MILE HIGH MONDAY

Mile High Monday: “Broncos” and “Super Bowl” once again go together

May 9, 2022, 6:25 AM | Updated: 6:25 am
SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with the Vince L...
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The NFL is in offseason mode, where the news doesn’t really stop as teams get together for voluntary workouts and soon mandatory minicamp. Only in July is there really a break from the NFL, and that’s why I take that month off. Outside of that, the NFL never stops.

I like the buildup to the regular season. It’s a slow crescendo over the next few months, and this news cycle gets us all clamoring for NFL preseason action come August.

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.

***

Believe The Hype

I see some hesitancy in Broncos Country when it comes to the expectations for the Broncos in 2022. As soon as the trade was made for superstar quarterback Russell Wilson, fans and even those in the media seemed to shy away from saying the Broncos could win it all in Wilson’s first season with the team. There was this (in my opinion) false notion that it would take some time – maybe even a few years – before Wilson’s Broncos would be able to compete for a Super Bowl.

That’s not the way the league works. You don’t get to select the year to make a run for a championship. Instead, the great teams build proper depth through the draft, build around their franchise quarterback, run the ball and play great defense when it comes to the postseason. This is exactly the way the Broncos are built – and it’s why I think they will contend for a Super Bowl in 2022.

Colin Cowherd is notably an excitable hype man, and he does tend to have wildly varying opinions when it comes to the Broncos over the year. However, his latest opinion on the Broncos I wholeheartedly agree with. It’s more than just hype – the Broncos do have the capability to win a Super Bowl with Wilson after just one season. This doesn’t mean things are going to be easy – they never are for a Super Bowl winner – but it means all the ingredients are there for the team to contend for a championship. This team can do more than “make a run” at the playoffs, they have what it takes to win it all.

It’s okay to say, “Super Bowl” and “Broncos” in the same sentence. In 2012, the Broncos added Peyton Manning at quarterback, and I think the best team – not the best offense (2013) or the best defense (2015) – with him was that first season. They fell short in a sub-zero temperature game in the Divisional Playoffs versus the Baltimore Ravens, but that was a team who could have won a Super Bowl. I believe the 2022 version of the Broncos could be like the 2012 team – better than some give them credit for.

***

Happy Mother’s Day

I hope everyone out there had a great Mother’s Day celebration on Sunday. It’s a great time to reflect every year on your mom, or the mother of your children, as moms are what makes the world go around. Many of us get that great foundation to pursue the best life we possibly can from our mother, and this weekend should be celebrated.

When it comes to professional athletes, finding out about their family history will get you some great stories – and some great insight – from that player. I’ve always tried to give glory to the players and glory to the game. Many in the media feel like it’s all about them and their opinions. Nothing could be further from the truth. What happens on the field is fun to watch, but what’s more interesting to me is how a player got in that position. Many times, it begins with a great mother.

The Broncos had a great piece (shoutout Ben Swanson) about 2022 draft pick Nik Bonitto and his mother Sandra Penn. Bonitto’s story highlights the influence his mother had on him as a young man and a young football player who often had to play against older kids because he was so big. The strength of his mother, and the support from his family, can be seen in the type of man Bonitto is today. It’s always fun to get the background on a player’s upbringing because nobody gets to the NFL by accident. There is a ton of work that goes into that journey, and most of the time with that comes a strong mother.

One of my favorite lines from the movie “The Crow” is “Mother is the word for God on the lips and hearts of their children.” That quote resonates with me, especially when I reflect on my mother – Susan Kathleen Gonzales – who passed away in 2017. I miss her every day, and I think about her all the time. Throughout the heartache and pain of missing her, I do have many feelings of gratitude for the way she helped shape me into the person I am today. To all the mothers out there – thank you for everything you do!

***

Shrine Bowl Gems

The Broncos know how to find talent that is under the radar each year in the draft. The East-West Shrine Bowl is the longest-running college All-Star game in the country (began in 1925), and they too know how to find talent under the radar each year in the draft class. So, it just makes sense that the Broncos usually pluck some great talent from the Shrine Bowl every year.

This year was no different than in years past. The Broncos snared three players who first showcased their ability for NFL scouts at the Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas. I was one of the media members there covering the event, so while others wondered “who?” when these names were called, I was going over my notes from the Shrine Bowl – and I like what the Broncos did!

