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BallHyped Blogger Q&A: Predominantly Orange’s Take on Tebow’s Mile High Magic

It’s been awhile since we last caught up with Denver Broncos blogger Kim Constantinesco, of Predominantly Orange, so we thought this would be as good a week as any as the Broncos prepare for this weekend’s playoff game against the New England Patriots.

Constantinesco has been covering the Broncos closely all season and is credentialed to cover the game at New England, so we appreciate her taking the time to offer her insight on Tim Tebow and this magical Mile High run.

BH: There are so many storylines heading into this weekend’s game, it’s tough to know where to start. But why not start with the man of the hour, Tim Tebow. Some of us saw this coming, but did you or anyone in Denver expect this kind of run out of the Broncos when Tebow took over under center?

Denver Broncos blogger Kim Constantinesco of Predominantly Orange

Denver Broncos blogger Kim Constantinesco of Predominantly Orange

KC: Tim who? Kidding. I think many people believed that the Broncos would win some games with Tebow under center, but no one predicted that he would string six in a row together in the fashion that he did, nor get the Broncos past the first round of the playoffs. I mean, to go 4-0 in overtime is extremely special.

Tebow is improving from week to week, and during that time span between his third consecutive loss to end the regular season and prior to the Pittsburgh game, he walked around with a little bit of an edge to him. It was good to see the chip on his shoulder. It gave him some confidence to ‘pull the trigger’ as John Elway put it. That’s why he had the best performance of his career on Sunday.

That’s the great thing about sports. It gives us the chance to watch somebody surpass expectations and achieve things we never thought possible, and Tebow has certainly surpassed expectations.

How have the Broncos been able to make this run? We know about their defense, sending three players to the Pro Bowl. But that offense doesn’t have a single Pro Bowler. And with Eric Decker going down early last week, and Willis McGahee putting the ball on the ground in key situations, Tebow’s options have been limited. But even with a mediocre roster and questionable throwing mechanics, Tebow and this spread-option offense is working for the Broncos.

You’re right, the defense has been keeping the team in games, but it’s been the offense coming up with big plays at key moments to win it for them.

I think it’s hard for teams to prepare for the type of offense that the Broncos run. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy would watch a college game and try to find formations that could fit into the Broncos playbook. Then, he would add new wrinkles. They’ve bounced between college and pro-style plays to take advantage of Tebow’s mobility. In turn, that takes pressure off of Willis McGahee. That’s why he’s had a big year. It’s hard to scheme for the run-pass threat that Tebow is.

Then there are the intangibles – the competitiveness, the toughness, the ability to block out everything else to make big plays as the clock winds down. Tebow’s ability to excel in those areas have carried over to his teammates.

It may not be a pretty offense, but every win has been beautiful.

This weekend, it’s a different story. The Broncos hung with the Patriots until the second half in the previous meeting, but this one’s in the postseason and in New England. What does Denver have to do to keep their season alive against the Patriots?

Had the Broncos not turned the ball over three times in the last meeting, we would have seen a much closer score, and possibly even a Broncos win. This game is without a doubt tough, but the Broncos can win it.

The Patriots have such a deadly offense that it’s best to keep them off the field. The Broncos need to get their run game going to move the chains, and eat some clock. Converting in the red zone is essential, and it must be seven points.

The Broncos also need to score points on defense and special teams. The Broncos can’t keep pace with the Pats offensively, but they can do things to take the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands.

Your boy Josh McDaniels is back on the sideline for this one, only it’s with New England. Is he a factor in this one at all in your eyes? Or is this just one more juicy storyline ESPN is adding to the “Tebow vs. Brady” showdown?

The media is certainly playing this one up. It’s the sexy story. McDaniels heads back to New England to face his two 1st round draft picks in 2010 (Tebow and Demaryius Thomas)? It doesn’t get juicer, does it?

Yes, McDaniels is familiar with a large part of the Broncos roster, but the playbook has changed a lot. He will be able to give information on players and coaches tendencies, but that’s about it.

McD can’t know that much about Tebow. He put him on the bench in Denver, not knowing how to play him.

(Editor’s note: Couldn’t agree with you more!)

Anything else you’d like to add about the big game?

I’ll be covering the game live from the press box in Foxborough, so check out Predominantly Orange as move forward!


