Thursday, April 12, 2007


Ed. Note: I started this post days ago. And up until a few minutes prior, didn't know we had released one of my all-time favorite Broncos. Al Wilson impressed us with his leadership and physical style but did not, despite what we orange glasses-wearers wished to the contrary, regularly dominate football games. Ol' No. 7 hit it strong on the nail.

Al had some amazing moments, like his game against the St. Louis Rams the year after they won the Super Bowl. He had, I think, three interceptions, one of which came covering Marshall Faulk on an out route in the end zone. He was stride-for-stride with that dude the whole way. Along with Rod Smith (whom I believe to be a HOFer-in-waiting and when the time comes I'll defend that opinion on this here interweb), Al was the face and football presence of the post-Elway Broncos, for better or worse. I think it was better. Way better. Thanks for everything, Al Wilson.

On to the silliness.

The NFL released schedules on Wednesday. Ol' No. 7 was vigorously texting me for my take, but alas, Wednesdays are about the only day of the week I can't waste company time on the internets.

But today! Today is Friday. And you know what that means.

You don't? Oh. Sorry. I guess you do live in Bombay...sorry, Mumbai. Or Canada. (Those two are near each other, right?) What it means is it's time to break down, game by game, the Denver Broncos' 2007 slate o' future wins.

1. Sept. 9, at Buffalo, 11 a.m.
I'm pissed. For the third year in a row, we start on the road, playing a morning contest. The only thing the Broncos are worse at--other than 1st round draft picks, playing at Arrowhead stadium and sucking--than morning games are dome games. So I suppose I should be happy we aren't playing the Rams...oh, yeah, we did that last year. And lost. Fuck this schedule maker anyway. Buffalo, with its octogenarian owner who didn't even vote to keep his team solvent in future years, can suck it. Still, I foresee my squad eking out a 17-14 too-close-for-comfort victory against J.P. and the Sunshine Band.

2. Sept. 16, Oakland, 2:15 p.m.
Like Everclear-laced hot cocoa after a snowball fight with convicts...never mind. This team isn't good enough for my tortured similes. I come in to each year fearing the Raider games despite how sucky Al Davis' team was the year previous. It's an AFC West thing. No matter how shitty any of our teams are in any given season, we always try and drink each others' blood. What happens if the Silver-n-Black, who most definitely don't kill anyone, draft JaMarcus Russell to throw mile-long bombs to a rejuvenated Moss and a moderately interested Jerry Porter? What happens if Lane Kiffin turns out to be, if not the next Shanahan, maybe the next Tom Flores? A non-Mexican version? I think what will happen is they will still lose no matter how good their D is, and it is. 21-14 Denver win. 2-0

3. Sept. 23, Jacksonville, 2:05 p.m.
Does any other team outside the AFC South play the Jaguars as much as we do? Seriously. It's an annual effin' event, like Christmas or the traditional Meast Pie during Flag Day. I hate this team. They're physical, coached by the kind of guy that players seem to like and suck regularly enough to keep drafting in the top 15. Which enables them to pick up glacial masses like Stroud and Henderson. Too bad that whoever their QB will be isn't going to be good enough to beat us at home. A late defensive touchdown makes this look like a bigger victory for us than it actually was, 38-23 Denver. 3-0

4. Sep. 30, at Indianapolis, 2:15 p.m.
Tough one. We haven't played well against this team in recent years, Manning kills us, their D always seems to make a play at the right time. We should have beaten them last year at Invesco--that was when the wheels started to get wobbly with Plummer. We ran the ball into their lower intestine that game. And had to settle for OT. Will things be different on the road? Now that they've won a Championship? Call me a hopeless optimist (or an idiot). Denver wins 35-32. 4-0

5. Oct. 7, San Diego, 2:15 p.m.
Who knows what San Diego will look like this year? The Chargers are clearly the most talented team in football. They can flay you. They'll play possum with the running game until LT finally just breaks your heart. But I'm going with the Norv Turner factor. We'll split the season series and get them at home, 24-20. Denver fans get excited because we're 5-0. And because we're Denver fans. We're easily excited.


Oct. 14 BYE WEEK

6. Oct. 21, Pittsburgh, 6:15 p.m.
The bump in the road comes against this still-talented but rebuildy team. In addition to early games and dome games, recent years have seen us pretty shitty at night games. Pittsburgh knocks Cutler around, we lose, 28-10. Denver fans get worried because Cutler got knocked around. And because...see week 5. Six games in and we're 5-1.

7. Oct. 29, Green Bay, 6:30 p.m.
We're bad at Prime Time. Still. Brett Favre farewell tour or no, we're not losing at home to this team. Our first honest-to-Yahweh blowout of the season, Cutler rips Green Bay's aging secondary for 350 plus and Javon scores 2 TDs and afterward refuses to shake a chastened Favre's hand for betraying him to management up north. Talk show fodder for weeks as the media's corpulent defenders of the Favrian faith shake their jowls in anger. Denver fans laugh 'cause we won. Stay classy, Front Range.

8. Nov. 4, at Detroit, 11 a.m.
It's bound to happen every season, and we've only had one, so the let's get the goddamn morning games out of the way. This Lions team...seriously. How do they suck so thoroughly, so consistently? They could give the guys in charge of ESPN fantasy baseball tips. Every year they have a Top 10 pick, every year, same story. I knew a Lions fan once. I know! Crazy. I didn't think they were real either. Great guy, but about as disillusioned as they come--and that's tough. Sad, really. That's all we ask for as fans: the gift of at least a little hope. The Ford family, sitting on the pile of money they made off of American workers, can't even offer that much to the collective sporting consciousness in return. They don't traffic in hope. They traffic in Millen. Speaking for all of us here at HoG, Lions fans, we're sorry. The two of us who follow the Broncos also apologize for our team's 31-10 victory. 6-1

To be continued...