Today, Bronco fans will wish they could adjust the vertical hold on the TV ... and those socks
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Today’s the day the Denver Broncos harken back to days of yore — 50 years yore — as they reintroduce their original uniforms.
I have mentioned it before. It’s going to be ugly — as in ugly to the bone.
And against the New England Patriots, no less.
Here it is, the biggest game of the season for both these teams, Denver 4-0 and New England 3-1 and two coaches who have a lengthy history …
… And both teams will be laughing so hard come coin-flip time there will be no room for thinking about the relatively tough task at hand.
You and I will be watching on the tube. That will be bad enough.
But just imagine these poor suckers actually out of the field:
Here’s New England’s Randy Moss, the best wide receiver in captivity, loosening up on the north end of New Mile High. He’s stretching and talking strategy with his quarterback buddy Tom Brady, who is trying to get his trick knee to function as he throws a few short spirals. They are in the process of getting their game faces on.
Just a few yards away, 300-pound Patriot offensive tackle Matt Light, is practicing short, quick pass-blocking steps, trying to get ready for a day-long battle with Elvis Dumervil, proud possessor of eight sacks already this season for Denver’s revamped defense. Light, like Moss and Brady, is dead serious about his business.
All of the sudden, the Patriots get an influx of Steve Martin. Red Skelton shows up out of nowhere. Jerry Lewis cringes and leaps into the arms of Dean Martin. Jackie Gleason threatens Norton again. Harpo and Groucho do their schtick. For God’s sake, it’s Charlie Chaplin twirling his cane as he waddles into darkness!
But, no, it’s none of the above.
Our first comedian on today’s stage is 6-foot-7, 325-pound Bronco offensive tackle Ryan Clady, who tries to tip-toe out of the locker room without being noticed. Just behind him, also skulking in hopes of being ignored, is 335-pound defensive tackle Ronnie Fields.
And they are wearing yellow jerseys on top of brown pants on top of brown-and-yellow vertically striped socks. Clady, Fields and the other Broncos walking onto the grass at New Mile High resemble a parade of huge French’s mustard jars stacked on top of cases of Fat Tire.
If you think Moss, Brady and Light are rolling in laughter, imagine what these poor 300-pound-plus Bronco giants are thinking as they strut their stuff in front of fans trying to stifle chuckles — their own fans, at that.
This is a cruel joke the National Football League has pulled on the Broncos — forcing them to take part in the celebration of the creation of the American Football League half a century ago by wearing their original uniforms.
And it’s not fair. The Kansas City Chiefs get to wear their 1962 uniforms. The Raiders will wear their 1963 informs, as will the Chargers.
If Denver could get into their ‘62 or ‘63 version, it would at least be humane. Those were the dawning of red and blue colors, something they wore before going to blue and orange. The uniforms of ‘62 and ‘63 were tolerable.
Not these mustard-and-brown clown get-ups.
And today won’t be the only day Denver’s suddenly respectable, suddenly nasty, ill-tempered, defensive-oriented AFC West leaders get to wear these things. They also will be forced in wearing them the following week on the road against San Diego — on a Monday night, nationally televised, primetime affair, no less.
It’s the smiley face turned upside-down.
Still, maybe it will be a big Denver advantage.
I just can’t see Bill Belichick, New England’s always-serious, always-scowling, always-paranoid coach, not at least smirking just a bit today as he watches the Broncos take the field.
And it just could be the Broncos, by the time the grunting and groaning gets turned up full volume, become extremely tired of being laughed at.
Hence, a tight 23-21 win and a 5-0 mark — and surely the cover of Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Mag, and, yes, the Monday edition of The Daily Sentinel — in their clown get-ups.