There is lots of excitement geared towards the opening of a new season. This mantra fits for the NFL as well as it does many other leagues. This season, the kickoff game is between the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos.
On a normal occasion, the defending champion of the NFL hosts the opening game of the following season. However, in March it was discovered that Baltimore's Major League Baseball team the Orioles were scheduled for a home game on the same night as the Ravens opening night game.
Due to rules established by Major League Baseball, the Orioles were not able move the game earlier in the day or to another day. This left the NFL with no choice but to move the venue of the kickoff game. The game was moved to Denver, the same site where the Ravens defeated the Broncos in the AFC Divisional round of the 2012 playoffs in double overtime.
This however was only the beginning of the drama. On March 15th, Broncos all pro linebacker, Elvis Dumervil was preparing to resign with the organisation when his agent missed the NFL's deadline to fax the contract in and the Broncos were forced to release Dumervil from the team.
Ten days later, Dumervil was sitting in the Ravens office in Owings Mills, Maryland signing a 5 year, $35 Million contract with the defending Super Bowl champions. This angered Broncos fans due to the confusion and betrayal they felt with Dumervil's exit.
Elvis Dumervil was not the last Broncos member to sign with the Ravens during the offseason.
On August 12th with the Ravens in need of a slot receiver, the club signed wide receiver Brandon Stokley.
Stokley has played thirteen seasons in the NFL and his first 4 with the Baltimore Ravens.
Brandon Stokley was on the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl XXXV during the 2000 season.
After Baltimore, Stokley played in Indianapolis for 4 seasons and reunited with his former quarterback, Peyton Manning in Denver in 2012.
While the previous events may be enough to have Broncos fan riled up, the most recent occurrence has Denver's fans more irate than ever. An enormous banner of Joe Flacco; the Baltimore Ravens quarterback whose 70 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jacoby Jones eliminated Denver's Super Bowl hopes is now hanging from Mile High Stadium in Denver.
Not only this but multiple smaller banners with Flacco's image on it line the streets of Denver advertising Thursday's game.
It has been a long time since this much controversy and passion has surrounded the first regular season game. Denver fans hope that they can eliminate their fury with a win on Thursday night.
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