Despite the disappointing end to the 2013 season, Broncos Country is alive and well! Die-hard Denver Bronco fans are just that – die hard! One loss, and that’s what Super Bowl XLVIII was – one loss, will not deter the passionate fans. I’m not talking about the casual observer or those that only focus on the Broncos on game day or when the team is winning – I’m talking about the fans that bleed orange and blue all the time. They know who they are and I am spending a portion of the offseason spot lighting them so Predominantly Orange readers can get to know them as well! Bronco fans I spot light obviously have the Broncos in common, but these Bronco fans have another common – they don’t live in the Rocky Mountain region, which at times, is a whole other challenge. First Bronco fan up – Tyler Cooper.
PO: How long have you been a Bronco fan?
Tyler: All of my life. My dad became a Bronco fan before I was born. There was a brief time (at most a year) when I was in elementary school that I thought it would be cool to be a Kansas City Chiefs fan like all my friends, because we were in Kansas. I, of course, was still primarily a Bronco fan. When I realized that the Chiefs actually weren’t from Kansas, I felt so betrayed that I realized the error of my ways and it fueled my true hatred for the Chiefs even more!
PO: How did you become a Bronco fan?
Tyler: I got into them because of my dad, Chuck Cooper. As I got older I began to get more resolved in my Bronco fandom!
PO: Have you ever been to a Bronco game in Denver? If so, please give brief description of that experience.
Tyler: I have been to one Bronco game. I was six years old, dad and I went with my Uncle Ed Womack and his son, my cousin Curtis. We were visiting them in Colorado Springs and Uncle Ed had season tickets. It is an experience that I will hopefully never forget. Let’s start with the weather, it was raining. Not just raining, it was a monsoon. We sat about the 20 yard line. You couldn’t see past 10 yards in either direction, except for the Jumbo-tron. My dad asked if we should even stay, to which Uncle Ed replied, “I paid so much for these seats this season, we are staying for every minute.” Honestly, it was a preseason game but Ed never wanted to miss a thing. We knew it would rain, so we were all wearing our rain gear. I remember seeing water was running down the steps like a river. Whenever my dad tells this story he always likes to point out that his water-proof watch was ruined that night from getting water inside. I still have my ticket from this game, and it is all wrinkled and creased from getting drenched. The Broncos were playing the Indianapolis Colts, which I will always believe lead to my dislike of the Colts. One of the things I most remember, during the game my dad and I walked down to the end of the aisle behind the bench, so we could see the players better. The Bronco defense was on the field, so we got an extra special treat, John Elway just happened to be sitting on the bench right in front of us. He was talking to some of the receivers. I remember thinking, “Man, he is so much bigger in person!”
PO: Who is your favorite current Bronco player and why?
Tyler: This is tough to say. There are so many new faces on the team. I really try to not jump on the bandwagon of a new player until he proves himself as a Bronco. Right now, I would have to say Peyton Manning. I have been hesitant to become a Manning fan, but I really like his work ethic and attitude. You can tell he really loves the game and wants to do the best he can. He reminds me of Elway in that regard. I really hope that when he retires he stays a Bronco, and doesn’t try to sign with the Colts for a day or something!
PO: Who is your favorite Bronco player from the past and why?
Tyler: Obviously, most Broncos fans will say John Elway. I mean, how could you not? I obviously, have an affinity for John Elway; I still wear his jersey most game days. So other than John, I would have to say Ed McCaffrey. I always thought he was an underrated player. The years he played, the team was so full of talent, it was easy for someone to get overlooked!
PO: Which team do you love to see the Broncos beat the most and why?
Tyler: Currently, I love seeing the Broncos beat the New England Patriots. Simply for the reason that I like seeing Tom Brady get flustered. My brother-in-law is a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan, so I always get a little joy rubbing in it after Steelers lose.
PO: In addition to the three other teams from the AFC West, the Broncos will play Buffalo, Miami, Arizona, San Francisco, and Cincinnati at home in 2014. Which team to do think will present the biggest challenge to the Broncos?
Tyler: San Francisco 49ers. They have been firing on all cylinders the past few seasons; I don’t really see them slowing down anytime soon!
PO: Who is the Broncos biggest rivalry and why?
Tyler: This is a tough one. For me, living in Chiefs country, I would think the Chiefs are the biggest rivalry. The Oakland Raiders were always a huge rivalry but in recent years they have lacked the skill to actually put up a fight. Hopefully, they will get their act together and the rivalry will be reborn!
PO: What is the worst part about being a Bronco fan in the middle of Chiefs Country?
Tyler: This is going to sound lame, but I don’t like the way Chief fans call the Broncos “the donkeys.” It’s so childish and silly. I obviously have friends that are Chief fans, and it always drives me up a wall when they break out that nickname!
PO: Describe your mood when the Broncos lose.
Tyler: I get super bummed. If it’s something that I am of kind of expecting, it’s not so bad. But if I go into the game looking for them to win, and they lose, I’m off for most of the day. When they lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the 2012-2013 Playoffs, I was bummed for days!
PO: What did you feel like after the crushing 43-8 defeat in Super Bowl XLVIII?
Tyler: So depressed. When that snap went over Peyton’s head, I was crushed. I held out hope, but when Seattle ran that kickoff back to start the second half, I knew that it was over. I just sat there, the whole game, shaking my head. I’m not sure what happened to them, but it was just a sad display. The worst part was that they would get a drive going only to have it fall apart on something silly!
PO: In 2014 the Broncos have the second toughest schedule in the league. Predict their record.
Tyler: 15-1. I think that their only loss will come at New England. I think most people would say Seattle, but I think they will be so focused because of the Super Bowl loss, the Broncos will prevail in a tough game. I think that the 49ers at home will be a tougher matchup than Seattle.