Tag Archives: denver-broncos

Friday musing – Super Bowl 50, Michael Clarke returns…….maybe

Chris Barwin HillsWell we have one of the biggest sporting events in the world and certainly the biggest sporting event in North America kicking off on Monday morning Australian time being the NFL Superbowl between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. I have never been carolinaa big fan of the sport, possibly through lack of understanding, but the fact that a defensive linesman can have a great game and not touch the ball seems to be quite strange given the AFL emphasis on possession. I also find it peculiar that the main player in American football, being the quarterback does not kick the ball. Of the football codes, the NFL has the least emphasis on kicking. Notwithstanding my indifference to the sport it’s popularity in Australia is increasing and I am sure there will be a lot of people off work on Monday just to watch the game. I am going with the favourites, the Panthers.

I was interested to hear that Michael Clarke has announced he is coming out of retirement. As I understand it, he has only flagged
clarkeplaying the Sydney equivalent of district cricket at this stage, but surely he must be gearing up to cash in on the T20 circuit. As we have seen from other recently “retired” cricketers there is good money to be made. My big question mark over Michael Clarke would be that he has never been an attacking batsman that could do any better than a run a ball at best. If I had anything to do with a T20 franchise in Australia or overseas I would be reluctant to pay too much for his services and query the Melbourne Stars signing him to a contract in the Big Bash.

Have a great weekend!

Tebow or Hayne….who’ll get closer to making an NFL list?

Feb 27 2011 016With the news that the Philadelphia Eagles have brought former quarterback, Tim Tebow in for a workout, it prompted me to ask whether Tebow or Jarryd Hayne would be more likely to still be around when NFL teams make their final cuts to lists at the end of the pre-season.

You may remember that Tebow, the 2007 Heisman trophy winner, was drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos and started 14 games. In 2011 he took over at quarterback from Kyle Orton and transformed the Broncos from a 1-4 record to Unknownfinish 8-8, a Division title and an unlikely overtime playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, when Peyton Manning game to town, Tebow was shipped off to the New York Jets for a fourth round draft selection. Things didn’t work out in New York and Tim soon found himself out of the game.

Eagles’ coach Chip Kelly is currently in the process of reshaping the player list so there is every possibility that Tebow could be signed for the pre-season so that he can show his wares. I doubt Kelly, a former College coach with the Oregon Ducks, is bringing Tebow in for his pocket passing skills but rather for his running and improvisational abilities. If Tebow can make it anywhere, he can make it under a Chip Kelly offence and I rate him as a real chance.

Contrast that with the position of Hayne at the San Francisco 49ers.image A person who has not played in the NFL or, for that matter,  a competitive game of ‘grid iron’ at all. Although his position on the extended list is apparently guaranteed until the last week of training camp, unlike Tebow, he has no body of work to fall back on or reference point for the 49er coaches. Clearly he will need to come up with performances that have a ‘wow’ factor in order to survive through to the season proper.

Las Vegas doesn’t offer odds on whether players will make a list on the basis that some team officials already know the answer to that question.  However, if I could bet, I’d be on Tebow.

Friday musing – NFL, Super Bowl, NBA, Essendon FC, cricket……

Chris Barwin HillsNot being a big American sports fan I have not seen a lot of sport in my two and a half weeks in Hawaii, but I was there for the Super Bowl. My daughter and I went to a bar on Maui and watched the game from just before half time. While being seated by the manager I enquired as to whom I should be supporting and I was assured I should be on the Seahawks. The bar seemed to be evenly divided between the Denver fans, who were very quiet and the Seattle fans who were a little more excited with plenty of Sea-Hawk chants. I enjoyed the game, however, the advertisements and the entertainment seemed to go for a lot longer than the actual playing time. My daughter also enjoyed the game and the advertisements! I think the game was an endorsement for the maxim that a good defence will usually defeat a good offence.

My other sporting observation from my time in Hawaii was the saturation coverage of basketball. It did not seem to matter what time of the day it was, if you went into a bar or restaurant and they had sport on the television, it was usually the NBA or college basketball and that included the time leading up to the Super Bowl.

Since being back in Australia I have been disappointed to see the Essendon supplements saga rear its head again. I guess it is not going to go away until such time as ASADA have closed their file. This could go on for years!

A good start to the Test series in South Africa, but I am starting to get a little concerned about Michael Clarke’s ongoing form lapse. Having scored 100’s in the first two Ashes tests he has not passed fifty since. I have been happy with the continued good form of Steve Smith, who in the same period has made three centuries. With Shane Watson missing from the line-up I hope we won’t be found to be a bowler short.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Sportzfan Radio – show #232.1

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!15 January 2012 232.1 Daniel starts with the observation that when Sportzfan Radio went off air in 2011 the Australian cricket team sucked, but now they are world beaters. Sportzfan Stan talks about China being a great market for Australian Rules Football. Special guest Jamie Pi comments on this and also goes on to talk about the growing impetus of players of Asian heritage contributing to AFL with Lin Jong being drafted by the Western Bulldogs. He says it is very important to get the message out that Asian kids can play the game. Jamie also comments on how the Southern Dragons will perform in 2012 in division 2 of the Southern Football League. The Panel have a brief discussion of the NFL playoffs and each teams chances. The Gelding talks racing and starts with a discussion of the penetrometer and the grading of the track. He didn’t have a great day yesterday at the track but did manage to get a selection up for the ladies from the Tennis club. Mark Fiorenti comes on to talk soccer and says his soccer wishes were fulfilled at the end of 2011 but not to good for the start of 2012.

