I have been trying to think of something in my life that I have been fully devoted to since childhood. Aside from my relationship with my family, I am not coming up with a very long list. Or any list for that matter.
But, this time of year has made it crystal clear. I have loved the Denver Broncos for more than 35 years. Yep, there it is.
It began innocently enough. Young girl (somewhat of a tomboy) enjoys playing backyard football with the neighborhood boys. They all start showing up to the “field” with new helmets. I remember the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks being represented respectively. One afternoon I wandered into Pierces Sport Shop and there it was…the old school Denver Broncos football helmet. Let us just be real and acknowledge that most 7 year old girls love horses…and what’s busting its head through that glorious orange D? An awesome bronco shooting steam out of its nostrils! Whats not to like about that? I was smitten and set my sights on owning that helmet.
Not long after my discovery, Christmas morning rolled around and I found my dad’s gym bag tucked behind our Christmas tree. Upon opening it, I found what appeared to be a large ham wrapped in butcher paper. But alas, no, it was not a ham. It was that helmet. My Denver Broncos helmet! I remember being so excited.
I proudly strapped that thing on and played my heart out every chance I had. Those are great memories. Although I don’t recall the exact time, I find myself wondering when was the last game that I played? I’m sure I didn’t realize it would be the last one. I wonder when things changed and I no longer played tackle football with the boys. Anyway, I digress.
The other best thing about devoting myself to the Broncos was the fact that I grew up in a town near Cleveland, Ohio. If you know anything about the rivalry between the Broncos and Browns during the 80’s you will clearly understand that I was not appreciated. The Broncos had a history of really messing things up for the Browns. There was the infamous ‘The Drive’ and then the equally infamous ‘The Fumble.’ I remember being kicked out of a friend’s parents living room and being forced to watch the rest of the game through the front porch window! True story. It happened twice!
Let’s fast forward several years and get straight to the point of me moving to Colorado. I always knew that I wanted to live there. One day I boarded a plane and went to check it out. I stayed 10 years.
I was dating a guy that I had met the first day I arrived in Colorado. We drove from the mountains down to Denver one Sunday afternoon. He said he thought it might be fun to be downtown and go and watch the game with other fans at a restaurant. As we were driving around looking for our location, I pulled the sun visor down. Guess what fell into my lap? Tickets to the game that afternoon! Denver Broncos versus Cleveland Browns! Full circle people. Yes. I married him.
Now I have two little boys. One is sleeping in his Broncos jersey at this exact moment. The other received an eBay purchased Terrell Davis jersey for his birthday last year (because his name is Davis) and he also wears his proudly. We live far away from Sports Authority Field but it’s interesting how the Broncos still keep bringing me joy. Even if they don’t win (shudder…) the fun that we have as a family cheering them on will continue to build our memories.
There are only a couple things that I dislike more than losing to Phillip Rivers and one of those is losing to Tom Brady. The Broncos have already taken care the Phillip Rivers issue and a few more hours will prove the outcome of taking on the Patriots.
So please don’t let the Denver Broncos season end today. Give me a few more weeks of unbridled blue and orange joy. I can’t stand the thought of football season being over and NASCAR season lurking right around the corner.
Cause I CANNOT. STAND. NASCAR.