viernes, 11 de enero de 2013

The size of my NFL obsession

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About seventeen years ago (GOD, I’M OLD), I was a little kid, trying to figure out what that wacky sport where people hit each other all the time was. My dad was (still is, poor Dad) a Dolphins fan, and he used to watch games religiously (he still does, poor, poor Dad). He tried to explain the game, and, after a while, told me that the best way to get to like something was to pick a team. Once I had a team, I’d be more interested.

Of course, he was expecting me to pick the Dolphins. He proceeded to explain to me that Dan Mariano was the best QB in the universe, and I should always pick a team with a great QB.

I was never a particularly rebellious child, but there is something against going against what your father is telling you. So, of course, I asked, if Dan Mariano is the best QB in the world, who is second best?

John Elway, my dad said. He plays for the Broncos.

And, that’s how my NFL obsession was born. Seventeen years ago I became a Broncos fan, mostly, to spite my dad. I’ve watched all these years, through the Elway years with two Super Bowls, to Brien Griese trying to live up to his father’s legacy, Jake “The Snake” Plummer, and that one AFC Championship game. I watched Mike Shanahan draft a QB when we supposedly didn’t need one. I even bought a Jay Cutler shirt, (still have it, even if Cutler has been QB for the Bears for more years than he was with the Broncos. One does not get rid of Broncos shirts.)

I remember when they fired Shanahan. I remember the press conference where Josh McDaniels (let’s call him McIdiot, just to show how much we love him) was introduced. I remember trading away Cutler. And, I remember Orton. Clearly. I remember screaming TEBOW at the television. I remember having about eight heart attacks last season. 

And, then there was Peyton.

Point is …I’ve been a fan for a very long time. Good times, some not so good times. Some horrible, horrible times that I hope never ever come back. I know the names of all the guys on offense, even the offensive line. I know the names of all the guys on defense (and that is even MORE impressive). I can recognize the running backs coach and the special teams coach on the sideline.

I’m a big, big fan. One of those that will sit down an hour before game-time tomorrow and watch the NFL network. One of those who will yell at the TV. I’m a big Denver Broncos fan, and it’s been a long, long time, since I’ve seen my team in the playoffs and felt GOOD about their chances. 

Doesn’t mean I’ll be calm tomorrow. As I mentioned before, I’m a big, big fan. Worry comes with the territory. I know the weather report for tomorrow. I’ve heard the predictions, I’ve seen the interviews. I’m ready. And so is my team.

They, after all, have Peyton Manning. Last time we had a QB that good, it was 1998. That was a good year. A really, really good year.

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