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Tribal Warfare
12-05-2010, 01:39 AM
Chiefs-Broncos rivalry heats up again (http://www.kansascity.com/2010/12/04/2497764/chiefs-broncos-rivalry-is-heating.html)
By KENT BABB
The Kansas City Star

In the photograph, the baby-faced coach looks innocent and friendly. Josh McDaniels’ right arm is extended with his hand open, ready to shake the hand of a beaten opponent.

The other man, wearing red and apparently seeing it, too, was scowling when the camera’s shutter snapped. His chin is tucked below the collar of his gray jacket; the bill of his Chiefs hat is pulled low, shielding his eyes. Todd Haley’s right elbow is close to his abdomen, and a forefinger is pointed toward McDaniels’ face — more Ebenezer Scrooge than Vince Lombardi.

Haley’s hips are turned away from the Broncos coach, and his mouth is forming one of the words — “There’s a lot of (expletive) being talked about you,” Haley reportedly said — that he barked at McDaniels.

Instead of shaking McDaniels’ hand after the Broncos’ blowout win against the Chiefs last month in Denver, Haley instead scolded McDaniels and walked away.

“This explosion of a moment,” says Justin Edmonds, who took the photo Nov. 14 on a freelance assignment for Getty Images.

In the distance, two pillars of fire and smoke are lifting from the scoreboard at Invesco Field, framing that evening’s result: Chiefs 29, Broncos 49. Hellfire and brimstone, and just as quickly, the re-ignition of a rivalry that had been dormant for years was reborn. Edmonds caught the moment at the perfect angle, in the right lighting, at the ideal time with his camera.

For a long time, the Chiefs-Broncos game was one of the best on the NFL schedule. There were playoff implications and community hatred. Then the teams went sour, and the rivalry dissolved.

Until three weeks ago.

“This,” former Broncos player Mark Schlereth remembers thinking, “is getting good.”

• • •

The video began, and Eric Berry was at attention. So this is what it used to be like?

Before this season started, some of the Chiefs’ younger players were shown footage of the way things were, when Denver and Kansas City hated each other. Back then, these games were violent rites of passage.

It reminded Berry of the rivalries that define college football, the ones that are too often lost in the NFL and buried under piles of money, fame and free agency. No, there was something different about this. Or at least there used to be.

“It’s just crazy,” says Berry, a rookie safety. “Deep-rooted.”

Years ago, Priest Holmes and Clinton Portis used this game as a measuring stick for who was that season’s best running back. Neil Smith, Casey Wiegmann and Eddie Kennison were among those who crossed the line into enemy territory, whichever side that was.

“We know them well,” Wiegmann says, “and they know us well.”

Some players knew each other too well. Tony Gonzalez and Bill Romanowski challenged each other, and sometimes tempers boiled over. The linebacker would jam the tight end at the line. Gonzalez would grab Romanowski’s facemask. Then Romanowski would grab Gonzalez’s throat. Things would keep escalating, and they sometimes got out of control; Romanowski was fined twice in 1999 for illegal hits on Gonzalez, including throwing a punch.

“When emotion is high, logic is low,” Romanowski says now. “I was going to let him know that it was going to be 60 minutes of fury.

“You knew you’d better put your big-boy pads on.”

But years passed, and one of the league’s best rivalries began to shrivel. Teams whose two yearly contests once defined the favorite in the AFC, soon became just two more sad franchises that couldn’t get out of their own way. The Chiefs lost 38 games in three seasons, and the Broncos haven’t had a winning season since 2006. The rivalry became something it had never been.

“Just another game,” Wiegmann says.

When Berry saw the old video, there were things he wanted to recapture. This game used to matter, and he wanted it that way again. Rookies are such idealists. Berry asked Emmitt Thomas, the Chiefs’ secondary coach and a member of the team’s hall of fame, what it used to be like. Berry wanted it to feel like a college rivalry again.

Several of Berry’s former teammates at the University of Tennessee play now for Denver. Robert Ayers is a Broncos linebacker, and Britton Colquitt is their punter. They might have been friends before, and they might be again. But Berry says he likes some things the way they were in that old footage.

“During the game,” he says, “we’re not cool.”

