The ridiculous new NFL bag policy

Reacting to this story on ProFootballTalk: League alters bag policy for safety, convenience

What an absolutely stupid rule change.  It only becomes more obvious that the NFL doesn’t give a crap about the fan experience.  I love how their primary reason for this change is to reduce the wait times for fans entering the stadium.

I realize that NFL brass are used to going through their VIP entrances, so let me enlighten them on the typical fan experience: there are already express lines for fans who don’t bring bags to the games! The fans that do bring back already choose to sacrifice their time by standing in a longer line.

There are good reasons why fans choose to bring a bag:

  • Trying to gear up for a cold weather game. In Denver, there’s always at least 1 game that requires a multitude of blankets, layers and hand warmers.
  • You somehow have an aversion to paying $4 for a bottle of water, electing to bring in the same bottle that costs 1/10th as much – same is to be said for snacks.
  • You have young kids that require a diaper bag

The NFL can hide behind “safety” they want, but the reality of the situation is that bags cost the NFL money: be it in the form of additional security that screens them and lost revenue from outside food sales.  For them to claim safety being the issue is deplorable – they just want more Coin.  Let’s be honest: anyone who is looking to bring or do something terrible would already be causing plenty of damage outside of the stadium, or find another way in – just like how two random guys managed to wander their way into the Super Bowl.

I don’t blame the NFL for wanting to operate like the business they are, but I do take offense when they do it in the guise of safety, showing little regard for their customers.  I wonder if their “Fan Conduct Committee” actually includes any paying fans. It’s only a matter of time before the NFL’s customers grow tired of repeatedly being kicked in the ass.

$250k for mailing it in


Basketball Players’ Night Off Makes a Stand for Sitting Out

David Stern’s heart is in the right place, but as usual, his methods make a mess of everything.

I appreciate Stern’s coming from, and as a paying fan, I am grateful that he’s at least appearing to look out for his paying customers.  We sold our tickets to the last Broncos game against the Chiefs (the last game of the season) and right now I’m scared about the prospect of the team having nothing to pay for, and the tickets my friends are using for family Christmas presents won’t look as great without Peyton and Von Miller in the game.

Ultimately sports is in the business of entertaining people, more so in the NBA who actively markets their stars to the point of charging more for visiting teams with more famous players.  It’s not unreasonable for a fan to expect to see said stars when they buy tickets to this game.

Coach Popovich’s best interest is the well-being and competitiveness of his team, and I do respect his decision to limit the number of minutes for critical players. However, the ultimate error was when he had those players fly home and not even attend the game.  At least have these guys come in and sit on the bench, or even better: play them 2 minutes and throw the fans a bone.  It’s also one thing if you give one player a night off, but when four of your five starters aren’t even in the building – that’s a problem.

Stern, a business leader, is trying to serve his best interests: his paying customers (both the fans and TV partners).  Where Stern went wrong was with his tactics, by threatening the team before the game with an “or else”, then slamming the gauntlet and trying to set a precedent. The problem is that David Stern doesn’t have a lot of room to talk when he says “disservice to the league”, when he presides over a league that schedules 4 games in 5 nights, that experienced a lockout where games were missed last year, as well as belittling those who have the audacity to question the legitimacy of a lottery awarding their top draft pick to the league-owned team. David Stern shouldn’t be casting stones from his glass house.

All of this mess could have been avoided if one guy stepped in and did his job: Peter Holt, the owner of the San Antonio Spurs.  While Popovich acts in the best interest of the team’s competitiveness, Holt’s job is to straddle the line between competitiveness and entertainment enterprise.  Wearing his “enterprise” hat, he should have stepped in and canceled those plane tickets, forced the players to at least go to the arena: either in shorts or suits. It’s his job to look out for the greater good of his organization, and avoid a PR mess like this. Popovich may not have been happy, but would accept this compromise, because his boss – who is looking out for bigger interests – told him to.

Hopefully good can come from this. It’s time for the NBA to have a serious conversation about an 82-game schedule, and whether these crazy road-trips are really worth it.  People don’t start paying attention to the NBA until your 10-week playoffs start anyway.

Mile High Magic Is Back


Having attending my first Broncos game in 2001, I never got to experience the Elway era in person. I’ve heard stories of the fabled “Mile High Magic” and for the better part of the last decade, I’ve faithfully gone to the home games in hopes to experience the magic first-hand. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve witnessed greatness at Mile High (the 2005 New England Patriots playoff game comes to mind) – where I’ve tasted the magic.

To me the Mile High Magic is that euphoric feeling at the stadium when you tell yourself “Sure we’re down, but we’ve got this. We’ve got …” I’ve seen some pretty incredible wins at the new Mile High, but typically they’ve come in the “Oh my God, I can’t believe they pulled it off.” fashion.

That all changed on Sunday night. Going into the 2nd half, down by 3: the magic was there. We got this.

It would be easy to say it was all because of Peyton Freaking Manning (or PFM), and he definitely played a large role in this. This is different than Tebow. A charismatic character, Tebow didn’t necessarily inspire confidence, but more along the lines of “How did we pull THAT off?!?”. Starting deep in our territory, PFM resonated “Be patient. We got this. Let’s make it happen.”

