Lack of Home Field Advantage

Maybe I’m reeling from the Broncos loss to the Raiders on Sunday, but this article from ESPN’s Bill Simmons about the lack of Home Field Advantage in New Stadiums got me thinking.  Simmons is pretty articulate, so here’s the reader’s digest version:

Teams with new (or significantly remodeled) stadiums in the last 10 years have compiled poor records against point spreads.  In 2008, the (spread) record for these teams are 29-44 this season.  In fact, the teams with new stadiums have fallen below .500 in beating-the-spread numbers 5 of the last 7 years.  The conclusion: SOTAS (state-of-the-art stadium) teams have watched their home-field advantage evaporate in a pile of money.

At first glance this seems coincidental, but when you think about how new stadium have changed the experience of going to NFL games, it’s pretty easy to understand why home field advantage isn’t what it used to be for these SOTAS teams.  Simmons tells a pretty good story of the Foxboro  gameday experience in his column, and it’s pretty similar to ours’.

Each Broncos home game, we make our way down to Denver with our tailgating gear in tow about 4-5 hours before game time.  Going to Broncos games does take the better part out of our day.  We leave the house at 10 and don’t get back home until 8pm. We arrive at the stadium, set up the grill, the chairs, the awning, the ladder golf and have our pre-game celebration.  We usually eat and drink pretty well before the game, and gluttony is still a fraction of the cost of the food & beer in the stadium.  We then take the 20 minute walk to the stadium and usually get to our seats right after kick-off. 

Our seats, while in the nosebleed levels, are great seats when it comes to watching the plays develop and being with fans that make true financial sacrifices to support their team.  As Simmons points out though, the NFL’s actions – both negligent and intentional – have diminished the role of the everyday fan at these games.  I never went to a game at the old Mile High, but I definitely heard the stories: stories of how loud that stadium got, and also stories of people who had season tickets during the stadium transition and got screwed out of great seats.  As Simmons points out, people who used to scream at the field are now sitting in the upper levels where they scream towards the sky. 

Simmons also makes a great point about the length of the games:

Throw in the dirty secret that it isn’t really fun to attend an NFL game in the 21st century — the routine of "kickoff, TV timeout, three plays, punt, TV timeout, five plays, field goal, TV timeout, kickoff, TV timeout, someone gets hurt on first down, prolonged TV timeout, three more plays, touchdown, extra point, TV timeout, kickoff, TV timeout" gets old after about 25 minutes

-Not to mention that during those TV timeouts, you’re subjected to ads there in the stadium. Everything has become sponsored by someone.  I thought it was Eddie Royal that brought us that first down – not Lowes.

I’ve been lucky enough to sit down in the 4th row from the field before, and while heckling the visiting bench is fun, most of the people down there really don’t give a damn about football – at least when compared to the people in the upper levels.  Bethany and I have sat in the club level when she got tickets from work and the people around us seemed annoyed when we made noise for the defense.

While I do consider myself lucky and blessed that I have the opportunity to go to the games, I can’t help but wonder about the comment Simmons made:

“The bad news is that, with just a few exceptions, it’s now more entertaining to invite your friends over, tailgate in your backyard and watch your favorite team on TV. You get the replays. You get HD. You have your own bathroom. You’re saving money. You can stand up if you want. You don’t have a commute. If you have the NFL package, you can flip around to other games during commercials. What’s the downside? You got me. I had 10 times more fun watching the Pats-Jets game at a New York City bar last week than I would have had at the actual game. And the sad thing was, I knew that would be the case.”

Playing at Mile High used to be a lock for Denver, but we’ve now dropped 3 games in-a-row at home.  I understand that the Broncos have a lot of other problems, but one can’t wonder if the Mile High Magic has diminished at Invesco and other brand new stadiums.

Final New Greenfoot Song

Greenfoot, my band, just released their final new song in this round of new releases: 1 Night Stand:


Greenfoot
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We’re happy to present the final of our four new songs: 1 Night Stand. 1 Night Stand is one of the most classic and popular songs at our live shows. As you can tell from the title and lyrics, this Rockabilly groove depicts the story of the singles night-life in Downtown Denver. Listen to the verses and see if you can pick out the street names.

Thank everyone for giving our songs a listen! If you’re interested in download them, you can do it for free at our web site.  Also if you’re in Fort Collins/Northern Colorado on Sunday, come out to our benefit show!

Thank you John Lynch!

If you haven’t heard the news, John Lynch officially decided to retire and will hold a press conference on Monday.

I just wanted to take a quick minute to thank him for all of he’s done: both on and off the field.  John Lynch has been an amazing presence on the Broncos.  I remember hearing the news that he signed with the Broncos and went out the next day to pick up his Jersey. I’ve been proudly wearing it ever since.

Like Shannon Sharpe, Lynch has gone out with some gas left in the tank.  While I’d love to see him play another year, it’s also good that he’s not Willie Mayes dropping fly balls in the outfield.

I’ll write more later, but I wanted to say “thanks”.  If you read into the story, you’ll see that he’s going to retire both as a Buc, and a Bronco.  I know in the NFL your retiring teams are a little meaningless, but it’s really cool to see that he’s appreciated his time in Denver – even if it’s a fraction of how much Denver’s appreciated him.

I hate Thursday Night Football

Anyone who knows me knows that I love football. I bleed Orange & Blue, and whether in person or on TV – I love watching football games.  But I loathe Thursday Night Football.

Here’s why I hate it:

  • Another Night for Football -  I give the NFL a lot of my time and money. When the Broncos play at home, I spent all day going to the game and then come home and watch Sunday Night Football.  Even though I have a Monday commitment, I still find a way to catch part of Monday Night football. Yet now the NFL is wanting me to give up another evening to watch their game.  I have busy things during the week so that my weekends can be free to watch football.  Look NFL, believe it or not, I have a life outside of your game.
  • It ruins all of the games surrounding football – Whether it’s fantasy football, pick’ems, survival football – most of these games require you to solidify your picks/lineups before the first game.  Last week the Broncos played the Browns and you bet I had that game on my mind, yet I forgot to go in and change the lineups for one of my fantasy teams and missed the pick’em.  After 9 weeks of conditioning myself to prepare for the weekend, you throw a wrench in and take away 3 days on many of these games. It’s asinine!
  • The NFL Network – The idea of the NFL Network is great, but it is the State-Run-Television of the NFL.  The quality of the broadcast & commentary isn’t up par with the major networks, and yet the NFL keeps ramming these games down our throat on these networks.  After watching the Broncos/Browns last week, watching the same 5 commercials over and over again got old pretty quickly.  On top of it all, 40% of the US doesn’t get the NFL Network.  I’ve heard rumors that the NFL may sell the games next year to another sub-par cable network like TNT. Just make the games go away, admit this idea failed miserably and go back to airing classic games.

Come on NFL, give Thursday night back to College football.

More artwork: CSU Alternative Spring Break Benefit Poster

Earlier this week I posted my Rockies logo for my Graphic Design class.  Last weekend, I put together a personal project.  Greenfoot is playing a benefit show for the CSU Alternative Spring Break, and I volunteered to put together the poster for this show.  I’d be anxious to hear your thoughts:

Also if you’re in Fort Collins/Northern Colorado, we’d love for you to come out on Sunday night and support a great cause with us!