This story is not real. All names are made up, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. All quotes are fictional and any similarity to actual quotes is coincidental.
DENVER--While watching tape of next week's opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, members of the Denver Broncos offensive line sat drooling over the opposing team's kneecaps as they fantasized about shattering them like so many dinner plates.
"Oh, look at those knees. Those are nice," said center Tom Nalen as he watched defensive tackle Rocky Bernard in action. "I can't wait to be diving head first into those babies next Sunday. Snap! Goodbye career! And who's that guy next to him? The nose tackle? I see. Well, well, if it isn't mister nose tackle, all geared up to stuff the run. Boy, he really has his game face on, doesn't he? I bet he thinks he's going to get into the backfield and drop someone for a loss. Well, I suppose that's possible, though it seems like it might be a little tough when you're trying to protect your knees from my helmet."
Tackle Adam Meadows sat next to Nalen and joined him in sizing up the Seahawks' knees.
"You see the way this guy just drove the o-lineman back into the backfield?" Meadows asked while watching footage of the Seahawks defensive line. "Good luck trying to do that against us. You'll end being carted off the field on a stretcher. Oh, we don't want that to happen, of course. We're anything but meanies. But if someone is trying to get by us and tackle our running back, we don't have much of a choice. So just don't bother trying, okay? Let our guys run roughshod over you and live to fight another day."
The Broncos have come under heavy criticism over the years for their use of "cut blocking," a technique that involves diving at a player's knees and ankles rather than hitting him in the numbers. The technique, combined with a complex zone blocking scheme, has made the Denver Broncos the most successful rushing team in NFL history.
Players and coaches on the Broncos plan to continue cut blocking as long as it's legal.
"The cut block is perfectly legal," said offensive coordinator Rick Dennison. "We've been doing it here for years and don't plan on stopping now. It's not like we're purposely trying to injure people. Defenders can very easily protect themselves simply by not trying to tackle the running back. It's those fools that try to be heroes that get hurt. Hey, if you didn't want to get your legs broken, pal, you never should have tried to do your job in the first place."
Two weeks ago, Nalen was fined by the league for hitting Chargers DT Igor Olshansky below the knees on a simple spike play. Nalen defended his actions by saying he "just couldn't help himself."
"I know it was just a spike play and I had no reason to try and block the guy at all, but you see, I just couldn't help myself," he said. "His legs looked like two big juicy steaks and I was like a starving dog. I was overwhelmed by the urge to throw my body at them and listen for that beautiful cracking sound that accompanies a devastating knee or ankle injury. It's music to my ears. When I retire, that's what I'm going to miss most about the NFL. That's why I'm going to prolong my career as long as possible, which shouldn't be too hard since I haven't actually engaged defender in about 10 years."
In Seattle, members of the Seahawks defense are already dreading their upcoming game against the Broncos.
"Oh boy, we've got the Broncos this week," said defensive tackle Chuck Darby. "That means lots of scary, awkward collisions at the line of scrimmage. I remember last time we played them, I approached Tom [Nalen] before the game to shake his hand, and he immediately dove for my ankles. I was like 'Dude! The game hasn't even started yet!' But he didn't care. He rolled right up on my ankles and knocked me to the ground. Then I got up and punched him in the head. I ended up getting a fine and a suspension, but it was worth it, because I got to fulfill every defender's dream of punching Tom Nalen in the head."
Dave Saraiva is the author of thebrushback.com. Click here to buy his book, The Brushback Report: All the Sports News That's Unfit to Print.