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  • Mike Bell is living a dream

    From the denver post....

    In almost any endeavor other than pro football, the situation Mike Bell finds himself in these days would be borderline criminal. An undrafted rookie, Bell not only found himself playing in his hometown, for his all-time favorite team, but somehow managed to beat out a passel of talented veterans to emerge as an early starter at running back.

    However, just a couple of first downs away from crossing the goal line - lining up with the first team in the Sept. 10 season opener against St. Louis - his dream has taken a nightmarish turn, the Broncos' coaches deciding that, indeed, he's only a rookie. As a result, according to coach Mike Shanahan, the competition for the starting spot is open anew.

    Bell started Thursday's preseason finale against the Arizona Cardinals, a night when he, Tatum Bell and Cedric Cobbs all had their moments. Mike Bell finished with 74 yards on just nine carries.

    "I thought I played better than last week, but there's still room for improvement," Bell said after the game. "It's going to be a tough decision for the coaches. We all did well. I can only worry about the things I can control and that's just playing ball."

    Should Bell be angry at having the carrot snatched away? Or does he hearken back to the frustration of not hearing his name called in last spring's draft and compare it to where he is now? It's a far cry from his goal of "doing anything I could just to be a part of this franchise."

    Facing some adversity

    Sitting atop a table earlier this week at the Broncos' practice facility, the competing thoughts danced in Bell's head. Initially, perhaps because of his youth, perhaps afraid to say something that might draw the wrath of teammates or coaches, there were no words, merely a faint smile that creased his face.

    In time, the boy who grew up in Park Hill idolizing Super Bowl hero Terrell Davis provided an inkling into his mental gymnastics.

    "Everything's getting thrown at me. A lot of things are happening at one time," said Bell, a 23-year-old on the verge of becoming a major part of the Broncos' push for another championship. "That's part of growing up. I think it's part of being a professional, how you handle it all.

    "I think how I handle this may determine my future here. If I get sucked in and start listening to everybody and can't handle the pressure, then I'm going to fail."

    There are legions of orange-and-blue clad Broncomaniacs awaiting the resolution.

    While most of them have team glory uppermost on their minds, there also is a small pocket whose undying allegiance depends on how Bell is coping with the stress.

    "I love the Broncos. Every year I couldn't wait for the preseason to start and I looked forward to all the games," said Bell's uncle, Robert Davis, who lives in Lakewood. "This year, I went to training camp for a couple of days and all I could see was Michael. Now, it's not the Broncos, it's Michael. I've been a fan all my life, but if they treat him bad, I won't be anymore."

    Speaking at Invesco Field at Mile High during last Sunday's preseason game against Houston, Davis was sitting in seats so close to the action that a wayward pass could have wound up in his lap. His companion at his first-ever Broncos game was a lifelong friend so exuberant that Davis isn't sure whether some sort of decorum was being violated.

    "This is all so surreal," Davis said. "A lot is going to change, that's for sure."

    Those who know Bell insist one thing will remain rock solid whether the rookie starts for the Broncos or if he's merely asked to pat Tatum Bell (no relation) on the back or toss a water bottle Ron Dayne's way: his equilibrium, a spirituality rooted in a sense of responsibility that Anthony and Linda Bell instilled in each of their three children.

    "We wanted them to understand how important things like morals, being a person of your word, giving your all, being accountable, all of those things were important," Linda Bell said. "It just struck me that when they were little, that the tide was turning, things like values were shifting, in the school systems, in society. The color gray was becoming very, very prevalent. There are some things that are black and white. We paid a lot of attention to that."

    That scrutiny has manifested itself in a variety of ways throughout Bell's life. In recent years, it's meant trying to make the best of any situation, no matter how stressful. Part of an Arizona program filled with upheaval, Bell led the Wildcats in rushing each of his four years there. But there were coaching changes and only a handful of wins for the team. Individually, Bell never rushed for 1,000 yards in any single season, leaving no one to confuse him with Reggie Bush, who was starring and winning the Heisman Trophy at Southern California.

    Even so, there was value to be gained from the experience.

    "Michael had 16 scholarship offers. He chose the U of A because that's where he believes he was meant to be," Linda Bell said. "He had an offer to USC, he had one to ASU, all the Pac-10 schools. But if he had gone somewhere else, things could have been different, but he wouldn't have learned what he learned at Arizona, the things that have enabled him to compete at the level that he's competing at now. I think it's made him a better person. It's going to make him a better man."

    Cutting his own path

    Similarly, when the draft went from its first day to the waning stages of the second and Bell still hadn't been selected, he was disappointed enough to turn the television off and leave his family at home to take a drive around Phoenix, but he still had enough presence of mind to call his agent and direct him to tell teams not to bother picking him.

    "It was depressing, just a horrible feeling," Mike Bell said. "I don't think I've ever felt so down. By the fifth and sixth rounds, I didn't want to get drafted and be stuck - to be fifth-string, like a free agent would be - but stuck in that one place. I wanted to have the freedom to choose where I would go."

    Given a choice, there was little doubt Bell would cast his professional fate with the Broncos. When Anthony and Linda Bell left Denver for Arizona in the early 1990s, Michael, the youngest of three children and the only one born in Colorado, knew he would return someday.

