Saturday, January 18, 2014

Denver Broncos Want No NE Fan "Chowderheads" In Their Stadium - But It Won't Matter!

“No offense to proper Bostonians or any wicked arrogant fan of the New England Patriots. But the Broncos do NOT want you here in Denver. The local NFL franchise did not give blood, sweat and tears all season long to surrender the home field advantage to an invasion of loudmouths from New England. No Chowderheads allowed!"- Mark Kiszla, 'Go HOME, Chowderheads!', Denver Post, Jan. 17 column

Yes, Kiszla and other promoters of the Denver Broncos are on their high horses again. And we ain't talking MJ.  They believe they can effectively keep all NE fans out of Sports Authority Field tomorrow afternoon so there will be no competitive screams (or colors) to rival the Denver fans'.  This means their boys will have the optimum chance to win with a real "home field advantage", or so they believe.

Why this animus to opponent fans in their stadium? According to one Bronco quoted by Kiszla:

"Our fans remember what happened during the last AFC championship in Denver and they didn't like it".

He was referring to the Denver- Pittsburgh AFC 2006 face off when Broncos' players arrived at their stadium to find thousands of yellow "terrible towels" waving- leaving them to wonder where the Denver fans were.  According to former Denver player John Lynch, who was on the 2006 team:

"It was brutal. I'll never forget walking out into the stadium with Champ (Bailey) as we were going out for DB drills early, before the game. We both looked at each other and said: 'What is this?' The problem with the Pittsburgh fans was the Terrible Towels were so visible, so it felt like there were more Steelers fans than Broncos fans. You shouldn't let that affect you but it affected us....and the Steelers got off to a hot start.

We let a great opportunity go. It was a sickening feeling and I think people in the Denver Broncos' organization said: 'We can never let this happen again'"

The upshot,  according to Kiszla, was a 24-3 Steelers' lead at half time from which Denver never recovered .

The hidden reason, buried in another paragraph, is that Denver fans were "too subdued" in their purchase of championship tickets, leaving 30 % unsold just days before - which the Steelers' fans bought up. Kiszla notes this won't happen this time because under the new Bronco dictates, orders can only processed to zip codes in the Mountain West, Massachusetts zips are disallowed. Thus, according to Kiz, all 2,800 available tickets went to buyers in Bronco country.

This means, theoretically, there should be no Patriots' fans in the stands. Of course, this overlooks the money-greed dynamic present in every town's fans, so the ability to sell tickets over eBay or Craigslist remains. So I suspect enough "chowderheads" will show up to at least be heard, maybe part of the time.

In the end, it won't matter. The Broncos are hobbled by having lost star corner Chris Harris Jr. to an ACL injury, after having already lost  LB Von Miller. As SI has noted, this means the Broncos D will struggle to generate pressure. Add on to that NE RB LeGarrette Blount, who doesn't so much run through D-lines as plow through them, and the Pats have the formidable means to dominate time of possession and keep Manning off the field. Finally, let us recall that Brady is 7-0 vs. Jack del Rio coached defenses. Each time he faces them he puts on a QB clinic.

People - superficial observers - say that the Chargers running game didn't succeed  last week in Denver,  so why should New England's now? But they forget that the Chargers' top RB, Ryan Matthews, was only at half strength - having been injured the week before in Cincinnati. This time, the Pats bring a full deck for their running game and Bellichick won't let them be stopped.

Even if the Broncos manage to keep every last NE fan out of their stadium it won't matter in the end:

Patriots 31  Broncos 20

P.S. Don't look for Manning's "OMAHA!" callout  to be used more than once, if at all. It was designed to provoke SD defensive lineman into false starts - but it won't work against the Pats. All those who plunked down $100 for "OMAHA!" tees, sorry 'bout that!

Footnote: 1/ 20

Arrrgh! YES! Yes, I was wrong on both counts: The Ponies managed to take the game (after Wes Welker took out Patriots' D-back Aqib Talib, thereby assuring Manning would have a field day, and Manning also barked 'Omaha!" at least 25 times.  I only later discovered corporate sponsors in Omaha  (of Manning's charity) had planned to donate in proportion to how many times he yelped 'Omaha'. So naturally, he'd try to help his own charity.

Anyway, let the ponies enjoy their brief time as champs. It won't be so easy against the No. 1 defense in the NFL - the Seahawks. As we know great SB D's beat great O's. Wanna see the script? Look at Superbowl XIX!

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