Guten morgen, Broncos Country!
It’s a Saturday. The Tour de France starts today. The World (Euro) Cup quarterfinals get underway today. I’m going to Germany in two days, and there is no “news” to speak of related to the Broncos (unless you want to do a list of the “10 most...” or “5 underrated...” or “7 biggest surprises...” or... OMG, I can’t do or read another list).
But there was this hilarious tidbit on Twitter yesterday from Ryan Leaf that deserves attention. Remember Leaf? The No. 2 overall draft pick in 1998 who was a huge NFL bust with the Chargers? Yeah, that Ryan Leaf.
So I received this letter last week. It’s written by Hunter S Thompson to @Colts Owner Jim Irsay in 1998 a month before the NFL Draft. This is unbelievable, hysterical, & ludicrous!! Have a read. @richeisen and I will discuss today on @RichEisenShow at 11:00 AM PT. #mindblown pic.twitter.com/AWStCEiSTM— Ryan D Leaf (@RyanDLeaf) July 5, 2018
So you read that right.
The cocaine-addicted journalist and author of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and other cult classics wrote a letter to Colts owner Jim Irsay a month before the draft promising him $30 million if he drafted Ryan Leaf instead of Peyton Manning (money, of course, Thompson planned to make from the 1998 film adaptation of “Fear and Loathing,” starring Johnny Depp - which ended up costing $18.5 million to make and bringing in just $10.7 million to the box office).
“In response to yr. addled request for a quick $30M loan to secure the services of the Manning kid — I have to say No, at this time,” he wrote to Irsay in a letter. “But the Leaf boy is another matter. Leaf looks strong and Manning doesn’t.”
Thompson did know enough to wonder about how well Irsay was set on the offensive line - something that plagued the Colts most of Manning’s career.
“How are you fixed at left OT [offensive tackle] for the next few years, James? Think about it. You don’t want a china doll back there when that freak Sapp comes crashing in.”
Manning turned out to be a lot stronger than a china doll (at least until the end of his career).
So kids, let this be a good anti-cocaine lesson - not only will you make sub-par movies, you’ll give terrible football advice. For a glance into the drug-induced world of Thompson, note Andrew Mason’s addendum on the author:
In discussing Hunter S. Thompson’s letter to Jim Irsay re: Ryan Leaf & Peyton Manning with @redwardsradio and @SteveAtwater27 and @OrangeBlue760 I cited Thompson’s daily routine. I lost it trying to describe his lunch:https://t.co/ak1t804Ejg— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 6, 2018
Luckily for the Colts, Irsay didn’t listen, drafted the University of Tennessee standout instead and enjoyed a 141-67 record, making the playoffs 11 times and having eight seasons of at least 12 victories plus two Super Bowl appearances and one Lombardi trophy. Meanwhile, Leaf flamed out in San Diego his rookie year and lasted a few more in the league before entering a period of his life that involved addiction to painkillers, a suicide attempt and imprisonment before a change that saved his life (and he is now back on track serving as an ambassador for the Transcend Recovery Community).
Far luckier for Broncos Country was the fact that Irsay got greedy for another young quarterback 13 years later and gave up Manning to Denver.
So in a weird, Hunter S. Thompson sort of plot where Manning ended up in Mile High possibly because he didn’t get drafted to the Chargers, the Broncos got the last laugh in the Ryan Leaf/Jim Irsay saga.
Horse Tracks - docllv’s pick of the day
Watch a deaf and blind fan experience a World Cup game in real-time - The Washington Post
Carlos Alberto Santana, a deaf and blind Brazilian soccer fan, followed a live World Cup match on June 22 thanks to the help of his ingenious interpreter friends.
Third-round pick Royce Freeman signs rookie contract
The rookie running back is now ready for his first NFL training camp.
10 established Broncos close to moving on from Denver
The Broncos have many big names who could be on their last legs in Denver.
Coach's Corner: Former Oregon HC Willie Taggart and Boston College HC Steve Addazio on Royce Freeman and Isaac Yiadom
The college coaches of the Broncos' third-round picks weighed in on their former players.
Browns put Donald Stephenson on reserve/retired list - NFL.com
The Cleveland Browns placed offensive lineman Donald Stephenson on the reserve/retired list, the team announced Friday. Stephenson signed a one-year deal with the club this offseason.
2018 NFL Supplemental Draft offers value; Keenan Allen's secret - NFL.com
The NFL Supplemental Draft rarely garners much attention, but Bucky Brooks explains why this year's edition should NOT be overlooked. Plus, Keenan Allen's unique brilliance and Dak Prescott's immense potential.
Seven first-year NFL officials among 2018 class - NFL.com
The NFL roster of game officials for the 2018 season will include seven first-year NFL officials among the group of 121, the league announced today.
NFL players, teams put action behind their protests - NFL Nation- ESPN
Many NFL players and teams made efforts behind the scenes to go beyond taking a knee during the anthem, working together to make a positive impact.
Atlanta Falcons take proactive approach to social change - NFL Nation- ESPN
Rather than planning a reaction to the NFL's new anthem policy, the Falcons have focused their efforts on contributing in the community.
Marcell Dareus' heritage spurs him to help Haitian children - NFL Nation- ESPN
Heartbroken by the devastation he saw in Haiti, the Jaguars DT decided to help. To show appreciation, the people named a school wing in his honor.
Hunter S. Thompson's Daily Routine | Mental Floss
Test your knowledge with amazing and interesting facts, trivia, quizzes, and brain teaser games on MentalFloss.com.
‘Risk of paralysis’ has Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor ready to call it an NFL career - The Washington Post
The hard-hitting safety did not specifically say he was retiring, but he said that the neck injury he suffered in November “showed no healing” and that it was “Time for the next chapter."