2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Broncos: Five free agents to watch

    Thu, February 27, 2014 by Paul Klee with no comments

    Michael.Bennett

    This is armchair GM-ing at its best, and worst, and most subjective. If the money and cap space is there, which players should the Broncos target in free agency? 

    Here are five to watch. The Broncos can’t sign them all — or even more than one, probably — but what’s a wish list without wishing?

    —Michael Bennett, DE, Seattle: Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and and Earl Thomas earned more praise, but none were more important to the Super Bowl champs than Bennett (above). The Broncos made it their focus on offense to contain him — and he still proved dominant at MetLife Stadium. He’s a loudmouth who adds an edge. 

    —Donte Whitner, S, San Francisco: Hard to imagine the 49ers losing their hard-hitting safety after a season in which their hard-hitting rival, Seattle, won the Super Bowl. San Francisco even is restructuring contracts to make room for Whitner. But in a perfectly orange world, he’s the fearless thumper missing from the Broncos defense.

    —Malcolm Jenkins, S, New Orleans: See above.

    —Eric Decker, WR, Denver: This is the most polarizing of the Broncos’ own free agents. Is he a product of the system (and Peyton Manning) or a legitimate Pro Bowl talent? I would keep him. (So would the soccer mom in Section 317 who screams like a Belieber when he’s shown on the Jumbotron.) Wideouts with 172 catches in two seasons aren’t easy to come by. Manning’s teams in Indy made it a practice to pay his wide receivers, while filling in the gaps elsewhere. I don’t expect the Broncos will emulate that approach, and Decker probably will be playing elsewhere in 2014. That Riley Cooper, a less-productive receiver, got $25 million from the Eagles doesn’t bode well for the Broncos’ chances of re-signing this hunk of a heartthrob. 

    —Lamarr Houston, DE, Oakland: Doherty High School, here’s your keynote speaker for graduation in May. Bring him home, Broncos. Stick him opposite Von Miller. Free Lamarr… from Raiders tyranny.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Avs: A primer for the post-Olympics break

    Wed, February 26, 2014 by Paul Klee with no comments

    Avs.Duchene     Avs.Landy

    Avs.Varly     Avs.MacKinnon

    To supplement today’s column on the state of the Avalanche, let’s take a closer look at where they stand in regards to the NHL playoffs. 

    The short-term view: the Avs are in great shape.

    The big-picture view: the Avs need to keep winning.

    That’s because the Stanley Cup champion — and I do believe the Avs should be in the conversation — rarely emerges from a low seed. Here’s a look at the past 10 Stanley Cup champions and their playoff seed:

    2013: No. 1 Blackhawks
    2012: No. 8 Kings
    2011: No. 3 Bruins
    2010: No. 2 Blackhawks
    2009: No. 4 Penguins
    2008: No. 1 Red Wings
    2007: No. 2 Ducks
    2006: No. 2 Hurricanes
    2005: (NHL lockout)
    2004: No. 1 Lightning
    2003: No. 2 Devils 

    As they head into their first game after the Olympics, against the Kings tonight at Pepsi Center, the Avs have the fifth-most points in the West (79). They are closer to the No. 1 spot (Anaheim, 87 points) than the No. 6 spot (Minnesota, 69). Unexpectedly, except to Patrick Roy, they are in an excellent position.

    But the Central division title is well within reach. Only five points separate the Avs from the first-place Blues. Keep winning, watch the wear-and-tear of an Olympics year take a toll on other teams, and the Avs can secure home ice in the playoffs and a much better chance of advancing in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Avs: Milan Hejduk’s life after hockey

    Mon, February 24, 2014 by Paul Klee with no comments

    Some players get the itch. Some return to the front-office side of sports. Some don’t know where to turn. 

    Others hang out with their kids, coach youth hockey, go skiing or schedule a tee time for Saturday.

    That’s Milan Hejduk. 

    “I’m kind of playing dad, really,” Hejduk said today after announcing his retirement from hockey. “I’m spending more time with the kids. They’re 10 years old. They need me more now than ever.”

    Hejduk played 14 seasons in the NHL. All were with the Avalanche.  After the move from Quebec, only Joe Sakic scored more points than Hejduk as a member of the Avs. I would contend the line of Tanguay-Sakic-Hejduk was as dangerous and exciting as any line the game has witnessed in the past 20 years.