Eyioma Uwazurike (Iowa State) is a long pass rusher who can play multiple positions on the defensive line – while bringing pressure no matter where he lines up. Luke Wattenberg (Washington) is a potential starter at several positions on the offensive line. His experience and movement skill make him an intriguing late-round prospect. Matt Henningsen (Wisconsin) is incredibly bright, earning the comparisons to Matt Damon’s character in the movie “Good Will Hunting” and he’s a freakish athlete with upside as a rusher. All of these players could go from obscure picks to key players for the Broncos in the near future – and they were all standouts at the Shrine Bowl earlier this year.

I appreciate how the Broncos find those gems at the Shrine Bowl. It’s my favorite all-star game of the year for many reasons, but the players I’ve seen at the Shrine Bowl have turned out to be some of the best in the game today. Yes, the top college seniors go to the Senior Bowl but it’s guys who fly under the radar like Tom Brady, Shaq Barrett, Phillip Lindsay and Jimmy Garoppolo (plus many others) that make the Shrine Bowl the ultimate destination for finding hidden gems. With the way Shrine Bowl Director of Football Ops Eric Galko is picking talent, this game will push for more top players while continuing to find those diamonds in the rough.

***

“Meh” Knight

I hate to say it, but I was thoroughly underwhelmed by “Moon Knight” on Disney+. This is a sad admission for me as the character Moon Knight must rank in my top-5 superheroes. Batman is my favorite, Spider-man and Wolverine follow closely behind but if I were to make a Mt. Rushmore of superheroes it would include the avatar of Khonsu.
Actor Oscar Isaac, who played Marc Spector (and Steven Grant – and Jake Lockley), did a great job with the role.

As a character with Dissociative Identity Disorder, Isaac had to portray many different personalities that Moon Knight has – both as a human and as a superhero (see the suited Mr. Knight in addition to costumed Moon Knight). I felt his performance in every episode was remarkable, but I didn’t like everything he was given to work with – mainly because he wasn’t given enough. Moon Knight is an incredibly complex character, and I’m sure some audience members (less versed in the history of the character) could have been easily confused by what they saw on the Disney+ show.

Like the “Book of Boba Fett” on Disney+ this show was not long enough. Six episodes of “Moon Knight” was not enough, and the story felt rushed. This was the biggest problem with the show overall – there wasn’t enough time to properly unpack everything about this awesome character.

What did you think of “Moon Knight” on Disney+? Hit me up on social networking and let me know!

***

Mile High Monday

DENVER, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 28: Javonte Williams #33 of the Denver Broncos celebrates scoring a tou...
Cecil Lammey

Mile High Monday: Javonte Williams can make the second-year leap

The Broncos running back should have a big season in year No. 2, Arch Manning makes his decision and the Avalanche finish off Mission 16W
4 days ago
Jerry Jeudy...
Cecil Lammey

Mile High Monday: The myths about Jerry Jeudy simply aren’t true

Debunking the thoughts about Jerry Jeudy, getting ready for training camp, Denver is still a Broncos town and "Top Gun: Maverick" delivers
10 days ago
Broncos helmet...
Cecil Lammey

Mile High Monday: The Broncos need new logo, uniforms and stadium

The Walton-Penner ownership group needs to put its mark on the franchise, bringing a new look and venue to Denver would do just that
17 days ago
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)...
Cecil Lammey

Mile High Monday: Denver could be hosting two victory parades soon

Watching the Avalanche roll toward the Stanley Cup Finals, it's hard not to daydream about the Broncos making a title run this season too
24 days ago
Russell Wilson...
Cecil Lammey

Mile High Monday: The better energy around the Broncos is real

Russell Wilson’s energy is something players gravitate towards because he knows what he’s doing, knows how to prepare and has won a Super Bowl before
1 month ago
Greg Dulcich...
Cecil Lammey

Mile High Monday: Broncos rookies were slighted by the NFL

Not a single Broncos draft pick was invited to the league's Rookie Premiere, a sign of disrespect to Nik Bonitto, Greg Dulcich and others
1 month ago
Mile High Monday: “Broncos” and “Super Bowl” once again go together