The dentist, the Broncos and me.

Broncos fan from Dublin since 1986. Like a lot of NFL fans from this part of the world, a TV show on a Channel 4 on a Sunday was responsible for generating my interest in the game. Up to that point my sporting allegiances had come from my father and uncles, luckily they included Manchester United and Munster! The NFL was in effect a clean slate for me as my dad had only a passing interest in the Bears from some business trips to Chicago. I attended a school that was big into rugby, so a group of us started watching it as it was clear American football (as it was called over here) and rugby were very closely related. On the first highlights show I watched Elway and the Broncos beat the Raiders 38-36 in a belter of a game, so Denver immediately moved to the front of the pack. After a week or two, I knew they were my team and Elway was my QB. Most of the original group became Broncos fans too and we used broncos player’s names as code words for reheased moves on our rugby pitch. ‘Mecklenburg’ and ‘Elway’ were shouted on muddy fields in various schools around Dublin to blank, baffled faces from the opposition!

Anyway, the group followed the team as best we could considering it was a boarding school and access to TV was limited. However a complete fluke allowed me the chance to witness the most exciting sports moment I’d seen up to that point. A chronically early dentist appointment on a a Monday morning meant it was easier for me to spend Sunday night at home. The Sunday night of the AFC Championship game. And I had full control of the TV….I watched what was in fairness a pretty dour defensive battle right up until the dying embers of the 4th quarter, when it didn’t look like either team was going to score many points. Then Brennan (?) got a TD, we made a hash of the kickoff and it was a miles away from OT. You know the rest…

The following week we convinced one of the older boys in school to let us watch at least some of the Super Bowl, our first. We’d seen Denver run the Giants close in the regular season, we had Elway and the 3 amigos so we were confident. We watched the first half, we watched a great start but knew, deep down that the goal-line stand was the turning point. We didn’t get to see the 2nd half but sadly weren’t surprised by the result (though maybe the score line).

We still keep in touch, the original group, 4 of us in total. We watched the SB 31 and 32 together, though Channel 4 stopped showing games after SB 31. We watched that hugely disappointing AFC Championship game in 05. We watched SB 48, seperately this time but not alone. Our kids were now fans, our nephews, my sister. We were all close to tears that night. But there tears of a different kind 2 years later I don’t mind admitting- tears of joy. Because another generation of Irish Broncos had finally seen Denver win a Super Bowl. We hadn’t forced them to follow the team, I think they just got swept along. And there’s more on the way- my six year old was recently on Brandon Perna’s youtube Channel, declaring his love for the Denver Broncos. In a broncos t-shirt a little bit too big for him but still…

Anyway, that’s my story. Sorry it was so long and I really hope I didn’t bore you guys too much!

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