For over twenty years the Denver Broncos enjoyed a significant advantage playing at home. This was due to 1) Altitude and 2) Noise. Much has been written about why this has been deteriorating since the move to the new stadium. I offer the following thoughts. Warning: This article is full of opinions. They are my opinions. And you know what opinions are like.
As schemes and tactics evolve on both sides of the ball we see many more substitutions. Specialty players are used in specific situations. This means players are coming off the field and getting oxygen. A Belicheck approach here might be to switch opposing teams’ oxygen bottles with laughing gas, but we probably shouldn’t do that. I will leave the Xs and Os up to ht, but it appears to this casual observer that by running more no huddle we can force defenses to keep the same players on the field longer and therefore wear them out faster. It goes without saying that we should be the best conditioned team in the NFL. Yes, even our “Big Uglies” should be in top shape.
As for the noise factor, a few days ago Guru correctly stated
“The “footprint” of the new stadium is twice the size of the old. So the same amount of people have to make double to noise to make it seem so loud. The fans were right on top of the field in “old Mile High”, everything is so spread out in the new stadium it simply is that much harder to get that loud…” TSG 5/5/08
What can we do about it? We are not likely to make twice as much noise but we can increase the noise level from what it currently is. Noise is not entirely unlike vision. When you go into a dark room it takes a few seconds for your eyes to adjust. The same thing happens with our ears to a much smaller extent. We get used to a certain ambient level of noise. This is why a large bang in a quiet room startles but the same noise at a rock concert is overpowered. As fans we need to be knowledgeable about when to be loud and when to be quiet, and then execute!
It has been stated that there is a difference in the kind of fan we have today. I think this is true. The fans at Mile High tended to be more football savy. They were beer and hot dog guys and gals. One writer characterized todays Bronco fan as more wine and cheese. I subit the wine and cheese crowd can be educated. We need to recreate the culture of the twelfth man. We expect a great deal from our team and I feel they have the right to expect the best from us as fans.
We need to get Klis and Kisla and Paige and the other Denver writers to start educating the fans about behavioral expectations. I will never forget the time at Mile High when I actually HEARD John Elway’s famous hard count. The fans of that era were smart, savy, and understood their impact as the twelfth man. When Cutler steps up under center you should be able to hear a mouse fart at the twenty yard line. At the snap of the ball, mayham. Conversely, when Phyllis and his merry men line up the center should not even be able to hear the cadence. And keep it up the entire game. We need to be in game shape too!!
We need to start getting in fan shape now with twelfth man education. I urge all true Bronco fans to attend training camp. The pre season games should be for getting the wrinkles out of our vocal support. A year or two ago I actually saw some fans trying to start the wave when WE had the ball!! Elimninate those errors in pre season and be ready for Sandy Eggo on Sept. 14th.