Kiszla: Shame on NFL for rubbing COVID hypocrisy in face of Broncos, making them play without QB in ridiculous loss

It was a clown show that shamed the NFL from head to toe.

Too stubborn to forfeit and too proud to beg, Denver got the league’s hypocrisy rubbed in his face. The Broncos were forced to take the field without a professional quarterback on Sunday and lost 31-3 to New Orleans in a game that should never have been played if Commissioner Roger Goodell had a scream about integrity.

Maybe the competition [was] just make an example of us, ”said Broncos security Kareem Jackson, feeling the punitive pain for teammates who violate COVID protocols.

This was a hard memory. Less than 18 months after the death of longtime franchise owner Pat Bowlen, the Broncos are not getting any respect from the NFL.

They are donkeys now, designated losers allowed the humiliation of New Orleans quarterback Taysom Hill tossing a bucket of confetti on their sad donkeys, like an old Harlem Globetrotters routine.

“Our boys are to blame for not wearing their masks. But maybe at least you move the game to the next day, or anytime, so we have a chance to fight, ”said Jackson. “Clearly Disappointing. Not sure why it hasn’t moved. I have no idea.”

Can you imagine the league doing this to Mr. B and forcing Denver to play when it would have taken a miracle to score a touchdown? Goodell wouldn’t dare. He doesn’t have the guts.

OK, Denver quarterback Drew Lock is a knucklehead. Getting caught for violating pandemic safety protocols at a time when the league has zero tolerance for fast and loose mask rules play is another mindless adolescent move that makes me wonder if Lock will grow up before the Broncos give up on him.

“It was disappointing that our quarterbacks put us in this position,” said coach Vic Fangio.

He pointed an accusing finger at a Tuesday meeting between Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles with Jeff Driskel, who tested positive for the virus and wiped out the entire QB room when not everyone followed proper safety precautions.

“A genuine mistake, but I’ll have one… I fully understand why these security measures are so important. Most of the time, doing the right thing isn’t good enough, ”Lock wrote in a letter of apology to Broncos Country, just before he was immediately sent to bed without his dinner.

For those of you keeping score at home, Uncle Vic threw his quarterbacks under the bus. As much as Lock can frustrate me, I can’t blame him all.

Why? The NFL’s hypocrisy is just too much to bear.

If Lock’s name had been Lamar Jackson or Cam Newton, this game would never have been played on Sunday. It would have been delayed for 24 or 48 hours to give Denver a chance to fight.

Tell me I’m wrong.

This was not a football game. It was a farce disguised as a fine. Why would Denver take the field with a less than zero chance of winning? How did the NFL think this might be good for its brand?

‘I’m going to pass on a comment now. That wouldn’t be wise, ”said Joe Ellis, Broncos president, who replied by text message shortly after the Saints bound to the playoffs were given a gimme at the expense of Denver.

Why should the Broncos leave no choice but to leave Kendall Hinton as the most experienced QB on the roster, despite never practicing the position with Denver, let alone in a match?

“I wouldn’t say this is how I planned it in my dreams, but it usually doesn’t work the way you want it to,” said Hinton.

A month ago, an athlete who switched from QB to receiver to chase the NFL dream at Wake Forest went on sale, believing it was time to clean up childish things and be a responsible, pay-earning adult to become. After being removed from the practice squad and given barely 24 hours to cram for this test, Hinton predictably completed one of nine passes and threw two interceptions. But as an emergency QB, he should get a medal for showing balance and grace in a no-win situation.

This game was a sham that none of us will be able to see. Sitting in the Empower Field press box at Mile High, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh at the absurdity or spit in disgust. It would have made more sense for Goodell to convene a breakfast club of coronavirus offenders and force Lock to stand in the corner and write on the board 100 times:

I’ll be romping in the grass on NFL Sundays with fellow competitors in the name of the almighty dollar, but promise to sleep the other six days of the week and brush my teeth while wearing a mask.

Yes, responsible adults should know better than to be as casual about following the best COVID practices as Lock was when Denver counted on him to lead by example.

Mayor Michael Hancock, your thoughts?

Amid all the craziness and tragedy of 2020, the year has reminded us who the real heroes are, from ICU nurses to elementary school teachers to the good folks who keep our supermarket shelves stocked with toilet paper.

Then there’s Goodell, who cleans up every penny of television revenue, even if that means playing a game in an empty stadium with a predetermined result:

Sad and unloved Broncos, who is led to the glue factory.