Paxton Lynch Sucks

Bronco’s football returned tonight with a preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings and after another lackluster training camp showing and another abysmal preseason game going into his third year, it’s time for John Elway to swallow his pride and cut Paxton Lynch. This evening, he went 6/11 for 24 yards with an interception and was sacked, then completely shown up by Chad Kelly, literally a Last Chance U alumni who spent last year sidelined with a wrist injury and had never played a game in the NFL. With concerns about Case Keenum being injury prone, the back-up job clearly needs to go to a player that doesn’t have the football IQ equivalent of a student repeating the fourth grade twice.

Look at this shit:

He’s 6’8″ and screen passes are swatted down at the line of scrimmage. This is a guy that lost depth chart positioning to Brock Osweiler, a man paid by the Cleveland Browns to not play and Trevor “Skittles” Siemian. The fact that he’s on an NFL roster is astonishing. Zero development or improvement in three years, but John Elway refuses to admit his first-round pick is a bust, which has cost the Broncos two serviceable second-string quarterbacks going to Minnesota. At least Brock, now playing in Miami, had passion for the organization and town. Paxton should be working as a mascot in Tampa Bay or doing Captain Morgan promotional appearances on frat rows. He’s a dullard.

I’m very forgiving. I didn’t mind seeing Trevor start again last year despite his ongoing issues. He had heart and came back from big hits as best he could. The team seemed to get behind him until obvious frustrations from a diminished but still legendary defense became insurmountable. Paxton, which is the male naming equivalent of Makayla, is lazy, listless, and obviously yippy anytime he’s put into a pre-planned QB1 situation.

There’s a question of “dead money” for next year if Elway can fall out of love with this towering mutant pirate, do the right thing, and get rid of him. It might cost a seventh-round pick down the line to sweeten the garbage pot, $600k in cap space this year, and $1.3 million next year, but after watching him booed off the field in Mile High tonight what are the other options? He’s dead weight. Even the most optimistic homer fans waiting for a development breakthrough or hoping for him to stop getting Vietnam flashbacks every time the sub-par defensive line collapses his pocket are reaching the end of their ropes.

It’s been enough chances and without a move by the coaching staff or front office, it’s only a matter of time before people start saying the same thing about Vance Joseph or even John Elway, who just two years ago could’ve gotten Denver International Airport named after him. At a certain point, it’s undeniably an organizational problem.

Vegas Wins the Stanley Cup Because There’s an Ongoing Conspiracy to Jumpstart Revenue in Disaster-Stricken Areas

We don’t get a brand-spanking new sports team every year. It’s always a little exciting, seeing what they name it, what town it’s going to, who is going to end up playing for it; but I don’t think anybody expected the Las Vegas Golden Knights, the dumbest named team in any sport, to make it this far into the NHL post-season less than a year ago. Hockey seems tough to rig. It’s hard to make the call that perhaps this is to get the team off on the right foot, making sure Las Vegas of all places gets all the curious new casual fans excited about hockey out the gate. Cinderella runs and telegraphed story lines have become a little more prominent in recent years, but I think an even more nefarious phenomenon is at work here.

In the fall, some wealthy, gambling addict maniac stockpiled numerous firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition into a high-rise Las Vegas hotel and opened fire on an audience of concertgoers, killing dozens and wounding hundreds before killing himself as police closed in. The tragedy has had a chilling effect on Vegas tourism, compounded with other attendance-related issues and difficulties adjusting the “product” to appeal to younger consumers. There’s clear motivation and incentive for Las Vegas to have something new and exciting to crow about, and little does more to foster a collective, unifying identity for a town than local sports, something Vegas has been lacking for ages and looking to add more to with the impending move of the Oakland Raiders.

Let the game do the healing, right? It sounds outlandish, but this isn’t the first correlation I’ve found with towns seemingly fighting back against the adversity of a tragedy and taking home a championship. Just last year, I watched my beloved New York Yankees fall to the Houston Astros in the ALCS after Hurricane Harvey and other storms devastated the region. Houston went on to win the World Series. The New Orleans Saints’ win in 2010 is a little suspect, considering it took years for the area to start recovering from Katrina… Perfect time for an economic jumpstart. West Germany had three World Cup wins in 36 years! The inverse to the rule here is when the nearly-new Arizona Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees in the World Series in 2001, right after 9/11. If there was ever a year to give it to the Yankees, it was probably after 9/11.

