Denver update:I just got back from a wedding in Denver. It was a couple of weeks before the start of the NFL season, and the whole town was abuzz with the news that Broncos coach Mike Shanahan had decided to bench his quarterback. Yes, BUBBY BRISTER HAD BEEN BENCHED! As you might expect, the town imploded. The story was front-page news and led all local news broadcasts. Grim sportscasters gave blow-by-blows on why Shanahan did what he did and what Brister thought about that and what Brian Griese, his replacement, thought about what Brister thought about what Griese thought—and where was John Elway in all of this? Then they'd throw it back to the studio, where even grimmer anchors would shoot their own questions at the sportscasters with such soberness that you would have thought they were asking, "So, when exactly will the alien hordes violate our bottoms?" By the time I was set to leave, things had quieted down just a bit. Then the news hit: linebacker Bill Romanowski had . . . ILLEGALLY OBTAINED DIET PILLS! "This town's really going to hell," a depressed Denver friend lamented. "It's getting like LA."
Kansas City update: I don't believe anything has ever happened in Kansas City. Really. I once spent three days there, and that was the distinct impression I got. Moving the pile:One reason folks think so much about the Broncos is that they have a lot of time to think while they and their cars sit on a local highway system apparently designed by Lewis and Clark. There is explosion-level growth in and around Denver as life-sized Monopoly housing developments spring up daily. What's not springing up are freeways to handle their cars; thus, the most routine errand can take 45 minutes to complete because you must navigate crowded surface streets. Someone told me locals are nervous about building more freeways because they "don't want to become Southern California." Uncontrolled growth? Traffic up the wazzu? Diet pills? Guess what? Kansas City update, update:To be fair, Kansas City did play a significant role in the development of jazz. At least that's something I've heard on television; I have no idea what it means. Consensus: Denver needs to get a life as well as a freeway system designed for something other than covered wagons. Losing to Kansas City, which isn't located in Kansas but rather on the big island of Hawaii, might just be the thing to knock a little sense into them. Then again, a couple of weeks ago, Colorado State defeated the University of Colorado in a football game. Riot police lobbing tear gas were called in to disperse the crowd.