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The Soapbox Week 11: Broncos at Chargers Edition

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~ Under the bright lights ~
~ Moreno gives all his heart ~
~ And still we are squashed ~
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
~ Under the bright lights ~ ~ Moreno gives all his heart ~ ~ And still we are squashed ~ (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Getty Images

MHR's newest contributor is the most eligible bachelor in the world...

Good day MHR. I find myself in a crappy mood today, as I'm sure most of you do as well. Blowout losses will do that to you. But, I also seem to have another post-blowout related epiphany, so all is not bad. What I have discovered is that it is easier to make people read and enjoy your writing after a win than a loss. The reason for this, I believe, is that after a win, you don't care how it happened. You're just happy your team won and you don't feel like you have to connect any dots. That's something that makes my job easy: no one else feels compelled to do it.

Conversely, after a loss, everyone is asking, at the top of their lungs, "WHY?" The fan in all of us wants to rationalize, compartmentalize, overexpose, and overthink. We want to make ourselves feel better about the loss, or we want to make ourselves feel better about felling awful about the loss. So everyone has an opinion to voice and we are all yelling at the tops of our lungs, at the same time. This causes the average fan to get oversaturated with everyone else's opinions, and the angry fan to seek out others like him to yell with, all of which makes my job harder. Much more after the jump.

Just sayin' is all... Let's jam.

All that being said, there is much danger in bandwagoning. Often in times of unrest or chaos, those who voice their opinions the loudest or most charismatically gain the support of the population. This is how cults leaders and dictators gain power, how old regimes and standards are torn down. Then, new regimes are formed out of the chaos. And those regimes are given progressively shorter leashes than the old ones. Ever hear the song "Won't Get Fooled Again"? Then you know what I am talking about.

People like Stalin and Hitler come into power because they shared a fiery wrath with their populations and stated it loudly and eloquently enough as to demand attention. Wait, did I just compare MHR to Hitler?

Maybe. My actual intention is merely to encourage patience. Rashness breeds asininity, which turns into rageful vengeance. We can't allow ourselves to elect Hitler here.

Coaching Points

Usually in Coaching Points, I go over the offensive and defensive gameplans and I state whether they were intelligent and effective. I won't do that today. Like I said, after a loss, everyone likes to ask, "Why did we lose?" People voice their opinions and regurgitate the opinions of others they agree with. That is, of course, natural in all phases of life, but after a chaotic event it is more rapid and dangerous. So I've decided instead to take on some of these conventions to hopefully shed some light on where we are and where we're going. Because someone's gotta be positive, right?

1. We should fire Josh McDaniels and hire a head coach with experience.

I wanted to get this out of the way early because it is always literally the first thing to pop out of people's mouths after a big loss. We said after the 2-8 finish, we said it after the raiders game, we said it after this latest blowout. We say that McDaniels is too young and inexperienced to be a head coach, that he should not be given as much power as he has, and that he is too arrogant to admit mistakes and play anyone other than "his guys."

The name most often thrown out as a possible replacement is Jon Gruden. Gruden, coincidentally, came into the league as the raiders head coach, and everyone thought the same thing of him when he took over in Oakland. He was brash and arrogant, displayed too much emotion, and tried too hard to reshape the team in his image. In the first two years, his teams went 8-8 and did not make the playoffs. Then they made the AFC Championship game the next season.

Just take that for what it's worth, and understand that most coaches' rebuilding plans take three years. Now, onto the second part about Jon Gruden, and that is the fact that we only want him here because he has a good relationship with Tim Tebow. Really, guys? First, we really want to hire a new coach because he likes our backup quarterback? Second, Gruden is so fickle when it comes to quarterbacks, I don't think the love fest would last at all.

And finally, there is the matter of Pat Bowlen's patience. McDaniels will be given a third year, and I think he proved past week that he deserves one. Plus, if that's not good enough for you, next year Bowlen will be paying Josh's salary and half of Mike Shanahan's. There's no way he'd want to pay three head coaches in the same season. Just get used to it: firing Josh McDaniels will not be an option until after the 2011 season.

2. Because we have failed at the 2010 and 2011 drafts and free agency periods, Pat Bowlen must hire a General Manager with experience to assist Josh McDaniels in making personnel decisions.

This is the most realistic personnel move available to us right now, but it does come with a few important caveats. First is the fact that Pat Bowlen likes to let one person be the final authority in his system. He let Dan Reeves, Mike Shanahan, and now Josh McDaniels be dictator-like authorities. He does this because he knows that he is not as great a football mind as these men are, and also to remove his organization of in-house bickering and power struggles.

Also of note is that hiring a new GM would be serious vote of no confidence in Josh McDaniels and Brian Xanders. How would that look, not only to the fans and the media, but to them? No matter how he possibly spun it, Bowlen would be publicly advertising a lack of faith in the administration that he put into power, and it would permanently put Josh McDaniels on the hot seat. It is too late to hire a GM; if Bowlen would have wanted one, he would have hired Scott Pioli along with Josh McDaniels.

3. We should start Tim Tebow immediately, because the season is lost and Kyle Orton is not our future at QB.

Think back to 1999, if you will, when Mike Shanahan started Brian Griese over Bubby Brister. Brister was well liked in the locker room, and he was a veteran who had won games for us and had the support of the team. Then he had one bad preseason and we wen't with the youngster because he was "our future" and Brister was not.

