Saturday, June 14, 2008

Division Rivalry with the Chargers

The Broncos, Chargers, Raiders and Chiefs have played each other home and away every year since 1960. It's a well-developed relationship and seems to go in cycles. During the sixties when I first became a Bronco fan, the Broncos usually couldn't get out of the cellar of the division. That didn't keep us from loving the Broncos and following each little rumor and move concerning the team. Long live Floyd Little! Eventually, after a long process, Chargers, Chiefs and Raiders all learned what it was like to be trampled by the Broncos.

If you listen to the fans ... , if you are able to through all of the ranting, screaming, salivating, manic depressive berserker behavior ... usually what they indicate, if we can get an augur in here to take the auspices, is that the most hated division rival is the Raiders. However, since the Chargers have been division champs lately, and have been beating up on the Broncos in the process, they have earned the most recent wrath of the fanatics and some of the Broncos, too.

Apparently, Bly was at Chapel Hill for an event and just happened to bump into Chris Chambers. The exchange was detected by the media (oops), and now we have lockerroom bulletin board material, as if this issue didn't already exist. Thanks, Dre.

That game at San Diego in '07 quickly got out of hand on the scoreboard in spite of many Broncos giving giving maximum effort right to the last tick. My own memory of that game is marred by Travis Henry's pitiful performance. Yes, I know, Travis who? Philip Rivers is a competitor with much physical courage (see playoffs at New England). After having seen him on the NFL Channel, I can see how some find him annoying and you can multiply that geometrically (is that possible?) during the heat of battle.

It has been said that you can judge yourself by the quality of your enemies. The Chargers are an extremely talented group of football players. Good! That's the way you want it. We should all want the AFC West to get back to being the toughest division in the NFL. You don't get better by playing weak opponents and that's six out of sixteen games each season.

At any level of football it's very important to focus on and respect each opponent one at a time. Sometimes fans look at the schedule and ask, "To which game are you most looking forward?" My answer is always the same ... the next one. The second game of the '08 season is the Chargers at Mile High. Isn't the first one at Oakland?

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