As a diehard Denver Broncos fan, I promised myself every year that I would attend a Denver home game. I finally went, not as a bucket list check mark, but as a needed experience.
For a long time, I believed that the best seat on Sunday was watching the game on a comfortable couch and big screen TV, but it’s not. The best seat is the one you pay for at the stadium. A seat that gives you the real NFL experience.
Yes, I know that watching the game at home can help fans save money on expensive ticketing, food, and other travel expenses. Why would fans want to go to the stadium when sports packages like Sunday Ticket and RedZone exist? Well those people are not diehard fans.
You simply cannot replicate the stadium experience. The authenticity of an NFL football game is supposed to be felt in person. After watching my Broncos beat the Dallas Cowboys in a 42-17 blowout, I left Denver with a new appreciation for live games.
Going to the stadium is unparalleled and anyone who admires or follows sports should push for travelling with their team. Consider the trip a worthy investment because it is. Watching your favorite team in person in a different state is what truly enhances the culture of football.
Think of all the pieces involved, from the clash between fanbases, venue, crowd noise, to even weather, they all bring fans closer to football. When I traveled to Denver, everything felt personal because I was surrounded with diehard fans from both sides.
I went with one of my friends who is a Cowboys fan and he told me to expect a sea of blue and white jerseys. He was right, after we cleared security, Prescott and Elliott jerseys swarmed the main concourse. The site was impressive because it demonstrated the impact fanbases have on home field advantage.
Denver home games are notorious for selling out to Colorado natives, but so are Dallas fans, they are notorious for traveling on the road. Aside from traveling, witnessing an NFL game in person brings out a bigger asset.
When you reach your seat, you reach the point of no return. Those 60 minutes of football you have come to know are ruined forever. What you see, feel, and hear will never be the same. You cannot get it at a bar or in the comfort of your home.
Take crowd noise for example, the screaming and cursing is no joke. People can do it anywhere, but the stadium is different. You essentially become the life of the crowd for better or worse. Couple that with the weather and you get a memorable cocktail, for better or worse.
Whether it be rain, snow, or sunshine, the game will be played in its entirety. During this game, the weather was perfect at kickoff. With about one-minute left in the first quarter, lightning delayed the game for 30 minutes.
These are the little things that most people ignore when watching football, mostly because they are not at the game. They are not living the experience. For years, I have robbed myself of this experience, one that only a select few value. A club of real NFL fans.
Regardless if my Broncos won or lost, the trip was worth every penny. Even my friend agreed saying he had no regrets and his team got blown out.
So if you are someone who watches football, go visit or watch your team at home or on the road. That alone is the definition of what the real NFL experience is about, one you will appreciate for years to come.