Those people would be Denver's scoreboard operator(s) (yes, operators; see below). After Peyton Manning lambasted the anonymous Sports Authority Field at Mile High worker, saying his usage of close-up shots of Chargers players as Denver's 35-21 game wound down "wasn't his best night," Broncos executives spoke to the scoreboard operations team, Adam Schefter reports.
The scoreboard operator who tried to stir the crowd and embarrass the Chargers and wound up upsetting Manning has been spoken to by two different Broncos executives, Broncos vice president Mac Freeman and president Joe Ellis, in terms of what is appropriate and inappropriate going forward, starting with today's game against Miami, per team officials. Not only was the scoreboard operator addressed, but so were the Chargers, per a source. Broncos president Joe Ellis called Chargers president Dean Spanos to apologize for Denver's scoreboard antics that night and assured him it won't happen again.
This is all mildly interesting at face value, but there has always been a missing element to this story: Denver's scoreboard isn't operated by just one guy.
Look, we're no Adam Schefters, but at the time of Manning's comments, we did reach out and try to get a hold of Denver's scoreboard operator. The Broncos officially kept things mum and didn't make the scoreboard operator available for interviews, but one source with knowledge of the situation made it clear that blaming one person was a little silly.
That's because the Sports Authority Field at Mile High scoreboard isn't operated by a single panel: it's a control room, with dozens of monitors, a handful of switchboards, and around 30 people there on gameday.
The source's info makes a ton of sense, too, as Mile High Report was there when the Broncos unveiled the new control room to the media during training camp in 2013.
The Sports Authority Field at Mile High master control room. (Photo: Casey Barrett/Mile High Report).
No one scoreboard operator is operating that thing.
There is a director-type-person of game day operations, according to the source, and we infer that is likely the person who got "talked to" by Broncos execs - him and perhaps someone on the team directly in charge of deciding what gets played on the scoreboard and when. But the images conjured by Manning's comments, of one irresponsible person who went ad hoc in the final minutes, are not representative of the truth: this was a team of professionals that made a mistake, possibly even influenced by a contest-winning Broncos fan who might have been in the room at the time of the incident.
Focusing on the scoreboard operator(s) is all tangential to what's really important today: the Denver Broncos, who have gone 1-2 on the road since Manning's comments, getting back on track. Manning hasn't been having his "best nights" either since his comments on October 23rd; hopefully both he and the men and women operating the Mile High scoreboard bounce back vs. the Miami Dolphins today.