BRONCOS

Mile High Monday: Broncos Country has turned on John Elway

Jan 17, 2022, 10:48 AM | Updated: Jan 18, 2022, 11:00 am
John Elway...
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos were at home watching the NFL postseason this weekend. It’s been six years since the Broncos have made the playoffs, so this is a feeling they’re getting used to. Meanwhile, Broncos Country is getting sick of it. I have hope for the future of this team but watching these playoff games show how far the team still must go in order to compete at the highest level.

I like Wild Card Weekend. Every year, it seems like the playoffs kick off with a bang, leading up to the ultimate event in sports: The Super Bowl. It all started this weekend, and it continues through the rest of this month!

I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep TJ! The following is a result of those trips during the week.

Buckle up, let’s take a ride through my thoughts.

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Bad Day For Analytics

I appreciate the work that goes into putting together analytics in football. That being said, numbers can lie and you can’t summarize football with numbers exclusively. In fact, I’ve always said that analytics must back up the film in order for them to make sense or to be accurate. Too many times, you see advanced data thrown out that is incorrect or misleading at the least.

One of the analytics narratives that was thrown out there had to do with Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen. There was some data being bandied about which indicated that Allen was not good in cold-weather games. Well, Allen blasted that narrative out of the water with his outstanding performance against the New England Patriots in the wild card round.

With temperatures in Buffalo in the single digits on Saturday night, Allen did something we’ve never seen in the NFL. The Bills didn’t punt. The Bills didn’t fumble. The Bills didn’t throw an interception. The Bills didn’t kick a field goal. This was the first perfect offensive game in NFL history with every drive they had ending in a touchdown. It’s no wonder they beat the Patriots handily by a score of 47-17.

Allen had a great game, setting records himself by going 21-of-25 for 308 passing yards and a whopping five touchdown passes. He is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for five touchdowns and zero interceptions on 25 or fewer pass attempts in a playoff game. So, you can see how Allen’s performance at night made for a bad day in the analytics crowd.

Data can lie, and players can change the narrative. No matter which is which, football fans need to avoid blindly relying on analytics. I like advanced data and often quote certain data on The Fan – but it needs to be relative to football and match the film in order to be as revealing as some want numbers to be automatically. This game doesn’t work that way. Oh yeah – Bradley Chubb was trending on Saturday night due to Allen’s big game. More on that in a bit.

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Don’t Do This To Us

The NFL is a great game. The officiating is not great. In the playoffs, the NFL looks for the best officiating groups to run the games, so we usually get better performances in the postseason. That was not the case on Saturday in the wild card game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals.

The Raiders seemed to be thrown off by an inadvertent whistle blown during a key first-half play that resulted in a touchdown for the Bengals. With quarterback Joe Burrow scrambling to his right, he went to throw the ball to wide receiver Tyler Boyd in the end zone. Burrow was close to the sideline, but he was not out of bounds. An official near the play inadvertently blew the whistle thinking the play was dead, and it seemed to signal to some Raiders the play was over.

After the game, the league’s senior vice president of officiating, Walt Anderson, released a statement about the play. In that statement it is reported the officials thought the whistle was blown after the touchdown pass – when anyone can hear that it’s clearly blown after Burrow releases the ball. Anderson also noted that whether the whistle was erroneous was not reviewable. It seemed to be a tone-deaf statement from a league official on a scoring play in a close playoff game (the Raiders lost 26-19).

On Sunday, it was reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that referee Jerome Boger and his officiating crew that worked Saturday’s AFC wild-card game are not expected to work another NFL postseason game this year. So, if the play was enough to knock the officiating crew out of the running for further postseason work, why did the league release a statement that was clearly untrue?

I’d like to see the refs have less of an impact on the game. I tuned out of part of the Raiders-Bengals game because it seemed like flags were coming in far too often.

This season has already been weird enough. I have put on my tinfoil hat and suggested that somewhere something is fishy with a Vegas influence on the NFL in 2021. I understand the game is going to have human error in officiating. I would just like the league to be more honest after the fact because fans are smarter than some give them credit for.

This is a great game, and fans need to know the integrity is maintained – even when bad calls or non-calls are made. I still think the Bengals would have won, but now Raiders fans are going to talk about this call for years just like they still bring up the “Tuck Rule” years after it happened. The integrity of this game must be upheld, and the officials need to be at the forefront of that.

***

Few Prefer Elway over Manning

Broncos Country wants a new ownership group or owner to lead this team back to the glory they had been used to for a majority of the last 40 years. It was reported last week that John Elway and Peyton Manning are going to be leading ownership groups to buy the team. Essentially, Elway and Manning are competing against each other for the rights to purchase the Broncos.

It’s an amazing turn of events, and one that has captured the imagination of Broncos Country. Looking at responses online and listening to Broncos fans on the phone lines or in person, one thing is clear – most fans don’t want Elway to buy the team.

Most of the backlash against Elway has to do with the last six years of failure. Elway, working as VP of football operations and the general manager, failed to build a successful team after winning Super Bowl 50. The Broncos are now the worst post-Super Bowl winning team in NFL history since they’ve missed the postseason for six years in a row. All that happened on Elway’s watch and fans have seen enough.

Fans also have a love-hate relationship with Bills quarterback Josh Allen. They love the way the Wyoming product plays on the field, as he’s one of the biggest superstars in the NFL. However, they hate the fact the Broncos passed on him for Bradley Chubb in the 2018 NFL Draft. Missing out on one of the biggest superstar quarterbacks in the league – who fell to you at No. 5 overall – is unforgivable to many Broncos fans.

Not only did Elway not draft Allen, but rumblings have indicated he was worried that Allen was another Paxton Lynch. It was so bad that the Broncos sent fewer people (two) to Allen’s pro day in Laramie than we at The Fan had on hand (three).

Elway as a player will always be a legend, especially in the Mile High City. Fans will fondly remember his play, and they will always be grateful for what Elway did to get the Broncos Manning in free agency and the roster building that went into the Super Bowl 50 roster. However, it’s clear that his gaffes as the general manager over the last several years has most fans preferring Manning as the leader of the ownership group to purchase the Broncos. We’ll have to see how this thing shakes out in the near future.

***

Started at the Bottom Now We’re Here

I love Tech N9ne. Always have since the day I first heard about him in the early 2000s. I was working at a machine shop in Arvada and two of my buddies (Hawk… yes, that was his name… and JTru… my nickname for Jeremy Trujillo) were listening to a rapper I had never heard before. I asked who it was and was introduced to Tech N9ne.

For anyone who has heard him, you know that he’s got a unique flow that few can replicate. Tech N9ne has a sound that is all his own, and you can immediately identify his style when he’s on the mic. He’s a speed rapper who uses a “chopper” style to spit his lyrics. I heard the song “Stamina” on the album “Anghellic” and was blown away. Years later, 2004 I believe, the first time I met Adam Schefter I was wearing a Tech N9ne t-shirt. I remember explaining to Schefter who Tech was and why he was an up-and-coming rapper.

Since that time, Tech N9ne has worked diligently to rise to stardom. He’s had some hits on mainstream radio, and now he’s a well-known and well-respected hip hop artist. He’s all about Kansas City, where he grew up and still lives, and on Sunday got an opportunity he only dreamed of as he was the halftime show at Arrowhead Stadium for the Wild Card game against the Steelers. I’m not a Chiefs fan, to be sure, but I am a Tech N9ne fan to this day and it was cool to see him get this opportunity with the team and city he loves.

Who is your favorite artist that was once underground who hit the big time? Hit me up on social networking and let me know!

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