Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shanahan's Fault

Who knew the Denver Broncos, the once proud championship NFL franchise, could fall so low. Yet, with the meltdown of the team this year - the second in the tenure of now-fired coach Josh McDaniels - Denver is setting a new standard for miserable on the Denver sports scene. The Broncos haven't been this bad since 1971, and with a blowout by Arizona following the firing of McDaniels, there seems to be no end in sight.

So, what happened? Well, here's a theory. This is all the fault of former Denver coach Mike Shanahan. Shanahan the long-time Denver coach, and leader of two Super Bowl Championship teams - albeit with John Elway at the helm - led to this caused this meltdown with one naive, wimpy act in in the 2007 season. That mistake? Bowing to pressure and benching Jake Plummer for NFL neophyte and Jeff George impersonator, Jay Cutler.

The Broncos were 7-3 at the time, and their quarterback Jake Plummer - who led them to the AFC Championship game the year before losing to eventual champion Pittsburgh - was the third highest ranked QB in the league (behind Manning and Brady). If Shanny doesn't bench Plummer and instead makes a few changes on defense - which was and has been Denver's problem all along - then the Broncos arguably still make the playoffs. That gives Jay Cutler one more year of grooming, and without disrupting team unity, Jake Plummer is allowed an out as he seeks a new team for his services.

Thus, in the off season, the Denver Broncos make some necessary changes to their defense, which includes excusing Mike Shanahan of personnel duties - a task he was never suited for and continues to flounder with in Washington. After Shanny gives up some hubris and control, the Broncos can bring young Cutler in a more reasonable manner. They keep the high powered offense, Brandon Marshall is still catching passes, 1000-yard rusher Peyton Hillis is chewing up ground for Denver instead of Cleveland, and the Broncos make the playoffs for the past three years.

But Shana-who? screws it all up, a testament to a monstrous ego that never truly understood how much his success was linked to a guy named John Elway. And if you doubt the size of Shanny's ego, there is a 35,000 square foot house in Colorado and a new over-the-top steakhouse in the Denver Tech Center - which is more glitter than good food - which are evidence of an ego gone wild.

Thanks a lot, Shanny. Think how nice things would be in Denver if you had just grown up four years ago.

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