    "To this day, I still don't know why they ever left," he jokes. "But I always knew that when I got older I would come back, because I missed it."

    The extent of his return, actually becoming a Bronco, is mind-boggling to Mike Bell.

    "For it to happen like this is a blessing," he said. "Every morning when I wake up I thank God because things could be way worse than this, because this might never have happened."

    While there is bemusement for the network of people who have been there for him throughout his life, there also is a feeling that somehow all of this was meant to be.

    "Some of the things that have happened have brought him down, but there's always been something to bring him back up," Anthony Bell said. "The draft, it hurt me to see his hurt, but even then, there was something there. There was still the chance to live this incredible dream, to play for that team. He just had to go about it in another way.

    "He's always had to deal with doubt, but really, that kind of fuels him. It will be interesting to see the end of the story, but really, this is just the beginning."


    http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_4271064
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  • #2
    You know, i think its absolutely awesome that Mike Bell got this opportunity. He's been a fan of this team, and now he's got the opportunity to start for this team. He should feel like this was meant to be. Its perfect for him, he didn't get drafted and wouldn't be drafted very high, so he made the decision to wait for the Broncos to pick him up
    And now, we're all waiting for this rookie Bronco to put on a show.

    Go Mike Bell, you seem like a respectable guy :thumb:
    and
    Go Broncos

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    • #3
      Originally posted by T140
      You know, i think its absolutely awesome that Mike Bell got this opportunity. He's been a fan of this team, and now he's got the opportunity to start for this team. He should feel like this was meant to be. Its perfect for him, he didn't get drafted and wouldn't be drafted very high, so he made the decision to wait for the Broncos to pick him up
      And now, we're all waiting for this rookie Bronco to put on a show.

      Go Mike Bell, you seem like a respectable guy :thumb:
      and
      Go Broncos
      A lot of us on here said it would be great if we wound up getting him in the 7th round of the draft, and they'd love to see him play here.

      I'm glad he's getting an opportunity to play for the team he loved.
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      • #4
        wooo

        wooo gotta love the denverites!!!! go mike bell plant that ball where it should be!!!
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        • #5
          i wonder though...

          if he had a scholarship to USC...

          and he took it...

          h ecould have made awesome dollars!!!

          ...

          does anyone know how much he is getting now??

          cos as an undrafted rookie...

          id say its not much at all...

          but if he does well...

          next year is pay day for his labour!!!

          :usa:

          i love mike...

          he is incredible underdog sort of awesome that only seem to occur in novels and movies...


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          • #6
            Mike Bell only got a $20K signing bonus. You get that if you join the Army!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PLUMMERFAN16
              Mike Bell only got a $20K signing bonus. You get that if you join the Army!!
              well at least if he fails with us he can go and shoot some people for the same money...

              well lets just hope he gets lots of yards and TDs and gets a HUUUUUUUGE raise which will certainly happen...

              cos he is getting nothing right now!!!

              :usa:

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              • #8
                I think his yearly salary is somewhere in the $200K range. He will atleast make that this year, and MAYBE if he does well, he will get his contract renegotiated. It happened with TD, so maybe Bell will luck out??

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by PLUMMERFAN16
                  I think his yearly salary is somewhere in the $200K range. He will atleast make that this year, and MAYBE if he does well, he will get his contract renegotiated. It happened with TD, so maybe Bell will luck out??
                  lets hope he doesn luck out...

                  cos if he becomes what he could become...

                  i dont want him to leave us for another team which gives him the big bucks!!!


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by anton1287
                    lets hope he doesn luck out...

                    cos if he becomes what he could become...

                    i dont want him to leave us for another team which gives him the big bucks!!!

                    That already happened once, and it damn near broke my heart

                    WHERE ARE YA CLINTON!?!?!
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ReleaseTheBeast7
                      That already happened once, and it damn near broke my heart

                      WHERE ARE YA CLINTON!?!?!
                      Ugh...yeah. I remember hearing that we traded him, and being in disbelief. That was almost as bad as the day TD retired.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PLUMMERFAN16
                        Ugh...yeah. I remember hearing that we traded him, and being in disbelief. That was almost as bad as the day TD retired.

                        I still like how that trade worked out though.....
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RunYouOver
                          I still like how that trade worked out though.....
                          yeah yeah....

                          champ is great...

                          but cp is still number one in the nfl in my heart....



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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by anton1287
                            yeah yeah....

                            champ is great...

                            but cp is still number one in the nfl in my heart....


                            Im right there with ya! I will ALWAYS be a fan of CP.
                            *2011 BCMB Locker Room Division I League Champion*
                            *Voted; 2013 & 2015 BCMBA's Scariest Mod*
                            *Voted; 2014 BCMBA's Best Avi and Most Friendly*


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                            • #15
                              I read that article today... nowhere did I read that he said he would only play for the Broncos (as suggested by someone else on this board).. .nor did I read anywhere any suggestions that he was promoted because he was such a big Bronco fan, and was getting the chance to live out a dream. Hmmmmm... :paper:

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