Volume 92, Issue 50

Wednesday, December 2, 1998

raw deal


No stopping the Bronco stampede

By Ian Ross
Gazette Sports editor

The Denver Broncos have won their second consecutive Super Bowl title.

This is not a typo or a moment of insanity, as I realize there are still four weeks left in the season and 10 playoff games before the coin toss to begin the championship tilt in late January. The outcome, however, will be the same no matter what. So why not reward the Broncos for an incredible season before they hurt the feelings of another half dozen teams as they steam roll into National Football League history. Consider it an early birthday present for the Mile High city.

The fact of the matter is, no other team in the league can stop the Broncos. They have spent the past four months embarrassing teams around the league and have a 12-0 record to show for it. Only three other teams have ever started the season with 12 straight victories. The most prominent were the Miami Dolphins of 1972, who went on to a 14-0 season, later winning the Super Bowl. This is the exact same direction the Broncos will take this season.

Reviewing the season thus far, no team has even come close to knocking off the defending champions – unless you consider the Seattle Seahawks losing by five points near the beginning of the season.

The perfect season is, how you say, in the bag. They have four games remaining and their opponents have a collective 23-24 record. Only the Miami Dolphins have a winning record (8-4) and they have already witnessed the Broncos' stampede this season. The second time will be no different.

And then there are the playoffs. I'm sure the Broncos are shaking in their boots knowing the Atlanta Falcons or New York Jets are some of the best competition they will face.

To add insult to injury, Denver has only gotten better as the season has progressed. Last weekend they beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-16 even though they turned the ball over four times and K.C. was able to shut down the Bronco running game. Think about it, Denver had an off day and still beat a team by 15 points.

The week before it was the Oakland Raiders who found themselves staring in disbelief as they received a 40-14 beating they will likely never forget.

The Broncos just have too many weapons. Number 1, of course, is Mr. Smiley himself – John Elway. To think the aging veteran almost retired this summer after winning his first Super Bowl ring is shocking. What would the league have been like if Johnny Boy was slugging back Budwieser and corn chips while watching the season go by? Competitive, I guess.

Instead, Elway has been playing like a kid again. He is ranked fourth in the league's passing rating with 98.9 and just surpassed Johnny Unitas for third in all-time touchdown passes.

To contrast the veteran Elway, Denver also has the youthful legs of Terrell Davis. Leading the league in rushing with 1,566 yards is no small accomplishment, considering the Broncos have a deadly passing game.

Then there is the defence – one of the best in the league. Same can be said for their special teams, receivers and linemen. Need I go on.

Unfortunately the league has a thing called "rules" and they will not relinquish the Vince Lombardi Trophy until that cold January afternoon when the Broncos celebrate their back-to-back championship victory. A real waste of time considering the result is already visible to any sober man with a grasp of reality.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998