Joe Flacco Signage Protested by Denver Bronco Fans. Right or Wrong? (Please excuse this non real estate related blog to cover the talk of the town)
By Jim Loftus of Open Door Real Estate
On January 12, 2013 the Baltimore Ravens traveled to Denver to take on the heavily favored Denver Broncos and won. Broncos faithful everywhere were devastated, the Broncos Super Bowl hopes dashed, and the Ravens went on to win the championship game.
For the past several years, it has been tradition in the NFL to open up on Thursday night with the Super Bowl champs hosting a worthy opponent. However, a scheduling conflict with the Orioles prevented the Ravens from hosting this year’s season opener in Baltimore.
As a result, the NFL chose the city of Denver and their team to host the season opener against the Ravens. In an effort to promote the game, the NFL has covered Sports Authority Field and the 16th Street Mall with images of Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens. These images have enraged Denver faithful with some fans going as far as to petition the NFL to remove the banners.
One fan posted this plea on Change.org:
“Take the Joe Flacco signage off my Mile High Stadium! Broncos Nation will not endure this detestable and audacious act. Who in their right mind thought that we would just let this fly?! We stand united against your unbearable Joe Flacco signage.”
So is the signage right or wrong?
From a fans point of view, I believe the argument is black and white, the signage is WRONG! Broncos fans have suffered through a long offseason with a bitter taste in their mouths – a taste given to them by the Ravens on that cold night back in January. On the eve of a new season, a fresh start, the last thing fans want is to be force fed images of the very man that handed them that unlikely defeat. This is a home game for the Broncos. The Ravens should not be made comfortable by the NFL brain trust simply because they were unable to work out their differences with their neighbors, the Baltimore Orioles.
With only eight regular season home games per team in the NFL, the Broncos should have every advantage that comes with playing in their own stadium. Players and fans alike rally behind the battle cry “protect this house.” With so few games, it is critical that NFL teams win at home when the crowd noise is in their favor.
So why then are images of Joe Flacco hanging all over Sports Authority Field? Let’s take a look at the other side of the argument.
The season opener, by all intensive purposes, should be being played in Baltimore. Baltimore’s loss is a huge gain for the city of Denver. An estimated 26 million viewers will be tuning in to watch the NFL season opener on Thursday, September 5, 2013. This will be excellent exposure for a city that, let’s face it, does not get a lot of national attention. Fans and media will flood the city of Denver in preparation of the game and will help feed the local economy. Hotels, restaurants and bars will see increased activity and revenue. Denver will get excellent exposure that could pay dividends down the road – possibly even luring a Super Bowl to the Mile High City one day.
No amount of banners should influence the outcome of the game. The Broncos and their fans will have the opportunity to prove to the world that the loss back in January was a fluke and that Denver is ready to make another run at the Super Bowl this year.
So, at the end of the day, should Broncos Nation put up with the huge Joe Flacco banners on their beloved stadium? Probably not. It’s only right that they be angry and that they fight to protect their turf. I hope this inspires fans to wear more of their colors and cheer even louder on that opening night.
On the other hand, can the city of Denver put up with a few banners in order to enjoy the benefits of having 26 million American’s eyes on Colorado? I think so! What do you think?