DROP THE MIKE

Is John Elway the target of Broncos fans frustration?

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Dec 3, 2019, 6:33 AM | Updated: 10:08 am
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 1: General manager and President of Football Operations of the Denver Broncos...
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

The biggest story to come out of Drew Lock’s debut, other than a solid start by the kid, was how few Broncos fans were there to see it.

The Broncos announced almost 20,000 no-shows on Sunday. Just like we tend to fudge how much we really weigh, my guess is the actual number was higher.

What does it all mean? It means the Broncos are a losing product, a boring product and almost four years of bad football has taken its toll.

The fans have had it and they refuse to pledge blind allegiance to the Broncos. To which I say, “Awesome!”

Let’s be clear about something, you are not a “bad” fan if you stay away. I don’t want to hear any garbage about how only “true” fans were at that game. In my book, your rights as a fan include loving your team one day and criticizing the heck out of them the next.

Frankly, I’d be disappointed if Broncos fans continued to show up 75,000 strong. As a fan base, you have very few ways to show your displeasure and affect real change. But 20,000 no-shows sends a message.

Just like barely 6,000 for an Avs game against Columbus when the Avalanche were terrible sent a message. Just like 8,000 for a Nuggets-Magic tilt when Denver was bad sent a message.

Unfortunately, the Rockies never receive that message because Coors Field continues to be filled by party-goers, sunset watchers and loyal fans of the opposing teams. There’s no real impetus for Dick Montfort to change anything when three-million-plus fans show up to watch a crappy product.

So Broncos fans sent the message. What does it mean? Amazingly it’s a huge indictment against John Elway.

Fans aren’t buying what John’s selling. I don’t believe de facto owner Joe Ellis has the stomach to fire Elway, but 20,000 no-shows could give him newfound courage, especially if that number swells closer to 30,000 for inconsequential games with Detroit and Oakland during the Christmas holidays.

Broncos fans are smart. They know what good football looks like. Yeah, maybe they’re spoiled, but that’s not the point.

The point is they’ve been blessed to watch a lot of good football and they know what is good. And they know what isn’t. They know a bad offensive line when they see one. They know what a lack of roster depth looks like. And they remain skeptical of yet another “solution” at quarterback.

It’s nothing against Drew Lock. Fans wish him the best; 20,000 fans don’t stay away because they have a problem with Lock. The fault lies with an endless parade of Siemians, Lynches, Osweilers, Keenums, Flaccos and Allens. Fans have become numb to it. They want change. They want wins. They want accountability.

And they will stay away until they get it.

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Is John Elway the target of Broncos fans frustration?