    “Basically I was in shoes that a lot of NHL players would like to be,” Hejduk said, and that’s undervaluing his own ability. His 50 goals led the NHL in 2002-03.

    At a brief press conference to say his official goodbyes, Hejduk seemed entirely content with a life outside the game. Isn’t that refreshing? He doesn’t need the spotlight or the adrenaline rush that come with being a professional athlete. Some players can’t, or won’t, let it go. 

    Then there’s Milan Hejduk. Does he miss the NHL?

    “Really, not much. Basically I’ve been out of the game in late April. So not really. (He is) spending more time with the family. Enjoying stuff I couldn’t do before. I’m basically on the ice every day, just having fun with the kids. That’s probably eased the pain a little bit. Basically I’m not missing it much. I don’t miss the competitive part. I like to watch it. I like to be around hockey. But I don’t miss it, I can say.”

    Hejduk did two things another player will never do. He scored the final goal at McNichols Arena, in an exhibition game, and the first goal at Pepsi Center, in a regular-season game.

    His first training camp came in a place familiar to you.  

    “In Colorado Springs, right?” he said. “We played in the World Arena there.”

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Injuries: Maybe we should legalize pot… or something

    Thu, February 20, 2014 by Paul Klee with no comments

    In a span of minutes this afternoon, news came down the Nuggets will play the rest of the season without JaVale McGee and the Avalanche will play the rest of the season without Alex Tanguay.

    While it’s an outstanding year to be a surgeon involved with Colorado sports, it’s a bummer of a year to be a healthy athlete. I mean, really?

    —The Rockies were hit, and hard, with injuries to Dexter Fowler, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzales.

    —The Avs lose Tanguay.

    —The Nuggets have been without Gallo, McGee, Lawson and, yes, even Nate Robinson.

    —The Broncos defense (Moore, Vickerson, Champ, Wolfe, Harris, etc).

    The obvious question: So, can marijuana prevent injuries, too? 

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Nuggets: Power of perception, Love vs. Melo

    Wed, February 19, 2014 by Paul Klee with no comments

    Wednesday night offered a chance to prove a theory I’ve held for a while:

    In the NBA world, or at least on the periphery of the NBA world, it matters less how good you are; it matters more how good people think you are.

    NBA folks love Kevin Love. They adore him. He’s their guy, the player who doesn’t get the credit he deserves, an All-Star from now until basketball eternity. They emphasize the superstar label at every opportunity. Often, for good measure, they point out his role on the gold medal-winning Olympic team.

    In their eyes, Kevin Love was not only the most coveted target at the NBA’s trade deadline; he saves puppies, saved Earth from that giant asteroid and could’ve saved Russia’s hockey team.

    And then there’s Carmelo Anthony. Just a scorer, the thinking goes. Doesn’t win. Doesn’t make players around him better. He loathes puppies and thinks the USSR > Russia.

    The testing ground for this theory was the standard for all testing grounds in 2014: Twitter. And it worked perfectly. Melo scored 42 points in leading the Knicks to a win. Love scored 42 and led the Timberwolves to a win. The only difference was a major one.

    Love’s performance was glorified, deified, praised from every angle. (He’s the anointed one! So underrated.) The superlatives emerged from everywhere, perhaps even from the surface of that giant asteroid, and Wednesday night was further proof Kevin Love deserves a statue somewhere. 

    But Melo? More like, Meh-lo. I had to search a feed of New York beat writers to find a word about Melo. 

    Here’s the kicker: Kevin Love is in his sixth NBA season in Minnesota. He has exactly zero playoff appearances. His teams stink. They rarely win.

    Melo? He had eight seasons in Denver. His teams had eight playoff appearances in Denver. 

    Go ahead, ask your NBA friends: Who would you rather have? Without seeing this blog, most will probably say Kevin Love.

    Call me bananas, but I’ll take the guy who carried multiple mediocre rosters to the playoffs, including two, ironically, with Andre Miller serving as the second-leading scorer

    And I write this while acknowledging Kevin Love is a terrific player. He’s on the short list of best power forwards in the NBA.

    But there’s a lesson in here to all the aspiring pros (and to those of us who like to rank players): Smile for the camera, make funny commercials and be nice to media. They will write, say and tweet nice things about you. All of that will help your Q rating, which will raise your popularity and inflate your value.

    If you don’t? You’re Meh-lo.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Nuggets: The road they shouldn’t travel

    Wed, February 19, 2014 by Paul Klee with no comments

    This is too familiar for comfort. 

