I’ll be perfectly upfront: there was a moment when I didn’t think I’d ever get to writing this piece; a moment where I thought about deleting all evidence from my trip to Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey — my first, and quite possibly my last, trip to the big game — and pretending it never happened.
Similar to Bronco fans around the country, I went through the five stages of loss — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance — this past week and I have concluded that it’s best to talk about my experience, rather than keep it suppressed.
Did I attend one of the most lopsided losses in Super Bowl history? Yes. Did I leave midway through the third quarter when the scoreboard read Seahawks 29, Broncos 0? Shamefully, yes. Do I regret breaking open the piggy bank at the last minute and buying a ticket in Section 319 of MetLife Stadium? It’s complicated.
Of course, if I had known the outcome beforehand, I would have eschewed watching the game alone in the stands surrounded by obnoxious, yet remarkably rowdy, Seahawk fans. Instead, I would have opted to watch it at home, in a quiet and controlled environment, with family and friends.
However, no such foresight exists — that’s why they play the game.
While I’m still in disbelief that a Peyton Manning-led team — a Super Bowl-created roster forged by Bronco czar John Elway — could get pummeled so badly and look so lifeless for an entire game, the reality Seattle was the better, and much more physical, football team, has helped me through that final stage of acceptance.
It’ll never be an easy task to look back upon this Super Bowl in a favorable light, but the fact remains it did happen and the game can’t be undone.
From the Manny Ramirez botched snap to the final play of the game, the past is the past and there’s nothing we can do to change it.
I’m glad I’ve given a week to let the Super Bowl hangover completely dissipate because I don’t think I was ready to write anything about the game this time last week.
The view from section 319, row 21, seat 9 is one I’ll always remember — for better or for worse, but I refuse to let it be the one that defines my spirit as a Bronco fan.
It’s time to move on.