Reilly® has written many nasty things about "Boy Blunder" Josh McDaniels and the Broncos, presumably because the latter hired the former to replace his tandem-bike partner, Mike Shanahan. Now that Reilly's 4-12 prediction is a mathematical impossibility, let us revisit.

First, you should know that the only time Reilly ventures an actual opinion beyond the standard "Gee, sports sure are wacky" bit is when his subject is the Broncos. Usually, that opinion is "Gee, John Elway sure was great," but then the Broncos went and fired Shanahan and Reilly's mood turned darker. This wasn't a surprise. Reilly has never made any secret of his friendship with the former coach. He once did a roast for Shanahan in which he made the following funny:

From the moon, there are three things on Earth you can see: The Great Wall of China, the Houston Astrodome and Mike's teeth. Peggy [Shanahan's wife] says if the room is dark and you're snoring with your mouth open, she can read.

That, for the record, is a tooth joke.

So here's Reilly on April 3:

And none of it would've happened without McDaniels' ham-handed style and his Macy's-balloon ego. I have a buddy who honestly believes McDaniels thinks this is fantasy football; that Pat Bowlen gave him a whole team to play with and screw over in his own image and what the hell, if his moves don't work out, his league has a special "mulligan" rule and he can start over. Only there's no "oops" rule in the NFL. Years from now, the Cutler Catastrophe will go down as the dumbest thing in Boy Blunder's very short coaching career. By then, perhaps he will be your waiter at Olive Garden.


Reilly, April 29:

To repeat: Boy Blunder used a [first-round pick] to take a second. And if the Broncos are going to be as lame as I think they're going to be-4-12 perhaps-that first-round pick will be very high. McDaniels is the worst combination of things: Terribly naïve and doubly confident. Bronco fans, you're screwed.

Reilly, Sept. 9:

You can't just bolt your team because you think it's going to suck. (Which the Broncos are. There is no debating that. They are going to lose more than France. Just because you worked under Bill Belichick and you wear your sweatshirt like Bill Belichick does not mean you are Bill Belichick.)


The Broncos are 5-0. They do not suck. They have won one more game in five weeks than Rick Reilly thought they would in 16. They have not lost more than France. They have what looks to be one of the finest defenses in the league. What they don't have, however, is a coach on whose behalf a well-compensated national columnist will happily indulge in some shameless logrolling. ESPN readers, you're screwed.