You all remember the story. Griese had extremely high expectations, but he underperformed and ultimately played a large part in ending Terrell Davis' career. He looked like a deer in the headlights because we'd thrown him out to the wolves, and he never looked comfortable in Denver at all.

I don't want to see the same thing happen to Tim Tebow. I like Tim. Josh McDaniels likes him too, and he will eventually play. I can guarantee it. When Josh McDaniels feels he gives our team a better chance to win than Kyle Orton, he will make the decision to start him. If you don't like that, I don't know what to tell you, because it really is that simple.


The definition of "introspection" is "the examination of one's own mental and emotional processes." I've been tweaking the definition a little when I've been writing this section to be more like "the examination of oneself." This is, of course, much broader in scope than "one's mental and emotional processes," but I think it has been sufficiently close enough to the actual thing to allow me to retcon the definition a little.

For the next few weeks, though, I want to talk about the processes by which our front office and coaching staff is going about its business. I want to stick to the literal definition. I consider this a direct response to Zappa's indictment of the coaching staff of "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results," and it isn't as hilarious as Oxmouth's rebuttal ("Sex?").

I don't know how long it'll last, because there is such a vast scope of topics that I could cover here, but rest assured that over the next few weeks, I will studiously try to discern any tendencies that our coaches exhibit, whether they be on third-downs, on injury reports, or draftees and free agents, with the ultimate goal being to find out if Josh McDaniels really is insane. For now I'll move the "where we are in the process" section somewhere else.

Freeform Jazz Odyssey

"A Little ham 'n Eggs comin' at ya... hold on people... I hope you got your griddles." ~ "Jazz flute is for little fairy boys."


OK, I've held my emotions in for far too long today. So strap in for a rant, because I'm about to tell you how much I hate the Jacksonville Jaguars. Yeah, I said it. I hate them. They seriously have the smallest market and the smallest fanbase and a tiny stadium and are consistently mediocre, and yet WE CAN'T BEAT THEM. We lost to them in week one and ever since then I've had to get this off my chest. Seriously guys, come on. Usually a good team is the bane of your existence, like Michael Jordan and the Pistons, or the Browns and the Elway Broncos, or Peyton Manning and the Patriots in the early 2000s, or Tom Brady and the Colts in the later 2000s. But ours is the Jacksonville Jaguars. That's like being addicted to codeine syrup when everyone around you is doing crystal meth. (I'm looking at you, JaMarcus Russell.)

Or wait, does this go deeper? Could it be that I'm still mad about 1996? Why yes. Yes, I am. We should have won the Super Bowl that year, we had the best team and we would have been the only team ever to three-peat, but noooo the little expansion Jaguars had to be cute and play Cinderella and beat us so they could go on to get blown out in the AFC Championship game. I am STILL feeling the effects of that game. Here's why:

Everyone knows the story about how we changed our uniforms in 1997 and then won the Super Bowl in our first year in them. Well I don't care if that made them instant classics in your minds, I still hate them with a fiery, burning passion that rivals only the way I feel about Antarctica and baby koala bears. And, like any rational person would do in this situation, I blame all of my anger at our crappy design on the Jacksonville Jaguars. See, if we would have won that game and then gone on to win the Super Bowl, we wouldn't have changed them. You don't get a new uniform right after you win the Super Bowl. And then we would have won two more Super Bowls, and you can't change your uniform EVER if you win three straight. You wear it every day and say hey, look at me, I wore three straight MF'ing Super Bowls in this, suck it.

And you save yourself from looking like 1999 threw up all over your clothes. Someone on here said it best a long time ago when they said, "Our current uniforms just scream 'X-TREME!!'" This person is exactly right. We look like we got stuck in an era when Pokemon cards were the 9th largest market in the world and NSYNC was considered good music.

And we look unoriginal. We have stupid blue as our primary like THIRTEEN other teams in the NFL. And EIGHT of those teams wear navy. We used to be the only team in the NFL with big enough balls to wear orange. Now we just look like someone put an XFL template in a blender with the Chicago Bears. And regarding the Jaguars: they have the worst look in the NFL outside of Buffalo. Their stripes make them look like they are wearing aprons.

Sigh... I HATE OUR DESIGN, seriously. I hate the stupid orange side panel. I hate the, uh, subtle Nike imagery. I hate the stupid, curly number font. I hate the Horse-Tron logo and the pointy helmet stripe. I hate that our away uniform has, like, 2 square inches of orange on it. And when we wear the blue pants, I can barely watch the game.

Oh well, at least our wide receivers are starting to wear numbers in the 80s again...

Allow me to play you out...

Last week, I played you out with a poll asking who is the bigger douche between Todd Haley and Chad Kroeger of Nickelback. Pretty straightforward, I thought, and it should be close. Not so. A whopping 63% of you voted for Todd Haley, meaning Kroeger went down herder than Prop 19. Today is the second douce-off semifinal, which will set the stage for a showdown between this week's winner and Todd Haley in Week 13.

This matchup features a prickly quarterback against a certain douche who recently took his talents to South Beach...