ENGLEWOOD - Last year quarterback Jake Plummer stood on a podium at the Denver Broncos’ headquarters and apologized for making an obscene gesture toward a fan. “I’m apologetic for it and stand up here as a man and say that will never happen again,” Plummer said Dec. 15. A little more than 10 months later Plummer had a rare Monday meeting with the media to explain another incident in which he lost his composure, again leading to questions about his ability to handle the scrutiny of being the Broncos’ most recognizable player. Last week, Rocky Mountain News gossip columnist Penny Parker wrote that Plummer attended a dinner for his foundation with his girlfriend, Broncos cheerleader Kollette Klassen. According to a followup column by Parker, Plummer called her and delivered an obscenity-laced tirade. Parker also reported that Plummer said, “You think Denver has the greatest fans? Well, they aren’t.” Plummer said he met with coach Mike Shanahan to discuss the incident and told the media Monday that he shouldn’t have called Parker. He said he didn’t think his girlfriend should be written about — although according to Parker he introduced Klassen at the dinner, attended by hundreds of people, as his girlfriend. “I didn’t want to have her put in the situation that I am put in sometimes when I’m not playing well, and I know the fans are going to boo, the fans are going to say what they want to say,” Plummer said. “I didn’t want her to be put in that situation because that’s unfair for her.” Plummer said his remarks about the fans were taken out of context. “We have great fans here,” Plummer said. “By no means was I saying that we did not have great fans. What I was doing was protecting the person the article was written about.” But this is just the latest such incident. In his last year with the Arizona Cardinals, Plummer said he “didn’t give a rat’s (expletive)” about booing from the fans, according to the Arizona Republic and The Associated Press. Last season he responded to a heckling fan at Invesco Field at Mile High by making an obscene gesture. The NFL fined Plummer $5,000. Plummer has often shown disdain for the media during his three seasons in Denver, and he said Monday he didn’t think his personal life should be written about. “Whether it’s about your wife, your children, I just don’t think that’s part of what we’re doing here,” Plummer said. “What we’re doing here is playing football.” Plummer isn’t the first Broncos quarterback whose life was a topic of conversation. John Elway’s personal life was scrutinized to the point that a Denver newspaper reported what kind of candy Elway was giving away on Halloween. Plummer said he’d like to take some things back, including calling Parker, but he wanted to move on. “Whether people see me as an evil person or see me as a person that wears my emotions on my sleeve and reacts some way, sometimes I don’t react the right way,” Plummer said. “There’s no real guide to how to do this.” Shanahan avoided questions about whether he thinks Plummer is properly handling his role. “We talked about things that happened,” Shanahan said. “If you’ve ever been put in a situation where you’re in the heat of battle, sometimes things can be misinterpreted.” CONTACT THE WRITER: 476-4891 or firstname.lastname@example.org IN THE SPOTLIGHT Broncos QB Jake Plummer, above, has been in the center of three controversies in 13 months. Here’s a quick recap: SEPT. 29, 2004 — THE TRIBUTE Plummer risked a $30,000 fine to wear a sticker on the back of his helmet honoring former teammate and Army Ranger Pat Tillman before the NFL backed down and allowed the tribute. DEC. 12, 2004 — THE BIRD After throwing a first-quarter interception in a 20-17 win over the Dolphins, Plummer reached his hand behind his helmet while sitting on the bench and flipped off booing fans in the stands. LAST WEEK — THE GOSSIP COLUMN After a newspaper column mentioned cheerleader Kollette Klassen, at top, was Plummer’s girlfriend, a Denver radio show accused her of being “a jersey chaser.” In response, Plummer called the columnist and ripped Denver fans.
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