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JoRo
11-03-2010, 06:19 PM
Dunno if anyone wants to read this, but the bus I talk about at the end was indeed the orangemane. I have to write a paper on a subculture (I chose Bronco Fans) and how I relate to it (I am one) and felt like sharing it with ya all. So: here ya go


Often times when someone becomes a fan of a football team, either pro or college, it often comes straight from where they live. This I think is both because the people around them are fans of that team, and the exposure they get to that team on local cable. This is certainly the case where I grew up in Ontonagon, Michigan, which is most definitely Packer-Land. In my high school on a Friday and a Monday you could count on two jerseys being worn, one being the high school teamís jerseys being worn by the players and their girlfriends, and Brett Favre Packer jerseys.


Taking that into consideration I almost feel like the Denver Broncoís picked me when it came to becoming a fan. My first experience with the team came on a fall day right after I had participated in my first ever football practice, something I had been apathetic towards until having experienced it for myself. I was at a friendís house and he had decided to go outside, which I wasnít really feeling at the time. I had decided to try and watch the Pittsburgh Steelers game, having a father who had grown up through the 1970ís in Pennsylvania, I felt that it only made sense for me to have some interest in the team. Boy was I wrong.


I started to watch the game, and watched the Steeler defense, for me, having just started to understand different concepts I was kind of bored. The other team was moving the ball a little bit, and there wasnít really anything to get excited about. I have to admit I ended up falling asleep for a time. When I woke up the Steelers were on offense, and I watched as what I thought were the fastest linebackers ever fly all over the field. I really liked number 56 for the blue and orange team, and found out later that that was Denverís defensive captain Al Wilson.


Well, that was the start for me. After that day having gone home I looked up on the NFLís site and started following those Denver Broncoís when I couldnít watch the games myself. Iím donít know why but Iím proud that they didnít win a SuperBowl that first year, because I definitely wasnít a bandwagon fan, in fact the first playoff game of the Broncos I ever saw they lost to the Indianapolis Colts in a blowout as Peyton Manning threw for something like 5 touchdowns. Over that offseason I kept reading up on the team, and without realizing it started learning a great deal about the NFL and football in general, a new love had been found for me.


The next year I continued to watch Denver do itís thing on the field, as well as paint my room orange and blue. I loved the team, I found a message board on the internet where other Bronco fans talked about the team and other things as well, and I felt as though I had people I could relate to, which was something that was off and on for me in high school. This all led to the next year, 2005 when I talked my mom into letting me go to a Denver game; in Denver. If I remember correctly it was my birthday AND Christmas present that year, and I was beyond excited. I was stoked.


When I bought the tickets for the game I had bought four seats to the Denver-New York Jets game, because I had thought it was going to be a close game, and I actually worried that Denver would lose. At the time I believed in jinxís a little bit, and didnít want me being at the game to be bad for the team somehow. Luckily that year Denver ended up being one of the two or three best teams in the American Football Conference (the AFC) and the Jetís had suffered a season ending injury to their quarterback. Denver was heavily favored.


We left for Denver on a Thursday, and stayed at a hotel called the Lions Head right across the parking lot from Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium, where the game would be held. We spent the days leading up to the game exploring the city, and I may have just been imagining it, but it felt like a sports town to me. I could feel the excitement in the air about the team, which at the time I think had 1 loss in 9 games. I wore my 56 Al Wilson jersey the entire weekend, even to the resturaunt Elways, where I was probably the only one there not wearing a suit.


Come game-day my cousin and I walked down to the parking lot to ďtailgateĒ even though we were only 16 and 18 at the time. We walked to the limo where Denver Legend Barrel Man tailgated, but to be completely honest I felt put off by how stuck up one of the women in their group was to me. This was probably going to be my only time going to a game in Denver I reasoned, Iíd find someone better to spend the time with.


It didnít take long for me to find the right place, not two rows down from the limo was this huge RV-Bus completely decked out in orange and blue Denver insignias and the like. In front were a large crowd of people all wearing different Denver gear, one even dressed as a blue and orange clown. I walked up to them and they welcomed me like I was family, even offering me a beer, til I admitted my age; this lead to a diet Pepsi.


I spent the two hours prior to the game talking with these people, and was surprised they even welcomed a New York Jets fan, though she admitted she was there even though her team sucked, which I think helped her be welcomed. We threw a football around and I have to admit that the whole thin air of being in Denver is true, I was out of breath not ten minutes into throwing the ball and chasing it around.


Then the game started. Now, our tickets were cheap seats, my aunt and little brother had sat in them the whole game, up at the 500 level way above the stadium. Great if you want to see the whole field, but when I saw there were open seats on the first level, I had to take the chance. My cousin and I spent the entire first quarter bouncing seats, sitting down and enjoying the moment until a Denver or Jets fan got there. We finally settled in next to a season ticket holder, who was nice enough to let us stay ďso long as you donít spill my beerĒ I happily obliged.


All in all, I have to admit it was one of the greatest sporting moments of my life. Denver won 28-0 which wasnít surprising, but what was to me was just how fast my favorite team really seemed in person. Champ Bailey was a 4.3 athlete at the time, which is fast on tv, but you truly appreciate how fast when you see him chasing down a ball carrier 10 seats back from the field. Since that moment Iíve come to the conclusion that barring some outstanding job offer after college, I will be going back to collect my heart and soul in Bronco Country; Denver, Colorado.

rbackfactory80
11-03-2010, 06:33 PM
Cool story JoRo and I enjoyed the read.

JLine27
11-03-2010, 06:45 PM
Always fun to hear of people who don't live in Colorado and how they became Bronco fans.

Thanks for sharing.

broncocalijohn
11-03-2010, 06:55 PM
If you are from California, they will have open arms for you once you move there.

Los Broncos
11-03-2010, 08:17 PM
Good read, thanks for sharing.