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Published on 09/24/2007 at Mon Sep 24 12:05.



Mile High

Historically, the Denver Broncos have enjoyed one of the fiercest home field advantages in the NFL. Visiting teams to Mile High Stadium speak of the intimidating crowds, the oxygen-deprived elevation, and the greeting they are presented with as they exit the locker room and enter the field, reminding them that they are 5,280 feet above sea level. The Broncos are one of the winningest teams in the league at home historically, and have gone undefeated in home games as recently as 2005.

So where has this home field advantage gone?

The Broncos have lost 5 of their last 7 home games, many of these games to teams that had no business beating the team, home or away. Take a look at the last 7 home games for the Broncos:

2006 Week 8 – Indianapolis 34, Denver 31 – The Broncos lead at halftime 14-6, but Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne torch the Broncos defense for three touchdowns in the second half as Adam Vinatieri kicks the game winner in the closing minutes. The Broncos fall to 5-2.

2006 Week 11 – San Diego 35, Denver 27 – Another big halftime lead as two 7-2 AFC West teams took the field on Sunday Night Football. After leading 24-7, Ladainian Tomlinson ran wild for 3 rushing touchdowns to close the gap in the final 20 minutes of the game, and the Broncos lost a second straight home game.

2006 Week 13 – Seattle 23, Denver 20 – The story is beginning to get old. The Broncos lead at halftime in Jay Cutler‘s debut, but blow it and get beat in the end on a last second field goal. The Broncos are now on a 3-game skid at home.

2006 Week 16 – Cincinnati 23, Denver 24 – The Bengals and Broncos play a good game, and in the final minutes the Bengals look to tie it up. A botched snap at the point after attempt saves the Broncos from another potential disappointing home loss as the teams would have been headed into overtime.

2006 Week 17 – San Francisco 26, Denver 23 – The game that sent the Broncos home for the postseason. After a long overtime struggle, the 49ers pull through and Joe Nedney gives the Broncos their 4th home loss of the season.

2007 Week 2 – Oakland 20, Denver 23 – The Timeout saved the Broncos from a very disappointing loss, and barely. Many wonder how the Raiders could go into Mile High and have their way with the Broncos through the second half.

2007 Week 3 – Jacksonville 23, Denver 14 – Some fans now believe the Broncos aren’t as good as we thought they were. I disagree, but this game was certainly disheartening.

As you can see, the two games the Broncos have won of the last seven were barely wins at all. Cincinnati’s botched PAT snap… Oakland’s overtime field goal that was, then wasn’t… call these luck, call these magic, call them whatever, but the Broncos are doing a horrible job of defending their own house.

Is the new stadium to blame? Some think so, and it’s hard to disagree. The old stadium was louder, among the loudest in the league. One fan posted on a forum how he had never been to a Broncos game until yesterday. He said he was disappointed with the fans at Mile High, and their lack of passion.

I can remember hearing how in the AFC Championship Game against Pittsburgh in 2005, after the team in won, there were still around 5,000 Steelers fans in Denver supporting the team. 5,000 Broncos ticket holders sold their seats to Steeler fans rather than going to see us hopefully make the Super Bowl.

Are these the same Broncos fans who kept the horribly performing team in Denver in the 1960′s based on fan fervor alone? Are those in attendance representing the wine and cheese crowd in the new stadium, with box level seats and VIP accomodations, instead of the beer and hot dog blue collar crowd that originally kept the franchise in Colorado?

If you have the privilege of going to see the Denver Broncos play in Mile High, STAND UP! Shout your lungs out and support your team! This is one of the best home field advantages in the league, and reports of a quiet Invesco Field are an insult to the fans! This is a good team we have on the field this year, and we need to come out and support them in all facets. If you have the means, go and help the Broncos defend their home turf. 2-5 is plain disgusting at home, and it’s time we helped turn this around.

As soon as I graduate college and have a little money of my own, one of the first items on my list of “Things to Do” is go to Mile High for a Broncos game. And scream my freaking lungs out.

