Today was a wonderful win for the Denver Broncos, but too bad it was shared virtually half a stadium full of Cowboys fans. When we got to our seats, we were dismayed to find that half of the section was filled with Dallas faithful. Looking out over the stadium it became apparent that each section had a sizable amount of Cowboys fans – so much so that it felt like our home crowd advantage was all but eliminated.
Memories quickly returned to the AFC Championship of 2005, when Steelers fan invaded Mile High Stadium. Armed with their Terrible Towers they turned Denver into a neutral site. The game ended with those towels flailing around, looking like wasps buzzing all over the stadium. While I went home disappointed about the Broncos performance, I was cursing those season ticket holders that sold the stadium’s soul so they could make a profit off their Playoff Tickets.
The same happened in Denver again today. A perfect storm was created when you have a team with a large fanbase (the Cowboys), come to town once every seven years, which leaves hungry visiting fans willing to pay virtually any price to see their team. I don’t blame Cowboy fans for buying tickets, they have a right to go to see their team play. I do however have a problem with the ticket holders so willing to give them up.
During the drive home someone called into 850’s post game show with “Lou from Littleton” making the same observation. Lou brushed it off, simply saying the Broncos fans need to be louder, and that you shouldn’t blame people for needing to make money during these economic times. To those as coy as Lou I say this: Yes, Broncos fans could be louder, but it doesn’t help when Broncos fans that are perfectly able to come to the game send visitors in their place. As far as hard economic times are concerned: if season ticket holders can’t afford their tickets then maybe it’s time to let someone else on the 15-year waiting list step up and take on these season tickets for a change.
I’m not saying that you should leave your <Insert Visiting Team Name> friend out in the cold. If they want to go to the game, invite them to go with you. It sounds like I’m splitting hairs, but bringing an opposing fan is a lot different than blindly selling them your tickets. At that point they’ll likely bring a fellow <Visiting Team Name> fan, cutting the home crowd influence in your seats to 0% rather than 50%.
This may come across as pretty harsh, but if you’re a season ticket holder for your team and won’t be going to the game, the least you can do is try to ensure that fans of your team will take your tickets. Is that really too much to ask? I realize there are a few exceptions, but not enough to fill half of the stadium with fans from another team. In the meantime, enjoy your thirty pieces of silver.