Running off the pre-draft excitement, a slow day at work, and a couple Mountain Dews, I'm feeling introspective. So here now, the story of one man's search for a home(team). Warning, it rambles a bit!
My family is originally from the majestic plains of North Dakota (snicker), but I spent the majority of my youth in and around Salt Lake City, Utah. I grew up watching and playing football with my dad, but never had a home team. The Bears always interested me, but I think that was mostly due to the Super Bowl Shuffle. Barry Sanders was also a favorite, which I only mention as I would later learn that my dad liked the Packers growing up, while my mom like the Vikings. I don't know what this means...
After my freshman year in high school (94-95), we moved to the burgeoning metropolis of Castle Rock, CO. High school years aren't the easiest time, and they're made harder when you have to start over with friends and such. Needless to say, I wasn't exactly in love with the state of Colorado at the time, but I made the best of it. There was a new hockey team in town (hey, the just moved, too!), and the Broncos seemed like a team in transition as well (they had this upstart, 6th round RB that was turning a few heads.) As the seasons wore on, my family started to feel more and more attachment to the area through these teams.
The first big OMG! moment occured in the spring and summer of 1996: this new hockey team took the Stanley Cup! I had been following a team that won...how cool is that! The Broncos were looking good as well, and life was settling down.
The '97 playoffs would hurt, as the upstart Jaguars knocked Denver out of the playoffs early. Little did I (or anyone) know, it was setting the stage for next year: a post season that would send shivers down my spine for years to come.
I won't describe the playoffs, as anyone who actually reads this is already day dreaming about them. But the high that followed that Super Bowl win was incredible. I remember going out onto my parents' deck, with a clear winter night and the sound of cheers coming from all over the neighborhood (apparently, there were others that needed the reassurance that the sky wasn't falling!)
But my favorite season was coming up: 1998, my first year of college...in Kansas City, MO. My roommate that year was also from Denver and a huge Broncos fan; when we learned that Denver would play on a Monday Night in KC...well, we had to go! We scored some 1st level tickets from a broker, and were treated to Denver's first two touchdowns that night (both TD and Bubby "Baby-Steps" Brister) coming right at us! I would have to consider that a successful first NFL game.
The Super Bowl party was held at an on-campus townhouse, and was comprised of two groups: the small (but, yes, pretty confident) Bronco group, and the (much larger) Anybody-But-The-Broncos group. Cheers went up all around after the Falcons went up 3-0. That would be the last of the cheering from the non-Bronco group. It was a beautiful night.
Okay, I'm done rambling. But thank you to everyone on here on MHR: the level of intelligence (football and otherwise) is routinely astounding, while the ego level is insanely low. Please, keep it up everyone!