Mr. Mean ain’t Mr. Clean: Dahl F-Bomb Broadcast over Stadium PA, National TV

St. Louis Rams guard Harvey Dahl is already regarded as one of meanest players in the NFL, and during Sunday’s game against the Cincinatti Bengals we heard why.

After being flagged for holding in the second half, Dahl went after the officials and even dropped an F-bomb that was not only picked up by the ref’s microphone and broadcast all over the stadium, but was broadcast on national television as well.

“I know you didn’t call me for holding,” he said. “That’s not (expletive) holding.”

That left the CBS announcing crew in the awkward position of having to apologize for the expletive.

“We’ll apologize for that in lieu of the fact that Mr. Dahl can’t,” Dan Dierdorf said. “The National Football League is not Major League Baseball, (with) kicking dirt on shoes. The officials in the National Football League are in a position where you don’t disrespect them in any shape, manner or form.”

Dahl was flagged again for an unsportsmanlike penalty shortly thereafter, putting the Rams offense back against its own goal line.

St. Louis wound up losing 20-13 to the Bengals, falling to 2-12 on the season.

The surprising Bengals improved to 8-6.

Here’s the video of the play and ensuing outburst (includes explicit language):


Black Friday Deals for Sports Fans

Yankees Garden Gnome - Black Friday Deals for Sports Fans

Would you love, or hate a Yankees garden gnome?

So this is a sports blog and all, but I know the bloggers and sports fans who visit BallHyped.com also geek out on tech gadgets and Black Friday deals this time of year.

I know I’m already filling out my gift list of gadgets as we speak, preparing for the holiday season, so I thought I’d share with you my favorite Black Friday deals for sports fans:

Best Buy

Best Buy has a handful of great tablet deals for sports fans who want to stream live events, ESPN SportsCenter, etc., while on the go.

Some of the best all-around deals include a Best Buy exclusive on the Asus Transformer 10.1-inch tablet for $249.99 and the Dell Streak 7″ Tablet for just $149.99.

Best Buy also has blowout deals on movies, video games, digital cameras and camcorder and iPods and MP3 players, so you can watch, listen and record all of your favorite sports moments (and then Hype them up on your blog!)

NFL Shop

NFL fans can get 10% off plus free shipping at NFLShop.com through today. So hurry up and get that Tebow jersey today!

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble has some great deals on sports books as you would expect. For Black Friday, they’re also offering 50% off their Top 50 bestselling books.

They’re also offering 50% off electronics and 50% off DVDs and CDs.


Amazon has some of the most random gifts that I love, and will be getting for some of my sports buddies.

As for the more traditional items, such as books, check out the new book, 100 Yards of Glory: The Greatest Moments in NFL History. This great, beautifully illustrated look back at the greatest moments in professional football history was written by Joe Garner and Bob Costas with a forward by Joe Montana. We picked up a few copies of this book and will be giving them out to BallHyped members for contests and awards over the next couple months.

Amazon also has countless Black Friday dealsa s you would expect, including the Go Pong 8-Foot portable folding beer pong table and the new Kindle Fire ($199) — which shouldn’t be used in combination by the way.

If you did want a tech gadget to go with your Go Pong beer pong table, there’s always the Intova CP9 compact waterproof digital camera, which is a great gift for the beer pongers, boaters, fishermen and surfers in your crew.

As for those random gifts for the sports nuts on your holiday list, nothing says die-hard like an NFL-team specific Mr. Potato Head, NFL teamand NCAA team pillow pets, and, of course, NFL team
and MLB team garden gnomes.

What are the best Black Friday deals you’ve been eying this year? Share yours in the comments section below:


Let’s all be thankful that the Detroit Lions are actually good

Ndamukong Suh

The Detroit Lions haven’t won a Thanksgiving Day game since 2003. Their streak of futility began in 2004, when they were pummeled by the Indianapolis Colts, 41-9.

The Lions have played a home game on Thanksgiving since 1934. They’ve had some good years in there, but for the majority of that time, they have ranged from putrid to deplorable.

This year, we can finally look forward to a good game out of the Lions. Their match-up with division rival (and unbeaten) Green Bay Packers should feature two good offenses lighting up the scoreboard. The Lions’ defense may be a bit better than the Packers’, but Aaron Rodgers and his talented receivers are a superior crew to Matt Stafford, Megatron and whatever running back the Lions throw out there.

