Tag:Denver Broncos
Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:40 am
Edited on: January 9, 2012 12:09 pm
 

Texas A&M going after the Denver Broncos

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Sunday the Denver Broncos, and Tim Tebow in particular, were blowing the minds of football fans across the country while beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the NFL playoffs. It was pretty much a wonderful day to be a Broncos fan, but it was also a day that may find the team in court soon.

That's because after the Broncos beat the Steelers in overtime there was this tweet from Texas A&M's Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Jason Cook.



Yes, before the game a man parachuted into the stadium waving a flag that said "12th man" and the flag was waved during the game. Which seems completely harmless and pretty much commonplace, but Texas A&M owns the trademark for it and is planning on getting its money.

It's not the first time that the school has gotten involved in something like this, as it filed a lawsuit against the Seattle Seahawks in 2006 for the same thing. Now any Seahawks broadcasts that mention the crowd as "the 12th man" also has to mention Texas A&M's trademark.

Seems pretty stupid, right? Yeah, that's because it is, though there's also an easy solution. Instead of referring to your home crowd as "the 12th man" just start referring to them as "the 12th player." Then Texas A&M will have to find a whole new way to waste everybody's time.

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Posted on: October 23, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2011 5:11 pm
 

Tebow beats Dolphins on Sun Life "Gator Day"

Posted by Jerry Hinnen



Tim Tebow might have been playing against the Miami Dolphins today in Miami, but as you can see from the crowd shot above, he wasn't exactly lacking for fan support.

Part of that is because he is -- almost without question -- the most popular athlete in Florida Gator history, and while Miami isn't the state's biggest stronghold of Gator fans, they're there. And if you missed this in the run-up, the Dolphins ironically helped ensure that as many of them would be on hand to cheer for the opponent's starting quarterback by naming today "Gator Day" at Sun Life Stadium.

Tebow's first start was, obviously, the main event. But Gator Day also included a celebration of the 2008 Florida national title team, with Urban Meyer and Gator All-American Mike Pouncey in the stadium. Ticket packages sold through Gator alumni clubs included "a Post Game Photo Opportunity with current and former Gator Alumni players from both teams."

Not surprisingly, the Dolphin organization's efforts to pack the stands with fans there to root against the Phins hasn't gone over well with Dolphins diehards, and that bitterness is only going to harden after Tebow threw for two touchdowns, ran for 65 yards, and led the Broncos to an 18-15 win. (We're guessing Hurricanes fans aren't thrilled about the local professional franchise throwing a party for a college fooball team 337 miles to the north, either.)

The show of support may not have been the deciding factor in Tebow's victorious performance Sunday, but it surely didn't hurt--and that's all that will matter to the bevy of Gator fans in the stands, Gator players on hand to offer their support, and the irritated Dolphin fans having to deal with both.


Posted on: July 11, 2011 3:39 pm
 

Was former Irish DE Duranko's ALS really ALS?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

As reported yesterday, former Notre Dame star lineman Pete Duranko passed away on Friday after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease. Duranko was a starter on Notre Dame's dominant 1966 defensive line, part of a team that won the national title while allowing 38 points. That would be 38 points for the entire season. 

As the Denver Post noted, Duranko was an ardent supporter of efforts to combat ALS, and he was a national spokesman and fundraiser for the ALS Association, fighting the disease that would eventually claim his life. 

It's my genuine hope that Duranko and his family continue that selfless spirit even after his death. In this instance, that would mean donating his brain to the researchers studying former football players' brains for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) -- the degenerative brain condition that frequently affects those players after (and in some disturbing situations, during) their careers. 

Now, obviously, ALS and CTE are two different diseases, and I'm clearly no doctor, but it's important to note that there have been multiple athletes who were diagnosed with ALS, but were discovered to have brain injuries instead. Here's how the New York Times described it last year in a fascinating story about whether Lou Gehrig himself actually suffered from his eponymous disease:

A peer-reviewed paper to be published Wednesday in a leading journal of neuropathology, however, suggests that the demise of athletes like Gehrig and soldiers given a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, might have been catalyzed by injuries only now becoming understood: concussions and other brain trauma.

Doctors at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, Mass., and the Boston University School of Medicine, the primary researchers of brain damage among deceased National Football League players, said that markings in the spinal cords of two players and one boxer who also received a diagnosis of A.L.S. indicated that those men did not have A.L.S. They had a different fatal disease, doctors said, caused by concussionlike trauma, that erodes the central nervous system in similar ways.

This research doesn't prove anything about Duranko's disease, of course. If we assumed that every former football player diagnosed with ALS really had CTE, then we'd also be deterining that football players can't get ALS, and that would be ridiculous. But with ALS, we're talking about something that's normally a very rare diesease, and among football players, CTE is distressingly common. Thus, from the strict standpoint of probability, it seems more likely that Duranko's disease is CTE manifesting itself in symptoms similar to ALS, rather than ALS itself.

