Yakety Sax: Denver Broncos' 2009 Slapstick Comedy

Kris BurkeCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 27 :  Tony Scheffler #88 of the Denver Broncos drops pass in the end-zone while being covered by Sheldon Brown #24 and Quintin Mikell #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 27, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

There's a saying that is very popular on the World Wide Web: "Yakety Sax makes everything funny, no matter how tragic."

For those of you who don't know, "Yakety Sax" is the theme song to the old television comedy The Benny Hill Show.  Look it up on YouTube, listen to it, and try not to laugh.  I bet you can't do it.

Anyway, after the Broncos lost yet another heartbreaker—this time to the Philadelphia Eagles 30-27—I pulled up Yakety Sax on my iPod while watching some highlights of the Broncos in 2009.  It fit perfectly. I couldn't help but laugh, and laugh hard.

Think about it.  The year started off with the Broncos hiring a wonderkid from New England as head coach after firing two-time Super Bowl champion coach, Mike Shanahan.  It was the first in long line of "Yakety Sax" moments that Broncos fans had this year.

Soon after came an even stranger moment.  After getting wind that Josh McDaniels was going to trade him for Matt Cassel, then-franchise quarterback Jay Cutler demanded a one-way ticket out of town.  Here was a young, talented quarterback coming off a Pro Bowl year, and suddenly he wanted out of town.  Cutler and McDaniels continued a sort of public back-and-forth, and when Cutler decided to blow off owner Pat Bowlen, the team had had enough. Cue "Yakety Sax."

Cutler was sent to Chicago for Kyle Orton and two first-round draft picks.  Kyle Orton was supposed to lead the Broncos to the Promised Land? Kyle "Game Manager" Orton? Once again, "Yakety Sax." 

The team then went through the motions of training camp and the preseason.  The Broncos finished the preseason 1-3, including a loss to Cutler's Bears at Invesco Field.  More importantly, star wideout Brandon Marshall was suspended for most of the preseason after being caught on camera acting like a child during practice.  Give me some of that sweet "Yakety Sax."

Finally the beginning of the 2009 season arrived, and it could not have started any stranger for the Broncos.  The Broncos had fought the Bengals to a 6-0 lead when the Bengals scored late in the fourth quarter, putting them up 7-6.  With under 20 seconds to go, Kyle Orton had a pass tipped up in the air, and it looked like Cincinnati had won...until Brandon Stokley grabbed the pass out of the air and took it to the house.  If that isn't "Yakety Sax," I don't know what is.

After that improbable victory, the Broncos started to roll and were 6-0 going into their bye week.  Josh McDaniels was being hailed a genius, and everyone was heaping praise upon Kyle Orton, now that he finally had talent to throw to.  Denver was 6-0, San Diego was 2-3, and it looked like Denver would have a cakewalk to the AFC West title.

Then "Yakety Sax" struck again, in a not-so-good way.

Denver got blown out by Baltimore and Pittsburgh. They lost an inexcusable game to Washington (HUGE case of "Yakety Sax") and got blown out again by San Diego. Suddenly, the Broncos were 6-4, and the Chargers were 7-3.  The Broncos offense couldn't score, and the defense that was highly vaunted earlier in the season couldn't even stop the likes of Jason Campbell. 

Denver got back on track with a win at home over the New York Giants on Thanksgiving, and then by beating the lowly Chiefs a week later.  It looked like the ship was righted, and Denver was looking good for at least a wild card spot.

Then, just like a bad headache that won't go away, "Yakety Sax" started playing again.  Denver lost in a valiant effort to the Colts (a more muted version of "Yakety Sax"), but then lost on a last-minute drive to JaMarcus Russell and the Raiders at home (that would be the MEGA mix of "Yakety Sax).

That said, the Broncos would still control their own playoff destiny, as long as they beat the Eagles in Philadelphia this past Sunday.  Again, the Broncos put up a good fight, scoring 17 unanswered points, but it wasn't enough as Philadelphia won on a field goal with under 10 seconds remaining.

It was that "Yakety Sax" again, except this time it had a funeral march melody to it.

The Broncos are still in the hunt for the postseason, but they need to beat Kansas City this week, plus rely on other teams to fail in order to make it. They are no longer in control of their own fate—not a good thing, heading into the final week of the regular season.

It has been a "Yakety Sax" kind of season, which means anything could happen no matter how wacky or comical.

So Broncos fans, when it's all said and done, look back at this season and laugh.  It might be a pained laugh, like when your car won't start right after you got done slipping in the shower and before that your burnt your breakfast.

So pull up some highlights of the year and crank some of that "Yakety Sax."  Laughter is the best medicine (or so they say), and Broncos fans could use a heavy dose right about now.


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