September 14, 2011
For some Denver Broncos fans, the distaste over the state of their team as quarterbacked by Kyle Orton(notes) is more of an issue than can be exorcised by chanting the name of backup quarterback Tim Tebow during close losses, as many of them did during the team's 23-20 home defeat to the Oakland Raiders on Monday night. No, a few fans have decided to take their displeasure to an entirely new level and spend the serious cash it takes to put messages on two billboards in the Denver area.
[Related: Broncos fans chant for Tim Tebow]
Interestingly enough, the campaign is being led by one Jesse Oaks, who lives in Independence, Ky. Oaks called several billboard companies in Denver and was told that creating two billboards with a pro-Tebow message would run a total of $10,000. Oaks put up a post on the team's official message board and says he's received hundreds of emails from fans eager to chip in.
"We believe in Coach [John] Fox, we're just tired of Kyle Orton," Oaks told the Denver Post. "We were sitting around after Fox said he didn't hear the chants for Tebow, and we figured if he's deaf, we hope he's not blind.
"We're not blind, we know when we see good football. We see other teams making good plays and we don't see that from our team. We can sink or swim with Tim Tebow, why wait a few more years?"
Of course, this is all hyperbole until someone actually throws down the cash, but Oaks seems to be serious about the whole thing — he's apparently ready to use the money he's been saving to attend Super Bowl XVLI in Indianapolis. It's a game he's convinced the Broncos will be nowhere near.
"We used to be a team that if we weren't in the Super Bowl hunt, it was a losing season. It just feels like we're a team that's settling for mediocrity."
The Broncos last made the playoffs in 2005, and they haven't had a winning season since 2006. Former head coach Josh McDaniels, who selected Tebow in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft, also decimated the team's roster in his two-year reign in 2009 and 2010. After a 6-0 start, McDaniels went 5-17 during the rest of his time with the team before he was fired in December of 2010.
Fox and new executive vice president of football operations John Elway, who was also the greatest quarterback in franchise (and possibly NFL) history, are trying to rebuild the team amidst all the distractions. Most Broncos players have defended Orton and seem annoyed at what they call the "Tebow thing" and how it's blown up beyond all reason.
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