Sportzfan Radio show #230.1

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!11 December 2011 230.1 – The Panel comprising the Professor, Daniel Eade, Paul Dalligan, the Gambler and Sportzfan Stan lead off the show talking US sport with Dan Butterly including the NBA nixing the Chris Paul deal. He also looks at Major League Baseball talking about the recent free agent moves with the Miami Marlins leading the pack. Paul Dalligan talks NFL with Dan and Paul says he likes the New Orleans Saints. Dan says any team can win on any given day. Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders also discussed. Dan revisits the College Football championship game and says every game can’t count in the regular season if Alabama is playing in that game. He likes Robert Griffin III from Baylor for the Heisman trophy. The Panel look at Barry Hall’s announcement that he intends to enter the boxing world and the Professor says he is already 4-0 following his AFL career. There is a discussion about the second test and another poor batting display by Australia. Sportzfan Stan says there are some players in the baggy green who are not good enough and they should be sacked. Mark Fiorenti comes on to talk soccer and he starts with a review of the Melbourne Victory/LA Galaxy game featuring David Beckham. He also looks at how the Victory are travelling at the moment and says they are not getting enough from Harry Kewell.

Sportzfan Radio show #229.1

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!4 December 2011 229.1 – The Panel start with a look at the first test against New Zealand. Daniel also reviews the Melbourne Tigers recent performances and says with the game on the line in the last four matches, they couldn’t get it done. The Gelding queries whether they are missing Patty Mills already. Dan Butterly comes on to discuss US sport talking College football including who will qualify for the National championship and the other BCS bowls. Once again Dan argues that there should be a playoff in College football. He also looks at the coaching carousel with a number of Colleges firing their football coaches and says it’s not good to be a coach at this time of year. Dan says Tim Tebow is a winner and Tebowmania has overtaken Denver. He thinks the Packers can run the table and sees the Colts going 0-16. The Professor and Dan discuss the bid by Jerry Kramer’s daughter to have him admitted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Professor learned about it on Twitter. Dan says it is an amazing story and he encourages the fans to learn more about the cause and Kramer’s career. Dan thinks Bobby Valentine’s hiring to coach the Red Sox is a great one. The Gelding talks racing and reviews both his selections and the Sydney Colts. Unfortunately for the Gelding his tips were just off the mark with four seconds. He awards an s-hit ride to Danny Nikolic for his ride on Starchine. Sportzfan Stan is upset that the Gelding has been invited to the Ladies at the Tennis club’s Christmas party but he hasn’t. Mark Fiorenti talks A-League soccer and says the Melbourne Victory are a ‘little bit’ back in crisis. The Professor reviews Mark’s pre-season ladder predictions, especially Adelaide on top and the Newcastle Jets on the bottom.

Sportzfan Radio show #223.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!16 October 2011 223.2 Mark Fiorenti comes on to talk about the Socceroos and their 3-0 win againt Oman and says all Australia need is a point from their remaining games to qualify for the next round of World Cup qualifiers. He is full of praise for Holger Osieck and also reviews the other Asian Group standings. Mark looks at the A League and the Professor asks how long before the Melbourne Victory coach is under pressure. Mark says if Victory don’t beat Heart it will be a disastrous start to the season. Daniel talks basketball and the Professor takes him to task about how One HD are selecting the games. He feels decisions are made on a financial basis because it must be cheaper to go to Townsville than Perth. The Panel talk about the poor television ratings for the NBL while Sportzfan Stan discusses the benefit that Mills has given to the sport whilst he has been here. The Gelding compares the amount of newspaper columns given to all sports and decides basketball gets less coverage than rugby and soccer. The Professor asks Paul Dalligan where Todd Carney will land as it has been rumored he is being chased by at least four teams. Paul previews the Australia v New Zealand rugby league match predicting a close game but an Australian win. He also comments on Tim Tebow starting at QB for his Denver Broncos. The Panel talk about the big clash in the World Cup semi final between the Wallabies and New Zealand. The Panel unanimously select the Wallabies. To round off the show the Panel discuss AFL trade week and Casey Stoner winning the motorcycle GP.

