Woody Paige of the Denver Post, on the Broncos' 38-21 loss to Miami on Monday night:
"The end is not near. It's here. End of the era, beginning of the error.
"There may be life after death, but there was no life after Elway Monday night.
"On the first night of their lives without John Elway, the Denver Broncos rolled over and played dead . . . from Super Bowlers to Stupor Bowlers."
Gee, Woody, it was only one game out of 16.
Trivia time: Who holds the NCAA Division I-A record for points scored in a football game?
Wait a minute! In Friday's edition of The Times, New England quarterback Drew Bledsoe said of Peyton Manning's performance in 1998:
"He had the best rookie season any quarterback has ever had."
Not quite. Indianapolis had a 3-13 season with Manning. As rookies, Sammy Baugh and Bob Waterfield led their teams, Washington and Cleveland, to NFL championships in 1937 and 1945, respectively.
Nowhere place: Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, on Tampa Bay's search for a sports identity:
"Our history is one of awful owners and half-empty stands and dreadful drafts and last-place finishes and athletes who endured here on their way to someplace else.
"Except for Lee Roy Selmon, the rest of the country couldn't pick us out of a lineup."
Yum, yum: From the Gallery column of the San Diego Union-Tribune: "Tailgate haute cuisine note of the week: For the undecided grillperson, there's a new meat called Rollerbites that looks like a hot dog but tastes like a hamburger, according to the Wall Street Journal."
Woof, woof: WEWS-TV in Cleveland reported on how Browns' "Dawg Pound" fans can avoid hurting their throats when they bark: "Warm up; you know, like singers."
ZZZZZ: Bernie Lincicome in the Chicago Tribune: "News: ESPN celebrates 20 years of around-the-clock sports television programming.
"View: Australian rules football, snooker, mountain-bike racing, dog shows, dressage, box lacrosse, field hockey, platform tennis, lawn darts and disc golf all were nothing before ESPN."
Trivia answer: Howard Griffith of Illinois, 48, on eight touchdowns rushing, against Southern Illinois on Sept. 22, 1990.
And finally: Thomas Boswell in the Washington Post: "Game after game, season after season, Norv Turner defends his players, protects their backs, covers up their cascade of mental mistakes and predicts that someday very soon, they'll shape up and be 'a heck of a team.'
"When are the Redskins going to return the favor? By their play rather than their cheap words, when are they going to defend Turner's tattered professional reputation?
"When are the Redskins going to cover Turner's back, or will they just snicker behind it after he's fired?"