    This is worrisome. Not worrisome like credit-card debt, the polar vortex or big government. Not worrisome like real-world things. 

    We’re not writing about real-world things. We’re writing about the state of the Nuggets; not only where they are now, but where they could be heading. This feels like a path leading back to the late 90s and early 2000s. And that’s worrisome.

    That was an era with an 11-win team in 1997-98, a 27-win team in 2001-02 and a 17-win team in 2002-03. It was starting lineups with Vincent Yarbrough, Ryan Bowen (no offense, good sir) and Keon Clark. It was an era of cheap tickets (a good thing) but more interest in the next draft than the next game (a not-so-good thing). That era wasn’t fun, except for the Jazz, Spurs, Lakers or another Western Conference club with the good fortune of playing those Nuggets.

    It was rough. Really rough. It was waiting for a basketball savior to arrive. When he did, Carmelo Anthony changed everything. Through his own performance or through his own trade, Melo brought a decade of playoff berths to Colorado. That’s no small thing; only one other team, the Spurs, can say that.

    Are we back to 2003? The parallels are in place, and that’s worrisome. There are still a few folks around here who place the Nuggets at No. 1 on the Colorado sports priority list. I’m one of them.

    This Nuggets roster wasn’t a playoff roster. I wrote that wrote way back on Nov. 6, long before the wheels came spinning off and the roster was crushed by injuries to JaVale McGee, Nate Robinson (a regrettable signing in the first place), Ty Lawson and another surgery for Danilo Gallinari.

    It didn’t look like a playoff team; not in the new system Brian Shaw attempted to implement.

    Now it looks like a franchise with more interest in the draft than the games. I see what the Nuggets are trying to do. I really do. But this process still comes with a McNichols-sized measure of risk and apprehension. I see only one — maybe three — basketball savior in the 2014 draft. Is it better than recent drafts? Sure. Is the hype machine overvaluing their talent? Certainly. 

    So this process is worrisome. As good as the Melo era was, the era that preceded it was that much worse. The difference between years of playoff berths and years of late-90s, early-2000s can be one draft pick. Perhaps the Nuggets grab another Melo with that pick.

    The other option is worrisome.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Broncos: Elway in it for the long haul

    Wed, February 12, 2014 by Paul Klee with no comments

    At the time, it looked like it. But then you thought about it, and it never made sense that John Elway would take a high-up position with the Broncos and serve as nothing more than a figurehead. 

    Great players didn’t become great by going half-speed. When he returned to the Broncos as an executive, Elway didn’t need the title, or the money, or another link to the franchise.

    So it makes sense that Elway, after three years of highly successful work as a Broncos decision-maker, is in it for the long haul. His new contract — reported by Mike Klis — ties him to the team through 2017.

    The Broncos also added the title of general manager to Elway’s placard.

    Back in 2011 when Elway returned to the Broncos, I wondered, as a lot of us probably did, if his return was simply for aesthetic purposes. Check it out: here’s the franchise’s greatest player rejoining the franchise, bridging eras and photo opportunities together.

    Quite clearly, that’s not how Elway rolls. He returned to win, and the Broncos have won. This was a dramatic overhaul of the Broncos’ roster — of the 22 players who started for the Broncos in the 2011 regular-season finale, only four started in the AFC championship game in January. 

    Now, if Elway can talk Peyton Manning into another four seasons, their future would be in tremendous shape. 

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Nuggets: Whither Andre Miller?

    Sat, February 8, 2014 by Paul Klee with no comments

    Nuggets coach Brian Shaw says he needs more bodies

    Danilo Gallinari is done for the season. Nate Robinson is done for the season. Javale McGee might be done for the season. 

    Here’s a crazy idea: add the body that’s earning $5 million from the Nuggets… but isn’t with the team.

    Whither Andre Miller? Last we saw the veteran point guard, he was healthy. He was angry, but he was healthy. So what’s the deal? Why isn’t Miller working for the employer signing his paychecks? 

    Is this an ego thing between Shaw and Miller? If it is, get over yourselves, guys. This wild-west standoff between player and coach is nonsense. The Nuggets are paying a player to do nothing.

    The Nuggets are on a four-game east-coast road swing. They aren’t a playoff team. I wrote that on Nov. 6, and Friday’s miserable performance against the Knicks offered more proof. When ownership committed to major change by firing George Karl and letting Masai Ujiri walk, there was bound to be a downswing. This is that downswing, and I don’t expect the Nuggets are all the way down.