I predict that the Lions will pull out a tight victory and end the Packers’ winning streak. In the long run it will be good for both teams. The Packers don’t need the pressure of going for a perfect season and the Lions need a boost of confidence that they can beat upper-echelon teams in the league.

The most unfortunate part of this game is probably the fact that Nickelback is playing at half-time. Everything else should be dripping with intrigue and excitement.

So this Thursday ingest your triptophans, turn on the TV and be thankful that the Lions are actually good this year.


I guess Cris Collinsworth doesn’t want to watch Fear Factor

For 99 percent of any given broadcast, the color commentator on televised NFL games say stupid things. This is mainly because things are moving fast and the color commentator just has to put in his two cents before the next play comes around.

Other times, though, something hilariously intelligent slips out. This is the case with our favorite announcer from NBC’s Sunday Night Football, Cris Collinsworth. Check it:

After play-by-play man Al Michaels narrates a Fear Factor promo, Cris Collinsworth mutters “No thanks” in a dismissive and jerkish tone.

In Collinsworth’s defense, Fear Factor was so 2004. Sure, it was cool watching people eat bugs for a while, but then other people realized reality TV was more profitable in different genres. But, I digress.

On the other side of the coin, obviously, is NBC, who will host the revived Fear Factor series. Clearly, with a show that died out five years ago, the network needs its crew to read the promo and either show support for the show, or shut up. Collinsworth did neither.

Either way, Collinsworth proved two things to me tonight: 1) He is a loud-mouth who talks before he thinks; this is typical of all sports commentators, and 2) He has great taste. Fear Factor really sucked after the first two seasons, guys. I’m serious.


End of the World as We Know It: Tebow Mania Reaches New Height Against Jets

TebowingI’m no Harold Camping, but I warned the blogosphere this day would come.

One month ago to the day to be exact, but that was only because the world was ending three days later, so I felt my ludicrous claims that Tim Tebow would win as a starter in Denver would get lost in a fiery trial.

Fortunately for me, the fiery trial has been postponed and Tebow has caught fire instead, going 4-1 as a starter and making me look more Nostradamus than Camping with my prediction that “he’s going to keep winning, and the national media — and blogosphere for that matter — won’t get enough of him.”

“Tebow mania” reached an all-time high at Mile High on Thursday night, when he scored a last-minute touchdown on an electrifying, 20-yard bootleg that stunned the New York Jets 17-13 in his first nationally televised start of the year.

So can we just admit it now? Tebow can not only play in the NFL, he can win in the NFL. And he’s beating supposed playoff contenders in the clutch without the help of a legitimate wide receiver or top-tier running back.

So the numbers weren’t pretty (9 of 20 for 104 yards and no TDs passing) again Thursday, but look at the players around him. There were as many drops as there were completions the past two games.

And let’s keep in mind the former Florida Gator only has eight NFL starts under his belt.

In fact, he’s off to a better start than Broncos legend John Elway was at this stage of his career, if you can believe that.

Elway, for those who have forgotten, went 1 of 8 for 17 yards in his Broncos debut on Sept. 4, 1983. Over his 11 games in 1983, the former Stanford star went just 4-6 as a starter, completing 123 of 259 (47.5%) passes for 1,663 yards with 7 TDs and 14 INTs. FOURTEEN!

Tebow is already 5-3 as a starter in Denver, completing 97 of 207 (46.9%) passes for 1,363 yards with 12 TDs and 4 INTs. Oh yeah, and he’s got nine rushing TDs the past two years, not to mention three huge comeback victories over the past month for a team many thought would be the frontrunner to draft the next big quarterback out of Stanford.

But maybe, just maybe, the Broncos have already found their man … at least until the world ends in 2012.


Can Tim Tebow lead the Denver Broncos to the playoffs (and beyond) as an awful QB?

Carlos Sandoval blogs about football and basketball for BallHyped Blogs. He asks you to join him in his quest to chew bubble gum and kick ass by signing up to contribute to BallHyped Blogs. Also, follow him on Twitter.

The title of this blog post is a little harsh and should be reconsidered despite the fact that I know it leaves a bad first impression. But if we’re going to be 100% honest (and that’s what our relationship entails, dear reader; how can I sleep next to a liar my entire life?), Tim Tebow is, indeed, an awful quarterback.

He is inaccurate and he can’t read moderately not-horrible defensive schemes. He’s jumpy in the pocket and his throwing motion stinks.

