Paul Klee's three random thoughts on Broncos-Raiders Sunday at Allegiant Stadium in Vegas:
1. Raiders will come up aces in Las Vegas
At the risk of burning my Colorado card, I am a Las Vegas Raiders season-ticket holder. Before the world stopped, three friends and I purchased personal seat licenses at the new Allegiant Stadium. (It was 100 percent an investment, not a testament to allegiances. One's an Eagles fan, two are Bears fans. I root for trout.) Turns out, NFL fans love Las Vegas the most: we had already “sold” tickets to seven games before the Raiders announced in August they won’t host fans in 2020. But much like moving the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles, shipping the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas eventually will be a massive financial win for the franchise. Vegas Raiders games are the priciest ticket in the NFL, according to Team Marketing Report, which estimates a cost of $783 for a family of four to attend a game. That’s $116 more than the next team (San Francisco 49ers). The cost to attend a Broncos home game is below league average at $535.81, the study said. The "Death Star" has all the Vegas bells and whistles and cost $2 billion, of which $750 million came from taxpayers and $550 million came from PSLs. Here’s the kicker: 40 percent of Raiders season-ticket holders don’t live in Las Vegas. Raiders home games soon will be a melting pot of Chiefs fans, Patriots fans and, yes, Broncos fans.
2. Learning to win, but they don’t have wings
You won’t find a Bronco who hates losing more than Jerry Jeudy. That was apparent last Sunday in Atlanta, Jeudy’s return to SEC country, when the rookie wide receiver was downright ticked off — after he scored a touchdown. Instead of celebrating the moment, Jeudy angrily spun the football in the end zone, a sort of Bronx cheer. Why? The Broncos were losing. “If we didn’t finish with a ‘dub,’ it don’t mean nothing,” Jeudy said after. It should be no surprise why losing hits Jeudy harder than most. He lost only four games in three seasons at Alabama. He’s already lost five games as a pro with the Broncos. There’s a cliché that says young teams must learn how to win. That’s especially true for the Broncos on offense, where two central leaders have not won much. Quarterback Drew Lock never won a bowl game or finished above .500 in the SEC at Missouri. Running back Phillip Lindsay has been a part of only one winning team (out of nine) since his high school days at Denver South. They’re learning how to win when winning hasn’t been a habit.
3. How low can trust in media go?
Vic Fangio could lose the final eight games of this season, and trust in the Broncos coach still would be higher than the media’s. Public trust in media is diving toward a new low, and your distrust is warranted. The people assigned to tell you the truth spent 2020 portraying protests as peaceful when anyone driving down Broadway could see the smashed windows on the state capitol. They’ve campaigned for government lockdowns of schools and small businesses with only a rare nod toward the devastating long-term effects. And they totally blew it on predicting the tightness of the presidential election. No institution has seen its credibility crushed as severely as media, and that’s coming from someone who’s in it. Scary thought for those who recall the fallout in 2016: trust in media tumbled to 32 percent, according to a Gallup poll. (It was in the 70-percent range in the 1970s, 50-percent range in the ’90s.) A Reuters study says it's now 29 percent. Media jobs are vanishing, yet there’s been almost zero self-reflection within the industry as to why most of the country could not care less.