It’s the first day of football school, aka Broncos training camp. Time for roll call: Who’s missing?
You guys are missing. Where’d you go? The Broncos are here, on the practice field, thumping sleds and not thumping Peyton Manning. But the diehard, devoted, dedicated fans of the Broncos… nowhere to be seen.
OK, there’s a reason for that. As you can see above (bottom left), the Dove Valley headquarters are a wild-west construction zone. Hard hats outnumber football helmets. The new indoor practice facility is going up, the renovated offices are going up, parking is all out of whack, and the would-be dangers for fans are many. All for the bargain-basement price of $35 million.
The bad news: only three training-camp practices are open to fans (July 27, July 30, Aug. 2). Those will be held at Mile High.
The good news: next season, when training camp again is open to the masses, the seating area will be much improved. The construction crew put in the sod on the big hill to the west. You guys will sit/stand/holler at DeMarcus Ware (top right) from the hill, just like old times, but with a better view.
But it was certainly a different feeling this morning when the players took the field. Virgil Green, the tight end, was the first player on the field, and he arrived to the sounds of jackhammers, instead of applause. The Broncos had record-breaking crowds at training camp last season. They have Seattle-decibel construction noise this season.
Here’s to having the fans back at camp… next year.
Who else is missing? Champ Bailey. That’s still weird. Among the current guys, Chris Harris is the only player not in uniform, at least that I noticed this morning. Demaryius Thomas was excused to attend a funeral.
More updates coming from training camp later today. Here’s a blog on Pat Bowlen’s exit from yesterday.