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Kiszla: Boring and irrelevant, the Broncos won’t get back in championship discussion until they find new owner

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Kiszla: Boring and irrelevant, the Broncos won’t get back in championship discussion until they find new owner

Now that Mike Shanahan has sold his dream home in Colorado for $15 million and change, could we interest Jeff Bezos or some other billionaire in buying a little fixer-upper of an NFL franchise for $3.5 billion?

The Broncos could use some serious TLC. They’re worse than bad. They’re boring.

While swapping out Teddy Bridgewater for Drew Lock at quarterback, firing offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur or declaring coach Vic Fangio as another bad personnel decision by John Elway might momentarily quell the cries of disgust from Broncos Country, nothing truly significant is going to change with this franchise until it finds a new owner.

I’m so very weary of looking for scapegoats for a team that appears doomed to miss the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season.

What this once-proud franchise needs is a scrape-off. Take it down to the studs and leave nothing but a rock-solid foundation that is one of the most loyal fan bases in sports. The Broncos need an owner with the money and vision to reinvent their greatness and maybe even build a stadium with one of those fancy retractable roofs.

That rousing victory in Super Bowl 50, which seems like a long time ago, was a final salute to the passion for excellence Pat Bowlen infused in his beloved team. But in retrospect, didn’t that championship feel like putting the band back together for one more rockin’ good time, with Elway enlisting old pals Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips, not to mention quarterback Peyton Manning, a Hall of Famer looking to go out in a blaze of glory.

Now? It’s well past time for the Broncos to stop living in the past.

Maybe first-year general manager George Paton was correct to pick polished cornerback Pat Surtain II over raw quarterback Justin Fields with his first pick in his first draft. But can there be any denial that Paton borrowed a dog-eared template off Elway’s desk in the hope a world-class defense could carry a journeyman quarterback through the back door to a spot in the league’s playoff bracket?

If you don’t mind, allow me to shout what many disgruntled fans in Broncos Country are thinking:

Enough already!

Bridgewater might be a righteous leader of men, but he was brought here as a vote of no confidence in Lock. After regressing toward the mean since a 3-0 start, Teddy B. has also revealed himself to be little more than a stop-gap QB.

Although there’s no cheering in the press box, I personally like Uncle Vic as well as any Broncos head coach since Wade Phillips briefly held the job during the early 1990s. But like Phillips, the skillset and personality of Fangio are better suited to being a defensive coordinator.

Some look at the current sorry state of the Broncos and ask: What would Mr. B do? So please forgive me for not bowing in worship of Saint Pat when I wonder: Why was Bowlen so terrible at estate planning? The disarray and dysfunction currently plaguing this franchise are in large part because he had no workable plan for succession.

Now here we are, with everyone from linebacker Von Miller to Fangio vowing to be better, as the Broncos pray to stop a four-game losing streak against sorry Washington, improve their record to 4-4 and pretend they are in a playoff hunt.

That might be well and good, but who are the Broncos kidding except themselves? This isn’t a legit championship contender.

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‘1917’ star George MacKay re-enlists for ‘Munich: The Edge of War’

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‘1917’ star George MacKay re-enlists for ‘Munich: The Edge of War’

With “Munich: The Edge of War” on Netflix this week, George MacKay skips from one Great War to the next.

The London native, an actor since childhood, broke out as a soldier in the trenches on a perilous mission in Sam Mendes’ Oscar-winning hit “1917” two years ago.

“Munich,” adapted from the Robert Harris bestseller, imagines a behind-the-scenes life or death struggle at the world leaders’ conference there in September 1938. Germany’s Adolf Hitler threatens another global war if he isn’t allowed to annex German-speaking Czechoslovakia.

England wants at all costs to avoid another war. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (Jeremy Irons) allows Hitler his victory.

Chamberlain declares he’s won “peace in our time.’ One year later, Hitler invaded Poland. WWII began.

