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The Alpha & The Omega
Join Date: Apr 2001
Kush & Irsay
Krieger: Broncos' new slogan: We know drama
So you think HBO's "Hard Knocks" is entertaining? To quote the Blues Magoos, we ain't got nothing yet.
Introducing "As the Broncos Spin," a soap opera-reality show that promises more twists and turns than "Grandpa Munster Runs the Raiders," the summer pilot it beat out.
Fresh off the Jay Cutler episodes, which enjoyed record ratings for a summertime replacement series, the producers moved on to the Brandon Marshall episodes with barely a nap break.
If you haven't been keeping up, the latest episode requires a little explanation. Apparently, a dastardly junior public relations staffer coached some of Marshall's teammates on what to say after Marshall was acquitted of misdemeanor battery charges in Atlanta on Friday (that was the previous episode — hope you recorded it).
He told them not to say they were happy for Marshall; only for the team. In a Shakespearean twist, Marshall heard about it from those same teammates.
The Broncos tell Marshall the dastardly junior public relations staffer acted on his own. Marshall is unconvinced.
In an actual scene from Wednesday morning that shows how dynamic reality TV can be, a junior public relations staffer tries to cut off questions for Marshall about two minutes into his session with reporters. Marshall contradicts him and continues taking questions until the reporters run out. Fade to commercial.
If you've been following the show, you know that's only the latest trust issue between Marshall and the club. A couple months back, there was the episode in which he met with owner Pat Bowlen to request a trade. We couldn't get into the room — Pat is a little camera shy — but Marshall said afterward that he and Bowlen agreed it would be best for all parties if he moved on to another team.
In fact, that episode ended with Marshall writing a blog post in which he reported that Bowlen wished him luck. It almost looked like a happy ending, except the Broncos were committed to more episodes.
Since then, coach Josh McDaniels has said he has no interest in trading Marshall. Of course, we show a flashback to an earlier episode when he said the same thing about Cutler.
We also show him burying Marshall on the scout squad in this episode's practice scenes. This is an odd way to enhance his trade value, so McDaniels might be telling the truth about not wanting to trade him. We call this a plot twist.
We also have Marshall telling reporters he's happy to be on the scout squad. We show him standing around watching most of practice and let viewers decide if they believe him.
In fact, if there's one thing viewers can learn from this show, it's not to believe anything anybody says.
McDaniels says Marshall being on the scout team and wearing T.J. Houshmandzadeh's No. 84 all morning means nothing. He also says Marshall being second team on the depth chart means nothing.
"That isn't going to be determined for a long time," he says. "We're not going to make roster decisions, first string, second string, right now, second week of training camp."
Naturally, we go to a scene of McDaniels naming Kyle Orton the starting quarterback before training camp even starts. Fade to commercial.
Although it might appear at first glance as if the series is totally dependent on Cutler, who is gone, and Marshall, who might or might not follow him out the door, actually, it's totally dependent on McDaniels, the young coach.
Neither Cutler nor Marshall was interesting enough for a reality show last year, playing for their old coach. Oh, they had their moments, but not nearly enough for a weekly series.
It was McDaniels who brought out their inner drama queens. We're not sure how he did it, but when you can get Marshall, who loves the bright lights, to say he is "not close at all" to being familiar enough with the playbook to play, you've got some serious psychological warfare going on.
As it plays out, the series will also be posing some profound questions:
Is being on the scout team really a good thing?
Did Marshall wear Houshmandzadeh's number to signal that he wants his contract number too?
Can McDaniels collect enough former members of his old squad, the Patriots, to field an entire team?
These questions and others will be answered in the coming episodes. As with the Bengals and "Hard Knocks," the team may be better at melodrama than football, but hey, it's all entertainment.