Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning takes a turn answering questions Tuesday during media day at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. (John Leyba, The Denver Post)

Let’s play a Broncos-Seahawks strain game

Certain players bring some particular marijuana varieties to mind

While NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ponders the NFL’s medical marijuana policy, there are still harsh punishments for players who get busted during random drug tests (case in point: the Broncos’ own Von Miller). Even if the rules were relaxed, they’d risk losing their job, fans, and lucrative endorsement money by being publicly pro-pot — just ask running back turned yoga teacher Ricky Williams. However, if the following Super Bowl-bound players wanted to give smoking a shot (as there’s no reason to believe they currently partake) they’d be hard-pressed to do better than the strain recommendations below.


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Broncos QB Peyton Manning
Dead Head OG

After a season for the record books, no one could blame Manning for basking in the glow of a warm bowl and indulging recreationally — or medically. The QB has been upright for every Broncos game since he joined the team in 2012, a feat considering he lost the entire 2011 season after a series of neck surgeries. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t taken some licks, though. In honor of that surgically repaired neck and one heck of a forehead, Manning’s strain would clearly be Dead Head OG. Great for muscle pain and calming down after a big game, it’s head and shoulders above the competition. Just like Manning. Runner-up: Orange Crush


Broncos WR Wes Welker
Brainstorm Haze

Welker’s concussions make this too easy of a joke, but 2013 was the year of increased awareness on how head trauma affects current and retired players. What Brainstorm Haze would offer Welker is something he sorely lacked in his first season in Denver: attention to detail. Tied for second in the league in dropped passes with 10, according to sportingcharts.com, that number would stick out even if he had played the full season. Haze strains are notoriously great for helping smokers focus and get into the zone instead of zoning out. Added with the increased energy that this Thai Haze crossed with Stargazer brings to the table, this strain would be a favorite of Welker. Just don’t tell his former coach Bill Belichick. Runner-up: Amnesia Haze (sorry, couldn’t help myself)


Broncos DT Terrance Knighton
Big Bud

Generously listed at a mere 335 pounds, Knighton isn’t a household name, yet he’s hard to miss on the field. Dubbed “Pot Roast” by teammates and media alike, Knighton is coming off arguably his best game as a pro after dominating the front line of the Patriots. He didn’t get there via the salad bar. Big Bud is the marijuana equivalent to seconds at dinner, with a heavy hitting indica body buzz and insatiable munchies that have destroyed many a pantry. Smoking a bowl or five of Big Bud should be enough for the big guy, although it’d be a shame to see it dull his killer instinct on the line. Runner up: Blueberry Cheesecake


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Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
Blue Dream

It’s a fact: running gets you high. According to some in the loping community, a hit of Blue Dream is the same as knocking out a quick 5K. What better fit is there than Wilson, ranked third in the NFL in rushing yards for a quarterback in the regular season, although Manning might need it more (dead last with -31 yards). The latest generation of QBs gets it done on the ground, so Wilson might benefit from this hybrid that’s decent in mitigating soreness, as you can’t always execute the perfect slide. Playing in what figures to be one of the coldest Super Bowls in recent memory, a little euphoria might not be a bad thing to take his mind off the elements. Runner-up: Green Crack


Seahawks CB Richard Sherman
Sour Diesel

Nowadays, it’s hard to get an honest answer out of most players because they’re taught to not make headlines and give the opponent bulletin-board ammunition. Sherman is having none of that. The smack-talking Seattle cornerback has made headlines all year, and though a substitute for Adderall might make more sense for one of Seattle’s defenders, Sour Diesel is the clear choice. Mainly, because you can’t shut up on it. One of the chattiest strains out there, it’s the Jagermeister of cannabis: great for loosening up a person. The last thing anyone facing the red-hot Broncos wants to do is to throw some diesel on their fire, but that likely won’t stop the brash Pro Bowler. Runner-up: Qrazy Train


Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch
Cheesequake

Seattle’s crowd, a.k.a. the “12th man” took the Guinness World Record for crowd noise twice this season, but their defining moment came in 2011. When Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch ripped off a 67-yard run against New Orleans, the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network picked up what looked like a minor earthquake. A TGA Subcool Seeds cross of Cheese and Querkle, Lynch clearly deserves some Cheesequake as a reward for his beast-like effort. He’s the only player on this list with an actual strain named after him — Beast Mode OG, according to Leafly.com — but he’s well equipped to handle its infamous dry mouth with a nice squirt of Gatorade. Runner-up: Skittles