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March 21, 2008 10:35 PM

win,lose & Drew: Elam's Baggage Claim


It continues to be an off-season of changes for the Broncos. While I don't blame the Broncos for not wanting to commit a huge chunk of cash to a kicker, Jason Elam was the one reliable player you could count on. It will be odd to watch the Broncos without him.

I originally had an Avalanche cartoon I was going to draw but abandoned it in favor of this Elam image when the story he was going to the Falcons broke about 4 o'clock Friday afternoon. Being timely, to me, is so very important as a sports cartoonist. You have to be willing to toss away the days work and create an entirely new drawing on short notice.
The most memorable example of a cartoonist adapting to a breaking news story was by the late, great cartoonist, Bill Mauldin. He had already turned in his cartoon for the day when news came that JFK had been assassinated. Charged with the emotion of the moment, he created one of the most enduring images in the history of political cartooning. The drawing, which took Mauldin not much more than an hour to complete, showed the Lincoln memorial, head in hands, grieving the nations loss. The timing of the drawing was everything , so I always, if possible, adapt to breaking news.


  • March 21, 2008

    11:51 PM

    Steven writes:

    This sorrows me immensely, Elam should never been allowed to go off to another team. To see him in another uniform will make me sad as a Broncos fan.

  • March 22, 2008

    1:27 AM

    Jacob writes:

    Sometimes we fans get irrationally attached to a player. I love Elam and he will always be remembered as a true Bronco, but 3.3 million guaranteed to a kicker is a lot to ask for. Lots of kickers can make a 47 yard field goal. Not many defensive tackles can command a double team. The Broncos need to take that 3.3 million saved and invest in the latter.

  • March 22, 2008

    2:05 AM

    Tom writes:

    Shanahan and Bowlen were too busy firing coaches to see that Elam was walking out the door.

    It says a lot about the state of the Broncos that they would basically shun Elam and force him out the door. They underpaid him for over a decade, and now fail to repay that loyalty. Elam could have bolted years ago, but instead he stayed and played the good soldier. Without him last year, the Broncos would have been a 4-12 team.

    I'll be a little surprised if people actually decide to show up to watch this horror flick of a franchise take the field.

    The Broncos can't score touchdowns, and now their reliable kicker is gone too. We should all wonder how many times the Broncos will score zero points. My bet is there will be at least 3 games this year where Denver gets shut out.


  • March 22, 2008

    9:47 AM

    Kurt writes:

    Thanks for the memories Jason.....

    When was the last time Elam made a 50+ field goal? time for someone new and younger with more power.

    As for the Broncos, its nice to see them not dishing out all the money these players are asking for, they have offered fair salaries....if the players dont want to have the loyalty that Lynch, Sapp, and Henry have shown by taking smaller salaries, then we don't need them!

    Have fun on the sidelines in Oakland Javon!

  • March 22, 2008

    11:27 AM

    Jeremy writes:

    Kurt, the last time Elam made a field goal greater than 50 yards was...this year! He was also 9 of 12 from 40-49 and perfect from within 40. Elam may not be able to do kickoffs anymore, which is fairly typical in the NFL - many teams use their punter for kickoffs, like (surprise) the Falcons. What Elam can do is what kickers are supposed to do - he puts the little brown ball between the uprights, and Elam is statistically as accurate at said task as anyone in the NFL over the past 2 years, so his age doesn't appear to be slowing him down.
    By all means, there are valid arguments out there, such as Jacob's argument that the money might be better spent somewhere else, But if you're going to rail against Elam, at least check the stats first, lest you wind up looking silly.

  • March 25, 2008

    7:22 AM

    CptHydro writes:

    Wonder what Katie Hnida is up to?

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