Peyton Manning, you're not in Indianapolis anymore. For a quarterback who is accustomed to his home crowd quieting down when he is running the offense, he might be in for a bit of an adjustment of his own on Sunday night. When the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town to face off against his Denver Broncos, the fans are never going to go as quiet as those Colts fans did for him for all those seasons.
I've been to games at Sports Authority Field at Mile High and have witnessed firsthand how deafening the crowd can make that stadium. I don't know if they purposefully designed it that way, but between the fans' vocal ability and the pounding of their feet on the metal bleachers, it gets amazingly loud in that place. Ever watch a Broncos home game on television? Typically, if it's an important play, many times that overhead camera view that networks like to show will be shaking from the fans' enthusiasm.
Manning had two games at home already but the noise from those fans will be nothing like what will happen come Sunday night. Trust me, I live in Denver, and I know how excited the fans are for this particular game. To many, it doesn't even really matter that the Steelers are the opponent. It's simply the enthusiasm the fans have for this particular Broncos team.
It's already showed in how the Broncos broke records for crowds during training camp practices. I was at that first practice open to the public and I can attest to the excitement of the fans about the entire team. I had been present at a handful of training camp practices prior to that one, but I've never heard the fans cheer a practice as loud and as enthusiastically as they did back in July. It's not just that Peyton Manning is here now. It's the way the defense has been improving, the potential of many of the new players brought onto the team this year, and even how great the special teams are.
However, Peyton Manning is the key. It will be difficult for Broncos fans to sit on their hands and subdue themselves when he is on the field. Thankfully, Manning doesn't seem to audible nearly as much as he used to with the Colts, but I still wonder if there will be times when he will have difficulty getting his verbal signals across to the team because of the noise. Personally, I hope he does. I want the crowd to have a blast and be as loud as possible. It's been quite a while since this town has gotten this excited over a football team prior to the season even starting, and they deserve to celebrate it as loudly as they can.
Julie is a featured NFL contributor and writes about the Denver Broncos for the Yahoo Contributor Network. A football fanatic, she began following the Broncos upon moving to Colorado in 2001.