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.
Booing the Broncos off the field is disgraceful.
— Will Petersen (@WillPetersen26) October 13, 2013
Broncos fans booing their 5-0 team for having a lead at the half. Their reputation continues…
— William Whelan (@William_Whelan) October 13, 2013
Man, Broncos fans are spoiled. Booing? For reals?
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) October 13, 2013
And many fans not at the stadium came to the side of their Broncos.
Yo if you was at Mile High tonight, and booing the #Broncos at halftime, pack your bags and ride the bandwagon out of town.
— James Cooper (@j7cooper) October 13, 2013
— Brandon Stevenson (@coltfreak188744) October 13, 2013
Love the Broncos? Cheer for them! Boo the Broncos? Get off the bandwagon and find another team!
— ∞ Epic ∞ 6-0 (@Upnya_Lyfe) October 14, 2013
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).