The Denver Broncos capped a record-breaking season with a blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday night.
As the game wound down, thousands of disappointed fans spilled out of bars in downtown Denver but the dispirited crowed didn’t cause much havoc.
At the Sports Column bar in LoDo, fans in bright orange gear packed around the TV giant screens to watch their team.
But as the game progressed, and the Seahawks racked up touchdown after touchdown, the mood went from tense to sour. With Seattle up 36-0 in the third quarter, many patrons began to settle up their tab and leave.
"The whole game I just felt terrible," Justin Truid said while standing outside on the frigid street. His friend Nick Storialli added that they hadn't seen the bar that depressed since last season's heartbreaking playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Expectations for the Broncos have been sky-high since star quarterback Peyton Manning came to town two years ago.
For fans, anything less than a Super Bowl win is a disappointment.
And they went into the game looking strong, having scored more points this season than any team in NFL history. To go from such a high point to a 43-8 defeat had fans reeling.
"It was horrible, what do you think it is?" Denver resident Monte Keller said."It was an embarrassment, that’s what it was."
Seattle went into the Super Bowl boasting the NFL’s best defense and they played a physical, hard-hitting style that seemed to take the high-scoring Broncos out of their rhythm.
That brought joy to the Seahawks fans who gathered to watch the game at the Lucky Strike Bar on the 16th Street Mall.
When the TV showed Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson holding the Lombardi trophy at the end of the game, the room went wild.
"We’ve had a lot riding on this, with a lot of trash talk leading up to the game, so it’s good knowing I can go into work tomorrow and stand proud," Denver resident and Seahawks fan Benjamin Levy said.
Levy was decked out in Seahawks gear for the occasion but said he wasn't pushing his luck -- he parked in a nearby garage to avoid any uncomfortable interactions with Broncos fans out on the streets.
According to Denver Police, downtown was relatively quiet after the game: there were no reports of rioting and only a few arrests for public intoxication.
A man was shot outside a Super Bowl party but late last night police spokesman Sonny Jackson said it wasn’t clear what the motive was.
Back outside the Seahawks bar, Sandy Gonke from Wiggins, Colorado, was focused on only one thing: her team’s first Super Bowl victory.
"It was awesome," Gonke said. "I’ve waited 28 years for this, the team has waited 38 years for this, and we thought it would be a crazy insane game, I don’t think we were thinking this kind of crazy insane."