The harsh reality for Broncos


There are two kinds of reality shows: Those that are bad and those that are worse.

“Jersey Shore” was bad. “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” was worse.

“Being Bobby Brown,” bad. Being the barren mind behind “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” worse.

And who among us doesn't hold at least some sentiment that the producers of “Toddlers and Tiaras” should be considered for execution via guillotine — with a tiara glued to their heads, for poetic justice?

Like Michael Jordan, you can't stop reality shows; you just gotta hope to contain them by rolling your eyes and changing the channel.

But if you're a member of the Denver Broncos organization, it'd be hypocritical of you to talk trash about TV's garbage.

That's because off-season after off-season, all the team does is pump out reality show-like drama.

Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes it's not. But, seeing as how the team hasn't been to a Super Bowl since the 1998 season, Broncos' drama is, at the very least, getting old.

The Broncos have been the NFL leaders in off-season drama for about five years now, going back to 2008, with Mike Shanahan's starring role in the team's version of “Chopped,” during his firing as head coach.

In 2009, the Broncos rolled out the short-lived “Kid Nation,” with the hiring of the 5-year-old Josh McDaniels as their coach.

Then, in the spring of that year, McDaniels thought it would be fun to mortgage the team's future by trading in their second, third and fourth round NFL draft picks to the Baltimore Ravens, in order to grab Tim Tebow in the first round — kind of like McDaniels was running the team like it was a lemonade stand, but got duped into giving back change for a 50 to a bully who paid him with 20 bucks in Monopoly money.

Oh, and on April 2, just a couple of weeks before drafting Tebow, the Broncos traded starting quarterback Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears. Less than two weeks after that, star wide receiver Brandon Marshall was traded to Miami.

It was “Extreme Makeover” time in Denver.

Then, during the miserable 2010 season, owner Pat Bowlen — who finally realized his mistake of handing over the organization's keys to a dude who was still getting around on a bicycle that had training wheels — fired McDaniels.

Bowlen then brought John Elway in to the front office, before Elway, “The Apprentice,” hired John Fox as head coach.

Then, in 2011, came everyone's favorite off-season reality show, “So, You Think You Can Pass?” starring Tim Tebow. Tebow Drama dominated Broncos camp that year, which proved to be too much for the pedestrian quarterback Kyle Orton to handle.

Then, after actually making the playoffs under Tebow, the Broncos embarked on their next reality hit, last year's “Who wants to marry a Manning?” Peyton, that is. Enter the P-Man, exit the T-Man.

And just when you thought the off-season drama would finally come to an end this season, the Broncos produced three more reality shows: The Wes Welker-inspired “Keeping Up With The Patriots"; Elvis Dumervil's hit, “Are You Smarter Than A Fax Machine?”; And, on the heels of two team executives being arrested for drunken driving —“Cops.”

Oh, and last but not least, then came the recent drug allegations against star linebacker Von Miller, proving that “Big Brother” is indeed watching over Denver.

Can the Broncos overcome this year's off-season distractions? We shall see. All I know is that while the team continues to lead the league in reality drama year after year, the organization has been without a fresh Vince Lombardi Trophy for a very long time.

Broncos' reality shows may make for some intriguing, real-life drama. But unless Denver makes it to the Super Bowl this year, the Broncos will look like the “Biggest Losers,” while their fans will be staring in their own reality show:


In addition to writing sports columns, Vic Vela covers the Legislature for Colorado Community Media. He can be reached at, or follow him on Twitter: @VicVela1.


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