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Old 06-27-2010, 09:15 PM   #1
montrose
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Default Denver's Apathetic Fans

What is the heck has happened to my hometown? Itís like Iíve awoken from a slumber and have suddenly found myself living in some sort of Bizarro World. Because the Denver I knew, the one I was born and raised in, is almost unrecognizable in 2010.

When I was a kid, people in the Mile High City painted their houses orange to show their support for the Broncos. They sold out every game of the 1994-95 NBA season, supporting a Nuggets team that finished 41-41 because they were so excited about what the young squad had done the year before in the playoffs. And they shattered the Major League Baseball single season attendance record, drawing more than 4.4 million fans to Mile High Stadium during the first year the Rockies were in existence.

As a result, Denver developed a reputation for being a great sports town. Athletes wanted to play here. Upstart leagues wanted to put franchises here. And opposing players dreaded coming here. It was a place where it was great to play for the home team and bad to play for the visiting one.
Oh, how times have changed. Nowadays, games played in Denver seem to have a laissez faire attitude. And more often than not, the home-field advantage that once carried local franchises has been erased by an infiltration of opposing fans.

Itís enough to make someone who spent their formative years cheering on the home team at Mile High Stadium and McNichols Arena sick to his stomach. Or at the very least, it makes me a little woozy from confusion.

The past two nights, this transformation of Denver from a great sports town, one that supported its teams with unbridled passion, to one that is in a class that includes apathetic places like Atlanta, Houston, Miami and Phoenix has been on full display. While the Rockies played host to the Red Sox in an intriguing inter-league match-up between playoff-hopeful teams, Coors Field felt like it was in Boston as much as Lodo.

With what seemed like 20,000 members of Red Sox Nation taking over the stadium, it was hard not to be embarrassed to be a Denver sports fan. After all, these kinds of scenes donít happen in great sports towns. Youíd never see a sight like that in Boston, Chicago, New York or Philadelphia. The home crowd wouldnít allow it; they have too much pride in their team and their community to let it happen.

And this isnít just a problem with the local baseball team. Itís becoming an epidemic throughout the region.

When the Broncos hosted the Steelers in the 2005 AFC Championship Game, the estimated 20,000 Terrible Towels being waved inside Invesco Field made it feel like the game was in Pittsburgh. And during the 2009 NBA Western Conference Finals, there were enough Lakers fans at Pepsi Center during game six that chants of ďM-V-P!Ē every time Kobe Bryant went to the free throw line were impossible to drown out. Try to imagine either of those scenes transpiring in the Big Apple or Bean Town.

There are a lot of reasons that have been offered as excuses as to why this is happening. And some of the thoughts have some validity.

Denver is a city that has exploded in population during the past two decades, bringing in influx of transplants to the community who have an allegiance to their previous hometown teams. And unlike in the past, the advent of cable television has allowed those displaced fans to remain loyal to their old teams; when you can watch every game Boston plays even when you live in Denver, thereís no reason to adopt the new cityís teams.

Television is also to blame in another way, as well. With every game the team plays now available on television, thereís less motivation to make the drive in from the suburbs on a weeknight to go to the game. When you can see it in HD at home, saving the trip downtown is pretty tempting. As a result, unmotivated hometown fans are replaced at the games by displaced fans who only get one, two or three times per year to watch their favorite team play. A Rockies fan in Parker will simply catch another game later in the season, while Mr. Boston and his factory-tattered-to-make-it-look-worn Sox cap have had this week circled on the calendar for months.

And finally, there are the economic factors involved in going to a game. While the nation continues dig itself out of a pretty deep recession, itís harder and harder to justify laying down big dollars for ducats to a ballgame.

There is some validity to these theories. But I still donít buy it. After all, there are a lot of people from outside of New York who move to the Big Apple and they havenít taken over Yankee Stadium. They show games on TV in Boston, but Sox fans still go to Fenway. And a rough economy hasnít kept people from indulging in other activities that arenít cheap Ė the ski slopes arenít exactly deserted during the winter, itís almost impossible to get a table without waiting at any decent restaurant in town and the movie business continues to set box office records.

So whatís the reason? I blame myself. Most specifically, I blame my generation.

I became a diehard fan of the local teams because it was instilled in me at an early age. My grandparents and parents lived and died with the Broncos, Buffs and Nuggets, and they took me to games to instill that same passion in me. But now that they are in their 80s and 60s, respectively, itís up to my generation to uphold that tradition, as well as pass it along to the next generation.

Obviously, we havenít done our job very well. Coloradoans in their 30s and 40s have become content to sit at home or partake in other events, and in the process, we havenít created the next wave of Denver fanatics. As a result, our hometown venues are under siege by people from Boston, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and other cities.

Itís time to reverse the trend. As corny as it may sound, itís time to summon a little civic pride. Our reputation is at stake, as Denverís spot on the list of the best sports cities in America is in peril.

