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There's a place - pretty close to Denver, Colo., actually - where the rubber has finally met the road. It's called Dove Valley, the official home of the Denver Broncos, and for the first time in as long as I can remember, there's not much peaceful about it.                                 Sure, it's still the headquarters for Denver's most beloved team. And yes, there's a little bit of kumbaya going around of late, as it's the place that Denver's favorite adopted son, John Elway, may soon be setting up shop once again (which is a great thing). But contrary to popular belief, the Valley of Doves isn't just the place where Super Bowl dreams are born, and statements like "anything short of a championship is a failure" any longer.     These days, Dove Valley might as well be Business Headquarters, USA. It's no different than IBM, AT&T or Ford Motor Company. The Denver Broncos are a business.    Sure, the Broncos have always been a business. In fact, the team has been one of the best businesses in professional sports; it's a reputable company that has successfully put Denver and its great citizens on the map for over 50 years. Denver is proud of the Broncos, and the Broncos are proud to be in Denver.                                         But in the world of professional sports, decisions aren't always made with the bottom line in mind. In the past, the Broncos were famous for transactions that had little to do with money, and everything to do with winning and player loyalty - a mantra that the NFL's best fans supported wholeheartedly. Pat Bowlen's team took care of players and fans; loyalty often preceded profit. Luckily, in professional sports - especially the NFL - this philosophy, which doesn't necessarily apply to other business models, is extremely feasible. Bowlen made money, lots of it, and gave it right back to players who were going to bring home trophies. He'd even experiment on free agents who simply "might" give his team a chance at success. No matter what the bottom line looked like, it always looked better when the orange and blue was winning.    In case you haven't noticed, that's no longer the case. Just ask Champ Bailey or Elvis Dumervil, who are busy scratching their heads, wondering if the old way of doing business down at Dove Valley will resurface any time soon.    Scratch. Scratch. Don't hold your breath, fellas.   To be fair, I can't even fault this mindset.               At some point, especially in a down economy where fans are forced to "get real" (just like billionaire owners), the rubber has to meet the road. Owners can't scratch checks and simply forget about the consequences of an ill-timed or ill-fated decision. Long gone are the days of Daryl Gardener.    But back in the day, players like Elway, Shannon Sharpe and Terrell Davis were simply "taken care of" - long before their financial situation found its way to the headlines. Money was never an issue when great Broncos needed some attention. While it could be argued that neither Bailey nor Dumervil are "great" Broncos, both strike me as the type of guys who Bowlen would have stepped up for in the past. Neither player has brought home a Super Bowl, but they've certainly made plenty of trips to Hawaii (or wherever the Pro Bowl is currently being held) wearing a Broncos uniform.    Dumvervil's contractual situation has been a hot topic for months now in Denver, and this week, Bailey fired an opening salvo of his own, as his agent began leaking wishes and desires pertaining to the cornerback's next contract. Bailey is set to earn over $13 million this season, the last in his current contract.                              As great as Bailey has been, the Broncos haven't flinched. And again, I'm not sure I blame them. As much as I like Bailey and Dumvervil (and I do) I understand that Bowlen is running a business. And form a view from the cheap seats (well, hardly, these days they're fairly pricey), business ain't what it used be.    The rubber has finally met the road at Dove Valley, something Broncos Country had better get used to.


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