Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Five Questions... about your Denver Broncos

I know it's baseball season around here like it hasn't been in a long time. So we'll see how much this is Lions Country over the next few weeks.

But with the Lions beginning their pre-season on Friday with an exhibition against the Denver Broncos, I thought it might be a good time to talk some football. Playing "Five Questions" with Thank You Brian Sabean about the Minnesota Twins a couple of weeks ago went so well that I thought we might try it again. So I exchanged some questions with Kevin Antcliff, who now whirls his wit from the Rocky Mountain region, and tried to ask the same sort of hard-hitting, insightful questions about the Broncos.

Just remember, it is the pre-season, so we still have some sharpening up to do. My answers to his questions on the Lions can be read at Kevin's blog. Here's our conversation:

Me: Any truth to the reports that Mike Shanahan didn't want to make the trip to Detroit, saying that his scout team would provide better competition in practice than the Lions?

K-Dog: None whatsoever. The only reason Coach Shanahan didn't want to go to Detroit is because... it's Detroit.

Me: Who the hell is Mike Bell? And is it true that the Broncos will feature a "play running back and get 100 yards" contest in each game this season?

KA: I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but I have heard of no such contest. That said, the Broncos will be holding their yearly "Be a no-name and get 1,000 yards" contest.

As for this Mike Bell guy, there is very little information available about him. My mole tells me that he was just the guy Shanahan picked out of a hat to be the next RB to prove that anybody can gain 1,000 yards in his offense. Other names in the hat included Willie Roaf, Ty Detmer, the kid in the wheelchair from Malcolm in the Middle, and Phyllis Diller. Shanahan is convinced that any of them could have rushed for 1,200 +. Hard to argue with him.

Me: Did you see Maurice Clarett got arrested again? It's a cry for help! Seriously, don't the Broncos feel bad about that? The guy just wanted a job, just wanted a chance, and he was kicked to the curb. Couldn't they have spared him the indignity of having to return to, of all places, Columbus? Really, wouldn't you go crazy too?

Mr. Antcliff: Ian, it's hard for me to be very tough on the guy, to be honest. You see, I recently came into posession of a document that opened my eyes to a few things. I cannot post it here, but I will provide a quick summary.

Maurice left the Broncos - the Broncos didn't cut Maurice. The reason? Maurice made more money in his freshman year at Ohio State than the Broncos were willing to guarantee him. Shocked, Maurice then made a series of bad decisions that brought him to where he is today. So, this isn't the organization's fault. This is Ohio State's fault.

Me: Why hasn't Ashley Lelie been traded yet? Did he and his agent veto the deal to Chicago when they found out Rex Grossman would be the guy throwing passes to him?

Kevin: The Lelie situation is a difficult one. On the one hand, you have a receiver who thinks he's one of the best in the NFL, and just needs a chance to prove it. On the other hand, you have Ashley Lelie.

As far as the Bears trade is concerned, it was the Bears who pulled the plug on the deal. In an effort to prepare him for a future role with the team, the Broncos had Jake Plummer handle the negotiations. The conversation between Plummer and the Bears took place over a cell, so the connection was fuzzy at times. The Bears thought they were sending Thomas Jones to Denver in return for "a picture of me [Plummer]", so they were all for it. Strange. Over a cell "A picture of me" and "Ashley Lelie" sound really similar.

Me: Does Jay Cutler tearfully thank a higher power each day for the Lions drafting Ernie Sims instead of him?

K-Dog: Yes. Mike Shanahan.

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