Sportzfan Radio #181.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!28 November 2010 181.2 – Daniel wants the Tigers to get rid of their white alternate strip. Stan adds that the Tigers are hopeless at 1-7.  Mark Fiorenti talks up Australia’s chances for the 2022 World Cup and thinks the bid looks a lot better than it did three or four months ago. He also thinks the USA are favourites.  Daniel believes if Julia Gillard writes a letter of support that will sink the bid. The Professor thinks Bob Hawke should have been asked to write a letter.  Mark also wraps up A League and Premier League matches of interest.  He thinks it is Chelsea’s title to lose.  Dr Leslie’s CSA returns to the show after a few weeks off.  Daniel is not happy that the Professor signed off with “We all hope we get the 2022 World Cup”…this then promotes a discussion as to who actually wants the World Cup.  Stan and Daniel don’t want it.  The Gelding hopes we do get it.  Suitably chastened, the Professor re-announces “The Gelding and I both hope we get it, Daniel and Stan definitely don’t”.   The Panel then discuss emails about the Australian Test selections.  The Gelding thinks the role of wicketkeeper has changed over the years as we now pick a wicketkeeper that is an allrounder.  Stan believes it is no good trying to make a batsman into a wicketkeeper.  Paul Dalligan is back to talk rugby league….didn’t the season finish eight weeks ago?  He talks about Russell Crowe leaking details of Greg Inglis’ contract on a US talk show.  The NRL are now looking more closely at the deal.  The Professor asks why this deal is different to the Mark Gasnier deal.  Daniel thinks it would be good for Crow to team up with Inglis at the Rabbitohs.  Paul then goes on to talk baseball and the ABL.  Unfortunately, the Melbourne Aces first three home games have been rained out.  We give a shout out to a new listener…Lisa Haye’s husband.  The Panel talk about Mark “Choco” Williams appointment as Kevin Sheedy’s assistant at Greater Western Sydney.  This leads into a discussion of whether Sheedy will actually coach the team in 2012.  Stan decides to swing the axe and believes Mick Malthouse and Kevin Sheedy have reached their use by date and should retire as the old guys are keeping the younger coaches out of jobs.  Sean Callanan comes on to talk social media and discusses the Dallas Cowboys forgetting to renew their domain name so they were left without a website and thinks the IT man at the Cowboys may be out of a job.  The Denver Broncos have been fined $100,000 for filming the 49ers at practice.  Sean talks about Vince Young apologising to his coach Jeff Fisher by text and says it is probably not the most effective means of doing that.  A listener queries why Young didn’t call Fisher as he had the phone in his hand sending the text.

McDaniels of the Denver Broncos – there may be smoke but sadly there is not enough fire….

It is never a good situation when as a coach in the NFL your Wikipedia page has been hacked and someone has changed your name to ‘Fire This Bum’.

But in the case of Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos that is exactly what is happening out there in cyberspace right now. At the tender age of just over 30 when he was appointed, there was always going to be a danger that McDaniels would be overawed on entering the cauldron of football fanaticism that is the city of Denver. This is of course the city whose home team the Denver Broncos have sold out EVERY game since the 1960s. The city where the only way to get yourself season tickets is in a will or buying the house of people leaving town who have left their tickets on the kitchen bench.

At the time of his hiring, the Broncos made McDaniels one of the youngest ever head coaches in the NFL. McDaniels certainly had showed promise during his time as an Assistant Coach at the Patriots and arrived in Denver full of passion and momentum. In his first few games as head coach McDaniels prowled the sidelines with all the enthusiasm of a 6 year old at Disneyland. The fist pumps, the wild eyes and the audible roars after a great play would have reminded many of the cauldron of simmering fury that was the previous Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, whose match day complexion made Alex Ferguson look positively albino in comparison.

But sadly for Denver Broncos fans, that was where the similarities will end.

Because while they may share the same wound up persona on field, McDaniels (sorry, ‘Fire this Bum’) will never now match the record of Shanahan who managed to win two Super Bowls during his 11 year reign as head coach of the Broncos.  McDaniels may still be the head coach of the Broncos but it will only be a matter of time until their owner pulls the trigger, especially after a woeful Monday Night Football performance against their biggest rival the Chargers.

Monday night is the night when an already sports mad country steps up their fanaticism to maximum intensity. Surely that would have been the perfect stage for McDaniels to find some of that old fire as his team tried to keep their season alive.  As the game wore on however McDaniels seemed to retreat more and more into his shell on the sidelines. It looked like someone had spiked coach’s Gatorade with prozac as McDaniels looked about as ambitious and energetic as a three toed sloth.  What really made the Broncos fans howl however was McDaniels incredibly conservative play calling. When you are down by 30 points, it is time to roll the dice. McDaniels on several occasions decided to punt on 4th down, rather than find those dice and throw them with caution to the wind like wedding confetti on a windy day.

Punting on 4th down is usually a wise choice, but when you are down by such a big margin it is the equivalent of standing on 12 against a dealer’s 10 in blackjack. The game was well and truly over and even trying anything could seem like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, but surely the fans deserve to see their coach at least giving it a shot.  Exactly why McDaniels decided to close the shutters and play out the game with all the intensity and excitement of a man serving his sentence on death row is well and truly beyond this observer.

Broncos fans can take some comfort from the fact that McDaniels days are numbered in Denver. Until that day they will simply have to endure the Titantic that the Broncos season has become, with a coach who promised so much but has now become too scared to sail the stormy seas.

POSTSCRIPT: Since the time of writing this article McDaniels has been faced with one of his assistant coaches being caught spying on and recording an opposing team. In worse developments for McDaniels only today the Denver Broncos lost at home to the previously woeful St Louis Rams – it can’t be long until there is an axe being wielded in Denver…