Broncos Champ Bailey longs for a championship |

Broncos Champ Bailey longs for a championship

Jeff Legwold
The Denver Post
Champ Bailey took the field as The Denver Broncos opened minicamp Friday June 12, 2009 at Dove Valley. Reza A. Marvashti, The Denver Post

It’s easy to get fooled, easy to let the calm disguise the storm – to look at Champ Bailey and see an unlined face at peace with all that swirls around him.

Easy to watch him run, in those rare fluid strides, and believe they were awarded rather than constructed. Easy to see cool.

And you would be wrong, very wrong.

“It keeps me awake at night now,” Bailey said this week. “That is no lie. It makes me kind of crazy. I’ve been impatient for the last four, five years, but it gets crazier and crazier every year, I’m losing sleep over it now. I’m working harder myself; at the same time, I need to make sure the other 52 guys are working as hard as I am.

“Because I want to play for a championship before I’m done. Pro Bowls and all that individual stuff is fine, but I want to play for a championship team in a championship game, and if other guys don’t have that same thought I’m going to tell them how it needs to be. And if they get offended, get sensitive about it – oh, well – because nothing’s forever.”

Calendars are funny that way. Just 12 pages, but in a football life they get a little heavier every year.

And for a guy who’s been named to eight Pro Bowls and is widely considered one of the best players of his generation, the missing piece is starting to wear on him. Because, truth be told, Bailey thought he would have won a Super Bowl by now.

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