It's also important to note that the "usual" symptoms of CTE -- depression, loss of memory, substance abuse, and otherwise erratic behavior -- don't seem to be prevalent in Duranko's account of his late life. Duranko reported more problems with opening coffee creamers than with basic cognitive function, so we hardly have a "textbook" case of CTE here. But not all former players with CTE exhibit those symptoms; many football players that have been diagnosed with CTE by Boston University researchers died from unrelated causes, so as with all diseases affecting something as wonderfully complex as the brain, there's no easy, widely applicable diagnosis available here.

So if Boston's researchers don't do anything with Duranko from here on out, then this conversation's basically a non-starter, and he will have died as a proud soldier in the fight against A.L.S. But that's in and of itself fine. Determining where Duranko's eventually fatal brain disease came from probably wouldn't have made much of a difference in his life, and so long as his symptoms were consistent with ALS, his efforts to combat ALS were hugely worthwhile for every other family affected by the disease (or, if the case may be, CTE).

And since Duranko worked so hard to help better the lives of those who would be diagnosed with ALS after him, it would be nice to know that he would similarly benefit those in future generations who choose to follow his path into football and, hopefully, put together a career as long and storied as his. If that means informing them that a football career that lasts for 15 years from high school to the NFL can potentially afflict someone with a brain disease that's basically ALS, then that's what needs to happen. If Duranko didn't have CTE and was simply felled by the extreme misfortune of ALS, well, that's clearly important information too. But let's keep informing the current and future football players of America either way. They deserve it.

Posted on: May 12, 2011 5:42 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 8:05 pm
 

NCAA owes it to itself to support NFL owners

Posted by Adam Jacobi

As the days, weeks, and months creep by and the NFL labor situation gets no closer to resolution, diehard NFL fans find themselves in a predicament: what is there to do if there's no pro football? Do they breathe a sigh of relief and count the money they'll end up saving? Do they take up other activities, recommit themselves to family life on weekends, and put sports in general on the back burner? Or do they stare at an upcoming autumn devoid of football, freak out, and find the nearest college team to support until pro ball comes back?

If the NCAA is wise, it'll bank on the last scenario -- that NFL fans are really football fans. Then, it'll throw its full-throated support behind the NFL owners, who are currently fighting tooth-and-nail to protect the lockout they've placed on the players ... and reap the glorious benefits. Let's face it, no business for the NFL is good business for college football, and there are several college programs in particular that stand to benefit immensely from a protracted work stoppage in the pro ranks.

The Miami Hurricanes have a new coach and, um, plenty of seats for displaced NFL fans. Colorado has a new coach and a new conference with new rivals. Minnesota's got a new coach and a two-year-old stadium that makes the Metrodome look like... well, the Metrodome was already terrible, but TCF Bank Stadium is still a major plus for the Gophers. Those are three prime opportunities for athletic departments to encourage new fans to "help us start a new chapter in our future." Think Dolphins, Vikings, and Broncos fans aren't going to notice that opportunity? Especially if college tickets are half as expensive and there are ten times as many gorgeous young women at the tailgates?

The Houston Cougars should have Case Keenum back to finish his quest to break the NCAA passing records. He's just the next step in Houston's tradition of great college quarterbacks (David Klingler, Andre Ware, and to-a-somewhat-lesser-extent-but-he-
was-still-pretty-darned-good Kevin Kolb), and it would be insane for the Cougars not to publicize his assault on the record books on a weekly basis. Besides, no offense to the Texans, but the Cougars are the local team with more football tradition anyway.

Northwestern has billed itself as "Chicago's college football team" recently. That seems a little unfair to the hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans who are alumni of other major universities, but if the Chicago Bears are sitting at home on Sundays, Northwestern turns into the city's ONLY football team. Similarly, the idea of Indiana actually selling out its Memorial Stadium on a regular basis seems like far less of a pipe dream if Lucas Oil Stadium's sitting empty on weekends. Purdue would be happy to accommodate some of those Colts fans too.

The impact of a large influx of fans, if even for a game or two, is not insignificant. 10,000 extra tickets sold for $25 a pop equals a quarter-million dollars in extra ticket revenue alone, to say nothing of concessions, merchandise, and parking fees. That's something some teams can accomplish in one game. And that's just immediate money in. There's also the inroads made with fans, particularly younger ones. Making entreaties to families and younger adults means that the college football program can start cultivating long-lasting fan relationships -- and new donors. The alumni associations can always use the help, after all.

So, athletic directors and college coaches. Line up shoulder-to-shoulder behind the NFL's owners, and stand tall in their support. Then take, take, take from them. College football will be stronger for it.

Posted on: March 11, 2011 5:54 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Colorado

Posted by Bryan Fischer

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice. So we here at the Eye on College Football will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers. Today, we look at Colorado, who opens spring camp today.

Spring practice question: How will the Buffs look under new coach Jon Embree?

The short answer is they won't look anything like the team that went 19-39 under Dan Hawkins. The long answer depends on how quickly the team can adapt to a new head coach and a new conference, neither of which should be an easy transition.

Embree, a former Colorado player and assistant, has already started to leave his mark on the program. One of the first things he did after wrapping up his first recruiting class was announce that several traditions would be returning to a school with a rich history full of them.

