Ok, so we weren’t here during the Mike Shanahan, Shannon Sharpe, Terrell Davis “Orange Crush” and John Elway eras, but we’re here now!! We’re here during the post Elway era with Tim Tebow, Champ Bailey, Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil and Demaryius Thomas. Denver has some great players and a young team and I think there is some exciting times in their future. It is hard not to become part of the Broncos nation where everyone bleeds ORANGE when you live in Denver. We have been watching the games every week with all the drama and excitement and have been on the edge of our seats, even during the down times. It is so nice to live in an area that doesn’t “blackout” the games because they are not sold out, the Broncos don’t have that problem. Over 90% of Sports Authority Field at Mile High is sold on a season ticket basis and there is a 7-10 year wait for those… I guess this is why the tickets are so expensive. If you have tickets to a game you are not going to, or know someone who does… LET US KNOW!! We wanted to go to a few games this year, but didn’t want to pay the price for them. After the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week, luckily the Broncos were able to slide into a playoff slot when the Oakland Raiders lost their game against the San Diego Chargers. The Broncos were still #1 in their division even with an 8-8 record. We heard they would be selling tickets at 10am on Monday, January 2nd to the first round of the playoffs where Denver would take on Pittsburgh. We were on the computer on Ticketmaster and were calling on the phone at 9:55am. After 35 minutes, we finally got tickets!!
The hype was building all week in and around Denver and most critics had the Broncos losing to the more experienced Steelers with the #1 defense in the country. With Tebow coming off his worst 3 games in a row during his NFL starting career, even the Bronco’s faithful were skeptical.
It was finally gameday and we decided to use RTD which was a 5 minute drive from our house. We thought it would be better than paying $30 for parking near the stadium. K and I packed up and headed for the bus. We were both really surprised at how easy everything was, even when we arrived at Mile High, everything was very efficient and organized. As we walked into the stadium, they were handing out orange towels to be waved that said, “Mile High Magic”, we hoped so. These were handed out in hopes of drowning out the Steelers notorious yellow “Terrible Towels”. We explored Mile High for a little while, gawked at the crazy Broncos Nation and sneered at the Steelers fans. We both fit right in, me with my Champ Bailey jersey I got with 4 new Yokohama tires from Discount Tires and K with her Broncos scarf. We had to dress warm as kickoff was supposed to be in the lower 30’s and it was to get colder as the game went on. With a little snow on the ground outside, it was perfect weather for a playoff game!
We finished our lap around the stadium and decided to find our seats. We knew we were in the nose bleed section, so we started climbing. One of the employees was giving out paper towels to wipe seats with as they were still dusted with snow from the night before. We got to our seats (click here to see our game view) took some pics and decided to get some good ole’ stadium nourishment; beer, hotdogs and nachos… When we got back it was about time for the game to start. We enjoyed the Broncos fight song, the Thunderstorm Skydive Team, the National Anthem sung by Rascal Flatts, the color guard and the F-16 Fighting Falcons flyover before kickoff. When they built this stadium, they brought the upper seating in by 15 feet from the old stadium, which gives much better visibility of the field. We would take these seats in a heartbeat again, with no one behind us and easy access to the vendors and bathrooms.
The game started and Denver won the coin toss, they deferred until the 2nd half, so the Steelers got the ball first. They marched down in consecutive drives and luckily, Denver was able to hold them to two field goals. Denver’s offense was quiet during the first quarter, but the whole team came to play in the 2nd quarter. The Broncos scored 20 points, which had been their weakest quarter all year and were able to keep the Steelers from scoring again until the 3rd. With the game knotted up at 23 at the end of the 4th quarter, the game clock counted down to Over Time. The Referees explained the new OT rules and 11 seconds later, the game was over, BRONCOS WIN!! Tim Tebow threw an 80 yard TD pass to Demaryius Thomas, who ran down the field towards the south stands, stiff arming Steelers Ryan Mundy and into the end zone to seal the Broncos victory. The stadium went absolutely crazy. You could hear nothing but the crowd roar, with high fives from all directions and then the chant: TE-BOW, TE-BOW. It really was incredible, I have never been to a game that was that exciting and filled with emotion. The game was over and no one wanted to leave, everyone refused to let go and we were lucky enough to be part of the biggest game yet! As we finally made our way back to ground level, down the walkway, you could hear nothing but yelling, screaming and chanting “Let’s Go Broncos” with orange towels being waved everywhere. We made it back to the bus and K said, “how are we going to sleep?”. This was her first NFL game and I think we picked the right one. John Elway had “The Drive” and Tim Tebow now has the “The Play”.
Think she is ready for a New England road trip??