscene term “pre‘’ the NFL demanded many years ago from media maggots. They are exhibitions – contests that don’t matter. In 1921 all games played in the infant NFL counted. Decades later, the NFL created intraleague exhibitions.
Even though season-ticket owners pay for these meaningless exhibitions, team owners do not pay the players, whose salaries start with the authentic season. As the league became more popular, teams began tacking on more exhibitions, then adding two home games onto the regular-season tickets — because they could. I fought the concept when the Broncos added the cost – and lost.
Fight it, and you’ll lose your tickets. Sell season tickets to someone else, and you risk losing them – as many have found out.
But, then, there is the curious case of Washington, which has experienced a declining season-ticket base. Last year the team sent an offer of two free tickets and a parking pass to ex-season-ticket possessors for the team’s exhibition with the Broncos.
Colts owner Jim Irsay basically has said that season-ticket holders can eat cake or their tickets. Of course, retiring quarterback Andrew Luck is not playing in any exhibitions, and Indianapolis did take in the Colts when Irsay’s father bolted from Baltimore in the middle of the night.
The NFL commissioner has acknowledged the lack of value in four exhibitions. Twice publicly, Roger Goodell has said he would like to see the number reduced to three and eventually two. However, this is the same league that prefers the schedule be increased to 18 games. One air-headed suggestion is that players must sit out two games.
The Broncos played their fourth exhibition Saturday night, so they shouldn’t have to suit up again until the genuine opening night in Oakland.
Only problem is the Broncos are playing in five exhibitions this year. Well, some of them. New quarterback Joe Flacco, for instance, was involved in small sections of two. Von Miller shouldn’t have played in any part of any period. Obviously, players who have been injured – including Lock and first-round draft Noah Fant and several others – probably wish they hadn’t played.
Yet, everyone in Colorado seemed to be excited that the Broncos were invited to the Hall of Fame clown car contest.
It is well to remember that the Broncos once played in – get this – seven NFL exhibitions. In 1976 the franchise was “chosen’’ to be in the Hall of Fame exhibition vs. the Lions.
None of the Broncos ever could get into Hall of Fame unless they bought a ticket. Following that 10-7 “victory,” the Broncos were required to play the Bears, the 49ers, the Cowboys, the Seahawks, the Cardinals and the Vikings. The players were exhausted before the first true game at Cincinnati – and lost.
In the old AFL the Broncos played five exhibitions annually – in such lovely locales as Little Rock, Ark., Rochester, N.Y., Midland, Texas, Spokane, Wash., Mobile, Ala., Stockton, Calif. (attendance announced as 5,000) and North Platte, Neb.
They defeated the Lions in the first AFL-NFL exhibition, 13-7, but Alex Karras didn’t fulfill his promise of walking back to Detroit if his team fell.
Enough already of four or five.
Two exhibitions are sufficient.