The Ballad of Kyle Orton

Oct 11, 2011 by

 

It’s a sad baroque, sung by old men over hard liquor in a dark and smoky room.  Well, it would be if it were cool.  It’s more like “Beth” by Peter Criss.  A sad little song sung by the sad little man behind the drums.

Peter Criss was the “Catman” persona for KISS, manning their drums during most of their big hits.  Criss was a perfectly serviceable drummer for a bad band (I said it and I mean it.  I’m tired of all this faux ironic nostalgia for everything retro.  KISS suck.  They were awesome to all males between the ages of 7 and 17 for a 10 year run or so.  Some girls loved them, too, at least according to Gene Simmons thousands of girls loved them.  But we’re talking 70s girls, they’d fuck anyone.  But really, once you grew up a little, how could you give a shit about spandex wearing dudes in clown make up?  They’re like the retarded love child of Ziggy Stardust and Aerosmith, they make lots of noise, wear make-up, and stick their tongues out.  I repeat: they suck.).  But being a serviceable drummer wasn’t good enough for Criss.  He wanted more than Simmon’s and Stanley’s cast offs.  He was tired of explaining to groupies why being a Cat was actually tougher than being a Dragon.  At some point, he decided that his bad attitude and drug use (which was apparently so bad that KISS didn’t approve) were wanted somewhere else and he quit (got fired).  The closest he’s come to success since then was the time he got on Donahue with the homeless dude who was pretending to be him.

Kyle Orton is a perfectly serviceable quarterback for a shitty team.  Unfortunately, he was expected to be more than serviceable for the Broncos.  He was supposed to be an amalgam of Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, leading his shitty team to success beyond its talent level, spitting fire in the face of his enemies while bedding their cheerleaders.  Ok, maybe the Broncos didn’t really expect that much, but they did trade their pro bowl quarterback for him, so they at least hoped for something more than they got.  It’s not fair to Orton, the Broncos really do suck, you can make good passes all you want, if you’re receivers can’t catch them, you can’t score.  But fair or not, the Broncos wanted a Dragon, instead, they got a cat.

 

 

 

 

Kyle Orton and Peter Criss, separated at birth?

According to the Bears who played with Orton, he was a great teammate and a decent quarterback.  So much so, that they weren’t excited about receiving his upgrade (maybe that’s why Cutler is leading the world in sacks).  All the reports out of Denver have been that the team has been solidly behind Orton.   New coach John Fox repeatedly stated that Orton was the man.  Orton had the faith of his team, one of the important intangibles I’ve heard about on Football Talk Radio (Thanks Matt!), and the faith of his Coach- but it wasn’t enough.  Like a bad band with a good gimmick, the Tim Tebow Experience couldn’t be denied.

Denver finally did what their fans have been screaming for all year, they’ve made Tim Tebow the starting quarterback.  Orton’s got the pine and Brady Quinn, the supposed number 2, is taking care of his girlfriend, clearly the odd man out in a three man suck sandwich.

This is the best thing Denver could do.  2010’s numbers and his team’s faith aside, Orton has been awful.  From game one, it’s been apparent that he is a man looking over his shoulder.  His composure has been nonexistent:  waving his arms in frustration, bitching and whining on the sidelines.  It only gets worse as the Tebow chants from Denver fans ring through the night.   His lack of control is reflected in his stats, too  – 24th in yards, 27th in avg yards per pass, 1st in interceptions, and 28th in pass rate.  Like Peter Criss, Orton’s bad behavior has become intolerable, even for the lowly Broncos.

Tebow now leads the Crusades Broncos, and they have nothing to lose.  Maybe he’s made all the mechanical improvements he’s said all along he could make.  Maybe he’ll inspire his team to play beyond their means.  Maybe he’ll defeat the Phantom of the Park and lead the Broncos to the Superbowl.  Or hell, maybe he’ll just play better than Orton, not a big bar to overcome.

It’s also possible he’ll suck.  It won’t surprise anyone, the fans and organization will have given the guy a chance, and maybe they’ll be able to move on and do a better job with their next draft pick.  Maybe they’ll convert him to full back, maybe they’ll trade him.  The thing is, at this point, the possibilities are endless.  With Orton, they just had one possibility:  sucking more.

Orton will soon be on his way, hopefully he’ll have more sense than Peter Criss, and instead of releasing a solo album, he’ll settle for being a perfectly decent back-up QB.  With his propensity for being injured, it might give him a chance to play longer and better if he isn’t expected to carry the load for 16 games.

The Peter Criss analogy works for the Broncos, too.  Imagine if Peter Criss had stuck with the band he had before KISS:  Lips.  The only thing he would have had to look forward to was being homeless and living under a bridge.  Instead, he played for one of the most popular bad bands of all time, helped usher in Hair Metal, kept both of his arms, survived breast cancer, and taught us all that painting your face like a cat is not an impediment to getting laid in the right situation.  Broncos’ fans can only hope that Tebow does as much for their team.

 

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