    Even so, by paying a player to do nothing is a glaring indication the Nuggets are more concerned with their 2014 draft pick than being competitive this season.

    The Nuggets need bodies. Yet they have one they won’t use. What gives?

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Olympics: What the Avs say about security concerns

    Wed, February 5, 2014 by Paul Klee with no comments

    SBF.51

    My column for the Olympics special section is here, in case it’s too hidden on Gazette.com.

    The goal, no pun intended, was to learn how the Avalanche players (above) who are competing in Sochi felt about competing in Sochi. I don’t believe the U.S. should be in Sochi, so I wondered what they thought.

    There are four Avs in the Olympics. The gist of their response was this: the athletes are concerned about safety, but national pride trumps that concern. 

    “This is different. This is a different part of the world, probably a little more dangerous than other parts, considering where the area is,” Avalanche forward Paul Stastny said. “It does scare a few people. But you trust the security. (Russian president Vladimir) Putin seems like a straight-arrow guy. He’s not going to let anyone mess with his Olympics. I think if someone does get out of hand, he’ll take care of it as soon as possible.” 

    Stastny, Matt Duchene, Semyon Varlamov and Gabe Landeskog are the Avs in Sochi. You can read more from them in the column. Stay safe, friends.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Super Bowl Live Report: Broncos vs. Seahawks

    Sun, February 2, 2014 by Paul Klee with no comments

    FINAL: Seahawks 43, Broncos 8.

    Loads of coverage (columns, gamer, photos, videos, notes) coming on Gazette.com.

    Check back later — but only on an empty stomach.

    Thanks for reading the Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report.

    Klee

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Seahawks 43, Broncos 8 — MetLife Stadium — 8:27 left in fourth quarter

    —Pete Carroll is out at the 30-yard line, chest-bumping his special teams. Like a boss.

    —Has anyone seen our guy, Adam Gase? Feels like he and his encyclopedia-thick playbook didn’t make the trip.

    —A significant percentage of the orange jerseys, at least in the lower levels, has left the building. The train to Seacaucus runs after 10 p.m., guys. I learned that at the Giants game in September.

    Back in a few.

    Klee

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Seahawks 36, Broncos 0 — MetLife Stadium — 1:34 left in third quarter

    —On their biggest pass play of the night, Demaryius Thomas was overpowered and fumbled. Eric Decker has been a no-show. Julius Thomas? Three catches, 19 yards.

    —Thinking back to the preseason game in Seattle. Gorgeous night. I ate salmon. And thought Brandon Browner was the Seahawks’ best defender. Think if he were available tonight.

    —Russell Wilson has thrown for 106 yards. And the ‘Hawks are up 36 points.

    —On Jermaine Kearse’s touchdown catch, the Broncos missed more tackles than the Seahawks have missed the entire game.

    —Working on the column. Check back in a few.

    Klee

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Seahawks 29, Broncos 0 — MetLife Stadium — 8:13 left in third quarter

    —At this point, the Seahawks are oozing swag. 

    —The Broncos are oozing shock.

    —The Seahawks winning the game; Renee Fleming’s national anthem won the night. Her voice comes with goosebumps, free of charge.

    —Percy Harvin is not a nice person. But he could be the Super Bowl MVP.

    —The Broncos haven’t scored. Repeat, the Broncos haven’t scored.

    Back in a few.

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Seahawks 22, Broncos 0 — MetLife Stadium — Halftime

    —Seattle’s making it rain.

    —The Broncos are scheduled to fly back to Colorado on Monday. Perhaps they should fly back at halftime.

    —That was a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown. Cliff Avril, though, gets the credit. He smacked Manning’s arm just as he released the ball.

    —This thing might be over before Bruno Mars’ halftime set is over.

    —The kicker, Steven Hauschka, recovered the non-fumble by Trindon Holliday. Don’t see that very often.

    —With Peyton Manning at quarterback, Denver didn’t score in the first half. Don’t see that very often.

    —The Broncos faced double-digit deficits against the Redskins and Cowboys. Neither had a defense (or attitude) like Seattle’s.

    —If the Broncos were the Patriots, The Gazette would run a front-page story on Red Sox spring training. Alas, we’ve got the Rockies.

    —Like the fact Adam Gase went for the first down. Didn’t love the playcall. Although, Wes Welker was wide open. Peyton missed him. 