Let’s bring the magic back to Mile High. We have games against the Chargers, Steelers, and Packers at home in the weeks ahead. Do what the Broncos of the past have done. Go 3-0. Defend our home.

  • http://www.broncotalk.net Jonathan Douglas

    Amen!

    I was horrified to hear in Andrew Mason’s live-blog of the game, that the crowd got quiet often and also booed the team. I’m not arguing any fan’s right to express his/her feelings during the game, but booing the team doesn’t usually inspire the team to keep their chin up and refuse to lose hope — If they’re facing negative fan feedback, they might as well be playing in the opponent’s arena.

    Like Kyle, I’m a fan from afar. And it really burns us to see people who have the chance to be at the games in person either give up and leave, or boo the home team.

    The 12th Man is an important factor in the game, and I for one plan on completely losing my voice at the SD game!

  • J. Mitchell

    !!!MAN UP PEOPLE!!!

    I’m a die-hard DB fan that lives in the heart of Florida football. I was crushed by our loss on Sunday, yes. But we need to take pride in what we have. Next to my office is a guy that is a hardcore about the Buffalo Bills. He just lost his quarterback, his new LB and has Kevin Everett is fighting for his life just to have one!!!

    We all want the Bronc’s to win every game but when there are so many new pieces and parts coming together we cannot stray from thinking we can still be a VERY winning team. As for fans in the stands that are bringing back the thunder – “MAN UP” or give your seats to those of us who care.

  • KMA

    Geez I hate to continue a pattern here, but writing from out of Denver as well I listened to the game on the internet from a radio station in Kansas that apparently has gone undetected as one of the carriers of the Broncos network. (you now have to pay to listen to KOA850 on the internet) My wife asked me, “they are in Jacksonville?” I said “no” “then why are they booing?” I said “good question”. I know JD is going to ONE game this year, I too am going to ONE game this year. I happen to know that there are a ton of people over at Broncos Country web page that would love to even make it to ONE game this year. I cannot believe that anyone could spend that time at the very least trying to have as much fun as possible. I suppose you get pretty complacent if you are able to make attending the games a semi weekly event. Just know that if you are season ticket holder now that there are plenty of people on the list that would gladly take your spot if you decide that the team is not living up to your expectations. Those of you who are at the games, you’re not any more of a Broncos fan than we are, you just happened to be in line first.
    How about trying to support the team as much as possible when they really need it?

  • evergreen bronco fan

    Hard to win anywhere when core parts of the team and coaches are miserable. As a fan at the game yesterday, there was nothing beyond a great reception / run by Marshall to cheer about. Broncos were pathetic, very painful to spend the $200 to watch.

    The crowd made alot of noise for about the first 10 or so 3rd down conversion attempts…got old, got tiring with each failed attempt…as tired as the Bronco’s defense. Very lack-luster performance = very lack-luster fans.

    I don’t see Broncos doing much this year until they shore up the run defense and get the offensive line to run / pass block effectively.

  • DEEEIP

    Yeah, that’s it, blame it on the stadium. You guys voted for it, and we are all paying for that eye-sore on I-25. Perhaps, just maybe, Denver doesn’t feel too passionate about a mediocre football team? Go Pack!

  • ChampSB3233

    It goes back to the AFC Championship Game against the Steelers. Since blowing that great opportunity to get to the Super Bowl, things have not been the same for the organization.

  • robert coate

    It’s a fb disease in Colorado. It’s too nice here. Too many distractions. Look at the formerly decent Buffs. Not a good excuse, but what else other mastermind inefficiencies that you can point towards on the Broncos.

  • Micheal in El Paso

    I agree with what you’re saying, the blue collar fans have been out-priced with the new stadium. I’m not poor, I actually do pretty well but going to a game is so expensive. I go to a preseason game every year cause you can get good seats for cheap. I went to the Packers-Broncos game, week 3 of the preseason. Tickets almost on the 50 row 17 I think. The people in front of me, so called “Broncos fans” at one point turned around and said I was cheering to loud and stomping too hard. I was in no way be obnoxious, just a good fan, these are sadly the people going to OUR games now.