• • •

The best rivalries are meetings between good and evil, the plowboys and the city folk, the group that does things the right way and the team that cuts corners. John Elway had horse teeth, and Gonzalez was a pretty boy. Mike Shanahan looked like a rat, and Marty Schottenheimer wore the same pair of glasses since the bicentennial — but still couldn’t see his way to a Super Bowl.

Those were the accusations, anyway.

No matter the level or the history, all good rivalries have a villain. In that three-week-old photograph, Haley is the bad guy. Look at him.

Not that he cares.

“I’ve got five kids that love me,” he says, and maybe that’s enough.

Most seasons, Haley would make a fine villain. His hair is long and stringy, and he often wears dark stubble that makes him look more like a ragged coal miner than a football coach. Haley doesn’t seem to worry much about his appearance or what outsiders think. He’s young and cocky, and he likes to moan to officials when things don’t go his way.

“A classless individual,” says Nate Kreckman, repeating what callers often say on his sports radio show in Denver. “A sore loser. There’s a lot of that.”

But McDaniels, for his clean-cut look and youthful enthusiasm, is making it difficult for Haley to play the weasel. The NFL’s youngest coach has, in a little more than 18 months, run off quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Brandon Marshall. His team was accused this week of illegally videotaping a San Francisco practice before the Broncos played the 49ers in London. McDaniels’ pedigree doesn’t help.

“Josh comes from the Patriot way and went on their 2007 Spygate tour,” ESPN analyst Schlereth says, “and basically said, ‘Up yours’ to everybody in the NFL.”

Some NFL people winced when McDaniels, the former New England offensive coordinator, paraded up the sideline last season after his team beat the Patriots, pumping his fist and screaming. He was a maniac, not a professional, and there are whispers that even some of McDaniels’ old colleagues in New England think the kid has changed since becoming a coach at age 32.

“I hear from people in the league,” Schlereth says. “He’s not a real popular cat.”

McDaniels says now that he doesn’t listen much to what outsiders think. He says it doesn’t matter as long as his team is improving, and he insists it is — despite the fact that Denver is 3-8 this season and has lost 16 of its last 21 games.

“I don’t anticipate going anywhere on the road,” McDaniels says, “and being very well-liked.”

Haley says he doesn’t think about his reputation, either, and maybe the thing that rubs him rawest about McDaniels is that they’re so similar. Both are demonstrative second-year coaches who are products of their backgrounds, like them or not.

“A sibling rivalry,” Chiefs guard Brian Waters says.

Before the non-handshake last month, the teams’ competition was intensifying already; they have alternated wins since the greenhorn coaches took over, and each game that the Chiefs play now has playoff implications.

On the Chiefs’ sideline three weeks ago, McDaniels was the bad guy. The Broncos had a three-touchdown lead and kept blitzing Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, who was walking with a limp late in the game. With a 25-point lead in the fourth quarter, McDaniels challenged an incomplete pass that was overruled as a touchdown. Many of the Broncos’ starters were in until the end.

“You start thinking about the people I’ve talked to who’ve said whatever they’ve said,” Schlereth says of McDaniels’ reputation. “It just adds to that whole scenario and that whole feeling.”

As the seconds ticked off, Edmonds says Haley was pacing the sideline. It was clear he was upset. The photographer says he had no way of knowing an altercation was coming, but something told him to drop two of his cameras in the media room and run toward midfield when the game ended.

He figured he should follow Haley, because whoever the villain was on this night, maybe there would be something worth taking a picture of.

“As soon as somebody stepped on the field when the clock ticked down,” Edmonds says, “I just kind of waited.”

• • •

Years from now, perhaps fans of both teams might look at that photograph and remember that it was the moment the Chiefs-Broncos rivalry started mattering again.

Neither coach had much to say this past week about their postgame run-in, only that it’s in the past. It’s the past, though, that makes these rivalries memorable — and makes the future so interesting. These are the things that make the next game worth tuning into. Today’s contest might not be a fight among NFL heavyweights, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a fight.

“I can’t wait for the rematch,” Schlereth says. “As a former Denver Bronco and a guy who loves the AFC West rivalries, I cannot wait to watch this game.”