But that doesn’t mean the dude’s not a great leader.

Because despite his deficiencies at the quarterback position, he’s doing a hell of a lot more for the Denver Broncos than just managing the game while letting his wide-outs, offensive line and defense cover up his weaknesses. (None of those are positives for the Denver Broncos, anyway.) That was evident in the Broncos’ nearly-improbably 17-13 win over the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football.

Instead, Tebow’s firing up his team. He’s winning purely because he has all the intangibles, which nearly never pans out in the NFL if the player in question lacks any skill-set for his position. Tebow’s determination, his faith (not in the religious sense) and his trust in teammates is winning games. We know that sounds something straight out of an awful sports flick, but there’s really no other way to describe Tim Tebow’s 4-1 record as starter for the Denver Broncos.

Because, no, he isn’t throwing the ball very well, and no, he isn’t putting his team in position to win the way a good quarterback would. He’s using his split-second decision-making (which is top notch, as far as we can tell) and his incredible motor (which is probably his only real tangible skill, aside from his strength).

Tebow knows that the entire coaching staff has re-worked their gameplan to make him more comfortable. And Tebow’s delivering, because the dude’s working hard and stepping up when it’s needed most, even if it’s not in the right manner that he should be stepping up as an NFL quarterback.

But how long can this gameplan last? How long will it be until defensive coordinators — smart cats that they are — figure out how to further limit a Broncos’ offense that rarely scores, but scores when it’s needed most? And how long will it take for defensive coaches to stop Tebow from having such a huge impact on the game in such a minimalist way?

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NFL Week 11 Preview: Grading how awesome each game will be

Aaron Rodgers

Carlos Sandoval is a blogger and some other title at BallHyped Blogs. Do everyone a favor and follow him on Twitter

The NFL season is slowly, painfully coming to an end. We’re six weeks from the finish line, and that’s depressing.

However, there are still 110 NFL games to be played from here ’til the end of the regular season. Some will be highly-anticipated and meaningful, while others will probably feature the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts.

Let’s take it week by week, though. Here are the 14 games on the slate this week, along with how good of a game each should be, scored out of 10, based on arbitrary facts.

New York Jets at Denver Broncos

Both teams are in opposite situations. While the Denver Broncos are (kind of) riding high from Tim Tebow’s solid (cough) performances in the Broncos’ shiny new option offense, the New York Jets have had a seed of doubt planted concerning their efficacy in the AFC East. The fact that Mark Sanchez is struggling should be intriguing, too — the Broncos’ defense sucks except when they’re playing against sloppy quarterbacks.

Overall, this game won’t be high-scoring, but it’ll be fun to watch because 1) it’s the option offense with Tebow at the helm, and 2) it’s the Jets’ defense against Tebow at the helm.

Predicted Excitement Index: 7.6

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

Both teams are coming off rough losses; in the Bengals’ case, it’s understandable, considering they were just edged out against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who now seem to have found their old championship groove. The Baltimore Ravens? They’ve stayed pretty consistent at being horribly inconsistent all year long. When the Seattle Seahawks knocked these guys off last Sunday, none of you should have been surprised. That’s Ravens’ football, duh.

Overall, what should make this game exciting are 1) the defenses and 2) the AFC North division implications. The winner gets the top spot in the AFC North (whether that’s shared with the Steelers is a different story). The Ravens are physical and the Bengals’ defense is just as physical. Joe Flacco tends to either play down or up to his competition, so we can expect some fireworks out of him (and then he’ll put up a complete stinker next week, further crushing our conclusions about his ability to play quarterback effectively).

Predicted Excitement Index: 8.4

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns


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The Indianapolis Colts need to clean house…yes, even Manning needs to go

Peyton Manning must go

Get out your brooms in Indianapolis; it’s time to clean house. The Colts’ decaying season is rapidly becoming farcical.

Perhaps their best chance to steal a game this season came (and went) this past Sunday against the offensively-inept Jacksonville Jaguars. Instead of buckling up and pushing the Jags, they squandered a decent defensive performance and floundered on offense. Not having Peyton Manning under center isn’t the Colts’ only problem.

Their defensive front is undersized and their secondary is woefully bereft of talent. Because their payroll is heavy at the top, they have little cap room for decent special teams players who would enhance their depth. Instead, their perennially under-performing special teams unit routinely gets torched and is filled with cast-offs and practice team stand-bys.