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Old 06-27-2010, 09:22 PM   #2
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this is happening to teams everywhere. people dont feel like a part of the team anymore, players and teams are so disconnected from the average fan, its crazy. i support them, but i realize they dont give a flying **** about me or what i think or what it costs me to go to a game to support them, they just want me for my money, its kind of disheartening to feel that way as a fan.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:26 PM   #3
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Diehards like the team great or bad. I think now though its more a when your on top or near the top you see the mania true in every sport though. I think its just the way society as a whole is now its sad. I live and die as a Bronco fan but, I have even changed its no longer life and death for me like it used to be. Just because I have changed over my life on how I handle outcome of games I do want the Broncos to remain a solid franchise. I know a few fans personally that don't watch every game now because we aren't a contender as soon as we are they will act diehard again. I never miss a game and never will. I do miss the old mania alot.

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Old 06-27-2010, 09:27 PM   #4
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I blame immigration.


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Old 06-27-2010, 09:27 PM   #5
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Denver fans >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> LA fans
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:33 PM   #6
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We will have Tebow Mania
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFLBRONCO View Post
Diehards like the team great or bad. I think now though its more a when your on top or near the top you see the mania true in every sport though. I think its just the way society as a whole is now its sad. I live and die as a Bronco fan but, I have even changed its no longer life and death for me like it used to be. Just because I have changed over my life on how I handle outcome of games I do want the Broncos to remain a solid franchise. I know a few fans personally that don't watch every game now because we aren't a contender as soon as we are they will act diehard again. I never miss a game and never will. I do miss the old mania alot.
I've seen plenty of people like that. I stop caring during the offseason and then the season comes around again and I can't not care. It's weird. I always feel like we can win it all even when I know we can't.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:46 PM   #8
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It should be noted that the writer of this, James Merilatt, who is trying to get Denverites to show some civic pride did not re-new his Broncos Season Ticket this year, after selling the tickets to every game last year (not to Broncos fans specifically, but to whoever would buy them).
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:49 PM   #9
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It should be noted that the writer of this, James Merilatt, who is trying to get Denverites to show some civic pride did not re-new his Broncos Season Ticket this year, after selling the tickets to every game last year (not to Broncos fans specifically, but to whoever would buy them).
Didn't James Merilatt used to write for denverbroncos.com?

I'm almost totally sure he did.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:56 PM   #10
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He needs to get off his high horse, it happens in literally every city
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:00 PM   #11
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Didn't James Merilatt used to write for denverbroncos.com?

I'm almost totally sure he did.
Wrote (writes?) for examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/x-1178-Denve...aminer?showbio. Don't recall him from denverbroncos.com.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:59 PM   #12
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The reason? Simple: Fantasy leagues.

I know a lot of people who have totally given up following certain teams and now just follow whatever players they have on their fantasy team instead.

Weak sauce.

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Old 06-27-2010, 11:03 PM   #13
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The reason? Simple: Fantasy leagues.

I know a lot of people who have totally given up following certain teams and now just follow whatever players they have on their fantasy team.

Weak sauce.
That is exactly what the dude that wrote this article has said on the radio (he is on AM 1510). He doesn't like going to Broncos games because they don't show enough fantasy stats during the game. What a tool. I play fantasy football, but while I am at the game, I could care less what is going on with my team.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:09 PM   #14
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Clearly, Josh McDaniels is to blame.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:09 PM   #15
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Who cares?

Seriously though...the Yanks, Sox and Steelers are all franchises with both a history of winning as well as being current contenders. That has a lot to do with it, but so does the new stadium with its wine and cheese crowd. The old blue collar fan base that intimidated opposing teams was priced out when Denver moved into Invesco. Now they're reaping the rewards of that.

At least we still have the altitude...
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:12 PM   #16
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That is exactly what the dude that wrote this article has said on the radio (he is on AM 1510). He doesn't like going to Broncos games because they don't show enough fantasy stats during the game. What a tool. I play fantasy football, but while I am at the game, I could care less what is going on with my team.
It appears you're in the minority unfortunately.

Fantasy leagues have diminished loyality to franchises and have increased it to players. The shift is more evident now than ever before.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:22 PM   #17
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2 straight seasons of nearing the playoffs and then falling out of the wagon on the last week in horrible fashion will kill a lot of mojo of all kinds. Also seeing some excellent players leave the team is never exciting. Marshall, imo, should be a Bronco with an excellent season. No, he's not the most mature, but he carried this team for 2 seasons. The new management has a way of saying one thing and then having another thing happen which really isn't good for fan or player. Although we know they are conservative, we like to get excited about a new signing or a risk and that isn't happening at all in 2 season. Pat also needs to hire a CEO that knows what he's doing and isn't afraid to jump in front of the media for an interview once in a while. I've heard from Xanders twice in 2 years - not good and I've already learned not to trust McD. He says one thing and 4 weeks later we see another problem that is the exact opposite of what he's quoted with. I may be a punk, but the message from Broncos Camp is that we aren't doing anything at all to keep our players here or happy and they have no clue whether they'll be here or not the next season. A fickle team is a result of fickle management. I like consistency and clarity as do most people.

