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Broncos fan who went missing has been found safe: Horse Tracks

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Broncos fan who disappeared at stadium Thursday has been found safe; tons of Champ Bailey goodness; preparing for Manning-Brady XVI.

Justin Edmonds

Every once in awhile, a story comes across our Twitter feed/email inbox/MHR comments section that we don't know what do with. The mysterious disappearance of Denver Broncos fan Paul Kitterman, 53, around halftime of the Broncos' victory over the Chargers Thursday, is one such story.

Missing Broncos fan Paul Kitterman

Courtesy Denver Police Department

Does the story of a missing man belong on a sports blog, just because it happened at our team's stadium? I don't know. With all due respect, I didn't feel like posting it as breaking news, even though (or maybe because) the mysterious case went viral and every news outlet out there had a story on it (including Deadspin and CNN). Some blogs were even hypothesizing about what might have happened to Kitterman, which felt disrespectful to me.

I didn't feel MHR had anything to add to the story from a fans' perspective. It wasn't about football, and the news outlets had said everything there was to say, so we didn't write about it immediately Tuesday. I figured we'd cover it in Horse Tracks today - our daily post devoted to rounding up news that interests Broncos fans. And so, here we are.

The good news is that Kitterman was found safe Tuesday evening, the Denver police department reports. The police wouldn't answer questions about Kitterman's disappearance, only saying that foul play was not involved and directing all questions to his family, who did not immediately return requests for comment from various news outlets.

No matter the circumstances behind Kitterman's four-day disappearance, it was clearly a harrowing time for his family and friends. We're glad he is safe and hope whatever healing might be needed begins in earnest.

Champ Bailey retirement

Andrew Mason's tribute to Champ Bailey gave me goosebumps. Go read it in its entirety, but here's a snippet -

It can be argued that no cornerback ever played a season like Bailey's 2006, which came on the heels of a 2005 campaign in which he intercepted eight passes, returned two for touchdowns and broke up 23 passes.

In 2006, opposing quarterbacks threw in his direction 35 times. They completed just four of them -- six fewer than the number Bailey intercepted.

Welcome back. More snippets.

USA Today's Steven Ruiz -

Bailey's 2006 season isn't talked about in the same breath as Revis' 2009 season (when Revis Island entered our lexicon) and what Sherman did in 2013; but in some football circles, it's regarded as the best season a cornerback has ever had.

ESPN's Jeff Legwold -

I've seen lots of cornerbacks play, lots of cornerbacks folks have stuck the "shutdown" label to, both with and without numbers or game video in hand to make the case. I don't profess to have THE list and respectfully acknowledge opinions of others that were gleaned from hard work. 

But the two most complete cornerbacks I have seen are Rod Woodson and Champ Bailey. And I'm pretty sure that's how it's going to stay for quite some time.

Ring of Famer Billy Thompson comments on Champ's career (video). "He changed the game," said Thompson. "It was amazing to watch him."

Champ's Broncos career in photos and video and social media (we did one of those posts too).

MHR Staffers will share their favorite Champ Bailey moments, and Laurie will chime in with a column on Champ's career, later today. Stay tuned for those pieces.

Brady-Manning XVI

Tom Brady's and Peyton Manning's teammates talk about their early days in the NFL, including Drew Bledsoe. "As it turns out, I shared too much information with him," Bledsoe said, laughing. "He took my damn job."

The New York Post says both Manning and Brady are in the TBE conversation - The Best Ever - and still the best the NFL currently has to offer.

Bill Belichick sings Manning's praises. "I don't think there are any bad points in his game."

Who was better in the battle of Manning vs. Brady as SNL hosts? Is this really a question? The answer is Manning, hands down.

Horse Tracks

Peyton Manning is beginning to run away with the MVP vote, at least according to this NFL.com panel of writers.

Denver's defense starts with the run game, Terrance Knighton tells the Denver Post's Troy Renck.  "You can't be a great defense unless you have a great run defense," said Knighton. "Coach (Jack) Del Rio challenges the front to be great. And we challenge each other and hold each other accountable."

Wes Welker warns against big-headedness, which is sort of ironic.

The Broncos signed wide receiver Douglas McNeil to their practice squad Tuesday, filling the spot vacated by John Boyett.

The Broncos' Jim Sacommano reflects on the AFL history of Broncos-Patriots, and how $25,000 bought each of these team's original owners a pro football franchise.

The Patriots will honor 18 former players (all three-time Super Bowl winners) during halftime of Sunday's game, when the Broncos will be up by 18 points.