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Ultimate Fan Guide extra: Why are you a Broncos fan?

Being a Broncos fan is not just an awesome experience, it is a privilege. Only fans of a few NFL franchises can boast the long-term success of their teams the way Broncos fans can. Two Lombardi trophies, 7 trips to the Super Bowl, 14 AFC West titles, the most among teams in the division. And the Broncos have owned the division the last four years in a row. Plus, we absolutely have the best fans, which helps explain our 8-0 record at home this year.

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Many of us were born into our fanaticism. Some of us chose it by rebelling against another's favorite team.

And a few were just wooed by the amazingness that is John Elway or lured over after Peyton Manning, aka Captain Awesome, signed on.

But whether we've been fans our whole lives, or just joined the family recently; whether we've been fans long enough to remember the Broncos in the AFL, the first trip to the Super Bowl in 1977, or the greatest AFC Championship victory via a 20-17 surprise win over the then Mighty Raiders; whether we suffered through all the Super Bowl losses in the 80s only to be rewarded with two back-to-back victories in the 90s; whether we became fans after John Elway returned to the FO to rescue the Broncos as only he can; or even, if we just jumped on the Broncos train last year with that unbelievable ride to Super Bowl 48...

No matter our stories, we are all here - in Broncos Country.

And there's a reason for that.

"Our team" has been one of the most electrifying, most competitive and most fun - if not also frustrating - NFL teams year after year.

Only a handful of teams' fans - such as the Packers, Patriots, Cowboys, Niners and Steelers - can say their teams have consistently been competitive the last four decades. And an even smaller number of teams can boast loyal fans year after year after year (Seahawks fans - you're so far out of this conversation, just move along...unless you can name three HOF players from your team before 2000 without Wikipedia ... in which case, you are allowed to sit in and learn).

It is so easy to become critical of our team - to nitpick their deficiencies, to complain about their decisions, to wish for something other than what is.

And it's good to do that sometimes. We are fans after all, and we get mad because we care. I dare say many of us want the Super Bowl trophy as much for the players who we've grown to admire and root for so obsessively as we do for our own elation.

But it's also good to put aside the criticisms and join our fellow Broncos fans in celebrating a team that brings us joy week after week (and I'm even including the losses in that joy. Really.)

So remind us how you came to be a Broncos fan.

In countless threads on posts here, we have all shared bits and pieces of our lives as Broncos fans - games we attended, plays we can't get over, players we marvel over and outcomes so crazy we can't even believe we witnessed them.

But those are stories worth telling again and again - especially before the playoffs. So as we finish out the Bye Week with no Broncos game to watch, critique, cheer for and get mad about, let's celebrate the team that makes us simultaneously crazy and happy along with the people who are a big part of why this team is what it is - the fans.

Denver Broncos fan for life

As an addendum to the Ultimate Fan Guide, The Provider tells us how a Vietnamese-born, Texas-living Cubs fan became a Broncos fan ...  and why she can't stop being one.

How did I become a Broncos fan?

It started more than 33 years ago one night in Saigon, Vietnam, when my dad was able to convince a policeman that he was just going fishing on his boat. He just didn't bother to tell him that he was also taking a few hundred people with him thousands and thousands of miles away, and that it was going to be a looonnng, looonnnng fishing trip.

Around 1981, my family made it to a little town called Corsicana, Texas (Big Lou Vasquez's hometown).  You would think that a little town dubbed the Fruitcake Capital of the World wouldn't be that exciting, and you would be right. There were no other Vietnamese families in this town, so we had to adjust to the American way of life through trial and error.

The first game I watched was a Monday night game between the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos. The Bears were leading and I thought sure they'd win. But it was John Elway we were talking about, so of course, the Broncos won. I decided I did not like this not-very-good-looking QB.   -The Provider

A church member introduced us to tennis, and I earned to watch and play. This ultimately introduced me to the sports section of the news, and that introduced me to basketball and baseball. Unfortunately for me, I became a Cubs fan without knowing their history of futility because we got WGN. But I love my Cubs. My dad didn't, and he kept rooting against them.

During this time, my dad found a Vietnamese family 40 minutes away in an even smaller town. Just about every weekend, we would drive to their house so my dad could hang out with his new friend. They would play Chinese Checkers and turn on the Dallas Cowboys game (Thus, the seed of my disdain for the Cowboys was born.)

I did not like the drive there, and I was bored hanging out. Plus, I didn't understand you crazy Americans' obsession with a sport that basically allows grown men to beat up each other.

I decided to learn this crazy game of football (really football?! the foot is not involved very much with the ball ... silly Americans!), so I would know what I was talking about when I trashed the Cowboys, since my dad would trash the Cubs.

The first game I ever really watched was a Monday night game between the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos. I decided to root for the Bears just because they were from Chicago like the Cubs. The Bears were leading late in the 4th quarter, and I thought for sure that they would win, but it was John Elway we were talking about, so of course, the Broncos won. I decided I didn't like this not-very-good-looking QB and his Broncos.

However, as I learned the game and understood how difficult it is for teams to come from behind late in the game, I started falling in love with Elway and the Broncos.  As a Cubs' fan, I usually lose hope if my team goes into the 9th inning trailing or leading by only one (*editor's note: as a doomed Cubs fan as well, sometimes 4 points ahead isn't safe!)

With the Broncos, I knew that as long as No. 7 was under center, the Broncos would somehow pull it off.


Unfortunately, the Broncos would also have championship futility for many years until that Glorious Super Bowl 32.  I had to watch some kids at a church while their parents were having a Super Bowl party.

Thankfully, one lady pulled out the TV for the last few minutes, and when John Mobley knocked down that pass, I wanted to jump up and down and scream like a maniac (but couldn't since it might have scared the kids.)

Luckily I had set my VCR to record the game and was able to watch later - and celebrate all over again!

Your turn, MHR

So now it's your turn - to tell us for the first time or just remind us again - why you are a diehard fan for the greatest team in the NFL.