It's been a while since I have ranted. This time, I'm pointing the finger at Jesse Oaks and the guys from 104.3 The Drive. In a recent radio interview, found here, Jesse Oaks calls in and talks with Marc, Al and D-Mac. I encourage you to listen to the interview before proceeding - otherwise, my rant will make no sense.
As you all have probably heard by now, Jesse Oaks, an Independence Kentucky native, is gathering funds to put up billboards in Denver. These are no ordinary billboards though. These are Orton slandering, Tebow praising, agenda pushing billboards from a guy who is looking to capitalize on an opportunity to get his name in the paper.
Great job, Jesse. Here's another article dedicated to you.
But, I'm not here to get upset about your billboard. I don't care about the message and I don't care about the way in which it is being presented. In fact, for the record, I am actually quite fed up with the way Kyle Orton has been playing, as of late.
What I do not appreciate however, is the way in which out of town Broncos fans have been perceived.
For those who don't know me, allow me to introduce myself. I am Troy Hufford. I am from Kentucky. In fact, I grew up about 5 minutes west of Independence, Kentucky - the place that Jesse Oaks calls home. I have been a Broncos fan for as long as I can remember and frequented Mile High Report as "kentuckybronco", a few years ago, before becoming a staffer. That's part of where this title came from, actually. Any time I rant, the rage usually comes from the kentuckybronco (KB) in me.
Anyway, let's talk about the interview. Shall we?
The interview begins with D-Mac introducing Jesse Oaks. Typical interviewing tactic but the tone with which this guy was being interviewed raised some red flags immediately. The tone that D-Mac used, throughout his initial questioning led me to believe that D-Mac was ready to rip into Jesse Oaks. He did that. Through sarcasm, mockery and laughter The Drive successfully rips Jesse Oaks apart, insinuating that out of town Broncos fans aren't really Broncos fans, at all. This guy was obviously just a Tim Tebow fan with a Tim Tebow agenda.
"What do we know? We don't live in Kentucky."
Well, D-Mac, I'll tell you what you don't know. You don't know that there are a ton of dedicated Broncos fans outside of Colorado that you didn't exactly see eye to eye with during this interview. In fact, if you take a look at the people who staff Mile High Report, you'll notice that there is only one person ("Kaptain" Kirk Davis) that actually lives in Colorado. The rest of the staff is composed of people from as far as Alaska and Canada... heck, even Kentucky.
I won't even get into the ignorant redneck stereotype that Kentucky natives have drawn. That's not what this is about. Or is it?
"... bunch of idiots from Kentucky wanting to put up billboards... Kentucky and Florida and Ohio... Bunch of real Broncos fans"
Hey, now. Let's not lump all out-of-towners with this kid from Independence, Kentucky. I'm from Kentucky and I don't appreciate having my fanhood questioned because some other bluegrasser buys a sign. And I'm sure that John Bena (an Ohioan) doesn't want to be wrongly associated with some Kentuckian who has money to burn.
Just because a Bronco fan doesn't live in Denver doesn't mean that they aren't "real" Broncos fans.
It's not about whether or not people agree with Jesse Oaks putting up signs in Denver. John Fox is on record as not caring about these billboards. Neither is Tim Tebow or Kyle Orton. Frankly, I don't care if he puts up the billboards, either. It's about slandering fellow Orange and Blue die-hards.
So, I proclaim, "Shame on you".
Shame on who? D-Mac? Jesse Oaks? Stink? Al?
Yes. Shame on all of them.
D-Mac, Al and Stink
Shame on Al for his little comment "Aw, that makes sense". You're clearly in on the snarkyness that D-Mac displayed early in the interview. Did you guys plan this while you were off-air? Your giggling and snickering whenever D-Mac calls him "Kentucky Jesse" and sarcastically introduces the John Fox quote really shows some maturity on your part. Good job.
Shame on you, too, Stink. You did display restraint when asking Jesse a question about how his actions are being perceived. I didn't have a problem with that. At the end of the interview, however, after Jesse had hung up, all three of you were laughing uncontrollably. Honestly, I can see why. It must have been hilarious, having a kid run away after being verbally lambasted on the radio. Really classy.
Most of all....
Shame on D-Mac for displaying an unbelievable amount of immaturity. Did you have to insult the intelligence of out of town Broncos fans?
Guess what... the Denver Broncos have fans outside of the Denver area and we listen to The Drive, too. We pay for NFL Sunday Ticket because we can't watch the games locally. We have to get our Broncos gear shipped to us because we don't live in Denver. Does that make us less of a fan? Ever been to a road game? I have. Ever gone to school or work and been scoffed at because you're wearing a Broncos jersey but nobody else is? I have. That is what a real fan does. Real Broncos fans don't mock other Broncos fans because their opinion is different or because they're from another state. Last year, I high five'd a Broncos fan who lived in Tennessee. I didn't mock him because he didn't live in Denver.
Shame on you, D-Mac. Shame on you.
Shame on Jesse Oaks for trying to capitalize on this opportunity to get his name in the papers. Maybe that's your goal and maybe it isn't. I don't know. What I do know is that it doesn't make you look any smarter when you call it "Broncos Nation". That's not the correct nomenclature, Dude. (Bonus points to the person who catches the reference.)
Do I feel bad that you got ripped apart and slandered on the radio? Yeah, a little bit. One bluegrass brother to another, I really do... But I also know that it's classless for you to hang up the phone at the end of an interview without signing off. Yes, they were ripping you. Yes, they were laughing at you. But you aren't gaining any credibility by hanging up. You had to have foreseen this. Buying a billboard in a state that is a 12 hour drive from your residence is a little bit crazy. Buying a billboard that calls for the head of the Denver Broncos starting quarterback is a little bit crazy. Buying a billboard, expecting to change anyone's mind about who should be the starting quarterback is a little bit crazy. You know that when you call into a radio station, they are going to say things that you won't like. Why call in and talk to them about it?
Now, this bothers me. I wrote a post earlier this week talking about how frustrated I am with the play of Kyle Orton. When I heard that someone was buying a billboard, earlier in the week, I never really gave it much thought. If other fans are for it, great... it's their opinion. But after hearing the interview from The Drive, I am much more upset about the plight of the out of town Broncos fan. For guys like John Bena, Sayre Bedinger, Brian Shrout, Ian Henson, Topher Doll, Colby Mueller, Jeremy Bolander, Tim Lynch, Jess Place, Matt Worthington, Matt Dierking, and myself... we know what being an out-of-towner is like.
Broncos Country is not a city. It is a country.
And it should be treated like one.