I'll give a little more civic pride when I feel like the players have some on the field and finish a game....until then the fan will not relate to the team. I think you saw this team capable of doing great things when we beat the Patriots and Cowboys last season and likewise the fanbase jumped on this run. But, we lost it at the end when it mattered the most. Bronco fans aren't use to being the one's to set the pace and lose...we've always shown grit and determination to come from behind or win when the elements are against us...we just haven't seen much of that in years.

I have really grown to not like fantasy football. Personally, I'd rather play madden.

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Old 06-27-2010, 11:22 PM   #18
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Honestly, part of it is the strict new rules at the new stadiums. (Text tattling, more security guards). Back in the day it was not strange at all for opposing fans to get beers dumped on them, kept in line, etc etc.

Not the case anymore. Sad imo.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:37 PM   #19
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Denver fans >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> LA fans
Dont kid yourself. It is happening all over. Montrose, you have a huge region that doesnt have American League baseball. Closest is Anaheim and Arlington with the Rangers. They find out that their favorite team is playing closer to home in Denver. Add the fact that Denver is a great place to visit and families can travel during the school break. With the invention (thanks Gore) of the internet, you can sell tickets yourself or use a third party system like stubhub. Add the fact that people are broke but want to hold onto their season tickets, they probably will sell the higher end tickets (IE Red Sox) and go to a regular game like the Giants or Padres. I would love to go to more Broncos games but my budget doesnt allow me to hit more than one or two games (maybe add a playoff game if one would finally hit Denver). Denver is no longer the Cow Town where no one visits and just the locals and region have nothing else to do but watch Broncos footballs. Be happy that the area has so much to offer as it is important for economics. Not everything is football even though a good portion of everyone's life should be.
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Old 06-28-2010, 04:58 AM   #20
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How dare you call Denver fans a 6
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:06 AM   #21
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To the arguement that fans aren't coming out because the teams haven't been winning, Steelers fans took over Invesco Field for the AFC Title Game, Lakers fans took over the Pepsi Center for the Western Conference Finals and Red Sox fans took over Coors Field for the World Series - so I don't think that argument holds up.

All the factors he listed - TV, transplant city, economy, etc. certainly make a difference but the point he made is that this would NEVER happen in New York, Boston, Philly or Chicago - and I agree with him. We, fans on message boards, are true hardcore fans - but Denver as a whole is not a sports town anymore. I just don't know exactly why.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:18 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigPlayShay View Post
That is exactly what the dude that wrote this article has said on the radio (he is on AM 1510). He doesn't like going to Broncos games because they don't show enough fantasy stats during the game. What a tool. I play fantasy football, but while I am at the game, I could care less what is going on with my team.
Jeez. They show fantasy stats for most of the game, and who doesn't own a cell phone at this point with web access?
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:56 AM   #23
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Oh how I agree. I was at the opening Red Sox game on Wednesday and it was embarrassing to see all of the Red Sox fans there. It wasn't the fact that there were fans cheering for the team but rather, the fact that they would stand up and point their fingers at Rockies fans when the Red Sox did something good.

I'm 38 and grew up at a Mile High Stadium that was always orange to the rafters. I remember opposing fans getting beer tossed on their heads if they got too rambunctious. The feeling I always had was that it was expected, if you were at the game, that you were a die hard Broncos fan. Anything less, would result in a severe tongue lashing if not a nice, cool, hops and barley shower; especially if one was talking **** and being too loud.

Today, we get outsiders talking so much trash to hometown fans it's comedic. The true Broncos fans have lost their spine and allowed outsiders to infiltrate our stadiums. Even though this is the case I don't necessarily blame the fans because Bowlen has had a hand in this situation as well. From pricing out the average Joe to creating a wine and cheese atmosphere, Bowlen and the NFL have created a scenario where loyalty has been supplanted by profits.

I honestly believe that the owners would rather have "out of towners" and "one timers" at the games because this demographic tends to spend more money. The die hard, season ticket holder brings their own food and knows how to minimize their expenditures at the event. At least this is what I experienced while going to every home game as a season ticket holder.

It's just sad to see our home games populated with so many opposing team's fans. I don't know if these people live here or just traveled here but it's sickening none the less. I long for the days when being a season ticket holder meant something and the pride for the hometown team was second to none. I long for the days when the entire stadium was nothing but a sea of orange and the environment was very hostile for both the visiting players and fans.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:00 AM   #24
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Weak Denver economy, influx of east and west coast imports the past 20 years and Stubhub.com is what happened to the Denver fan base. The Broncos games are by far the worse though. Despite the Red Sox game, Rockies fans are pretty damn loyal. Fan mix at most Broncos games is a joke.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:03 AM   #25
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Blaming it on Fantasy is the biggest load of crap ever...


Like the guy said above, they do show stats at the game and everyone has a cell phone that they can pull up the info if needed. Or they wait the 4 hours as it wont make a difference anyway...


I never ever miss a bronco game. Ever. I am about as hardcore FF player there is out there. And while I may like a guy in FF. If he is not a bronco then I wont like him that much.
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