Whatever happens today, the moments afterward will be tense and fascinating, and instead of only a few photographers racing toward midfield, it’s more likely that there will be a group of them, all fighting for position to point their cameras and capture the latest moves of two of the NFL’s great bad guys.

If Haley and McDaniels accomplish nothing else this season, they have at least succeeded in making their teams’ twice-yearly meeting relevant again. Berry says he’s as excited about this game as any he has played, because this one feels reminds him of Tennessee and Alabama, when things were heated and every play meant something.

That’s the way it used to be between the Chiefs and Broncos. Maybe it’s finally like that again. Thomas, the secondary coach, had a few words for Berry this week.

“He was telling me basically that this is one of the best times of the football season, other than playing in a Super Bowl,” Berry says. “It’s do or die. This is where you find out what you’re made of.”

Count Zarth
12-05-2010, 02:01 AM
Babb's best piece. I love this:

The best rivalries are meetings between good and evil, the plowboys and the city folk, the group that does things the right way and the team that cuts corners. John Elway had horse teeth, and Gonzalez was a pretty boy. Mike Shanahan looked like a rat, and Marty Schottenheimer wore the same pair of glasses since the bicentennial — but still couldn’t see his way to a Super Bowl.

Bane
12-05-2010, 04:30 AM
Awesome read but its almost too bad that most Donkfuck fans can't read anything that long.Oh well,fuck the team and their bag of shit fans.Almost time to kill them with some aids fire and deliver them from evil.
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milkman
12-05-2010, 05:11 AM
I really think that people missed what a real rivalry is by not having seen what the Chiefs-Raiders were in the 60s.

Chiefs-Broncos.....meh.

It was a love fest, relatively speaking.

JOhn
12-05-2010, 05:16 AM
I really think that people missed what a real rivalry is by not having seen what the Chiefs-Raiders were in the 60s.

Chiefs-Broncos.....meh.

It was a love fest, relatively speaking.

:thumb:

threebag02
12-05-2010, 07:28 AM
Coupled with an ice cold beer what a great way to start a Sunday morning.

cabletech94
12-05-2010, 07:38 AM
Awesome read but its almost too bad that most Donk**** fans can't read anything that long.Oh well,**** the team and their bag of shit fans.Almost time to kill them with some aids fire and deliver them from evil.
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rep indeed, sir!

RedNFeisty
12-05-2010, 07:49 AM
Hot damn, after reading that, I am pumped and ready to eat some donkey meat!! Bring on the brimstone and fire!!

Jack
12-05-2010, 07:54 AM
I really think that people missed what a real rivalry is by not having seen what the Chiefs-Raiders were in the 60s.

Chiefs-Broncos.....meh.

It was a love fest, relatively speaking.

Correct. The donkys rivalry pales in comparison. The donks were pretty much the doormat during the '60s.

A loss to the raiders in those days filled me with extreme prejudice for days.

Nonetheless, 49-29. There is much redemption needed today.

Chiefs Pantalones
12-05-2010, 08:18 AM
Hot damn, after reading that, I am pumped and ready to eat some donkey meat!! Bring on the brimstone and fire!!

beastiality is not your friend

threebag02
12-05-2010, 08:20 AM
HeeHaw








LoL

Chieftain58
12-05-2010, 08:44 AM
I really think that people missed what a real rivalry is by not having seen what the Chiefs-Raiders were in the 60s.

Chiefs-Broncos.....meh.

It was a love fest, relatively speaking.

I hate to comment on anything you write Milkman but being old myself and watching the rivalrys change, Chief/Bronco football is the biggest rivalry we have...

Smed1065
12-05-2010, 08:47 AM
Hot damn, after reading that, I am pumped and ready to eat some donkey meat!! Bring on the brimstone and fire!!

Someone had to do it....

milkman
12-05-2010, 08:49 AM
I hate to comment on anything you write Milkman but being old myself and watching the rivalrys change, Chief/Bronco football is the biggest rivalry we have...

I don't disagree with that.

However, as the division stands right now, and should the Chiefs continue to improve going into next year, and beyond, with the Chargers the team we likely will be battling for divison supremacy over the next 4 to 5 years, that could change and the most heated rivalry would be with the Chargers.