"There's been a lot of great traditions around here that have been swept under the rug and they're coming back," he said in a rousing speech at Colorado's recruiting luncheon after signing day. "And it starts with Hawaii."

While the first game is a few months away, the goal is clear for a program that was known mostly for failing to live up to the high expectations of Hawkins. There's several on-field adjustments Embree has already started to implement, starting with installing a west coast offense. Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy will have a few tools to work with, including returning starter Tyler Hansen and transfer Brent Burnett at quarterback. Also returning is senior tailback Rodney Stewart, who is coming off his best season in three years as a starter, and several promising young backups.

The offensive line will also look different this spring but not too much. Stud left tackle Nate Solder departs to the NFL (though maybe not to the Denver Broncos based on this video). Center Mike Iltis will also miss the spring while he recovers from a torn ACL but there will be three other returning starters to help show the new guys how things are done.

Defensively is where Embree faces the most challenges. The Buffs gave up 30 points per game and were 110th in the nation in pass defense despite having possible first round draft pick Jimmy Smith starting at corner. Also gone is senior corner Jalil Brown and two players in the mix to start in the secondary are out for spring ball with injuries with the rest of the players in contention having little or no playing experience. Defensive tackles Curtis Cunningham and Will Pericak will return once again but the trick will be figuring who plays linebacker behind them with the departure of leading tackler Mike Sipili. Luckily the team won't have to learn too much scheme-wise this spring with the return of former secondary coach Greg Brown as defensive coordinator.

"We`re evolving right now," Brown told the Boulder Daily Camera. "There is no way of knowing where the thing is going to end up. Our focus right now is on spring ball and just trying to line up and play it straight and see if we can win some one-on-one battles let alone trying to out-scheme somebody."

Either way you slice though, change is in the thin atmosphere of Boulder. A new conference, a new staff and several new players are going to get their first glimpse of Colorado this spring. 

Most hope the new look is a lot better on the field than before. If anything, it sure is different.

Posted on: December 8, 2010 2:44 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 2:54 pm
 

Urban Meyer steps down from Florida

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The college football world was rocked today when the University of Florida announced that Urban Meyer would step down as head coach after the Gators' Outback Bowl match against Penn State on January 1. A press conference is scheduled for later this evening.

The announcement comes nearly a year to the day after Meyer's last resignation from the school, and like last year, Meyer's current resignation appears to be health-related. While Meyer doesn't specifically mention health in his resignation, he also makes no mention of any future professional aspirations, just to spend more time with his family. Moreover, as Ken Gordon of the Columbus Dispatch reported today, sources close to Meyer indicated that he appeared to be in poor health once again, suffering from various stress-related maladies. In other words, it's extremely unlikely at this point that Meyer's resignation is a sign that he's a candidate for the Denver Broncos (featuring third-string quarterback Tim Tebow ) or that his impending availability had anything to do with the firing Josh McDaniels earlier this week.

And again, Meyer has announced that he will at least coach through the end of this season, so Florida fans dreading the words "interim head coach Steve Addazio " can at least rest easily. The Florida job is high-profile enough that the school will likely have its pick of candidates, so any downtime between Meyer's stepping down and the new coach's hiring should be minimal -- think a couple weeks or so.

Here's Meyer's statement, released through the university:

“I have been a Division I football coach for the last 25 years and, during that time, my primary focus has been helping my teams win titles,” Meyer said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, and I am a fierce competitor to my core. At this time in my life, however, I appreciate the sacrifices my 24/7 profession has demanded of me, and I know it is time to put my focus on my family and life away from the field. The decision to step down was a difficult one.

“But after spending more than two decades motivating and celebrating the young men I’ve been so proud to coach, I relish the opportunity to cheer for my three terrific kids as they compete in their own respective sports. I know how fortunate I am to be in a position to make this choice and to have a family that is as loving and supportive as my amazing wife and children have always been.”


Posted on: December 7, 2010 1:01 pm
 

Troy Calhoun isn't leaving for the Broncos

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Troy Calhoun seems to be a very popular man in the state of Colorado.  First his name came up as a candidate to replace Dan Hawkins at Colorado before the school hired Jon Embree, and after the Denver Broncos fired Josh McDaniels on Monday, his name came up once again as a possible candidate in Denver.

Which was a bit surprising, seeing as how Calhoun -- who did spend three years on the Broncos sidelines -- runs an option offense at Air Force, but I guess the Broncos do have Tim Tebow, so maybe they were thinking that it might actually work in the NFL.  It wouldn't, but hey, if they were smart enough to hire Josh McDaniels, then they're smart enough to think they could run the option in the NFL.  

Of course, it's all a moot point now.  Calhoun released a statement on the school's website saying that he's not leaving Air Force for the Broncos.

"The Air Force Academy has tremendous General officers and staff members who are remarkably dedicated to the development of our cadets. It's inspiring that an 18 year old kid makes a commitment to embed the necessary character traits to grow into a fine young man or woman who honorably serves for at least five years," Calhoun said. "Our coaching staff and our families are proud to be a part of the daily lives of our nation's future officers. We certainly look forward to seeing our seniors graduate in May along with coaching the Falcons in 2011 and beyond."
 
 
 
 
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