One of the things that excited us about moving to Denver was the opportunity to attend pro sporting events. The Rockies are winding down a less than stellar season so we decided to postpone baseball until the spring. But the Broncos – well, we love football. I feel badly that I love football, but there it is. As violent and dangerous as it is for the players, I was conditioned from an early age to build weekends around the game: Fridays spent watching first my brother and then my sons play high school football – Saturdays fully devoted to College GameDay and the half dozen college teams we are fanatical about – and more recently Sundays as a brief flirtation with Fantasy Football a few years back did its job and hooked me on the NFL. So it’s not surprising that I dug up some tickets for us online for the first Broncos game we could go to. Usually I balk at the cost of NFL tickets which I find truly horrifying, but I lucked into some good tickets at a (relatively) reasonable price, and last Sunday we found ourselves at Sports Authority Field at Mile High to watch the Broncos play the Falcons. (I admit some confusion on my part since Sports Authority is now bankrupt, but its name is still on the stadium so yep, that’s weird.)
First of all, we arrived via Uber which was a complete win. What an unusual experience to arrive at the entrance gate after a smooth ride and a short walk through smiling tailgating fans. Usually we stumble up to big events, testy and frazzled from sitting in the sort of traffic you’d expect in a hurricane evacuation and winded from an 8 mile hike from a “premium parking lot” in the next county. Not so this time – a dedicated Uber dropoff spot at the stadium was clutch.
The stadium quickly filled up with orange-clad Broncos fans and a very small smattering of Falcons fans. Hopes were high and the faithful loud as we were entertained by parachuters, a flyover and an introduction to what seemed to be professional Superfans wandering the stands. Great stadium, great atmosphere!
Alas, it was not the Broncos’ day. In fact, the poor backup quarterback struggled mightily and the heralded Bronco defense looked pretty suspect over the middle. And to top it off, the coach was taken to the hospital after the game for serious migraines. I fear we might not be allowed to attend another Broncos game since we were clearly not good luck. But they are still 4-1 and hopefully will rebound this Thursday against the Chargers in San Diego.
After the game, we decided to walk downtown to try out one of Denver’s famous breweries. This may not have been a good idea or, at the very least, our route wasn’t well chosen. We were oddly alone for a lot of the walk except for a few pedicabs. We may or may not have witnessed an illegal exchange of contraband. Suffice it to say, we won’t be walking that way again. As we walked past Union Station (which is spectacular and deserves a post all of its own), the mood was noticeably quiet all through downtown Denver as dreams of an undefeated season faded away. We ended the day with a delicious pint at Denver’s first brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing Company. (And then we Ubered home.)