George MacKay as Hugh Legat, in ‘Munich: The Edge of War.’ (Courtesy of Netflix © 2021)

Where “Munich” finds thrills is in its invented plot during that conference. MacKay, 29, plays Hugh Legat, Chamberlain’s private secretary, an Oxford grad eager to rise in the diplomatic world.

At the conference he meets an Oxford chum, Paul von Hartmann (Jannis Niewöhner), now an underling in Germany’s foreign ministry. Paul has a secret memo that outlines the Fuhrer’s plans for world domination. Can Hugh somehow manage to get Chamberlain to read it? If not, Paul is prepared to assassinate Hitler.

MacKay was aware of a certain symmetry going from one WWI thriller to the next war. “There is a conscious choice here in my being aware of not wanting to do something that too obviously has any sense of repetition,” he said in a Zoom call from London.

“But this is different: Hugh’s not a soldier, the war is yet to begin. There was enough in the story with parallels with what was going on in the world at the time I was reading it.

“I felt that this was a story I wanted to be a part of and any reservations about doing something that involved looking at a world war so soon after ‘1917’ was outweighed by the benefits of what that story actually said.”

“Munich” isn’t meant, MacKay suggested, to condemn the PM.

“It’s kind of saying with Chamberlain that you can’t blame someone for not predicting the future. He was dealing with the cards he was dealt at that moment.

“In hindsight, perhaps it wasn’t easy to do at time. I think that the film allows Chamberlain to be seen within a different light. Basically, he did as best he could. And there is something admirable in that even if it wasn’t quite what many of us in history would have liked to have happened.”

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Dear Abby: Fiance’s female friends want more – what’s he doing?

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Dear Abby: Can’t budge lonely, needy friend from the phone

Dear Abby: My fiance, “Peter,” has a number of female friends I’m not comfortable with, primarily because they are women he “had” interest in before we started dating. He says he has told them he’s taken now and they can’t be more than friends, but I don’t think they got the message. He recently told me one of them told him a guy had proposed to her but she’s delaying accepting in case Peter becomes available. This is the second time something like this has happened.

I believe it’s because of the way he relates to these girls. I mean, if he has really made clear in words and actions that he’s not interested in them romantically, they wouldn’t base their life decisions on the hope that they may still have a chance with him.

Peter may tell me these things because he wants me to know lots of women are willing to have him. But I’m confused at this point about whether he’s truly committed to me. Could it be he just likes “talking” to women even though it leads them on? And is this behavior healthy for a future marriage?

— Second Thoughts

Dear Second Thoughts: You are asking intelligent questions. Unfortunately, not knowing your fiance, I can’t answer them. I can, however, offer this: When couples become serious, they stop playing games. If your fiance thinks that causing you to feel jealous or insecure at this point is constructive, he is making a mistake because it won’t stop after the wedding. Peter appears to be immature, and that’s a red flag. Premarital counseling may help to clear the air.

Dear Abby: I have been married for 28 years. I thought we were very happy for the first 25. The change came when our children all left home. We sold our large house, which I was more than willing to do. But the house we have moved into causes me a lot of anxiety because of the traffic noise. My husband is very forceful about his “right” to choose where we live. He has insisted that the next move is also his choice and has already purchased the land. He claims he has provided for others all these years, and now it’s his turn to get what he wants.

Abby, I raised the children, I still have a job and I contribute to every aspect of home life. Although I love him with all my heart, I wonder if I’d be better off throwing in the towel. He refuses to go to counseling, but I have gone, to help with my anxiety. After three years in this new home, I don’t see any sign he will change his ways. I have tried talking to him about choosing something different together and moving, but he won’t do it. Help!

— Back Up Against the Wall

Dear Back: I can’t change your husband’s attitude and, apparently, neither can you. I’m glad you have been seeing a therapist, because it’s time to schedule more appointments. Your therapist will help you to decide whether you can continue living with someone who refuses to recognize your contributions to the marriage and who has such a controlling, authoritarian attitude.

You have decisions to make that should not be taken lightly or decided while you are emotional. You deserve peace of mind and an equal voice about where you choose to live.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com.