My comment is simpy an observation on how heated that Chief-Raider rivalry was compared to the Chief-Broncos.

There has never been a rivalry as emotinally charged, IMO.

Bane
12-05-2010, 08:51 AM
Hot damn, after reading that, I am pumped and ready to eat some donkey meat!! Bring on the brimstone and fire!!

:thumb:

LMAO

KCFTW
12-05-2010, 08:53 AM
Fuck em up!

Extra Point
12-05-2010, 08:55 AM
This is the first time in long time that all three other teams in the AFCW are our rivals. Kirk says this morning:

Must...Win...Out!

milkman
12-05-2010, 08:55 AM
This game just has the feel of a bump in the road on the way to San Diego to me.

TheGuardian
12-05-2010, 08:55 AM
The Broncos had a three-touchdown lead and kept blitzing Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, who was walking with a limp late in the game.

No no no. I was told by CP experts that Cassel racked up all those stats throwing against a soft zone prevent. If they were blitzing, then they had to be in man to man. That's how that works.

Fucking idiot mother fuckers here should go talk about growing grass because they don't understand football worth a shit.

DaFace
12-05-2010, 08:57 AM
Fun article. Can't wait until game time!

Sent from my Opimus S using Tapatalk.

milkman
12-05-2010, 08:57 AM
No no no. I was told by CP experts that Cassel racked up all those stats throwing against a soft zone prevent. If they were blitzing, then they had to be in man to man. That's how that works.

****ing idiot mother ****ers here should go talk about growing grass because they don't understand football worth a shit.

There was some blitzing mixed in, but don't get carried away.

Much of that game after it got out of hand was played against a prevent.

Bane
12-05-2010, 08:57 AM
No no no. I was told by CP experts that Cassel racked up all those stats throwing against a soft zone prevent. If they were blitzing, then they had to be in man to man. That's how that works.

****ing idiot mother ****ers here should go talk about growing grass because they don't understand football worth a shit.

He was the O player of the month though right?LMAOLMAOLMAOLMAOLMAOLMAOLMAO

milkman
12-05-2010, 08:59 AM
Fun article. Can't wait until game time!

Sent from my Opimus S using Tapatalk.

Thank goodness it's an early game.

Sent from my laptop using tapping fingers.

TheGuardian
12-05-2010, 09:05 AM
There was some blitzing mixed in, but don't get carried away.

Much of that game after it got out of hand was played against a prevent.

Horseshit.

But whatever.

Chiefshrink
12-05-2010, 09:23 AM
I really think that people missed what a real rivalry is by not having seen what the Chiefs-Raiders were in the 60s.

Chiefs-Broncos.....meh.

It was a love fest, relatively speaking.

You nailed it:thumb: That rivalry between the Chiefs/Raiders from the late 60's into the early 70's nothing could compare to the actual "hate" each side had for each other.

I remember as a kid in elementary school sitting with my father watching our 19in Black & White Zenith TV with the rabbit ears attenna with aluminum foil attached to get the best reception available:) hoping Big 'Dirty Ben' would finally get what was coming to him:LOL:

I haven't seen a rivalry that even comes close since that time:rolleyes:

Chiefshrink
12-05-2010, 09:33 AM
Quite frankly, this article was talked about by 87.7 The Ticket here in Denver for much of the Friday a.m. and Babb was actually on as a guest with Nate Kreckman. Nate and I disagree with Babb and I have to agree with Nate that the majority of Denver fans out here are not pissed off at Haley at all now that "McVideo" was exposed because they(Denver fans) understood why Haley dissed McKid. It is actually the other way around Denver fans want McKid goooooooooooooooooooooooone NOW!!

Babb IMO is just trying to gin up something from the past that will only be temporarily here today gone tomorrow as soon as McKid is fired.

Nice attempt though but Babb might be showing his age(although I don't know it) and lack of history of the early Chiefs/Raiders rivalry of the 60's/early 70's.

RedNFeisty
12-05-2010, 10:29 AM
beastiality is not your friend

Nope, but fresh butchered meat, fillet and grilled is! :thumb: