Denver Broncos Cheating History

53
DEN
TL;DR:

• the BRONCOS are THE BIGGEST NFL cheaters!

• they have a CheatScore of 53?

• they've executed 14 real cheats! ?

• share page: http://YourTeamCheats.com/DEN?

 

All Denver Broncos Cheats:

PEDSgate (12x since 2003) flagto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: The Denver Broncos

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are used by players to illegally improve athletic performance above what legal training and preparation can do.

Players who illegally improve their performance unfairly penalize players who follow the rules. They not only put those players at risk for physical injury, but they also affect their economic livelihood by impacting their perceived value and their ability to secure appropriately-valued playing contracts.

SEVERITY = 0.5 video cameras per punished incident. Includes all documented infractions from 1960 to present with this Wikipedia page as the primary source.

Knowing that he absolutely will not stand for any cheating in football, we asked self-proclaimed NFL Cheating Expert Shannon Sharpe* for his insight on the Broncos' league-leading PEDs infractions and what it meant for the integrity of the game. For perhaps the first time ever, Sharpe* was clear, unbiased and to the point in expressing his personal beliefs.

My Question of The Cheatspert Sharpe*:

The Cheatspert's deeply honest response to my request for a quote:

I guess he'd rather we don't talk about the Broncos' league-leading PEDs cheating. Ping me if you change your mind Shannon*. We can warm you up with some nice Deflategate chitter-chatter.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? Yes

PUNISHMENT: [NOTE...the Broncos have cheated so much with PEDs that they've maxed out the potential points in this category. They should be at 12.0 CheatPoints based on the standards applied to the other 31 teams.]

In the past decade, the Denver Broncos have had -- by far -- the most players suspended for PED usage. Each player (except Gardener, who was listed in a BALCO document) was suspended for between four and six games for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. Welker's suspension was later reduced.

League sources said that linebacker Von Miller unsuccessfully attempted to corrupt the NFL's drug-testing program with the help of a urine collector before each was caught. Miller originally received a four game suspension, but when he appealed, this information was discovered and it was increased to six games.

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AWARDS EARNED: Everyone Was Doing It!Champs of the Cheat!Serious Infraction!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 10.0

Salarycapgate (1996-98) flagto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: The Denver Broncos

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: On September 17, 2004, the league announced that, for the second time in three years, the Denver Broncos were fined nearly a million dollars and would, once again, lose their third-round draft pick because of salary cap violations between 1996 and 1998.

Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis contended that the Broncos' circumvention of the salary cap helped them win the Super Bowl in the 1997 and 1998 seasons.

In the years where they didn't follow the cap rules, the Broncos' top player, quarterback John Elway, was paid around 5.4% of the legal cap space, which was 1.2% less than the next closest team. Even more telling, Elway’s cap charges in the Broncos' 1997 and 1998 Super Bowl seasons were just $2.1 and $2.6 million respectively. By comparison Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, who would be the most logical comparison, had cap charges of $4.3 and $7.6 million. The implication is that Elway took a relatively low cap hit, but received outside-the-cap funds to compensate for that.

The Broncos explanation for this infraction goes something like this: owner Pat Bowlen was trying to build a new stadium for the Broncos and was short on cash. So, he asked Elway and running back Terrell Davis to forfeit some of their paycheck now and in return he would pay them back plus interest after the season.

They like to refer to this cheat as their little accounting snafu. Their accounting excuse doesn't matter, however, only the fundamental integrity of the game does. A rule is a rule and you can't chose to break it because something comes up. That is clear-cut cheating which is why they were penalized so heavily by the league for it.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? Yes

PUNISHMENT: The Broncos were fined on two separate occasions for salary cap shenanigans between 1996 and 1998. The first punishments were announced in 2001 and the second in 2004. Their fines totaled a staggering $1,918,000 and they lost a total of two third-round draft picks.

Specifically: In December 2001, the league imposed a fine of $968,000 and stripped the Broncos of a third-round pick in the 2002 draft. The punishment arose from cap violations relating to $29 million in deferred payments to quarterback John Elway and running back Terrell Davis.

In September 2004, the NFL hit the Broncos again for $950,000 and a third-round pick in the 2005 draft. These sanctions related to cap violations occurring between 1996 and 1998.

It is more probable than not that the Broncos got a significant competitive advantage (real or potential) from this rule breaking. The entire league followed the salary cap rules during those years and the Broncos did not. They also happened to win the Super Bowl twice during those compromised years. If a Super Bowl can be tainted by a cheating scandal, then these two are pretty high up the line.

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AWARDS EARNED: Serious Infraction!Cojones Ferreas!Avoid Media Scrutiny!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 10.0

Spygate (2010) flagto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: The Denver Broncos

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: In 2010, the Broncos self-reported that former team director of video operations Steve Scarnecchia had videotaped a portion of the San Francisco walk-through practice before a game between the two teams in London. The Broncos were fined $50,000 for the violation and former head coach Josh McDaniels was fined $50,000 for not reporting it.

How it went down: on October 30, after the Denver players and most of the other team staff left their final walk-thru in Wembley Stadium, Scarnecchia remained behind to continue setting up his equipment for the next day. At one point he noticed that the 49ers were conducting their walk-thru practice, and he surreptitiously recorded a portion of it.

VICTIM: San Francisco 49ers

PUNISHED? Yes

PUNISHMENT: Scarnecchia was fired with cause, the Broncos were fined $50,000 for the violation, and former head coach Josh McDaniels was fined $50,000 for not reporting the violation.

Why is this worse than the Patriots version of Spygate or even the Broncos' 2002 Spygate version? Because filming your opponents' private walk-thru is not allowed in any way. The subject of the Broncos' filming was clearly prohibited and entirely off limits. For the Patriots, filming the game and defensive signals is completely legal and common, even expected. You just can't do it from the sidelines like they did, especially not after the new commissioner explicitly told you not to. Big, big difference.

If you are still having a hard time grokking this, you should go here to fix that.

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AWARDS EARNED: Hip-Hip-Hypocritical!Repeat The Cheat!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 4.0

Slimegate (1998) flagto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: The Denver Broncos

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: The NFL fined three Denver Broncos offensive linemen $5,000 apiece for using a foreign substance on their arms which made it harder for defenders to get a grip. Denver players Brian Habib, Gary Zimmerman and Mark Schlereth applied Vaseline on their arms during their 1998 AFC divisional playoff victory in frigid Kansas City, admitted Denver head coach Mike Shanahan.

Shanahan said that he convinced the NFL to drop $5,000 fines levied against Tom Nalen and Tony Jones for the same offense and that he would appeal the other three. Said Shanahan: "Any time you use a foreign substance, it's subject to a fine. The question is whether Vaseline is considered a foreign substance when it's very cold weather.'

VICTIM: Kansas City Chiefs

PUNISHED? Yes

PUNISHMENT: Three players were fined $5,000 each. Wear a long sleeve shirt if you are cold or suck it up.

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CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 3.0

Contractgate (1981) flagto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: The Denver Broncos

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: The Denver Broncos forfeited a third-round draft pick for contract violations involving defensive back Bill Thompson.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? Yes

PUNISHMENT: The Broncos lost a third-round draft pick

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CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 3.0

Radiogate (1995-08) flagto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: The Denver Broncos

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Former Broncos quarterback Hugh Millen told a story to a Boston radio station implicating Mike Shanahan in a serious cheating scandal while he was head coach of the Denver Broncos.

Millen said that he played for a coach with two Super Bowl wins who put together a huge scheme to install speakers inside the helmets of the offensive linemen so they could be given instructions remotely. He said they had it in place and working. He also made reference to a coach who had offensive linemen who were caught with a substance on their jerseys and that the coach just shrugged when they were caught.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No but ... it's more probable than not that this was cheating

PUNISHMENT: Shanahan's former player ratted out the coach for this serious cheating scandal.

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AWARDS EARNED: Dastardly Devious!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 3.0

Peytongate (2011) flagto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: The Denver Broncos

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: On December 26, 2015, the respected international news organization Al Jazeera released a report titled The Dark Side alleging that, among other high-profile pro athletes, Peyton Manning had received shipments of human growth hormone (HGH) in 2011 from an anti-aging clinic in Indiana to assist in his recovery from the neck surgery that kept him out for a year and ultimately ended his Colts career.

Although their named source, pharmacist Charlie Sly, ultimately recanted his contributions to the story, on January 3, 2016 Al Jazeera reasserted the validity of their claims by revealing that they had an "impeccably placed, knowledgeable, and credible" second source corroborating the fact that HGH was shipped to Manning's wife Ashley at their Florida home.

Unlike other recent NFL scandals, news outlets have responded to these charges with a collective yawn, most likely because Peyton Manning has not had the jealousy-inducing, post-season success of quarterbacks like Eli Manning.

In fact, during the CBS Broncos-Chargers broadcast on January 3, announcer Jim Nantz and his broadcast partner Phil Simms didn't bring up the bombshell report once. Some news organization have speculated that this is because Nantz and Manning share the same representation, Sandy Montag. Montag is Nantz's agent and helps Manning with his every-other-commercial off-field endeavors.

♫ ♩ ♫ H-G-H you heal so good... ♫ ♩ ♫

"Al Jazeera Investigates - The Dark Side"

Sly's specific Manning revelations come briefly at 23:06 and in more detail at 40:32.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? PENDING...

PUNISHMENT: Normally PED infractions are penalized at 1.0 cheatpoints each, but since Peyton has not been cooperative in this ongoing investigation (to date he has refused to turn over his cell phone and those of his wife and team medical staff) he has been hit with treble damages. Such a shame to see the 4th or 5th best quarterback of all time be tainted in this way.

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AWARDS EARNED: Avoid Media Scrutiny!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 3.0

Injurygate (2003) flagto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: The Denver Broncos

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: In 2003, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue chose not to punish Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan for lying about the extent of Denver quarterback Jake Plummer's injury. The Broncos initially said Plummer sustained a concussion in the second quarter of Sunday's 37-13 win over the San Diego Chargers. After the game, Shanahan announced his quarterback had a separated right shoulder.

Shanahan said that he lied because the Chargers would have had an advantage if backup Steve Beuerlein got hurt and Plummer had to re-enter the game. Denver carries just two quarterbacks. The league did not fine the Broncos for this admitted lie, but it did trigger a leaguewide memo to all teams to be more truthful.

VICTIM: San Diego Chargers

PUNISHED? No but ... it's more probable than not that this was cheating

PUNISHMENT: Shanahan admitted that he lied and in response the NFL sent a leaguewide memo warning that future lying about in-game injuries would result in punishments. The Broncos, therefore, earn the same CHEATPOINTS as the other teams (e.g. WAS) who have pulled off the Injurygate cheat.

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CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 2.0

Injurygate (1999) flagto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: The Denver Broncos

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: On October 15, 1999, The New York Times reported that the National Football League had fined the Denver Broncos $25,000 for failing to make a timely and full disclosure of the hip injury that quarterback Bubby Brister sustained in practice two days before the previous Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders.

Brister was injured after the Broncos had submitted their official personnel reports on Wednesday and Thursday. The team was obliged under NFL policy to announce the injury as soon as possible to the news media, the league and the Raiders, the NFL said in a news release.

Instead of notifying the news media on Friday or Saturday, the Broncos simply left messages for the league office and the Raiders on Saturday about Brister's injury, the league said.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? Yes

PUNISHMENT: The league fined the Broncos $25,000 for this cheating infraction.

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CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 2.0

Injurygate (1998) flagto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: The Denver Broncos

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: In November of 1998, the NFL fined the Denver Broncos $15,000 for not disclosing a rib injury that limited quarterback John Elway to five plays off the bench in a game against the San Diego Chargers.

Elway practiced all week leading up to the San Diego game but did not come out of the locker room for the kickoff.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? Yes

PUNISHMENT: The Broncos were fined $15,000 for this cheating infraction.

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CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 2.0

Crampgate (2015) flagto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: The Denver Broncos

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Reported Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, during the December 13, 2015 Raiders-Broncos regular season football game, an Oakland pass along the sideline was ruled a completion, but Denver thought the receiver failed to get both feet inbounds. The Broncos wanted to have time to check the replay and throw the challenge flag as the Raiders were lining up to run the next play, so Broncos linebacker Von Miller did the one thing a player can always do to get the officials to halt the game: he faked that he was injured.

Specifically, Miller flopped to the ground, holding his leg. It was such a bad acting job that announcer Dan Fouts, who was calling the game on CBS, immediately called it out as a fake injury. But it had its desired effect: the officials stopped the game for Miller’s “injury,” and the Broncos successfully challenged the play.

VICTIM: Oakland Raiders

PUNISHED? No but ... it's more probable than not that this was cheating

PUNISHMENT: Said Pro Football Talk: "some people laugh that stuff off as gamesmanship, but the fact is that it’s cheating. And it’s a particularly insidious kind of cheating because it exploits the NFL’s player safety rules, which say that a game must be stopped when a player is hurt."

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AWARDS EARNED: Goalie for the Dart Team!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 2.0

Uniformgate (2003) flagto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: The Denver Broncos

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue fined the Denver Broncos $25,000 for wearing the wrong uniforms in their game with San Diego on Sept. 14, 2003.

The Chargers filed a complaint after the Broncos showed up with only their white uniform tops, forcing the Chargers to wear blue. The home team chooses the jersey color and San Diego wanted to wear the light color.

VICTIM: San Diego Chargers

PUNISHED? Yes

PUNISHMENT: The Broncos were fined $25,000

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AWARDS EARNED: Goalie for the Dart Team!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 1.0

Spygate (2002) flagto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: The Denver Broncos

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan admitted in 2002 to hiring lip readers to steal signals.

From Sports Illustrated in 2002: "Our guy keeps a pair of binoculars on their signal-callers every game," says Broncos coach Mike Shanahan. "With any luck, we have their defensive signals figured out by halftime. Sometimes, by the end of the first quarter."

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No

PUNISHMENT: Watching (from anywhere) or recording (from approved locations) your opponent's signals, is not illegal. Some may say it's just sound coaching.

SHARE:

AWARDS EARNED: Falsely Accused!Everyone Was Doing It!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 0.0

 

Leaguewide Cheats:

Tampergate (ongoing) flagsto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Tampering with free agents is rampant, it's laughable and it is against the rules (PDF). It's so bad across every team in the league that the NFL had to create a three-day legal tampering period. However, tampering still regularly occurs long before that annual three-day window opens. On March 9, 2015 the league once again felt compelled to warn all 32 teams about not tampering.

Why is tampering considered a problem? Because tampering with players still under contract makes it difficult for clubs to re-sign their own talent. It also puts those few teams that actually follow NFL guidelines at a distinct disadvantage. In many cases, contract agreements are in place days before any negotiations are allowed to begin.

This isn't fair, it isn't legal, and it is blatant cheating by the teams who engage in the practice.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No but...

PUNISHMENT: NFL commissioner and former Jets public relations intern Roger Goodell is doing all he can to curtail and punish the "commonplace" practice, although it admits that there is so much tampering that it is hard to police it all.

The CheatPoints earned for this leaguewide cheat is for all of this team's tampering incidents that have gone undiscovered or unproven. If specific instances are discovered, they are punished on top of this leaguewide penalty.

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AWARDS EARNED:Everyone Was Doing It!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 4.0

Headsetgate (ongoing) flagsto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: it's a common complaint around the NFL. In late, close games, the helmet communicators of visiting teams suddenly "malfunction" and stop working. It has been accepted as standard practice in the league. Are you on the road and the game is close? Then you are going to have problems with your headset.

In recent years, the Patriots have accused the Colts of doing it and the Jaguars have made the same charge of the Patriots. The Redskins accused the Buccaneers of disabling their headsets, and Tampa Bay accused Dallas. The Giants openly bragged about doing it way back in 1956. The charges go on and on and on.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No

SHARE:

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 4.0

Spygate (until 2006) flagsto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Stealing your opponent's signals has always been common and never been illegal.

Said former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, "We had people that always tried to steal signals. Stealing someone's signals was a part of the game, and everyone attempted to do that." Admitted former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson: "When I came into the NFL, back in 1989, I talked to a Kansas City scout and he said, 'Here's what we do, we videotape the opposing team's signals and then we sync it up with the game film.' So I did it." Bragged, former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan: "Our guy keeps a pair of binoculars on their signal-callers every game, with any luck, we have their defensive signals figured out by halftime. Sometimes, by the end of the first quarter."

NFL commissioner and former Jets public relations intern Rodger Goodell confirmed this himself in 2008, saying that the issue was not stealing signals, that is allowed "and it is done quite widely." The issue is where and how you record them. If you chose to videotape them, then (after 2006) you have to do that from a league approved location. If you hire lip readers, they can do it from your coaches lap, if you want.

After 2006, examples of allowed videotaping locations are: the luxury boxes, media booths and other enclosed spaces. Expressly prohibited locations are the sidelines, the field, locker rooms, the coaches booth or any other place accessible to team coaches and staff. The point of the rule is to not allow the footage to be useful in the current game.

Prior to the September 6, 2006 memo and, 2007 follow up, from NFL head of football operations Ray Anderson, there was no league restriction on filming location, which is the reason the memo was sent.

Many NFL head coaches have downplayed the significance of the practice, saying that attempting to decipher opponent's signals was a long standing practice and entirely common throughout the league.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No

PUNISHMENT: NFL commissioner and former Jets public relations intern Rodger Goodell suggested that the responsibility was on teams to conceal their messages, not on the ones trying to steal them. During his news conference before the 2007 Super Bowl he said that any coach who did not expect signals to be stolen was "stupid."

Prior to 2006, every NFL team is assumed to have done it, but none of them broke a rule. You can't punish something that is not prohibited. Filming from the sidelines was not prohibited until 2006 and filming your opponent's signals from approved locations has never been prohibited, even today.

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AWARDS EARNED:Everyone Was Doing It!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 0.0

Scrapsgate (ongoing) flagsto top ⤴home ⇐awards ⤵

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Sign an opponent's recently-cut player to your practice squad to get intel on their plays, signals and tactics. This is not illegal and is a leaguewide practice.

Said one player, who chose to remain anonymous as he was still in the league as of 2015, "If teams have an opening at a certain position, they might not be looking for perhaps the best player to fill it on their practice squad. Instead, they might go for someone who has access to the opposing team’s playbook."

“Let’s say we’re playing the Jaguars in seven days and you want to know more about their playbook. From time to time teams will sign people off of practice squads. You don’t have to put them on active roster so if there’s a need for more depth at linebacker and you’re playing Jacksonville, there would be more of a chance to sign a linebacker off the team you’re about to play’s practice squad and hoping that the person you’re about to sign will divulge information about the playbook.”

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No

PUNISHMENT: Not illegal.

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AWARDS EARNED:Everyone Was Doing It!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 0.0

awardEARNED: "Avoid Media Scrutiny!"

CRITERIA: Successfully attract less than 5% of the typical Patriots "cheating" scandal coverage!
EARNED FOR:Salarycapgate (1996-98)  Peytongate (2011) 

awardEARNED: "Champs of the Cheat!"

CRITERIA: Show, through consistency or creative flourish, that your team is the best at a particular type of cheat!
EARNED FOR:PEDSgate (12x since 2003) 

awardEARNED: "Cojones Ferreas!"

CRITERIA: Construct a cheat of the boldest variety, demonstrating your complete disregard for the rules and consequences for smashing them with your beefy man-parts!
EARNED FOR:Salarycapgate (1996-98) 

awardEARNED: "Dastardly Devious!"

CRITERIA: Create a cheat that only an evil genius could concoct!
EARNED FOR:Radiogate (1995-08) 

awardEARNED: "Everyone Was Doing It!"

CRITERIA: Successfully "cheat" in a way that many other teams have (bonus points for not getting caught)!
EARNED FOR:Spygate (until 2006)  Tampergate (ongoing)  PEDSgate (12x since 2003)  Spygate (2002)  Scrapsgate (ongoing) 

awardEARNED: "Falsely Accused!"

CRITERIA: Be the innocent target of a illegitimate cheating accusation!
EARNED FOR:Spygate (2002) 

awardEARNED: "Goalie for the Dart Team!"

CRITERIA: Execute a cheat that requires significant anti-intellect to attempt, let alone thinking you'll get away with it!
EARNED FOR:Crampgate (2015)  Uniformgate (2003) 

awardEARNED: "Hip-Hip-Hypocritical!"

CRITERIA: Call out another team for cheating while actively cheating yourself (bonus points for calling out another team's cheating while executing the same cheat yourself)!
EARNED FOR:Spygate (2010) 

awardEARNED: "Repeat The Cheat!"

CRITERIA: Successfully repeat the same cheat multiple times!
EARNED FOR:Spygate (2010) 

awardEARNED: "Serious Infraction!"

CRITERIA: Successfully execute a 4 or 5 severity cheating scandal!
EARNED FOR:Salarycapgate (1996-98)  PEDSgate (12x since 2003) 

Is there a Denver Broncos cheating scandal that I'm missing? Do I have a fact wrong? A broken link? Email me with your comment and supporting link and I'll fix or add it.

Want to share this page with a troll? Here's the link: http://YourTeamCheats.com/DEN