DENVER (CBS4) – No more home games in Denver. That’s what one sports radio guy in Philly would like to see happen because of the city’s mile-high edge.
“Remember when watching tonight’s game that the home court advantage is unfair and unreasonable considering the physical disadvantage that the visiting team has,” Spike Eskin of WIP radio tweeted of the 76ers vs. Nuggets game last Friday. “Denver should not have any home games if we insist on giving them pro teams.”
The tweet created a bit of a Twittersphere frenzy as Denver sports fans fired back, some calling out Eskin for making excuses for his team that lost.
“I think it’s funny that people are so angry,” Eskin told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann via FaceTime. “I think people took all of this a little too seriously.”
Eskin said his tweet was mostly in jest, but knows altitude is no joke for Denver’s opponents.
“It’s sort of a ridiculous home advantage that the visiting team can’t breathe as well as the home team,” he said.
Yet to some athletes, the altitude is part of the game.
“It’s not our fault we play at altitude,” former Denver Broncos safety Nick Ferguson said.
Now with 104.3 The Fan, he said playing a mile above sea level is a definite advantage for all sports. Many visitors of the Broncos are seen sucking down oxygen on the sidelines.
“Ryan Clark who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in my day when I was [playing for Denver], he could never play here because of the altitude,” Ferguson said. “Why do you think the Nuggets had the best home record last year? It’s because of the altitude. Once they get to that 4th quarter, [the visitors] want to tap out.”
Ferguson said every team of every sport has their own competitive advantage – whether it’s a hot shot player, stadium design, weather or elevation.
“Think about Green Bay and how many times they went to the championship. Why? It’s cold,” he explained. “The Miami Dolphins wear all white uniforms. They always put the opponents in the sun and you have to wear dark uniforms. Are we going to change that for the Dolphins? No. So why should we change anything for the altitude? If you don’t want to deal with the altitude, schedule someone else.”
CBS4’s Dr. Dave Hnida has looked into the impacts of high altitude and sports before. Here’s his take on the issue.