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Cutler's return brings an edge to Bears-Broncos preseason game

By: FRANK SCHWAB
August 24, 2009
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photo - Jay Cutler will return to Invesco Field at Mile High Sunday for the first time since being traded to Chicago. Photo by AP PHOTO
Jay Cutler will return to Invesco Field at Mile High Sunday for the first time since being traded to Chicago. Photo by AP PHOTO 

Denver Broncos fans don’t seem to be too anxious to go to Invesco Field at Mile High this week just to boo Jay Cutler in a preseason game.

Tickets for Sunday’s nationally televised game between the Broncos and Bears are reasonably easy to come by on the online auction site eBay, and the Broncos haven’t gotten any extra national media credential requests. The game will be Cutler’s first in Denver since a messy feud with the Broncos led to his trade to Chicago.

Even the national television slot is a coincidence. NBC announced its schedule March 30. Cutler was traded April 2.

No sets of tickets on the site have been sold for more than $400 recently, and the highest price per ticket was about $150 each for a pair of front row seats. It certainly doesn’t come close to rivaling the anticipation surrounding Brett Favre’s return to Green Bay this season. Four tickets to that game sold for $1,450 on eBay last week.

Broncos spokesman Jim Saccomano said there have been no additional credential requests, although ESPN will have a couple of reporters at the game.

Even though television ratings for the game should be high, that isn’t unusual for the Broncos, at least locally. Denver’s first game got a 16.5 rating and a 35 share, the second got a 15 rating and a 32 share, which are good numbers (highest among all programs in the Denver market those weeks), especially considering the late starts.

“The ratings ought to be off the wall, but they usually are anyway,” Saccomano said.

However, the game will be unusual because of Cutler. He’ll likely draw a more passionate response than any other Broncos opponent in a preseason game. NBC Sports spokesman Adam Freifeld said although the network wasn’t treating the game differently than other preseason games, there are some good story lines. 

“It’s a preseason game,” Freifeld said. “But there’s certainly intrigue to it.”

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