Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tradition Tuesday: Packing for Camp With or Without Draft Picks

The rough focus of this blog is the rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs (heralded by Bankmeister) and the Denver Broncos (championed by Cecil and Old No. 7). It may seem unfair that it's two versus one, but once KC gets that second Super Bowl win we'll even out the delegation.

Seven years ago we started The Tradition, in which Bronco fans travel out to the Truman Sports Complex with their team, and Chief-lovers return to the Rocky Mountains with theirs. We tailgate, we talk massive amounts of shit, our wives are occasionally assaulted by rival fans, and we almost always watch the visiting team lose. It's grand old time.

Here at the HoG, we're going to keep The Tradition going with Tradition Tuesday--a weekly state-of-the-rivalry address.


The proprietor of a snazzy little outfit called
Steamworks Brewing Company in Durango, CO, once told me that one day he woke up and realized that his life was split into two halves: football season and not football season. And it occurred to me that, not only was that a brilliant statement, but it applied to me as well. Kudos to him for his wisdom and for offering me and Old No. 7 employment during the heart of our illustrious academic undergraduate careers at THE Fort Lewis College.

At week's end, The HoG's beloved Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs (I suppose the 30 other not-as-savory teams in the National Football League will follow trend) will head for their respective training camps. At the time the statement was uttered by the Steamworks icon, I didn't really consider football season to be football season until, at very least, pre-season games began. Now, however, the HoG staff in its entirety, hungrily devour the draft, training camp commencement, and of course, the regular-season contests.



The Broncos will make the painstaking jaunt south to the outer confines of Englewood, Colorado. Their camp can be found spittin' distance from I-25 on Arapahoe, which is apparently the same as the corner of Potomac and Broncos Parkway. Their camp sessions are free and open to the public, and will run from July 29-Aug. 4 and from Aug. 6-11. Their we talkin' 'bout practice schedule looks a little something like this:

Sunday, July 29
8:30 a.m.
3:50 p.m.

Monday, July 30
8:30 a.m.
3:40 p.m. (Special Teams)

Tuesday, July 31
8:30 a.m.
3:50 p.m.

Wednesday, August 1
8:30 a.m.
3:40 p.m. (Special Teams)

Thursday, August 2
8:30 a.m.
3:50 p.m.

Friday, August 3
8:30 a.m.
3:40 p.m. (Special Teams)

Saturday, August 4
8:30 a.m.
3:50 p.m.

Monday, August 6
8:30 a.m.
3:50 p.m.

Tuesday, August 7
8:30 a.m.
3:40 p.m. (Special Teams)

Wednesday, August 8
8:30 a.m.
3:50 p.m.

Thursday, August 9
8:30 a.m.
3:40 p.m. (Special Teams)

Friday, August 10
8:30 a.m.
3:50 p.m.

Saturday, August 11
8:30 a.m.

Monday, August 13
Preseason game at San Francisco
5 p.m. PDT,

and like most things, is subject to change.

The Broncos' free-agency acquistions (not-so-gracefully whined about here by yours truly)will be joining fourth-round selection Marcus Thomas (defensive tackle out of the University of Florida) as new members of team Predominantly Orange.

(Editor's Note: Thomas was the Broncos final selection of the 2007 draft; they sent this year's sixth- and seventh-rounders, along with next year's third-round pick, to Minnesota in order to acquire him. This transaction, in Head Coach Mike Shanahan's mind, was not steep if Thomas is still on the roster down the road. Ingenious.)

Still unsigned are: third-round selection Ryan Harris, offensive tackle from Notre Dame (Note: Go Irish); second-round selection Tim Crowder, defensive end from the University of Texas; and first-rounder Jarvis Moss, defensive end from the University of Florida.

