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Ask The MHR -- Version 3.0

In what is quickly becoming a popular feature here on the MHR, it is once again time for me to answer your questions.  Want to be featured here?  Send your questions my way at

This weeks entry, by far the longest so far, comes from loyal reader SD Bronco.  Here we go!

1. Broncos v. Raiders... my blood bubbles just thinking about it.  I not only have to live with this rivalry, my high school's mascot/nickname/whatever-you-want-to-call-it was the Stevens High School Raiders, blah... anyways.  This, to me, is THE definition of the word rivalry in the NFL, and save for Yankees-Red Sox, the best rivalry in all sports.  The other day in planning my future "Broncos Basement" I was contemplating buying a Raiders floor mat to "wipe my feet on them" as I entered and left the room.  Anyways, I was shocked and horrified to learn that my Brother-in-law (a Cowboys fan, don't know what happened there) DIDN'T EVEN KNOW there was a rivalry between the two teams.  After pulling my jaw out of my shoe I quickly informed him just how much he didn't know.  After all that, my question is this... Outside of Broncos fans and Raiders fans, where does the rivalry rank to those not personally invested in it?  How high would man-on-the-street in Anytown, USA rate our rivalry?  In the NFL or in the universe of sports... Do we at least beat the India-Pakistan cricket rivalry?!?!?!

MHR -- First and foremost, your brother-in-law is not a football fan.  One need look no further than every year's Sunday or Monday Night Football schedule, which includes the Broncos/Raiders almost every season.  There is so much tradition between the two teams going all the way back to the old AFL days, and when that is combined with Al Davis' assertion that the Raiders had a deal for John Elway to come to Oakland in 1983, and the Mike Shanahan fiasco, the combustible level between the teams is always high.  Recently, because the Raiders have stunk so bad, the intensity has dropped a bit, at least with the fans, but it is sure to re-ignite should the Raiders become relevant.  Tell your BIL that there is more to the NFL than the Cowboys....

2.  In the same vein as question 1, I was doing some reading up on the Oakland A's recently (don't ask), and read that one of their rivals was the KC Royals partly because of the rivalry between the Chefs and the Gayders.  So my question is this, if the KC-OAK football rivalry is enough to spill over onto the baseball field, are the Broncos a non-party to the most heated rivalry in our own division?  Or, stated more clearly... what's the best rivalry in the AFC West?

MHR -- Really good rivalries, and I mean the best of the best, need one thing -- history.  The four teams currently in the AFC West have been playing each other in some capacity for over 40 years, at least twice a year.  Like a geyser, a rivalry will flash hot for a time, then simmer down, based on how competitive the teams are.  Right now, you could easily say the Broncos V. Chargers is the best rivalry in the division because those two teams are the best.  It also depends on the fan-bases.  Ask a Chiefs fan and they'll say Chiefs/Raiders or Chiefs/Broncos.  The baseball reference goes alot deeper than the football field in my opinion.  The A's and Royals have long been AL rivals, with both teams enjoying success in the 70's and 80's.

3. When I was somewhere between or near the ages of 11 and 13 (roughly 1993-96) there was a KR/PR/RB for the Broncs that for some unknown reason I considered my "favorite player" and now I cannot for the life of me remember his name. As I recall him he wasn't considered "good" and I doubt people not fans of the Broncos had known who he was.  I think we was traded, released, or otherwise became a member of the Lions, but could be way off...   I think either his first, middle or last name may have started with, ended with, or otherwise contained the letters "g" and or "m", but again, I'm not sure.  So with all of this crystal clear information I've given you... What was the name of my favorite player when I was 11 years old?

MHR -- For the record, I replied to SD's e-mail with the answer as soon as I got the e-mail.  Of course he is speaking of Glyn Milburn  

4.  On a scale of 1-10, how dumb are the Broncos current "Nike-swoosh-mark" uniforms, especially considering the fact that Reebok is the supplier now?

MHR -- Is this a trick question?  The Broncos unis were supplied by the swoosh during the Super Bowl years, but all unis are now supplied by Reebok.  If you are talking the general design of the uniforms, then I tend to agree that I am not a big fan.  I loved the orange, and actually prefer the Broncos alternate jersey.  Too bad they never seem to win while wearing it.