    —Worth noting? The Seahawks haven’t allowed a point in six quarters at MetLife Stadium. They beat the Giants, 23-0. 

    —Seattle is beating the heck out of Denver. There’s nothing complicated about it. As Richard Sherman said on Tuesday: “It’s football in its simplest form.”

    —This is a beatdown in its simplest form.

    Back in a few.

    Klee

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Seahawks 15, Broncos 0 — MetLife Stadium — 4:10 left in second quarter

    —Biggest comeback in Super Bowl history: 10 points. One of those came against the Broncos, who led the Redskins 10-0 before losing 55-10.

    —The Broncos fans in the crowd appear stunned. Can’t imagine what it’s like at Stoney’s on Lincoln Street.

    —The Seahawks fans are still standing.

    —Well, everyone is still standing. 

    —Very, very odd playcalling by Broncos so far. Going against their season-long mantra: aggressive.

    —My parents inform me their Fox affiliate in Port Aransas, Texas, just went out. Probably for the best, at this point.

    Back in a few.

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Seahawks 8, Broncos 0 — MetLife Stadium — End of first quarter

    —Reminder: Broncos historic offense has one safety, zero first downs and one turnover.

    —Marshawn Lynch thinks we should be all quiet about the Broncos.

    —Best commercial so far? I’m hearing Radio Shack.

    —The Broncos weren’t ready to play today. They look quite rattled. 

    Back in a few. Will Broncos be?

    Klee

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Seahawks 8, Broncos 0 — MetLife Stadium — 2:16 left in first quarter

    —Seahawks won’t beat the Broncos with field goals and safeties. San Diego tried that, twice. (And lost.)

    —Seahawks can beat Broncos if Broncos play like this. San Diego tried that, once. (And won.)

    —To be down only eight points after a horrendous 13 minutes, the Broncos are lucky.

    —Very few marijuana jokes on Twitter so far. Good work, friends.

    Back in a few.

    Klee

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Seahawks 5, Broncos 0 — MetLife Stadium — 7:25 left in first quarter

    —In its first two drives, the best offense in NFL history has eight yards, one safety and zero first downs.

    —The Seahawks’ crowd is louder than the Broncos’ crowd.

    —Russell Wilson just threw a Tim Tebow pass.

    —For the gambling contingent out there, a safety being the first score of the game was 6,000:1.

    —How confident is my prediction of a Broncos win? I’ll have David Ramsey walk back to Manhattan if the Seahawks win. 

    Back in a few.

    Klee

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Seahawks 5, Broncos 0 — MetLife Stadium — 10:21 left in first quarter

    —Quickest score in Super Bowl history. Seahawks = Legion of Soon?

    —Odd coincidence: Broncos’ first snap in the AFC championship game was a bobbled snap. Then, Peyton Manning threw a completion. Here, Seattle strikes with a safety.

    —And Seattle gets five points out of the exchange. Advantage, Broncos.

    —The officials are flag-happy. Advantage, Broncos.

    —Noise factor so far: Advantage, Seahawks.

    —The young lady on Joe Namath’s arm: Advantage, Namath.

    Back in a few.

    Klee 

    SB.Intros

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Broncos vs. Seahawks — MetLife Stadium — East Rutherford, N.J. — Kickoff (4:30 p.m. Mountain)

    —Reason 1,584 Roger Goodell is smarter than the rest of us: 49 degrees and partly cloudy at kickoff. In February, in New Jersey.

    —Renee Fleming, who sang the national anthem, has the greatest voice I’ve ever heard.

    —Seattle wins the coin toss.

    —Knowshon  Moreno did NOT cry on camera. This was a prop bet in Las Vegas. Actually, he never looked up…. which makes you wonder if he had some friends who asked him to do so.

    —Shaun Phillips was the sixth captain for the Broncos tonight.

    Here comes the kick….

    Klee

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Broncos vs. Seahawks — MetLife Stadium — East Rutherford, N.J. — 30 minutes until kickoff (4:30 p.m. Mountain) 

    —The Syracuse and Rutgers marching bands are on the field. They’re spelling out “NY/NJ.” Ramsey is singing the ‘Cuse fight song.

    —Joe Namath just walked by with two staples: a fur coat and an attractive female.

    —Brent Briggeman is on free sandwich No. 4.

    —The national anthem is coming up. She’s an opera singer.