The Kansas City Chiefs, however, head north; they must escape the grueling humidity of KC summer, and therefore, will travel a bit further. The University of Wisconsin-River Falls, in fact. This will be the Chiefs 17th year utilizing the campus facilities, and their schedule looks a bit like this:

Thursday, July 26th: Depart for Training Camp
Friday, July 27th: Begin camp
Friday, August 3rd: Practice with Minnesota Vikings -- Mankato, MN
Saturday, August 4th: Practice with Minnesota Vikings -- River Falls, WI
Wednesday, Auguest 8th: Family Fun Night -- River Falls
Saturday, August 11th: Kansas City at Cleveland -- Cleveland Browns Stadium
Wednesday, August 15th: Break Camp
Thursday, August 16th: Kansas City vs. Miami -- Arrowhead Stadium
Thursday, August 23rd: Kansas City vs. New Orleans -- Arrowhead Stadium
Thursday, August 30th: Kansas City at St. Louis -- Edward Jones Dome,

and the Chiefs have been kind enough to say that more information on practice times, dates, and camp policies will be released at a later date. Seeing as how the team leaves in two days, I'm curious as to what that date will be. The Broncos were thorough and prepared enough to remind fans: to get to the Valley early enough due to limited parking; not to use cell phones unless outside the fenced area; what size chairs would be permitted; that still cameras are acceptable, etc., etc. But whatever.

The Chiefs made some free agent signings as well, most notably: linebacker Napoleon Harris from the Minnesota Vikings; tackle Damion McIntosh from the Miami Dolphins; linebacker Donnie Edwards from the San Diego Chargers, and a bunch of other corners and linebackers who may or may not make the cut.

Joining these new Chiefs in camp will be: fifth-round pick Kolby Smith, running back from Louisville; second-rounder Claude "Turk" McBride, defensive tackle from Tennessee; third-round selection DeMarcus "Tank" Tyler (Note: my cat comes up with better nicknames for my dog's stool), defensive tackle from North Carolina State; but not: seventh-rounder Michael Allan, tight end, Whitworth; sixth-round snag Herb Taylor, tackle from TCU; fifth-round kicker Justin Medlock, UCLA (Note: really? The kicker's holding out?); and first-rounder Dwayne Bowe, wide receiver, LSU.

Here's what I don't get from NFL squads these days: Why are your effin' picks not signed yet? We've sort of gotten used to first-rounders being greedy bastards and not making it to camp on time. But look at these two teams. The Broncos start camp on Saturday; they have one of four signed. The Chiefs leave town Thursday; they have three of seven signed. Combined, that's one team's entire draft. What's going on here? If this is the trend that's developing, why do we even care if other players threaten to hold out until they get fat new contracts?

If Chiefs running back Larry Johnson isn't going to report to camp, why would anyone bat an eye? Why not say, "Dude, half the rookies aren't going to be there, and we need them to be, so go kick it with Jay-Z, homes." I thought camp was crucial to a team's potential for building success. This trend is utterly redonculous.

Supposedly, this stuff will work itself out like it always does. The HoG, however, will have dropped the better part of ten green benjamins by week's end on Tradition-related expenses, a.k.a. tickets. Bankmeister (Note: yes, I'm pulling a Rickey Henderson) wants to see D-Bowe scoring touchdowns at AmVesCap. Seven and Cecil are hungry for Crowder to sack Brodie Croyle Damon Huard at Arrowhead.

This stuff is infuriating. Sort of. In fact, if these picks -- all seven of them -- are not in their respective camps by week's end, the HoG may very well boycott the NFL this year.

Update: No we won't.

5 comments:

Hercules Rockefeller said...

Ah....Steamworks. Do they still have peanut shells all over the floor?

bankmeister said...

Indeed they do. I think their clientele would strike if they ceased.

Hercules Rockefeller said...

I remember spending every night of the Av's playoff games there in '97 and '98. Good times.

bankmeister said...

That's jacked up. Chances are, I served you drinks and cooked your meal on more than one occasion.

Cecil said...

The whole of the House has wicked Steamworks connections.

The Admin. and No. 7 both slung drinks/cooked food, and I was part of the concrete crew that made the bar, along with a few meth heads and convicts.