Friday, January 20, 2006
FOND MEMORIES OF SUPER BOWLS PAST
So January is in the air and the Denver Broncos are in the playoffs. It doesn't get much better than this. Those who know me best know that I am a loyal and long-standing Denver Broncos fan. The seeds of this loyalty were laid when I was in high school, when Denver advanced to the Super Bowl for the very first time in their existence. It was Super Bowl XII and it was as if the entire state of Colorado was painted blue and orange! I remember the electricity in the air among the students and faculty, almost like if we were to muster enough mental energy and good feelings, it would drive the Broncos to victory. The official song (which the loudspeakers played over and over again) was "Make Those Miracles Happen."
Well, as the old saying goes, "if wishing made it so...." Denver was defeated by the Dallas Cowboys 27-10.
Since then, I have seen the Broncos snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on many occaisions. And I confess, for a while, I lost track of my favorite team. But something very special happened in the late 80's. I was pastoring my first church and my wife was pregant with our first child. And as we kept visiting the doctor's office, I overheard the nurses talking about how Denver was going to advance to the playoffs! I grabbed a newspaper and got caught up on the information. My wife gave birth to a little girl, and, a little less than two weeks later, my newborn daughter and I watched Super Bowl XXI together. My daughter learned that daddy can indeed act in ways that belied his pastoral background. Denver lost to the Giants 39-20.
The following year, it happened again! Denver was heading to another Super Bowl. Oh, yeah, my wife was pregnant again too (don't write me nasty notes...I'm only kidding...my children are the most wonderful thing that happened to me). Another January birth and then, a couple of weeks later, my newborn son joined my 1 year old daughter and I as we watched the Broncos fall under the Redskins 42-10. I can imagine the looks exchanged by my children, almost as if my daughter's gurgling said, "don't worry...daddy gets like that about this time of year."
We had no more children for awhile, which is just as well, since Denver lost Super Bowl XXIV a couple of years later and I didn't think my kids should grow up with that legacy. Another daughter was born in May, '91, so there was no Super Bowl to think about. We had moved to Oregon and I became involved in a new church as a support staff person.
But finally, it happened! January 25, 1998. Super Bowl XXXII against the Green Bay Packers. I heard it was a great game. I heard it had drama and excitement. And most of all, I rejoiced at the final score: Denver Broncos had won their first Super Bowl 31-24. And I missed it! I missed it! Lest you think I am a total fanatic when it comes to Denver Broncos, I would have you know that I was teaching the evening worship service at the time. After the final prayer and amen, the teen we used for child care came up and told me the good news (he had been watching the game with the kids in back).
The following year, the Broncos defeated the Falcons for Super Bowl XXXIII, 34-19. What a nice thing to happen to a great team. I got to watch this one! My three children just shook their heads in wonder at their father's behavior during the game.
So anyway...as I write this, the AFC championship is coming up and once again, the Broncos may advance to another Super Bowl. I can't think of any great milestones (or mile high stones) in my life at the moment that would help me look back on these days with fondness, except for the fact that I get to work with children at the church and watch their excitement and enthusiasm for a lot more significant things than football. And I'll watch and remember and rejoice, but it's all in perspective.
Just don't call me on Super Bowl Sunday....I may not be quite in my right mind.