I’ve written before why I hate Thursday Night Football, mainly because it’s a shameless attempt for the NFL to insert itself into another weeknight just to promote it’s mediocre Network by giving you sub-par game coverage. The NFL Network, further demonstrating their incompetence, puts together a spot where they show off their coast-bias (NFL Network is based out of LA, where ironically there is no football) against Broncos fans in flyover country.
So apparently Broncos fans are all redneck hillbilly ranchers who can’t drive to save their life. Thanks, NFL.
At least that commercial got one thing right – you’d have to go to a bar to watch the game, as chances are you don’t get NFL Network at home.
I Twittered those words last night, sitting in a rain-soaked Mile High Stadium finally fed up with the 18th series of boo’s coming down and the 10th chants of Tebow that started no sooner than halfway through the 2nd quarter of the first game of the 2011 season. So I posted the following to Twitter:
I hate Tim Tebow – and it’s because of all you jackasses at this game that chant his name. What about him drives you to boo your own team?
So I rang that bell – and I can’t un-ring it. Since then I’ve engaged in some Twitter discussion with Tebow supporters – some of them friends & family – about my comments and what spurred them. While I can’t put this toothpaste back in the tube, I feel like I need more than 140 characters to explain what I said, and why I wrote what I did:
“I Hate* Tim Tebow**”
* ”Hate” is a strong word, but it’s important to understand Sports Hate vs. Real Hate. Because of the affiliation nature of sports, you have the ability to hate a player for what they do on the field, or you hate that they’re on a team that you rival. You don’t hate the person personally, or want anything bad to happen to them or their family – you just don’t want to see them do great in sports at that moment.
** In the case of Tim Tebow, I don’t have a problem with Tim as a player or as a guy. He’s a charismatic athlete who has found success in a conventional game through unconventional ways – it’s easy to understand why people gravitate to him and root passionately for him. At the same time, Tebow has (unintentionally) bred an aura of mal-content and distrust amongst Broncos fans against the coaches, management and team in general. Over the years as we have watched the team suffer some fallbacks, it seems that fandom has taken a turn for the worse. Once unconditional supporters, Broncos fans have now become fickle, ready to turn on their team with a series of boo’s after every bad play.
This is nails on a chalk-board for me. There are very few exceptions, but generally you should never boo your own team at home! Last night when the game started, I commented to my wife that there was a great sense of energy in the stadium that hasn’t been felt for some time – that all lasted all of 1.5 quarters, when the boo’s rang down amongst the stands after an interception was thrown. A steady stream of boo’s persisted for the rest of the game, much like the rain that fell throughout the night. The boo’s then degenerated into chants of “Te-bow, Te-bow” throughout the third and fourth quarter. In the storied South Stands, fans started to turn on each other, with one fan profanely ripping into a guy for saying Orton should get the benefit of the doubt.
I hate to say it, but last night the Raider fans showed more class towards their team. It was no surprise that they egged on Broncos fans that chanted for Tebow. Why not root for the continued fracturing of fanbase of your rival?
I realize Tebow didn’t ask for this (at least not directly – Tebow has no shortage of endorsements, public appearances, and has written memoires at the age of 23). Tebow didn’t ask to be drafted in the first round. Tebow didn’t ask to play for John Fox and John Elway. Tebow didn’t ask to sit on the bench while his team is struggling – I get all that. What I don’t think Tebow fans get though is that putting him in isn’t going to solve all of your problems. John Fox and his staff have forgotten more about football than most fans know. As fans we have a right to second-guess the coaches, but in the first game in the first season: the coaches deserve the benefit of the doubt. They feel Tebow isn’t the right guy to play in this situation, we should accept that. If you don’t agree with that – fine, then don’t cheer Orton – but to boo the guys that put their health on the line to ultimately entertain you – that’s classless.
The problem I have with Tebow is that his presence is turning a segment of Broncos fans into Tebow fans, who couldn’t care less about the state of the team. All that matters to them is to see their guy play. Nevermind the other 44 players on the team. Nevermind that Tebow is currently the 3rd-string QB after a training camp where he seems to have regressed in his performance.
