I find the cult of sports fandom fascinating. All day long, I had coworkers coming up to me and offering their congratulations after the Denver Broncos beat Carolina to win Super Bowl 50. I received heaps of praise and so many fist bumps, high fives, and pats on the back, you’d think I played a crucial role in helping my team secure their hard-earned victory. I believed in them all season long, but faith pales in comparison to actually suiting up and making a tackle or catching a pass. I’ve been a Broncos fan for more than 30 years. I pretty much have to believe they’re going all the way at the start of the season, until they show me evidence that a championship is nothing more than wishful thinking.
I never felt that way this year. Granted, our offense was shaky at best, and Peyton is clearly feeling all of his 39 years. But that defense, man. They always looked unstoppable.
Don’t stop believin’. I took Steve Perry’s advice.
It’s also funny how I just now referred to it as “our” offense. As if I suited up and got into formation next to C.J. Anderson and Emmanuel Sanders myself. In my defense, I’m half convinced if I cut myself while shaving today I’d bleed orange and blue, so there is that.
We’d discussed the possibility of going out somewhere to watch the game or meeting up with friends, but that didn’t work out so well for us two years ago so we decided to just lay low at home instead. It’s a lot cheaper anyway; just imagine how much we’d have spent on cocktails and beer in a sports bar! And we were able to enjoy a variety of “football food” that included chicken wings, deviled eggs, meatballs, and chili. Last year I embraced super healthy snacks and, while it’s true that my wings were made with a sugar-free apricot & Sriracha glaze, I still indulged quite a bit more this year. I’ve gotten to the point in my healthy lifestyle where I don’t always order a salad when we go out to eat, and I allow myself the occasional indulgence. The Super Bowl is one day where it doesn’t hurt to say “what the hell” and treat yourself a little. Especially when your team is playing!
Anyway. It’s been 17 long years since the last time “my” team won a Super Bowl. That’s a long stretch to go between world championships, so I am absolutely savoring the feeling.
Keep high-fiving me, guys. I don’t mind!
I can’t help but think how different my life is now, compared to the last time John Elway hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. It’s little things, like the fact that I still carried around a pager instead of a cell phone. The Internet was in its infancy. I wouldn’t even start blogging for another couple of years (and I feel like I’ve been doing that forever). One of my kids didn’t even exist yet. The other was still in preschool. My future (and better) wife was all of 22 years old. Hell, I wasn’t even 30 yet myself. The good ol’ days, right?
Ha. Not a chance. These are the good ol’ days.
And I’m here to revel in a victory that I contributed absolutely nothing toward and yet feel entitled to regardless.
Congratulations Peyton Manning and Von Miller and the rest of the World Champion Denver Broncos! You’ve had an amazing season and have done me proud.