Indy Writer's Wacky, Tasteless Linkage of Broncos, James Holmes

I'm still mulling over what point Indianapolis Star writer Gregg Doyel was trying to make in a bizarre column that appeared yesterday, entitled "Next to Broncos, a Mass Murder Suspect Awaits." All sorts of motivational drivel gets written in the pimp-happy world of sports journalism this time of year, as NFL teams suit up for the playoffs, but it doesn't seem like Doyel's contribution has much to offer beyond the not-too-subtle suggestion that the Broncos are thugs.

To which any loyal Denver fan can respond: Hey, at least our quarterback doesn't have a neckbeard.

See also: United in Orange: A Colorful History of the Denver Broncos

Doyel's column -- helpfully reprinted in this morning's Denver Post, which managed to misspell his name -- gushes with a gee-whiz fascination over the fact that the Bronco practice facility is next door ("and that's a literal description") to the Arapahoe County jail. You know, the place where they keep that fellow James Holmes, whose eyes are "wide-open spheres of insanity." (Glad we got that settled; no need for any more sanity evaluations in that case.) Pondering this odd quirk of geography, Doyel goes on to wonder if Holmes is listening to the music blaring from the Broncos' workout.

Now, using a tragedy as bloody and traumatic as the Aurora theater shootings as a launching point for a column about something as ephemeral as an NFL playoff match-up is weird enough. But wait. The irony that Doyel is really trying to milk, in his endearingly artless way, is the way the jail and the Broncos "have been linked over the years."

What follows is a recitation of some low points in Bronco off-field behavior, from executive Matt Russell's six-month sentence (for a DUI arrest, which Doyel oddly neglects to mention) to Von Miller's legal troubles, all the way back to Gerald Perry and Clarence Kay -- neither of whom has played for the team in twenty years. Somehow he missed Matt Prater's DUI, Vance Johnson's domestic problems, and the charges faced by members of the Pony Express for rolling drunks back in the Orange Crush era.

Well, you can understand why Doyel finds this so interesting. After all, it's not like Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was ever arrested for driving erratically and found to be "disoriented," with a stash of pills and $29,000 in cash on him, leading to a six-game suspension and a $500,000 fine. It's not like any Colts player has ever been arrested -- not lately, anyway. Heck, compared to the Broncos -- 40 arrests in 15 years, compared to a mere 24 for the Colts -- the flatlanders are pure angels.

Yes, all sorts of drivel gets written this time of year. And nobody hypes their team more than the fawning Denver media, to be sure. But lumping the transgressions of long-departed Broncos with the Aurora atrocity is not only a stretch. It's a flagrant personal foul. Have a tip? E-mail alan.prendergast@westword.com.

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