Orton shares in some of the blame for last night’s loss, but there’s plenty of it to go around. Orton didn’t make the running backs anemic in their 38 yard performance. Orton didn’t commit 6 holding penalties on the offensive line. Orton didn’t drop passes. Orton didn’t let the Raiders rush for nearly 200 years last night. Tebow is not going to make all of this better.
I realize that I’m extremely fortunate to be able to attend home games, and that there are people far more deserving than I that don’t get to go, but it’s not fun going to the games anymore – not because we’re losing, but because being completely infatuated with a single player, the fans have lost sight in what it means to support their team.
There’s currently a movement going around the Internet, and I’m hoping to rally my friends to join. The cause isn’t controversial, it’s rather simple: Persuade the Broncos Brass to switch to the Orange Jerseys as their primary jersey.
I’ve been bummed about the jerseys ever since they switched to the blue in 1997. Of course the new uniforms brought about some Super Bowls by coincidence, but it’s time that the Broncos right things and switch back to using the beautiful orange as the primary jersey color. No other team in the league embraces orange the way we do (the Dolphins and Bears have orange in their team colors, but don’t make significant use of them). In face, as Andrew Mason points out, 40% of the league uses blue as a primary color, while almost 30% of them use Navy Blue – same as the Broncos.
I could go on about the convincing arguments about orange, but I’ll leave it to the Pro’s:
Andrew Mason, MaxDenver.com: Bring Back the Big Orange
Write an email to the Denver Broncos public relations at email@example.com – or better yet, write them a letter at: Public Relations Dept., Denver Broncos, 13655 Broncos Parkway, Englewood, CO 80112
What a fantastic Broncos game today. The team came through and really rewarded the fans that suffered through the beat-down by the Raiders three weeks ago, by inflicting their own beating on the Chiefs. Of course we’ll see what happens when the play the Chargers on Monday night.
I don’t mean to complain, but there is one thing that’s happening at Mile High that just drives me crazy – how nuts people go about Tebow.
I realize that many Tebow fans have probably never been to an NFL game, or even watched football – so let me offer a tip: When the home team is on offense, you shut up! The minute he steps onto the field people start cheering as if we scored a touchdown and don’t stop until the play is over. I was fine with giving a pass in the Jets game when Tebow took the home field for the first time in a regular season game, but the crowd goes bonkers every freaking time! What’s going to happen when Tebow comes in for more than one play – start defensive cheers?
Tebow fans: calm down. He knows you love him, but there’s no need to make his job harder for him.
Sorry for posting a few days late. I’ve definitely failed on the “once per day” posting for October, but I guess it’s the thought that counts, and I have a few thoughts on the Broncos game on Sunday.
All last week the Broncos org was pushing “Orange Sunday”, as the Broncos wore their alternate orange jerseys, and thus wanted all of the fans to wear orange as well. They actually had a rally on Larimer Square on the Friday before the game.
I’m all for promoting home team enthusiasm, but I have a problem with “Orange Sunday”: that the Broncos need to christen a special event to wear orange and encourage their fans to do the same. In still bothers me to this day that the ditched the orange jerseys in 1997. I hate that they had a distinguishing color that really looks striking when a stadium full of fans, and decided to chuck it all away because some marketing guy thought blue would match more clothes.
Why can’t every home game Sunday be “Orange Sunday”? If the Broncos themselves are so unwilling to do that, the fans should step up and don the orange – especially because you can get away with donning hunter orange. I am now so envious of a team like the Chiefs, where the stands are a sea of red – that used to be Denver, and it should be again.
Also a note to all the Tebow fans at Mile High: I’m happy to see him come into the games as you are, but can you please shut up when he enters the game?!? For crying out loud, we’re still on offense at home. Mark Sanchez had to deal with less noise.
Lastly, even though we’re down 2-4, after going toe-to-toe with the Jets and outplaying them – I like the Broncos chances, especially when you consider that they still have 6 games against AFC West opponents.