Today we have one of our new staff writers, Joe Medina, contributing his first and certainly not last piece for P.O. Show him some love and give him some feedback in the comments section.
As Broncos fans, we have all experienced the highest of highs and the lowest lows we care to feel. We were there when our proud owner chanted those four magical words that still send shivers down the spine of this fan. “This one’s for John,” we heard. I know I’ll never forget it. I can still hear the usually reserved Pat Bowlen belt out those words. Unfortunately, as a Broncos fan, we have also experienced the lowest low points imaginable. Just like I’ll never forget where I was when I heard the magical four, I’ll never forget the devastation I felt when I heard of Darrent Williams’ death. It hit even harder when Damien Nash died just months later, and it really hit home when Kenny McKinley committed suicide earlier this year. Since Williams’ death, I’ve never been able to see our team run through the tunnel without feeling like someone is missing. Even now, almost four years after his and Nash’s tragic deaths and just a couple months past McKinley’s death, it feels like our team takes the field on game days with 50 men on that roster, not 53. That void will never cease.
I’ve been a Broncos fan since I was born. It just feels as natural as breathing air or eating to survive. Three things in life are certain for this fan: death, taxes and Broncos football.
My earliest memory is watching John Elway on Monday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs and the famed Joe Montana at the helm in 1994. Although the Broncos lost that cold Monday night, it instilled something in me that had been around me my whole life. The Denver Broncos were my team. That feeling was pretty great when you’re a seven year old kid. Feeling like you belong to something so much bigger than yourself. Feeling, for the first time, a sense of community that could never be trivialized or compromised. I became more aware of the fellow fanatics around me.
I picked up on mannerisms and sayings from the diehards, too. I even got reprimanded when I was nine for telling my art teacher, “It’s all over, fat man!” For what reason I said it, I don’t know. I probably did it to be the “cool kid” that we all aspired to be at nine. When my grandmother had to come get me from the principal’s office, she found out what I said and although she threatened to spank me harder than I ever felt, when we got to her house, she asked where I’d learned that phrase. “I saw Tom Jackson say it to the Raiders!” She was upset yet she never spanked me. To this day, I’ll be damned if she wasn’t proud of her young grandson for quoting one of the most treasured quotes from Broncos lore.
My grandmother was the most diehard Broncos fan I’ve ever known. In her fragile later years, all she wanted to see was the Broncos win the Super Bowl. When they won in January of 1998, I was there when a fragile old woman was dancing and cheering like a sophomore cheerleader watching the home team take down the rival on homecoming night. My grandmother got her passing wish twice, and ever since November 15, 1999 when she passed away, I’ve never felt a stronger bond with anything outside of family than I have with my team, your team: The Denver Broncos.
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