Vegas (0-1) and the Winnipeg Jets (1-0) go at it in Game 2, tonight, at 8pm ET on NBC.

A Spoiled, Rotten Yankee Fan

I’ve never been this ready for baseball season. Maybe it’s two years of Denver Bronco mediocrity, the sting of the Yankees losing to Houston in the 2017 American League Championship Series, and the fact that I’ve been taking in quite a bit of PAC-12 college ball these days, but I’m way more amped up than usual about Opening Day. It’s comforting: as the world unravels and anxiety spikes we emerge anyway from the cold, looking forward to the warmer months of the year always knowing we’re going to be playing baseball. It might be the only constant in America I not just reliably depend on but welcome.

Having never lived in New York and never written a lot about baseball, I realize I have a bit of explaining to do. Or maybe I don’t. This is the inferiority complex I’ve developed as an all-too-common out-of-state fan. In Colorado, a typical baseball season ends sometime around June. After a brief period of optimism that runs itself dry around mid-May, the Rockies (usually) putter out and the town begins fantasizing about summer football workouts. Maintaining enthusiasm for baseball on the other side of the country in the face of such consistently disappointed fans ends up requiring a bit of biographical backstory.

When I was born in 1990 in California, it didn’t take long to get me to an Angel’s game. My dad, who grew up on the East Coast, loved baseball and he’d put me in his glove at “The Big A” where we watched those middling early-90s Yankees teams when they came to town. Somewhere, there exists a VHS tape of me at about 2 watching a tape of the Minnesota Twins winning the 91 World Series, which I watched on a loop that winter because even as a baby, I was irritated there was no baseball to watch. Several of my first sentences were attempts to start a discussion about Kirby Puckett and Chili Davis.

When you’re little, seeing your parents lose their shit has quite a novelty to it. Gene Michael comes in as General Manager, turns the Yankee franchise around, and by 1996 my house had gone stark-raving mad for Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte , Mariano Rivera, Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neil, and Derek Jeter. At the same time, my mother, who grew up in Colorado, was attempting to match the Yankee fever with her elation for back-to-back Bronco Superbowl wins and the anointment of John Elway as Saint of All Quarterbacks. As a very young child, I was completely spoiled by watching longstanding familial sports allegiances rewarded with what seemed like championship contending teams year after year. Continue reading →

Farewell, Aqib Talib

After four years with the Denver Broncos and one championship ring, cornerback Aqib Talib was traded to the LA Rams in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick. Generally, I treat sports rumor mills as a where-there’s-smoke-there’s-fire situation, and there was a lot of smoke about Talib desiring a trade even pretty early on into the 2017 season. Fans and Bronco’s beat guys definitely saw this coming, and after two unremarkable, disappointing seasons coming off of a Superbowl win and the retirement of Peyton Manning, it certainly isn’t surprising.

Since Superbowl 50, the offseason has been a stressful, pins and needles time for Bronco fans. Locking down Von Miller and Emmanuel Sanders were definitely coups for the front office, but you also inexplicably let Wade Phillips go as defensive coordinator after heading one of the historically greatest defenses of all time and start piecing out said defense. These are all tough front office problems and it’s difficult to see how it’s all going to play out.

Talib is a player I think almost everybody hates – unless he’s on your team. When he played for New England, I put him up there with Vontaze Burfict and cursed his coverage anytime the Broncos played the Pats. I was even pissed off when we picked him up after that disastrous loss to the Seahawks in Superbowl 48. The Broncos have always had a bit of a moral high ground against a rival like Oakland. Talib, coming from Darth Bellicheck’s dubious Patriot dynasty that had just lost a tight end to murder charges, seemed out of place in a franchise whose fanbase primarily meme’d about chicken parm sandwiches, ill-fitting winterwear, and Eric Decker’s monster hog. Especially after the then-recent conclusion of the illustrious career of an absolute class-act Champ Bailey, Talib felt like buying an angry Rottweiler after having to put down your childhood Irish Setter.

Naturally, I think fans not accustomed to having an Enforcer on their team can’t live without one after they’re gone. Just being able to know you’ve got the ability to exact some revenge or try and intimidate a snarling team on the road is quite the feeling. What comes standard issue on a hockey squad isn’t as plentiful in the NFL. Talib doesn’t take any shit. There was the eye poke, the chain grabs, and the fights. Talib served suspensions in three consecutive seasons with the Broncos. He shot himself in the leg at a bar in Texas.

But there’s also 103-yard pick-sixes. Continue reading →