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Bruins take 7-1 beating from Carolina

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Bruins take 7-1 beating from Carolina

The Bruins have played enough good hockey over the first two weeks of 2022 to reasonably believe what happened on Tuesday night at the Garden was an aberration.

They better hope it is.

After the feel-good event of Willie O’Ree’s number retirement ceremony, the B’s killed the vibe by playing a simply awful first period against the Carolina Hurricanes en route to a well-earned 7-1 beating.

It was not even as close as that lopsided score indicated.

Was this just one of those nights that every team experiences over the course of an 82-game schedule, or the start of a backslide? We’ll have a better idea of that when the B’s get back at it Thursday hosting Washington.

But it wasn’t a great sign that the thumping came in a measuring-stick kind of game against the Canes, who shut the B’s out back in October.

The only team that mattered in coach Bruce Cassidy’s assessments, however, was his own.

“It’s problematic against anybody, to be honest with you,” said Cassidy. “It’s Game 36, so a measuring stick? I don’t know. We’re building our game. We’ve been playing well, better lately, much better than the start of the year. Not tonight obviously. We had nothing. They were clearly better than us in every area, so this is less about the opponent, more about where we’re at. Obviously they forecheck hard, they do some of the things top teams do well, they’re hard on pucks, they get on top of you, get to the front of the net. We weren’t nearly good enough. And we wouldn’t have been good enough against the worst team in the league. We just weren’t competitive, and we paid the price.”

Patrice Bergeron, who was all for “burning the tape” on this one, had no explanation for the performance.

“It was very disappointing the way we played, the way we showed up, the way we started the game,” said Bergeron, who had the only Bruin goal. “We were very flat and it stayed flat the whole game.”

One of the hallmarks of the B’s recent surge was the emergence of their bottom six, but in the first period the B’s third line was on the ice for three goals against and the fourth line was on for two as the B’s lost their checks all over the ice and the Canes ran out to a stunning 5-1 lead in the first 20 minutes for an early knockout punch.

It was easily the B’s worst period of the year.

Teuvo Teravainen got the Canes on the board first at 3:44 when, after Tuukka Rask stopped a 2-on-1 offering, he converted a Jaccob Slavin pass. At 6:03, Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored his first of two goals when he was left all alone in front of the net to put back a big Rask rebound.

It looked like the B’s might get their legs under them when Bergeron scored on a deflection for a power-play goal at 11:13 — snapping a streak of 35 straight penalties killed by Carolina.

But it did not take long to learn that this would not be the B’s night. Just 13 seconds later, Kotkaniemi deflected home a Slavin shot and the Canes had their two-goal bulge back with the B’s fourth line and defense pairing of Brandon Carlo and Urho Vaakanainen on the ice.

“That was a big letdown for us, guys who are used to being relied to keep the puck out of the net, the bottom of the lineup and some of the D that are relied on. They just didn’t get it done tonight, for whatever reason. We’ll move on,” said Cassidy.

Seth Jarvis and Derek Stepan scored 56 seconds apart and the rout was on. Charlie Coyle and Oskar Steen were both minus-3 while eight other players finished the period with a minus-2. Rask, playing in his second game after returning from offseason hip surgery, finished out the rest of the period but that would be it for him. Final line for him, five goals on 12 shots. Linus Ullmark replaced him to start the second period.

“It would have been one of those nights where we would have needed an unbelievable effort from (Rask) to get any points at all, and that’s an unfair ask,” said Cassidy.

The Canes invited the B’s back in the game in the second period when they took three penalties, the last two of which gave the Bruins 68 seconds of a 5-on-3, but the B’s could not do any more damage on goalie Frederik Andersen.

Any hope of a comeback already out the window, Slavin and Andrei Svechnikov added power-play goals in the third to complete the embarrassment.

For Rask at least, the game was already in the rearview mirror.

“It’s gone already,” said Rask. “One thing you learn over the years, you’re never as bad or as good as you think, so you want to keep it even-keeled and trust the process. That’s what we have to do as a team and I have to do as an individual.”

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