A post mortem on Champ Bailey. No, he isn’t retiring, and no, he isn’t dead. The news that the Broncos are releasing him, however, does feel like an ending of sorts, and it’s high time to celebrate his career.
I remember watching my beloved Broncos about a decade ago, not long after we shipped star running back Clinton Portis off to Washington for star cornerback Champ Bailey.1 I had been aware of his talent during his college career, and I knew he had already made several Pro Bowls, but I didn’t have a feel for him. Lo and behold, it didn’t take long for him to make an impact, as he plucked an errant Trent Green pass in his first game as a Bronco. That play, along with his swagger and his reputation, caused him to instantly become my favorite player. (Admittedly, there was a gaping void in that particular category in the post-Elway and Terrell Davis years).
His signature moment for me came either that year or the next. I don’t remember the specific game or opponent, but I have a perfect image of the play in my mind. Continue reading