Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd crouches away from his team on the sidelines with his head in his hands as the clock winds down in the Broncos’ 59-14 loss to the Oakland Raiders at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver on Sunday.

Joe Amon/The Denver Post

Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd crouches away from his team on the sidelines with his head in his hands as the clock winds down in the Broncos’ 59-14 loss to the Oakland Raiders at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver on Sunday.

Tom Ross: Orange Crush makes fans blush

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Tom Ross

Tom Ross' column appears in Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4205 or tross@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Tom here.

Orange you glad the Broncos are fleeing the country this week? It makes it easier to pretend the Oakland Raiders’ historic win against the pride of Denver never happened.

And there’s always the possibility that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents will refuse to allow some members of the Broncos entourage to return to the U.S.

The charge?

Impersonating one of the proudest franchises in the American Football Conference.

In case you missed it, the Raiders humbled Pat Bowlen’s football team, 59-14, at Invesco Field at Mile High on Sunday. Next on the schedule are the truly awful and demoralized San Francisco 49ers — in London. That’s in England, where the NFL, in its wisdom, is showcasing two of its worst teams.

If I were making book in Vegas, I’d take this stinker off the board entirely.

The NFL missed an opportunity when it didn’t send the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills to Great Britain — they could have promoted the game as the Fish and Chips Bowl.

I was not sitting in front of the television when the Broncos game kicked off Sunday. Instead, I was watching some trout sipping mayflies in the Rotary Park section of the Yampa River. I should have stayed put. The bugs dancing on the water were more entertaining than bug eaters on the gridiron.

When I returned to the car and tuned in to Sirius NFL, it was late in the first quarter, and at first I thought (former Bronco) Dave Logan had “mis-announcified” the score.

“The Broncos trail 21-0 with the Raiders at Denver’s 9-yard line.”

Excuse me? In the first quarter?

Wasn’t it just two weeks ago when Kyle Orton was a disciplined quarterback who stood up to blitzing linebackers pouring through his porous offensive line? When did he turn into a Good Samaritan?

What happened to the Orange Crush defense of old? What must Randy Gradishar have been thinking Sunday while he watched that debacle? Did Simon Fletcher, Louis Wright and Karl Mecklenburg lead with their helmets while tackling their flat screens after the Darth Raiders extended the lead to 38-0?

The Denver Broncos I used to know had one of the most feared running attacks in the NFL year after year. It was common knowledge that you could plug almost any solid tailback into the Broncos scheme and he would prosper. Today, the Broncos rank last in the league when it comes to matriculating the ball down the field in the hands of a running back.

The good news is that Peyton Hillis already has 460 yards rushing on 104 carries to rank 17th in the league, and Ryan Torain has 381 yards on 82 carries, ranking 19th. The bad news is that the two Denver castoffs play for other teams.

Hillis, who was in head coach Josh McDaniels’ doghouse, plays for the mighty Cleveland Browns, and Torain plays for some guy named Shanahan in the nation’s capital.

Hey Shannon Sharpe, maybe Mike Shanahan can call out the National Guard and send them to rescue the Broncos because the National Football League is killing Denver fans.

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