Every year at about this time, I go through little trips down memory lane when it comes to my beloved Denver Broncos. I grew up as a kid in the mid-80s and early 90s, so most of my reminiscing pre-Super Bowl championships was during John Elway's apex of athletic greatness.
I've shared my story a dozens times on Mile High Report since 2007, but like I said, it's about that time again. So my story begins at a time when I lived in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The date was January 11, 1987. The day I became a Broncomaniac. I was a casual Broncos fan up until then, but that was the exact date my eight year old self became a raving orange and blue maniac.
Honestly, I barely watched most of that AFC Championship game between the Broncos and Cleveland Browns. The house party of adults were all into it, but I had G.I. Joe's or He-Men (can't remember which) to play with. I did sit down and watch the final drive, since I was told I would not get my meal until after the game and I was told "it was almost over".
By the time it was over, I was still hungry, but I didn't care. I was jumping for joy with everyone else and the rest was - as you say - history.
Fast forward to January 4, 1992. I was 13 and living in the heart of Oakland Raiders territory in the far north of California. I had just watched the Broncos destroy a huge deficit in the second half of the AFC Divisional playoffs against the Houston Oilers. With no timeouts, down by a point and on their own two yard line, Elway would engineer the greatest comeback of my childhood.
For you younger fans, it was pure awesomesauce. Elway converted two fourth downs and drove the team 80+ yards in less than two minutes for the winning field goal. A field goal that was nearly blown if one Gary Kubiak hadn't deftly saved the bad snap in the final split second before David Treadwell booted it through.
The NFL remembers the Super Bowls those Broncos teams lost in the 80s, but I remember the sheer will to win and the competitive spirit those teams had when fighting for AFC supremacy. Good times.
What are some of your defining moments as a young fan?
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