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Broncos looking to do the talking now

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    As often happens in a world ruled by television, the cameras arrived late, but just in time.
    "Atta baby!" mocked San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers while scowling directly at Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler. "Atta baby! Atta baby!"
    The TV cameras had missed so much more to the trash-talking story last Christmas Eve night in San Diego. It had all started with the pregame introductions of the Chargers' starting defense, which the networks consider too cliche to televise. The Chargers' tunnel of nonintroduced players and cheerleaders extends to within a few feet of the visitors' sideline, where the playoff-eliminated Broncos were awaiting kickoff for the meaningless game. The Chargers were feeling frisky, having whipped the Broncos 41-3 earlier in the season in Denver and having clinched their second consecutive AFC West title the week before.

    After passing through their coed tunnel, Chargers defensive end Igor Olshansky flexed his biceps, Mr. Olympia style, and screamed at his adoring crowd, hardly bashful about the Broncos standing right in front of him. The most egregious taunt was perhaps delivered by Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips, who waved what appeared to be an AFC West champion cap at the Broncos' bench.
    "When you're on top, it's easy to say whatever you want," Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley said Wednesday. "When your beaten like we were by them last year, there's nothing really you can say. What can you say to get back at them when you're getting beat? You have to let your play do the talking first, so until we prove it between the lines, we can't say anything."
    When the Broncos and Chargers play Sunday afternoon at Invesco Field, it will be the first meeting of AFC West contenders since Christmas Eve, when San Diego added all those insults to its 23-3 victory.
    That game was clinched when the Broncos turned it over on downs in the fourth quarter. The Chargers' sideline, already filled with starters pulled from the game, was hooting and hollering.
    "Atta baby! Atta baby!"
    Something else the cameras missed but was visible for the Qualcomm Stadium crowd to see: Cutler, not one to stand there and take it, had made a gesture toward Rivers and his pals. It was this unmentionable form of communication that perhaps escalated the venom in the Chargers' taunts.
    Roll 'em! The cameras zoomed in just in time to pick up Rivers — a clean-cut, handsome fellow but looking mean in this shot — yelling "Atta baby!" while looking directly at Cutler.
    "I just hate that it got blown up the way it did," Rivers said Sunday, after his near-heroic performance ended in a late-play defeat to the Carolina Panthers. "I don't have any animosity toward Jay. It's going to be crazy in Denver on Sunday. I don't expect anything less than that. That's fine. I'm trying to think of a conversation Champ (Bailey, the Broncos' star cornerback) and I had and we both had a big smile on our face. There's no profanity or anything with those guys. That's the only thing I say in defense is I'm not coming after anybody and being derogatory toward them. Hey, that's the way I play. Unless it's a distraction for our guys, I'm just going to continue to play. It's not, 'Hey, there's the TV camera, what can I do?' There's none of that. If somebody followed me around for 51 games at N.C. State, they'd have seen the same thing."
    Thing is, the way the TV world works, if the cameras don't show it, then it must not have happened. What the brief video clip from Christmas Eve did show — time after time after time — was the making of Rivers into Denver's newest villain.
    What Todd Bertuzzi is to the Avalanche, what Kobe Bryant is to Colorado hoops fans, what Barry Bonds was to all of baseball, Rivers is now to the Broncos. Raiders owner Al Davis has almost become too old and irrelevant for anyone but Broncos coach Mike Shanahan to hate.
    Rivers is not only transparent, he's a Bronco killer. He is 4-0 against the Broncos with a 69.6 completion percentage, seven touchdowns against only two interceptions and a 119.8 passer rating. Even if Rivers was the silent type — and he's about as quiet as a neighbor's barking dog at 5 a.m. — Broncos fans would have reason to dislike him.
    "He doesn't bad-mouth anybody," said Chargers center Nick Hardwick, who missed the opener against Carolina as he continues recovering from foot surgery. "He doesn't use a curse word. He's a genuinely good guy who just loves to compete."
    For their part, the Broncos are downplaying the offensive smacktalk they took from the Chargers last year.
    Cutler said Wednesday he holds no animosity toward Rivers.
    "Nah," he said. "He don't play defense. I'm not worried about him."
    "I don't get into that," Shanahan said. "That's history."
    Uh-huh. The Chargers all but laughed at the Broncos last year but, hey, all is forgiven. The Broncos will be no more fired up for this game than they would for any other divisional opponent. And in a related matter, the NFL will acknowledge the struggling economy by reducing all tickets to Sunday's games to half-price.
    The Chargers know better.
    "Whenever you have a division game, it's riding on everything you do," said Shawne Merriman, San Diego's star linebacker who won't play Sunday because of a season-ending knee injury. "So there's going to be some jaw jacking and some extra little push when taking over the pile. It's going to be that kind of game." A game of tackling and trash talking, blocking and jaw jacking. In the end, all either team wants is the right to say, "Atta baby!"

    The Denver Post
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    I like that part about Rivers being the Broncos killer... :lol:
  3. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

    Aug 14, 2008
    That is so going in my sig at the Broncos forum.

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