Good morning, Broncos Country!
So...the Denver Broncos seem a little nervous that fans - who are arguably frustrated that the Broncos are once again playing a meaningless final game - might not show up on Saturday.
Denver Post’s favorite Broncos agitator Mark Kiszla has even called for a boycott:
“Don’t let the Broncos break your heart again until Vic Fangio is fired and new ownership shows commitment to bringing playoff football back to Colorado.
“There’s only one real way to send a message to lame-duck president Joe Ellis that paying customers will no longer hold their noses and put up with the stink Denver has thrown on the field since Super Bowl 50, expecting gullible fans to cheer, then drown their sorrow in over-priced beer.
“If you have tickets to the final home game of another lost season, do not use them. Sell them to the faithful followers of the Kansas City Chiefs. Or dump them in protest in the trash. Take the tickets to the Ring of Fame Plaza at the north end of Empower Field and shred them as a sacrifice to the bust of the late, great Floyd Little to demonstrate this no-account mediocrity will no longer be tolerated.”
I don't think #BroncosCountry needs to boycott the game to send a message about the coach. He's gone regardless. Support the players who on the field for crying out loud.— Doctor of Words (and tights) (@docllv) January 3, 2022
Since the game has been changed from Sunday afternoon - because the NFL wants to ensure the Chiefs still need to play for the No. 1 seed and make the game somewhat interesting to the masses - the Broncos are trying to incentivize fans to come out to Mile High on a chilly Saturday afternoon, maybe even before they attend the Avs game at 5 p.m.
And if fans DO show up, this is what could be in store for them on the Broncos’ annual Fan Appreciation Game. They could win:
Co-branded wrist lanyards
Hundreds of Broncos Team Store gift cards
Gameday concession credits
Eight lucky fans will participate in a halftime challenge where they’ll have the chance to win 2022 Broncos season tickets, a Ford F-150 truck, IKON passes, a VIP concert experience at Empower Field at Mile High, and more.
If that’s not enough to make you feel appreciated as a fan of a 7-9/7-10 team, the Broncos are also giving away prizes and experiences virtually. Just go to www.denverbroncos.com/fanappreciation to enter. Everyone is eligible.
Will it work? Who knows.
Personally, the promise of co-branded wrist lanyards (what???) does nothing for me. But not in a million years would I decide to shred my tickets in protest and miss out on a live game. I live on the East Coast, and I decide in August to go to one or two games a year at Mile High and hang out with my best friend to watch our favorite team.
This is the game - and I don’t care that it could be another blowout. I’m going in my Orange and Blue and cheering my ass off.
For those of you who have season tickets or often go to games, it’s up to you to decide how to show the team your disappointment in the season. Show up and cheer. Show up and don’t cheer. Sell your ticket to another Broncos fan. Sell it to a Chiefs fan (boo). Whatever. I won’t say ‘I don’t care what you do’ because it wouldn’t be true. But I’ll spare you my sermon.
But I, for one, am not missing the game just because the team is frustrating and the coaching is abysmal.
I chose this game partly because I love watching the Broncos play AFC West rivals in Denver. I prefer it when there’s a high probability of a win, but I’m not a fan because the team wins. I’m a fan because I have been cheering for Denver since the 70s as a kid, and rooting for the Broncos is “home” to me. It takes me back to Sunday afternoons, playing flag football after church with family friends before the game, and then everyone coming in to watch the game and hope for a W.
And aside from my general excitement to go to a Broncos game, I am still attending this one - a game that could easily be a blowout by the Chiefs once again - because I want to cheer for the guys out there.
Javonte Williams is THRIVING as a rookie— PFF DEN Broncos (@PFF_Broncos) January 6, 2022
77.8 PFF Grade (2nd among rookie RBs)
857 rushing yards (3rd)
60 forced missed tackles (1st) pic.twitter.com/1bnXl6pPMX
I will never boycott a game to supposedly “send a message to George Paton” about his coaching staff or to make Joe Ellis somehow suddenly feel accountable to fans for the poor product he’s allowed on his watch because neither of those things would occur by boycotting the game.
Paton already knows, and all inside intel suggests major changes are coming. Ellis also knows, and he hasn’t cared for several years. As Jess Place likes to point out, he’s just happy to cash his million-dollar checks every month.
So who really feels the lack of support and cheers from a home crowd if fans decide to boycott the game because they’re mad the team isn’t winning?
The players. The guys playing hard and trying to win.
Drew Lock, who is fighting for an NFL career somehow, somewhere.
Javonte Williams, who is trying to cap an amazing rookie season with enough yards to hit a major NFL milestone - 1,000 rushing yards in a season. Or to just have a few more Angry Runs featured.
Justin Simmons, who just earned the team’s inaugural Demaryius Thomas MVP Award as the player who best exhibits Thomas’ impact on and off the field.
Shelby Harris, who is one of the few defensive players out there able to disrupt Patrick Mahomes’ rhythm time and again.
Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick all trying to prove they are elite receivers.
Kendall Hinton just hoping to get another shot.
And every other player - starter or otherwise - putting his body on the line in the last game of the season to prove to himself, to his coaches, to his family and to the fans that this team is a good team, and good enough to pull out an unlikely win.
I appreciate those guys. And I’m not boycotting them.
Are you boycotting the game Saturday?
This poll is closed
Absolutely. I’ll show them by not watching!
I wish I could, but my orange and blue blood won’t let me.
Not on your life. I’ll suffer through every last Philly Special.
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