In attending the first Denver Broncos home game against the Seattle Seahawks, I was struck by a few things. And the intense sun was just one of those things that struck me, maybe to the point of a serious sunburn tomorrow. It was well over 90 degrees in the stands and had to be approaching 100 on the field.
By the way, the noise from this flyover was about 20 decibels below that in the stadium when the Seahawks were trying to run their plays. So I probably will have some hearing loss to go with the sunburn.
This is not a precise re-cap of the game and I may have some errors in statistics and such but this is really more about my impressions than a blow by blow analysis.
John Elway talking to Kyle Orton before the game.
Ol' Mr. Comeback, Mr. Hall of Famer, Mr. SB MVP, Mr. Ring of Fame hisownself, John Elway, was honored at the game. He drew an incredible amount of applause, even from two Seahawk fans sitting near me. I think they were yelling almost as loud as we were.
Remembering back to his career and his last two years, winning those Super Bowls and then walking into the sunset was a movie script waiting to be written.
It brought back a lot of great memories for me, as well as reminding me how long it has been since the Broncos were really a competitive team in the NFL.
The fact that Denver has been accused of having some age in their defense has always torqued me and I have had to argue with more than a few people about this.
Here Brian Dawkins is holding a ball that last touched Matt Hasselbeck's hands before it ended up in B-Dawk's mitts. Adding to this INT were some vicious hits and great tackles, looking like he was 26 not 36.
Not to be outshown, 'Gramps' Champ Bailey made a leaping acrobatic INT in the redzone.
These are just a few great highlights to remind just why these guys are the leaders of this defense and why they are both still starting and could both be heading back to the Pro Bowl.
I am sure that Mr. Hasselbeck, not a spring chicken himself at 34, is sooo glad he is in the NFC and doesn't have to face these two "geezers" again any time soon.
The biggest steal since the Great Train Robbery might have been getting Perrish Cox in the 5th round of the NFL draft this year.
Between his INT (one of three against Hasselbeck), his coverage in Nickel situations and his overall energy, he is a real keeper.
My only gripe was a stupid Excessive Celebration penalty that he had after his INT. If the game was closer, that could have been more of an issue.
Watching DeMarius Thomas make his Bronco debut, with no preseason games, was unbelievable. He had seven or eight catches and close to a hundred yards plus a TD.
The way Bay Bay ran routes, made catches and blocked made the #15 flash before my eyes. (The Brandon Marshall model, not the Tim Tebow version).
IF he can stay healthy, this man will be a serious threat to the opposing defenses, especially when you mix in the likes of Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Mr. Rollerball, Eddie Royal.
If they can all stay healthy, we will have an air show to rival that of the ones in Indianapolis, San Diego and the Broncos pre-game flyover.
TE Daniel Graham, no rookie at 31 and Lawyer Malloy, at 35 had a few collisions on the field today. And both walked off to play another day.
In putting the binoculars on Graham, it was fun to see him blow people up, even more than making catches. This guy is a D-9 Caterpillar in a Denver Broncos uniform.
Knowshon Moreno has started to show me why Josh thought so highly of him in drafting Moreno so high in last year's draft.
At the beginning of the game, I wasn't so sure, but when I swore he was down and then popped out of that pile for another 25 yards or so, I said Holy S@!t!!, this kid can play.
With his running ability and his nice catches out of the backfield and showing more patience in waiting for his linemen to finish their blocks, he is on his way to being something special.
Kyle Orton has at last (or should) shut up all those "The season is lost, play Tebow" screamers.
He showed his knowledge of this complex offense, he was poised and spread the ball around. He had no INTs and from where I sat, there were a few plays where I was faked out on his play-action moves and swore the RB had the ball as Orton tossed it to one of his WRs.
And I don't know the exact numbers but his third down conversion rate had to be off the charts.
Unless he gets hurt, Orton is The Guy.
One thing I noticed that really bothered me were some people around us with these electronic devices we were told were called Fan-vision. They were given to some season ticket holders to try out and you could see replays, get stats and see close-ups.
I guess I really am Old School, but why in the world do you come to a live football game and not watch the game and take in the excitement of being there, interacting with other fans?
Some of these people were so engrossed that they could have been at home in their Lazy Boy and not taking up seats that REAL fans would love to have been in.
And I guarantee this guy above didn't have one of those devices!
They even missed the Wave, which is W A Y Old School but was kinda fun, the first 2 times. The last 3, not so much.
I saw a lot of Tim Tebow jerseys but was heartened to see that there were a lot of #7s. #24s, #30s and yes, even a few #8s. So the reputation of the Denver fans is still somewhat unsullied by the "Tebow fan First - Bronco fan Last" phenomena.
I also saw Mr. Tebow cheerleading and congratulating players after making great plays. It is nice to see that he understands his situation now and knows that his time will come, not just right now.
Just a sunburned (but happy) Bronco fan(atic)'s opinion.