While there is nothing like the rivalry between the Broncos and the Raiders, this season’s biggest rival for the Broncs is definitely the hug bunch in Kansas City.
This was made blatantly clear on Sunday when the Broncos lost a 24-23 heartbreaker to the ‘Chefs’ at Arrowhead Stadium. The Raiders, meanwhile, lost to the Bad News Bears from Chicago 24-21. It wasn’t the worst loss by a team playing the Bears this weekend (i.e. Colorado’s 42-30 loss to Baylor, one of the worst teams in Division I-A), but it shows that the aging Raiders don’t have much of a shot this season.
Fear not though Broncos fans, there is about as much to hate about the Chiefs as there is the Raiders.
Let’s start with the coaching staff. Head coach Dick Vermeil is by far the most annoying coach in the National Football League. After Vermeil coached the St. Louis Rams to their first Super Bowl victory, he balled his eyes out and said he would never coach again, this after making one comeback already after coaching the Eagles in the early 80s. Then, one season later, Vermeil jumps ship to Kansas City, where he cries about anything and everything daily. Then again, 1-yard runs for touchdowns in the first quarter really get me choked up sometimes too.
We now move to the man Vermeil almost had a make-out session with at the end of Sunday’s game, defensive coordinator Greg Robinson. After having the worst defense in the NFL last season, Robinson has been saved by better personnel this year. He did not think he deserved to get fired in Denver, despite having a defense ranked in the middle of the pack during the Super Bowl years and lower after that. When the Broncos were up late in a game, you could depend on Robinson to let the other team back in it with his prevent defense. While with the Broncos, his brilliant idea of putting eight or nine guys within a yard of the line of scrimmage against the Bengals allowed Corey Dillon to rush for a then-NFL record 278 yards.
The player Denver fans love to hate has to be Eddie Kennison. The wide receiver was a marginal contributor in Denver when he told head coach Mike Shanahan his heart wasn’t in it and was quitting the team. A couple days later Kennison suddenly wanted to play, and was actually surprised when Shanahan told him no. He was picked up by Kansas City where Vermeil was waiting with a hug. At least the Broncos didn’t let Kennison beat them Sunday.
The man that did beat the Broncos, Dante Hall, is a big-time returner with even a bigger ego. The NFL must be loving the record-breaking season Hall is having returning kicks and punts, and it seemed to show on Sunday. My friends and I counted three blocks in the back during Hall’s 93-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, which proved to be the winning score.
Two of the blocks were blatant fouls near where Hall was dancing and reversing field, but the officials missed all of them. So did the CBS color commentator Randy Cross, who never once mentioned the blocks despite showing the replay over and over. Cross and CBS were to busy showing all the records Hall was breaking.
Add to that NBA wannabe Tony Gonzalez and you have got a Chiefs team that you love to hate. The Chiefs were fortunate enough to pull off the win Sunday, but one must think it will be a different story when the Chiefs come to Invesco on Dec. 7.
Broncos fans will certainly have their pick of ‘Chefs’ to yell at and boo.
I was out of the press box and in the stands for the first time since last season, and the Rams looked more like last season’s team in a great 34-10 win.
After a great week of practice and a pretty good game (minus the turnovers) against Utah, I figured the Rams were due for their best game Saturday. Bradlee Van Pelt and CSU usually play their best when people are writing them off or calling them underdogs. It was a good win, but Thursday in Provo against BYU will be a tougher test.