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01 December, 2011

It's Time to Light the Lights on Denver's D

   by Gus Ramsey

I'm an unabashed fan of the Muppets. I've loved them since I can remember. I've seen their new movie twice, I've downloaded the soundtrack on iTunes, I have all five seasons of The Muppet Show on DVD, you get the picture. I'm also a huge Broncos fan. So with Tim Tebow getting all the praise, I thought I'd "light the lights" on the Broncos D by assigning them Muppets to coincide with their play.

Professional Sackers
Waldorf and Statler: Von Miller and Elvis Dumervill. 
Professional Hecklers
Waldorf and Startler are best known for harassing Fozzie Bear. Fozzie walks out on stage, thinking he's going to have a great show, but he knows those two guys are lurking, waiting to pounce at the first opportunity, and eventually they mess up his delivery. As a tandem, Miller-Vill does nothing but harass opposing QBs, get in their heads and mess up their deliveries. So far they've combined for 16 sacks (10.5 for Miller, 5.5 for Dumervill). The last pair of Broncos to combine for 10+ sacks a piece in the same season? Simon Fletcher and Mike Croel in 1991. Twenty years later, Elvis and Von have an excellent chance to match that feat. Especially if they start leaping from the balcony.

Gonzo: DJ Williams. 
Gonzo spent most of his life trying to figure out what he was. In Muppets from Space, Gonzo finally learns he is an alien and he gains inner peace. His trademark act is firing himself from a cannon, showing no regard for his well being. DJ Williams went to the University of Miami as a fullback. They converted him to a linebacker. The Broncos have played Williams at strongside, weakside, inside and middle linebacker. Finding his football identity has been a journey, too. Williams is also prone to fire himself out of the proverbial cannon at ball carrier, showing no regard for his body. 
Shot from a cannon
If DJ starts bringing dancing chickens to work, then I'll know I'm on to something.
Bombs away!

Animal: Brian Dawkins. Animal is known for his yelling and banging on his drums. Dawkins is known for his pre-game yelling and banging on opposing players. Animal is said to have three styles of music, loud, louder and deafening. Dawkins has three styles of play, hard, harder and punishing. In A Muppet Family Christmas, Animal sees Cookie Monster devour a batch of cookies and says, "That's my kind of fella." I imagine all the other Broncos watch Dawkins devour offensive players and say "That's my kind of player."  


The Electric Mayhem Band: Marcus Thomas, Robert Ayers, Broderick Bunkley, Chris Harris and Wesley Woodyard. Animal can bang on the drums all day long, but you need the band to really make music. This cast of other Bronco defenders have done their part to create mayhem for the opponents. During their 4-game win streak, Denver is giving up just 15 points a game. They've only allowed 221 pass yards a game, and just six TDs, in their five Tebow-lead wins. Put it all together and the Broncos D has been playing beautiful music together. 
Electric Mayhem

Causing mayhem

Sam the Eagle: Joe Mays. Sam is all business. Joe is all business. Sam is an eagle. Joe was an Eagle. Sam is the moral center of The Muppet Show who lashes out against "weirdos" and "namby-pamby conservationists."
Joe is the center of the Broncos emerging linebacker core who lashes out at running backs.  
The Vocal Eagle

The former Eagle

Pepe the King Prawn: Quinton Carter. Pretty much just because of the hair. That said, Carter has been awesome this year. The Broncos have a nice lineage of hard hitting safeties, and Carter looks like a guy who can carry on that tradition. Carter was sharing time with Rahim Moore, now he starts. Pepe used to share an elevator with Seymour the Elephant. Now he works alone. I'm not much for grandstanding from players, but if after he makes a big hit Carter wants to declare, "I am a King Prawn!!" I'm fine with that. 
I am a King Prawn!

I'm no shrimp, either

Fozzie Bear: Andre Goodman. No one on the Muppet Show gets picked on more than Fozzie. No one on the Broncos gets picked on by the opposition more than Goodman. With Champ Bailey on the other side, opponents tend to throw darts at Andre, just like Waldorf and Statler fire bombs at Fozzie. To my novice eye,  Goodman has played much better this season. Maybe Frank Oz is controlling him this year. Who will forget when Goodman picked off Mark Sanchez and Wocka, Wocka, Wocka'd into the end zone?
Wocka, wocka, wocka!

Wocking in for 6!

Dr. Bunson Honeydew: Dennis Allen, Defensive Coordinator.  Dr. Honeydew spends all of his time trying out new inventions. Among his creations, edible paper clips, a banana sharpener and gold that turns into cottage cheese.  In the end, almost all of his inventions end up exploding. Thankfully for Broncos fans, everything Allen has drawn up lately in his laboratory is blowing up opponents schemes, and not Beaker.
Blows stuff up
Blows up offensive schemes

Miss Piggy: ?? As the Diva of the Muppet Theater, Miss Piggy is all about Moi. She craves attention. She tries to upstage everyone else. She has to have top billing. Thankfully, as far as I can tell, the Broncos don't have a Miss Piggy on their defensive roster. 
There's no one like her
The unassuming star
Kermit: Champ Bailey. Kermit is the unassuming star of the show. He is the host, he is the traffic cop and he is the one everyone else turns to in times of crisis. That sums up Champ to a tee. He gets left alone on his island, like Kermit sits alone on his log when he sings Rainbow Connection. But don't forget, in The Muppet Movie, when a fly dares come Kermit's way, he snaps it up. When opposing QB's dare come Champ's way, that's a mistake too. His career 50 career interceptions, 3rd among active players, is testament to that. That's why a "fly" pattern is never a good call against Champ.  And let's be honest, who enjoys getting their hands on the pigskin more than Kermit and Champ? 
He likes the pigskin

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