The minute I walked into Mile High on Sunday, things felt different. No longer were fans polarized over a QB (although I did hear a Tebow-lover bash Peyton early in the 1st quarter, who was then quickly silenced by a great “3rd & long” conversion). People were there to see the Broncos succeed, believing PFM – along with the rest of the talent on the roster – would bring us there. People were actually quiet on offense and cheered at the right time. People finally rallied around the team, saving the animosity for the arrogant and obnoxious Steeler fans. With the rightful return of the primary color, Mile High Stadium once again became a unifying sea of orange. That was the moment I felt the Mile High Magic return to our stadium.

I’m not saying that the Broncos will go undefeated and win the Super Bowl. This team definitely has a lot of room for improvement and will definitely see adversity throughout the fall. At the same time, this was the first time in a very long time when fans were unified under their love for this team, the players and our hopes for this coming year. It made these last 4+ years in the desert worth it. Our patience has finally been rewarded, with a stadium experience that is finally enjoyable again.

Go Broncos.

Coming around on LeBron

Congrats to the Heat for winning their first championship last night as “the big 3”.  Like many, I was completely put off by The Decision and the fact that the Heat players celebrated this championship 2 years early.

However, I’ve come around. I think that at this point LeBron realizes that he invited a lot of the vitriol by those actions and is looking to move past this.  I’m more than happy to, and am grateful that both the Heat and Thunder gave us some exciting playoff basketball.  LeBron played out of his mind this year, demonstrating just how bad he wanted to get the “no championship” monkey off his back.

Since my sports hate against LeBron is dissipating, I’m glad that other members of the Heat are stepping up in their “give us reasons to hate us” efforts.

First off, Pat Riley’s puppet – Erik Spoelstra – after spending all of the post season with the players ignoring him, decided to wear his new champion ship hat backwards.


I’m sorry, but just like there comes a time in every man’s life when he realizes he’s not going to play professional sports, there also comes a time where a guy looks like a complete dufus when he wears his hat backwards.  For most guys this happens at 25 – and while some can stave it off until for another year or two – 27 is the absolute cut-off date. At that point, the hat either goes forward or comes off.  Just like Tony Romo, it looks like Erik missed the memo.

You would think your coach looking like a 12-year-old would be enough, but Chris Bosh had to put it over the top by treating the world to the most awkward champagne shower of all time.


And now with the marvels of technology, it’s now an animated gif:


At least now we know what it means to celebrate like a Bosh.

Pulling hard for Peyton

When rumor spread that the Colts were preparing to break up with Peyton Manning, I fell asleep with visions of #18 wearing a Broncos jersey.  Now a day after Peyton and Colts owner Jim Irsay gave tearful goodbyes, I’m openly daydreaming about having another one of the greatest QB’s to ever play the game wear Orange and Blue.


I’ve been following the Internet hype machine all day. As the rumors of Denver making a hard run for Peyton materialized, it became easy to come up with reasons why he should become a Bronco.  Some of the many reasons that come to mind:

  • Denver has a great young offensive line that fosters a great running game, of which includes a Pro-Bowl Left Tackle that will protect Peyton’s blind-side and million dollar neck.
  • Denver has a defense that improved in spades last year, and if Peyton is anything like his vintage self, he’s proven that he’s able to elevate decent defenses into good defenses – imagine what he can do with a good defense?
  • Denver has young solid wide receivers with tremendous upside
  • Denver’s not in the same division as New England (which can’t be said for Miami), and won’t have to deal with “Manning vs Brady” twice a year
  • Denver’s not in the same division as the New York Giants (which can’t be said for Washington), and won’t have to deal with “Manning vs Manning” twice a year
  • Denver’s not in the same city as the New York Giants (which can’t be said for the Jets), see above.

The Tebow Factor:

I realize that it seems like the Broncos are all in on Tebow, but every single team should be asking themselves: “Is my team better off with Peyton Manning as my QB?” Of the 32 teams, only a half-dozen or so can legitimately say “yes” – Denver is not one of those teams.

I realize it may seem like a setback to send Tebow to the bench after the turn-around he had, but think about it for a second: You can’t argue that Tebow struggles with reading defenses – so imagine being able to learn how to read defenses from the guy who is arguably the best guy at reading defenses in NFL history?  Tebow has the work ethic, Peyton has the ethic + and is a fountain of knowledge that will nourish Tebow.

Does it suck short-term for Tebow? Of course it will, but in the interests of Tebow’s career – this is the best thing that could happen. Tebow gains the knowledge and tutelage under one of the greatest to ever play the game, and will emerge 2 years from now a smarter QB with the same skillset, with 2 extra years of tread on his tires.

If you’re a Broncos fan, you can’t deny that Broncos wouldn’t be better off with Peyton Manning at the helm, in pretty much every way. It’ll be interesting to see how the next few days will play out. There are some teams that legitimately scare me in the Manning race: Tennessee & Arizona in particular – and I think Baltimore is a dark horse in this race that no one is talking about.  Either way, this goes to prove that “waiting for NFL season to start” is almost as exciting as the NFL season itself.