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Denver Broncos


Electrifying Demaryius Thomas’ Had a Real Life “Weeds” Experience (yes the TV Show)

Damaryius Thomas. Oh heeeeey. Wait, he's how old? Oh, nevermind.

Just as we all learned the new overtime rules, Demaryius Thomas was off scoring in a breathtaking play that took approximately 11 seconds (about 25 seconds less than it took to explain the new rules).

As is often the case, Thomas didn’t have an easy way to the league. Unfortunately, both Thomas’ mom and grandmother are have been incarcerated since 2000 for trafficking cocaine. If you read Thomas’ story it sounds a lot like the Television Show “Weeds.”

From the Denver Post:

Minnie Pearl Thomas sold drugs — marijuana — for the first time in 1986, and was arrested for the first time that same year. Despite her first trip to jail, Minnie Thomas was hooked on the rush of selling drugs and was becoming accustomed to the extra money it provided her family. It wasn’t long before she was manufacturing and selling crack cocaine out of her home.

She was arrested again in 1991 but resumed her business after she was released at the conclusion of a 14-month sentence in a jail near Milledgeville, Ga.

“I mostly did it to make ends meet, to buy my kids what they wanted, so they could wear what the other kids were wearing, so I could keep my house nice on the inside,” Minnie Thomas said.

Demaryius, who was born in December 1987, was Minnie’s oldest grandchild, and old enough to know what was going on inside her house. He remembered seeing his grandmother making the crack and the stream of strangers coming and going, leaving behind their makeshift crack pipes.

“I knew my grandma was selling it and my mom was keeping some money,” Thomas said. “I told my mother one time that they needed to stop because I had a dream that they got in trouble. I started crying like every night after then. And then it finally happened.”


If you’ve never seen Weeds, newly widowed mother Nancy Botwin starts small time selling marijuana to makes ends meet and as the years go on, she gets more and more involved in the drug trade. What starts out as a campy suburban for-profit hobby turns into a dangerous illegal career that endangers everyone around her including her kids.

In the TV show, Botwin’s kids catch on to her activities just like Thomas did. But thankfully for Thomas, he warned his mom and grandmother rather than begging to be a part of the operation.

If you’ve been through this kind of real life drama, the drama of the country’s ridiculous obsession with the guy who throws the ball to Thomas is probably nothing. No wonder Thomas broke out for that TD like he’d never heard of being nervous.

I’m consistently amazed by the strength of so many athletes, in particular football players who seem, for some reason, particularly likely to have experienced great heartbreak or tragedy. I wrote a few weeks ago about Cardinals linebacker Darnell Dockett and his thoughtful comments about forgiving his mother’s murderer.

Whenever guys do things that raise my eyebrow I’m reminded that we’re shaped by our backgrounds and to hold off on some of the judgment. I’m excited to see what Thomas brings to the table next year. Oh wait…the Broncos beat the Steelers. So we get to see what Thomas does next week.

Check out the full article on the Denver Post’s web site and if you missed it check out that game winning TD.



Jake Plummer Says He’s Not Delighting in Mike Shanahan’s Failures

The always-interesting former Denver Bronco QB Jake Plummer

For those who don’t know…current Redskins coach Mike Shanahan’s glory days were with the Denver Broncos. During his time there he dropped Jake Plummer who had a 39-15 record (13-3 the prior season) for current Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler whom he drafted the 2006 season. It was the beginning of one hell of  downfall for a storied franchise.

Opinions on Plummer vary from him having a whole lot of football left in him to being iffy from the beginning and heavily reliant on the defense (sound familar?). But I think most can agree that Shanahan’s handling of Plummer and subsequent Quarterbacks (McNabb, Grossman, Beck) isn’t admirable at all. In an interview with Xtra sports in Phoenix and had this to say when he was asked about Shanny being “exposed” down in Washington.

“Yeah and I don’t like to see that. I mean I don’t want to see anybody struggle. I’m not sitting here gloating or feeling better about his lack of success down there. As time goes you learn more things. I’m here hanging out with my buddies from college. Jason Verdugo from St.Paul, Minnesota, he’s a baseball coach for Hampton University. He said ‘God when we were 21 [years old] we thought we knew everything and thought we were old and we thought god we know what we’re doing. Now you look back and I’m 36 and I’m looking back on that and I didn’t know anything back then and look what I know now. In retrospect and hindsight you see things. Things play out and you learn if you keep your eyes and ears open. Hey I was lucky to get the opportunity to play for [Mike] Shanahan. He helped turn my career around and gave me a chance to show that I was a winner regardless of how things went down. His style is just what it is. I think we are seeing he isn’t the special coach we thought he was. He’s a great coach, but he’s not like some of those guys that will take a player…Coach [John] Fox man look at what he is doing. You think he is going to force Tebow to throw 30 times a game? No. They are going to try to win with what he can do and it is kind of fun to see since they are bucking the system in the NFL. They are running the option. Are you kidding me?”

Plummer went on to say that he thinks the Broncos will run the option until it no longer works at all and then they will attempt to readjust. The lead story from this interview for most sites was Plummer’s statement on Tim Tebow in which he essentially said that Tebow will become more likable when he realizes we all understand that he loves Jesus.

I agree with that but didn’t lead with it cause I don’t really care. And two, it’s really hard to control a media storyline. And three, Tebow is a little like a robot so I don’t know that he has much to say beyond lines about working hard and keeping the faith. In that respect, he’s just like almost every other football player.

