When things are especially lively in the Denver Broncos organization or in the NFL for that matter, the player you want to talk to is Champ Bailey.
Bailey is open, honest, and experienced. Those seem to be the three best qualities for a good interview. Throw in frustrated and you have diamonds coming out of his mouth.
When Bailey was asked about the NFL and the referees finally coming to an agreement, Bailey said his part.
“Thank god. It was time. It was overdue,” Bailey said as he shook his head.
“I have this thing with the regular officials where I would talk to them before the game or during the game. Most of them, I know their names. These guys wanted no parts of communicating with me. I would talk to them, and they would just look at me like I’m stupid. Some of them probably don’t know half the players so it kind of messes you up a little bit because you have no relationship with them whatsoever, and they don’t want to build anything because they know they’re in and out.”
Bailey was on one end of a terrible non-call when the Broncos played the Atlanta Falcons. With two and a half minutes left in the game, Roddy White pushed Bailey which allowed Julio Jones to catch a 6-yard pass on 3rd and 5. First down Falcons. Peyton Manning remains on the bench with the Broncos down and the clock ticking.
No wonder Bailey is thrilled to have the regular officials back.
When Bailey first started in the league, pass interference was called differently.
“Oh yeah. we could be more aggressive,” Bailey said. “You could probably take that 5-yard bump and run to 10,11 (yards) back then. Now you can’t touch anybody, in any kind of way.”
Hence, the rise in passing yards across the board.
As the Broncos take on the Raiders, we can only hope that the one thing that goes unnoticed is the guys in stripes. Meanwhile, Bailey will be shaking hands and enjoying the reunion.