    —This is the Broncos’ seventh appearance in the Super Bowl; Pat Bowlen’s sixth as owner.

    Back in a few.

    Klee

    SB.PM.Field

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Broncos vs. Seahawks — MetLife Stadium — East Rutherford, N.J. — One hour until kickoff (4:30 p.m. Mountain)

    —Broncos inactives tonight include Quentin Jammer (in a mild surprise, he’s replaced by new Bronco Marquice Cole). Ronnie Hillman, who will rise again, according to David Ramsey, also is inactive. Ahem.

    —Peyton Manning is active for the game.

    —Pete Carroll is at the 50-yard line. 

    —What’s your Super Bowl beverage of choice? 

    —A beer at MetLife Stadium goes for $14.

    —Eric Decker, Bubba Caldwell and Wes Welker are running routes.

    —The crowd now seems to be evenly split.

    —Peyton Manning was surrounded by TV cameras on the 25-yard line. Guessing he just wants to warmup. Now he’s been freed (above).

    Back in a few.

    SB.Field     SB.ME

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Broncos vs. Seahawks — MetLife Stadium — East Rutherford, N.J. — 90 minutes until kickoff (4:30 p.m. Mountain) 

    —Matt Prater is practicing extra points. Asked him this week how often he’s thought about kicking the game-winning field goal in a Super Bowl.

    “Since the day I started kicking,” Prater said.

    After a pause, he added, “Honestly, I hope I’m just kicking extra points on Sunday.”

    —John Elway and Terrell Davis are on the field. They won back-to-back Super Bowl MVPs. Will Peyton Manning win it this year…. and Knowshon Moreno/Montee Ball next year?

    —There’s more orange in the stadium than we saw all week in Times Square. Must be 70-percent orange in the stands right now.

    —Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka — a really enjoyable fellow, by the way — said Pete Carroll never says anything to him before he attempts a big kick.”

    “He pretty much just leaves me alone,” Hauschka said.

    —Ray Lewis went through media security right in front of Klee (above, right). The ex-Raven picked the Seahawks to win, 24-21. “Overall, they are the better team,” Lewis said.

    Back in a few.

    Klee

    SB.Media.Tent

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Broncos vs. Seahawks — MetLife Stadium — East Rutherford, N.J. — 2 hours until kickoff (4:30 p.m. Mountain)

    —There are number of Seahawks on the field right now —maybe 30? — including quarterback Russell Wilson, wearing a No. 3 warmup jacket. I only seven Broncos, including Brock Osweiler and Trindon Holliday. 

    —The current temperature at MetLife Stadium: 52 degrees. The daytime temperature here earlier this week: 12. 

    —At 6:30 local last night, a bank sign read “43 degrees.” That’s probably about what you’ll see at kickoff tonight. Weather not a factor. 

    —Our friend Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that Peyton Manning will wear The Glove full-time in tonight’s game. That’s a bit different; and something Kurt Warner did later in his career.

    Back in a few.

    Klee

    SB.MetLife

    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Report — Broncos vs. Seahawks — MetLife Stadium — East Rutherford, N.J. — 3 hours until kickoff (4:30 p.m. Mountain)

    Great afternoon, everyone. Denver sports columnist Paul Klee joining you from MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII. You know the drill — I’ll be here through the final horn tonight with first-hand observations on the atmosphere, etc. Let’s do this…

    —Where to start? How about here: the Broncos will win Super Bowl XLVIII. If it says so in The Gazette, it must be true, right?

    —As you’ve probably read in these virtual pages, after seven days in New York, I’m a big fan of hosting the biggest game in the biggest city. This Super Bowl week was dynamic; I’ve heard very few complaints from fans or the the 5,000-something media covering the event — and that says something, since nobody complains like media complains.

    —The weather was The Variable. So get this: on the short walk from Times Square to the bus, half the media contingent went without a coat. Temps are in the high 40s with overcast skies. The sun was shining in Central Park this morning. Most important for the Broncos: there’s only a slight breeze, maybe 5 mph.

    Peyton Manning is here. We can start now.

    —Here’s the rundown for The Gazette on Super Bowl Sunday: Klee, Ramsey, Briggeman and expert photographers Christian Murdock and Jeriliee Bennett. Follow us on Twitter for more updates. We’ll have a few videos before and after the game. Check out Gazette.com for my columns from this week in New York. And, of course, this Live Report will be updated as often as possible. Thanks for coming by.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette