My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Nothing Serious Tonight 

Just some stray thoughts on the debacle the Broncos season has become.

Pat Riley, basketball coach, is one of those people who inspires either admiration or loathing, it seems. Me, personally, think of him as a very smart basketball man who started reading too many of his press clippings sometime around 1998.

Prior to 1998, though, he was smart, and he wrote a book about being smart, called The Winner Within. In it, he wrote this oh-so-smart section:

. . .my wife, Chris, learned that patients sometimes draw great benefits from switching professionals. It's not that the new one is smarter than the old one. It's just that people sometimes respond best to fresh viewpoints and techniques. Over ten years the Lakers may have had their fill of me. As the team's core aged, one key member already gone, others either in decline or approaching it, my tactics and speeches lost some of their edge. I wasn't as successful at changing players' minds, sharpening their focus, or helping people get out of themselves and with the team.

No matter how high we had reached in the past, by 1990 we were a team with no choice but to embrace change. One by one, we all followed Kareem out the door.

Sound familiar, Broncos fans? Consider the QB draw play on second down with time running out and the Broncs on the Packers 4 yard line last week. Consider the abyssmal running game--there was a time when the Broncos running was like a well-choreographed ballet, every person hitting exactly the location they were supposed to; now, the O-line looks as confused as the fans about what they're trying to accomplish. And consider the recent departures of Rod Smith and Al Wilson.

The point is, every coach loses their edge--not because they're any worse as coaches, but teams and cultures can only be maintained by the force of one will for so long. I think Mike Shanahan may have reached the end of his run here in Denver.

So, unless there's a radical change in the Broncos fortunes for the next eight weeks, I'll be looking for a change at the top in January. And Shanahan will find a job somewhere else where he can try to re-earn the moniker "mastermind." And the Broncos will be redefined by somebody else's personality and style.

I understand Charlie Weis may be available. Or how about Bill Cowher?

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