This is a team that is desperately low on talent. Who is to blame for this predicament?

Below is a quick run-down of the primary culprits for this “oh-fer” season.

The general management team of Polian and son are primarily to blame.

Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz ravaged new GM Chris Polian’s track record in a column a couple weeks ago. From alienating good assistants and scouts to spearheading bad drafts, Chris Polian has made multiple gaffes in his tenure with the Colts. His dad, Bill, has hardly been better of late.

Tony Ugoh, Jerry Hughes and Donald Brown headline a short list of high draft picks from the past few years who haven’t panned out. With very little in the way of new talent coming through the ranks, the Colts don’t have any depth to fall back on when injuries inevitably hit.

Jim Caldwell, as pusillanimous head coach, is next in line for blame.

Caldwell’s tired tropes to the media are wearing thin. Week in and week out he claims that his team is giving good effort in practice and that they just need to take it to the field. At some point, however, the lack of wins has to reflect on Caldwell’s capacity to motivate his team. They don’t even seem to be competing anymore, and that means that the coach isn’t getting the most out of his players.

In addition, Caldwell is a wretched in-game decision-maker who makes too many tactical errors. When you haven’t won a game, mixing things up becomes a necessity. Why hasn’t Caldwell tried any trick plays? Running back Joseph Addai was a quarterback in high school and is currently 1 for 1 passing the football. Why not let him run the option for a while and see where it takes you? It has to be better than watching Curtis Painter soldier on in bland incompetence.

Peyton Manning and other highly paid veterans need to step aside for young and hungry players.

Guys like Jeff Saturday, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Gary Brackett and Robert Mathis have been at the heart of the Colts success for much of the past decade. As they enter the twilight of their careers, the Colts need to part with a few of them (the injury-prone Clark and Brackett, in particular) to make way for younger (and cheaper) players. With the Colts currently holding a two game lead on all the other teams in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, the bedrock of the Colts’ recent resurgence may also need to go.

Even though he just got a fat, new contract, the uncertainty around Peyton Manning’s prospects for recovery from his neck injury means that the Colts may decide that they need to start from scratch in 2012. If so, Manning may become a latter-day Joe Montana, playing out his career with the Washington Redskins. It would be strange, but it may be best for the Colts in the long-run.





Broncos Going With Option Offense


The Denver Broncos tried using the option offense in favor of new starting quarterback Tim Tebow two weeks against the Detroit Lions. It didn’t help at all, as the team fell to 2-5 under the option-style, getting destroyed in a 45-10 loss.

However, they tried it again versus Oakland last Sunday, and it worked like a charm. Denver went on to score 38 points to beat Oakland to improve to 3-5, having a legitimate shot of winning the AFC West with a game behind by the others.

Tebow played well, with his dual-threat abilities of run and pass. Willis McGahee, who was receiving the term “old” for the past few years, has sprung back into his old self now, as he has been playing just solid. He had a big 100-yard game again, this time on a tough Raiders’ defense. Tebow also produced over 100 yards rushing.

After much of the success, the Broncos will be moving to the option style offense as their main scheme. Head coach, John Fox, said he is used to it, witnessing his accounts of dual-threat QB’s in the NFC South when he was taking coaching duties of the Carolina Panthers.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in the NFC South, and we competed against the Atlanta Falcons when they had Michael Vick. Call it what you like, it was that quarterback having the ability to run that creates havoc on defenses because they don’t count that guy as a runner,” Fox said.

It will be dangerous, as NFL defenses aren’t quite used to this scheme. Plus, Tebow will be running much of the similar offense like what he was with in college when he was operating his job as a quarterback with the Florida Gators; a place where he garnered much success with a Heisman trophy win and a National Championship.

Another thing it will be dangerous for because Denver has a strong rushing game. NFL defenses won’t know if Tebow will hand it off to McGahee, or take it and run it for himself.

“It’s not an option offense. It’s still a pro-style offense,” McGahee said. “[But] whatever it takes to win. If that’s what we got to do, then we’re going to do it.”

Chiefs coach, Todd Haley, things the offense can be dangerous and it makes Tim Tebow even more dangerous as a playmaker on the football field.

“You got a quarterback running the option,” Haley said, “and that makes it a triple threat.”

And especially when you have Tebow behind center.

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