5.  Again on a scale of 1-10 How great would the Broncos uniforms have been if they kept the pre-superbowl era design, but only implemented the current colors and helmet?

MHR -- I would prefer the Broncos go back to the old unis, or at least some variation of the D.  There are much worse out there, the Seahawks for instance.

6.  Let's bring back the 1-10 scale one last time... How awesome was it when Steve Atwater laid the Nigerian Bedwetter on his ASS! (sadly no longer available on youtube).

MHR -- Next to Ed McCaffrey's block in Super Bowl XXXII, Atwater's demolition of Okoye on that play is the single greatest hit I have watched live during a football game.  A classic.

8.  Ok, so when the broncos cheerleaders wear the short shorts/chaps combo... that's awesome. (not really a question I guess, but feel free to comment)


9. Why can't you reply to a comment on your own Diary entries without having to edit the contents of your original entry on the SN blogs.

MHR -- It is a coding issue that should be resolved if/when there is a site design upgrade, hopefully.

10. Ok, so Eli Manning was being a baby when he refused to go the chargers and instead to the Giints... Undisputable fact... But when people compare what Eli did to what Elway did they're completely wrong right?  Because Elway didn't threaten to sit out a year, he threatened to go play a different professional sport to which he'd already been drafted.

MHR -- Most people don;t realize that the Baltimore Colts of that time were a complete joke.  Football Outsiders has a great article about one of the worst teams in NFL history, the 1981 Colts, and just how bad they were.  While the Chargers were dysfunctional they weren't nearly as bad and with L.T. already in place Manning would have enjoyed tremendous success, or at least had the   chance to.  I am not a big fan of Eli, and had his name been Eli Jones he would not have been drafted nearly as high.

11.  I am, and I feel every Broncos fan should be, hesitant to embrace the "running back factory" mentality when it comes to our backfield, the idea that we could put Steven Hawking in our system and he'd rush for 1000 yards.  However, how many more different 1000 yard rushers does the system need to produce for it to be ok that there may be some scientia of truth to that belief?

MHR -- I think it does a dis-service to the players, both on the line and in the backfield, to say anyone could line up and rush for 1000 yards.  First off, it is the most over-rated stat in football.  Rushing for an average of 62.5 yards per game is nothing to be excited over.  What it does show, however, is a level of consistency that is unmatched in the last decade or so.  One problem with the perception, unfortunately, is the hope that Terrell Davis someday gets to the Hall of Fame.  With most "experts" believing that the Broncos running game is a by-product of the system it is unlikely Davis will get in.  

12.  How many Deltha O'neal's (first round "busts") would it take to offset the Mike Anderson's and TD's we've nabbed late?  In other words, what would it take, and for how long, for NFL fans in general to consider the Broncos "bad" or "unlucky" in regards to the draft.

MHR -- To be honest, alot.  In my opinion, it is much more damaging, because of the money involved, to miss on a 1st Round pick than catch lightning in a bottle at the bottom of the draft.    Really, the only huge difference maker the Broncos have hit a home run with is Davis.  Mike Anderson was a nice back, and a solid presence in the locker room, but he was no T.D.  Busts like O'Neal, George Foster, Ashley Lelie, etc. force the Broncos to be extremely active in the Free Agent market, and over the long haul that mentality won't be successful.

13.  How awesome is the Baily/Bly secondary going to be?

MHR -- As good as the defensive line.  Sure, Bly adds some level of consistency to the DB's, but if the Broncos cannot get pressure on the top-level QB's in the league they will struggle.  No one can cover guys forever and if the Broncos give Peyton Manning, or Tom Brady, time to find someone, they will.  If the Broncos can create sufficient pass rush from the line it will make the linebackers and DB's that much better.  Having Champ and Dre back there id definitely a plus!

13.  I feel like 13 would be an odd number to quit on. So, taking the time tested method of combining your first pet's name and the name of the street you grew up on, what would your name be if you were an adult film star? Mine's "Cocoa Columbus"... beat that!

MHR -- Already got mine, Mack Masterson!

Oh, and literally, 13 would have been an "odd number" to end with.

Thanks to SD Bronco for the entertaining questions.  Want to get in on the action>  Send your questions to today!!!