Thursday, August 29, 2013

The NFL Shows Bronco Fan Who's Boss

Neutral Site
Let's say you are a Denver Bronco season ticket holder. You've paid thousands of dollars for the privilege of going to eight regular season games. You also know, on some level, that you are locked into this behavior, since it took you years to get them to take your money. You are so all-in for your team that you, well, agree to go to regular season games in late fall and winter in freaking Denver. You also probably think that if your secondary simply knew how to execute a very simple prevent defense, or if your coach didn't play for overtime at home while having a Hall of Fame QB under center. you might have gotten a Super Bowl win last year. So you are anxious for the season to start, antsy to see how new additions like Wes Welker and Montee Ball impact the team, and if they will make up for the loss of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. It's a year where you have a reasonable expectation of going to a Super Bowl, and a very good expectation of winning a kitten-soft division. But first, you get the kickoff game and rematch against the Super Bowl champion Ravens, and since it can't be in Baltimore due to scheduling issues, it's in your yard.

Which the NFL has decided, in its staggering wisdom and hubris, should look less like a Bronco home game, and more like a neutral site Celebration of Self, with equal poster weight given to Ravens QB Joe Flacco on, well, the Broncos' own stadium.

Let's just say that Bronco Fan has a cause to be bent, but honestly it's not as if the league is going to give even half a damn about the happiness of the fan base here. The yard is going to sell out regardless, and no one buys merch because of the shield; they buy it for the team or player. It's also obvious that the league feels badly that the Ravens, a franchise with an eternal chip on their shoulder in regards to officiating, didn't get the courtesy of the home opener.

So why not take it out further on Denver Fan, really?

Prohibit the wearing of Bronco colors for every other fan, selected at random. Sell clam chowder and crab cakes in the stadium. Pipe in noise during the Bronco offensive drives. Put the Broncos in road colors, and give the game to Baltimore's radio team for the Denver feed. So long as we're just, you know, making stuff up to satisfy the whims of the NFL, let's avoid half measures. (Oh, and a small aside -- will anyone feel any safer, and will any security line actually go any faster, for these new restrictions on items you get to carry into the stadium? What a complete crock. Moving on.)

So, Bronco Fan? Just embrace it. Chant Flacco's name, since sarcasm will shock and impress the national audience. But whatever you do, don't stand up for your team, or show your displeasure toward the arbitrary and absurd decision making of the NFL.

After all, you don't want scab refs again, right? Or anything else to happen to your team. Youse got such a nice little team here, amirite? Be a shame if, you know, something happened to it...

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