Two years ago after a particularly ugly loss to the Raiders, someone said to me, “A wise person wouldn’t get too emotionally attached to the Broncos this season.”
It was way too late for that!
Let me tell you a story…
In 1960 my Grandfather invested in some season tickets for a team we call the Denver Broncos. He went to every single home game, as well as a couple of Broncos Super Bowl losses. On occasion, my parents got to go to a game at which point my siblings and I would go to our others grandparents’ house where my Nanny and Grandad would teach and later grill us about the rules of the game. And when the weather totally sucked (and no one else wanted to go) we kids would get the opportunity to go to the game with my Grandfather.
Which meant most of the time, we watched them on TV, every single weekend, we watched the Broncos with my Mom and Dad. My Mom whooping it up, my Dad couch quarterbacking and the kids soaking it all up, learning the plays and memorizing the roster.
Fast forward – those same tickets are still held in our family, priority number 139. Every Broncos home game you can count on Uncle Pete, my brother Ryan and assorted other O’Mearas and Kimmels to cheer on the home team. And every so often, the kids, my grandfather’s great grandkids, get the chance to go.
So, you ask, why are the Denver Broncos so near and dear to my heart? It comes down to one thing….family.
Football is family.
Tonight, it’s true tonight more than ever. You see, my dear Dad passed away three weeks ago, so tonight is the first time in my life that I’m watching the Broncos game without him.
Don’t get me wrong, there were lots of games where we watched from separate places, but I knew he was paying attention. I knew he’d be complaining about that infrequent shovel pass he always hated; I knew he’d be rolling his eyes while chanting “In-com-plete” in his living room and I could practically hear his infamous “noooo” when he didn’t like what he saw.
And of course, those same thoughts are playing in my head tonight…but it’s just not the same.
As I sit here tonight watching our favorite team kick off their season, the finality of his death is staring to hit. And hit hard.
As I write this post, this game is getting close and I can feel my anxiety building. And suddenly it feels like a whole lot more than just a game, it feels like an epic battle. A classic Broncos 4th quarter battle, so many of which we celebrated winning together. Surely my beloved Broncos are going to honor my Dad with a win, right?
Flash back to that comment a couple of years ago. That very year, my beloved Broncos won Super Bowl 50 – an amazing win by the under dog. Every minute of it enjoyed by our family despite the fact we didn’t watch it together. Once again, a game bringing us closer.
So tonight, I lean on those memories of my Dad to get me through because I know one thing for sure. For this Momma, football is, and always will be, about family.