Broncos fans had every right to boo Sunday

Credit: Chris Humphreys, USA TODAY Sports

If there’s one thing Broncos fans have inherited from their quarterback since he signed with Denver in March of 2012, it’s his expectation of perfection.

Peyton Manning, the NFL’s most meticulous perfectionist, has been known for leaving notes in the locker’s of his teammates when they didn’t practice or play to the best of their abilities.

On Sunday, in light of an underwhelming first half performance against the 0-5 Jaguars, the Broncos faithful at Sports Authority Field left 76,862 notes of their own for Manning and company as they headed for the locker room at half time.

The notes simply read “boo.”

This booing of a team that had a lead going into half, immediately sparked a wave of disgust from media on twitter.


And many fans not at the stadium came to the side of their Broncos.


These are just a few of the thousands of tweets badmouthing the fans for booing the poor first half performance, and I disagree with every last one of them.

This was not a case of fans “jumping off the bandwagon” or “bailing on their undefeated team,” as was suggested many times. This was a case of the fans sending a message to their team; “You aren’t playing the way we know and love, and we expect better.”

What’s wrong with that?

Do you think John Fox and Peyton Manning went into the locker room high-fiving the team, slappin’ asses and cheering everyone on for having a two point lead over the worst team in football?

Of course not, but the fans have to hold their displeasure and opinions in and pretend like everything is grand just because they are the fans? Thats preposterous.

These people paid the ridiculous price that it costs to attend an NFL game, they are entitled to an opinion. And don’t tell me that anybody that spent that much money to see their favorite team in person is a bad fan, just because they have high expectations.

If you want to talk about bad fans, look to the Chargers fans who failed to sell out the stadium for yesterday’s Monday Night Football game, something Broncos fans haven’t done for any game in over 44 years.

Look at Texans fans who cheered the injury of Matt Schaub Sunday, or Chiefs fans who did the same to Matt Cassel last season.

Do I even need to get into Raiders fans? Stabbing fans of opponents is pretty bad, but I can’t really use it to prove that they are bad fans of their team. So I’ll use trying to kill each other.

These are things that are unacceptable from a fan base, expecting performance is not.

If your favorite restaurant served you up a bad burger, you wouldn’t walk into the kitchen and tell everybody what a great job they did just because it’s your favorite restaurant. You’d be upset because you got less than you expected, but you’d go back because it’s still your favorite restaurant.

The Broncos have set a standard or excellence and now, just like anyone or anything else, they are expected to stick by that standard. It’s something even the players understand.

“We got high expectations too,” told Wes Welker to the Denver Post. “So we understand that they have high expectations for us, and we feel the same way. I’m sure there are a lot of us that want to boo ourselves, so we understand it. I almost appreciated it, and (it) kind of gets our butts into gear and (gets us) ready to play out there.”

Wes Welker appreciated it, and the Broncos did go on to outscore the Jags 21-7 post booing, so maybe the booing did more good than harm.

Maybe if fans showed up to Coors Field and booed every time they inexplicably put Wilton Lopez in the game to immediately give up four runs, or every time they called a washed up Jeff Francis or Aaron Cook up to be their fifth starter, the Rockies would become a respectable franchise.

Maybe if Nuggets fans booed every time the team walked the court following another first round loss in the playoffs the front office would have some more motivation to put together a championship caliber team.

Maybe fans have more power than they think and by just showing up and blindly cheering regardless of performance actually does more harm to their team than good.

For years, New York Yankees fans have received a bad wrap for booing players and coaches a like anytime they underperform, but guess what, they have booed their way to 27 World Series titles.

Call it spoiled, call it whiny, call it whatever you want, Broncos fans Sunday showed that they have an expectation of excellence and I applaud them for that, because in sports, fans only get as much as they expect.


Follow Ryan on Twitter (@RyanKoenigsberg).

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  • G.B.

    Booing…..Really???…..This is Colorado and we support our teams no matter what. And any sports writer that condones booing needs to be run out of town….Nuf said

    • Rich Kurtzman

      Whoa now, let’s not call for Ryan’s head here. And let’s not forget, booing is in our nature as Denver Broncos fans. Elway was booed too, when he struggled, as did Griese, Plummer, Cutler…When you pay for the ticket, you’re allowed to boo or cheer and fans were rightfully a bit upset before half.

  • Eli Manning

    It’s absurd that “fans” boo’d a 5-0 team off the field while leading the JAGUARS. Easily the worst team in the league. Classless as usual.

  • William Whelan

    “fans only get as much as they expect,” I could not possibly disagree more with this rationalization. Aside from the fact that it’s blatantly wrong, it does nothing but reinforce the pompous attitude of fan bases across the country, including Denver. You want excellence? Study for a test and ace it. You want to boo your 5-0 team who had a lead at the half, go get some perspective on what other teams are doing throughout the weekend.

    • Ryan Koenigsberg

      Fans only get as much as they expect: Organizations with fans that don’t put pressure on them, don’t have any reason to put together a winner. In the end, it’s a business and they can continue to make money whether the fans are happy or not. But when fans begin to voice their displeasure, and the media picks up on that as well, it reflects poorly on the organization and they have to make an effort to fix it. Using the Rockies as an example again because it’s the situation we are closest to, they get 30,000 fans a night who could care less if they win or not. The Monforts know that as long as they have a few household names on the team that people will pay to see they don’t have to worry about building a winner, and they dont because there is no pressure being put on them by the fans.

      You want excellence? Say so, and say it loudly.

      This winning culture has already been instilled in Denver, and the high standards that the fans showed Sunday is one of the reasons that exist.

      How are fans supposed to “Study for a test and ace it?” And why should they have to have perspective on other teams? Because the Giants are 0-6, Broncos fans are supposed to feel bad and therefore not be upset that the team they actually care about isn’t playing up to their own standards?

  • Paul Posluszny

    I thought the Jaguars defense had a solid first half, most notably myself.

    • Rich Kurtzman

      It really was a solid, classy effort by you and your teammates, Paul.

  • LZ

    While I do not condone booing, as I watched the first half come to an end I was shocked at the score and really felt Broncos had put in little effort thinking this game would be an easy win. Yes the broncos were winning, but the worse team in the league looked pretty good. When the Broncos came back after halftime they finally looked like the team we have come to know. I doubt they were holding hands and singing kumbaya in the locker room, they were most likely getting chewed out.Of course you wouldn’t hear booing at a High School or College game especially since they were ahead but these guys make the big bucks, they were disappointed in themselves and why shouldn’t the fans show them they felt the same. Ryan just wrote what many journalists wouldn’t have the guts to write. I support the Broncos, and have for over 45 years and admit to booing a few times, big deal.