This walks a thin line here -- between being an individual who simply feels he/she has better things to do with his/her time or being a whiny, myopic fan who wants it their way or no way. Let me be clear: I don’t want to ignite a debate between the ”legitimacy” or “realness” of one fan vs. another -- I don’t know how to qualify fanship off the top of my head (though I suppose that would make an interesting study -- perhaps another time). And, for the record, let me state that I don't believe criticism of ones team does not make you a lesser fan. We all express fandom differently. However, this particular phenomena, drawing a line in the sand to the point where a fan jumps off the bandwagon of his/her favorite team completely (or threatens to do so), is what I'm interested in.
I’ve seen a lot of “threats” from fans here boycotting the Broncos if they (the fans) don’t get/see what they want. People have said they have already cancelled road trips, NFL television packages and even season tickets because they are upset (before a single preseason game has even been played!!!). All of that is fair and certainly within ones rights to do at any time and for any reason. What I’m curious about is how much it takes for fans to take such drastic actions.
What I would like to understand better is the answer to the title of this post: Under what conditions will you cheer for this Broncos team?
Only if the team is exciting? If so, what does it mean to be exciting? Do they have to average 25 points or more a game?
Only if Tebow starts?
Only if Orton doesn't play?
Bronco fans who date or remember back to the Super Bowl years (and, my, but they have travelled far and quickly so) remember a team that often dominated the first quarter then choked the other team away. Many of those games (particularly in the title defense year) almost seemed like non-events. The Broncos would score a TD on the first drive, get a three and out or turnover from the D, then suddenly be up 14-0 before the other team had a chance to enjoy their Gatorade. Great offense. Opportunistic and play-making D. Solid and occasionally spectacular special teams.
The fact of the matter is, those teams are gone. That identity is gone. Because of the enormous number of changes over 15 years since that time (personnel, front office, home field, etc.), something new must be in place.
Now the what if: are you still a fan if the identity of this team is completely different? What if they play very solid D, adequate but not flashy special teams and ball-control O. What if the team wins games by scores of 10-7 and 7-6? What if they finish 8-8 and show reasonable improvement over last year (that would be four more wins). Does the team have to win the way you want them to win in order for you to like the team? Are you more in love with the memory of Shanahan’s teams or the fact that they are the Denver Broncos regardless of who is at the helm?
Is it the wins, money? Or is it the way they wins? Or...?