Good stuff on Plummer on Sports Illustrated if you’re interested in what he’s been up to (handball) and what drives him (only God knows cause he’s kinda eccentric though obviously principled and intelligent).


Eagles, Broncos and Redskins Pretend They Don’t Know Who Their #2 Quarterback Is

The Denver Broncos Continue to Treat Tim Tebow Like a Red-headed Step Child

It’s the last week of the pre-season and three teams are keeping up a ridiculous quarterback sham. The Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, and Washington Redskins are still telling everyone who will listen that they don’t know who the #2 quarterback is on their team. I have to be honest, I’m not here for that. I prefer when teams keep it real.


The Philadephia Eagles have former Tennessee Titans STARTING Quarterback Vince Young as well as never-taken-a-snap-in-a-game-that-matters-but-definitely-seems-like-he-could-possibly-one-day 2010 4th round Eagles draft pick Mike Kafka. Young has a similar playing style to their starting QB Mike Vick and performed well enough to attend two pro bowls in the past. And before he was dramatically benched last year, he was having a pretty respectable season.

But the Eagles don’t know who their number 2 QB is? Oh okay, well let me tell you. IT’S VINCE YOUNG.

The ShanaSCAMS

The Redskins are just as pitiful with their situation. After benching a superior QB in Donovan McNabb for a spotty middling one-Rex Grossman-it seemed like the Shanahans were prepared to make a commitment to the QB (that most football watchers thought was exiled forever after leaving Chicago) until they could get a better veteran. But then the Shanahans (Head coach Mike and deeply offensive coordinator Kyle, his son) spent the entire lockout and first week of the pre-season raving about former Bringham Young QB John Beck. Beck, a man who 99.999999999% of football fans had never heard of. After no one took them seriously, the Redskins belatedly created some sort of “friendly quarterback competition” that is for all intents and purposes a complete sham.

Why? Because John Beck actually has a chance to be the Redskins QB for years to come. Grossman doesn’t. Everyone knows what Grossman can do. I can’t name a team in the league that would want to sign Grossman to a long term contract as a starter even given the dearth of talent that exists right now. You can’t rely on him to be a starter based on history and you can’t use him to train a new QB. Barring injury, the Redskins should be giving Beck the start, giving him intensive EXCLUSIVE tutelage, and figuring out what the hell he can do. Not having him split snaps and engage in some dumb ass competition with somebody who likely will spend the rest of their career as a backup.

The league is full of rookie quarterbacks and guys who have never been a starter before. They all will be learning the hard way this season. Perfect time to test out a newbie. You know what you (don’t) have in Grossman, might as well see what the deal is with Beck and stop confusing the hapless Washington media.

Ladies and Gents, Your Denver BRONCnos

Finally, the Broncos have made a mess of this entire quarterback situation. To be clear, Tim Tebow probably never should have been drafted as a quarterback in the first place. When I watch Tebow play, I feel like I’m watching a guy in a vicious battle with genetics. He knows what he needs to do but his body just won’t let him. He not only struggles with his throwing motion, simply dropping back with any sort of speed and fluidity is a test for him. The Broncos gave him the ultimate insult when they leaked to the press that Tebow just has “no football sense.” HOW LOW CAN YOU GO.

Just a few weeks ago, fans in Denver were SO TEBOW-CRAZY, wide receiver Brandon Lloyd said that the Broncos would probably HAVE to start Tebow just to keep the peace. Now here we are a short time later and Kyle Orton is the clear starter. And the Broncos are telling us that they just haven’t decided who would replace Orton if he goes down (which, he will-I’ve already put him on “ankle watch 2011″).

Brady Quinn is their number 2 and Tebow won’t be with the Broncos next season. In fact, I’d be surprised if he’s still in the league. Quinn was highly touted and then fell completely off the radar. From all accounts, Quinn has regained some confidence and looked more promising than Tebow in the professional system. This is not to say that Quinn is the Broncos QB of the future-or anyone’s QB of the future. But Quinn isn’t fighting with his DNA just to get the ball of out his hands. And if the Broncos want Tebow to be number two breaking him down publicly like this is not the way to ensure his best performance. And Quinn can definitely tell Tebow a little bit about fan hype and disappointment.

Long story short, all these teams know who their number 2 is and I’m not in the mood to play dress up with them. Have at it.


Mike Shanahan Assured Devin Thomas He Wouldn’t Be Traded

Left: Arizona Cardinal (then NY Jet) Kerry Rhodes Right: Carolina Panther (then Washington Redskin) Devin Thomas. Middle: WHO THE HELL CARES

Dan Steinberg reports that mere weeks before Wide Receiver Devin Thomas was cut from the Washington Redskins, he’d been assured by Coach Mike Shanahan that trade rumors were just that-rumors. Then suddenly, Thomas was gone.

According to Steinberg, Thomas gave an interview to Redskins-focused Hail Magazine! in which he stated that he believes that he was cut due to his off field activities. For those who don’t know Thomas has done some modeling (peep the illustrious heat-inducing photo to the right) and also appeared in American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino’s latest music video.

He also was ratted out by a teammate via twitpic a day or so before the trade for sleeping during a team meeting.

Thomas alluded to the idea that you can’t say he doesn’t make plays on the field. Well, you can’t say he doesn’t, but you can’t exactly say he does either. This is the sort of dilemma I’ve had every time I’ve discussed former Washington Redskin Quarterback Jason Campbell who now plays for the Oakland Raiders.


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