This is one of the 65 days of the year when the sun does not shine in Denver.
Worse than that, it was also one of the days in a year where it actually rains. All day.
The ski resorts love it when it snows during Broncos’ games. It is a great advertisement for them. Not so when it’s just raining, the temperature is 39 degrees Fahrenheit and the crowd looks like they should be hiding in a blind, waiting for ducks.
Especially since Bronco orange doubles as blaze orange.
* Bad sign for Denver: The normal national anthem singers did not perform tonight. The 17th Avenue All-Stars were bumped by four members of the national touring company of “The Lion King.” Coincidentally, “The Lion King” is currently in a limited run at Denver’s Buell Theatre through November 12.
* Bad sign for Denver II: Broncos are wearing all-blue. I don’t like the gimmicky uniforms. They never seem to work.
* You can tell this is a game attracting national media, including the ESPN Monday night crew: The press box cafeteria had spaghetti and meatballs. This passes as excellent food for the media.
* One of the bad things about being in the press box on Monday night, and not at home, is that you can’t hear Tony Kornheiser make jokes that Joe Theisman doesn’t get.
* The first turnover of the game is a fumble by Tatum “Tinker” Bell at about the ten minute mark of the first quarter. I bet his backup, Mike Bell, is in the next possession.
* Mike Shanahan is in a forgiving mood. After the defense held the Ravens to a field goal, Tatum is back.
* The second turnover of the game occurred with 2:22 in the first quarter. Jake Plummer overthrew Javon Walker by about the length of a Marcus Camby. Cornerback Samari Rolle cradled the ball in his hands like former U.S. Congressman Mark Foley at the congressional page orientation weekend.
* Bronco safety Nick Ferguson form tackled Mike Anderson and drove him into the ground. The video will be used to demonstrate technique at future coaching clinics.
* Once again the Denver defense comes through, forcing a three-and-out punt after the Plummer interception.
* The worst thing about a football game in the cold and rain: The Broncettes are wearing big white parkas and blue ski pants.
* Champ Bailey is known as a “shut down” corner. What makes him so great, however, is not only his coverage ability. The guy supports the run like a linebacker. His tackling ability makes him the best cornerback in the past ten years, perhaps ever. Don’t even bother mentioning Deion Sanders. Sanders not only could not tackle, he actively avoided getting anywhere near a tackle. You can not be considered a great defensive player if you tackle worse than the Grammatica brothers. End of discussion. Deion Sanders is the most overrated football player since the Canton Bulldogs strapped on leather helmets.
* The P.A. system played “I Love a Rainy Night” during a break in the action late in the first half. It was an appropriate choice. It was also the first time Eddie Rabbitt has been heard since 1987.
* With less than a minute to go in the half, and Baltimore on Denver’s 10 yard line, the Ravens make the mistake of throwing to Champ’s side. He intercepted it in the end zone.
* The half ends with the score tied 3-3.
* Whoops. The Broncos Gameday program has a “Where are they now?” feature on former Bronco quarterback Frank Tripucka. His name is in the Broncos Ring of Honor in Invesco Stadium. Apparently, the editor was not looking at the Ring of Honor when he reviewed this feature. A huge picture caption misspells “Tripucka” as “Tripuka.”
In 40 years, will a John Elway Gameday feature spell his name “Jon Elweigh?”
* No one will have to worry about misspelling Jake Plummer in the future. They won’t be writing about him.
* On a great play-action fake in the third quarter, Jake underthrew a wide open Rod Smith 30 yards down the field. The pass was incomplete.
* The Broncos manage to squeak into field goal position in the third quarter, and Jason Elam gives Denver a 6-3 lead.
* Darrent Williams, with his new hair-do, makes a big interception in the fourth quarter.
* Rod Smith sealed it late with a touchdown reception from Jake.
* The Broncos overcome the heretofore undefeated Ravens, the cold rain, the all-blue uniforms and the wrong national anthem singers for the impressive 13-3 win.