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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fan's Voice: Birth of a Broncos Fan


This is the second installment of the Fan's Voice series of guest posts on Banshee Sports.  It's a series where even serious writers can throw away their objectivity and rant on behalf of their favorite NFL team.  I am proud and honored to present a piece by Joseph Nardone, currently a writer at Sports-Glutton and always an entertaining and informed voice in the Twitterverse and Blogosphere.

One of the hardest things about being a fan is staying objective. For one reason or another we all have teams that we root for and do so in ways that are rather unbecoming of us as reasonable people. Losing perspective on something you care about isn't really all that new or strange, though. If you have children, chances are that you think your 4 year-old who draws on your walls, runs into doors and uses the wrong adjective while describing something happens to be the smartest kid in the world. It is okay, at least in the realm of sports, to lose that objectivity and use the team you root for as an escape from real life.
(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
For real, real life stinks. Dealing with stresses that come from your profession on a daily basis is bad enough. You have to be realistic about that. There is no room for losing self-awareness in your day-to-day goings. Sports, however, is that sanctuary where everything and anything goes. Where people can act like an idiot while screaming at their picture-box for a few hours is widely considered acceptable. Are you a 44 year-old businessman? Sure, paint yourself blue and go yell at a 23 year-old who ran out of bonds. Try going to your accounting firm with spikes on your shoulders and berating the rival accounting firm's best tax-guy. That will likely end with you being fired and a possible lawsuit headed your way. Sports is that place where real life rules no longer apply. Where acting like an idiot is not only okay but encouraged. Hooray life!
How a fan gets a favorite team is another story in itself. That is why I thought it be wise to tell you how I became a fan of the Denver Broncos before I unknowingly tell you how they will be the greatest thing since sliced bread in the upcoming season. I, too, lose all sense of direction while talking about "my" team. Heck, I hated Tim Tebow when he was in college, thought he was going to be a horrible pro while watching the NFL Draft and then, but only then, when Denver selected him I immediately thought he was going to revolutionize the quarterback position and change the fortunes of the Denver franchise one wobbly pass at a time.
When I was a youth my parents had me attending a parochial school. For those of you who are unaware of what that is: It is a place ran by nuns and priests. Where strict rules preside in a building that would otherwise be a random attachment to a church. I cannot speak for every other person who has ever attended such a school, but I hated going there. To be fair, though, I wasn't even in the double-digits as far as age range goes so I assume I would have hated any school I was enrolled.
In 1990 (the 1989-90 season) the Super Bowl had the Broncos facing off with the much more popular San Francisco 49ers. At the time I had no allegiance to any pro football team. I mean, I was 7 years-old -- I was still debating which members of The Rockers in the WWF were going to be my favorite (I chose Marty Jannetty. A mistake I had to live with), nevertheless, make such a life changing decision like which NFL team I was going to root-on for the rest of my natural life. St. Mary's -- the school which I attended -- decided it would be fun to have the kids wear the uniform for whatever team they were rooting for on the last day of school before the game was going to be played.
This is where my father comes in. With almost every team I root for, a story about my father follows. Like most sons I thought of my father as a brilliant person who I wanted to be just like. Being 7 and all, however, I was more biased to my father's decisions when it came to his reasoning for rooting for certain teams. He could tell me to root for a team because their bullpen catcher was great at milking cows and, without fail, I would go and tell all of my friends why to like "team x" for said reason -- because my father said so.
Long story short, my father bought me a Steve Atwater jersey to wear to school. When I attended "Super Bowl Uniform Day" at school I noticed that almost everyone else had on a San Francisco jersey. It looked like there were less than a handful of us who wore a Denver jersey while hundreds of others took to the more popular national team. I assumed my father knew something no one else did and all those hundreds of kids would look like idiots when Denver beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl. Alas, the game was nowhere near close, and I was stuck rooting for a team that was located halfway across the country and NEVER on my local TV.
It was not until I was in high school -- after Denver one their first Super Bowl -- that my father told me why he bought me a Denver jersey rather than the San Francisco counterpart. No, it wasn't some supernatural force or foresight my father had about the franchise. Rather, the truth of the matter was a lot more realistic than it was altruistic. My father was life altering honest with me when he said, "An Atwater jersey was about 10 bucks less than a Jerry Rice."
There you have it. I became a Denver Broncos fan because my father was cheap! Okay, okay, I kid. Saving 10 bucks is cool with me. I am in the midst of trying to brainwash my daughters into liking things that are really cheap: Playing in the grass, using their imagination or anything else that doesn't involve me going to Toys R Us to buy a $150 toy that will be played with once.
Joseph loves BansheeSports and thanks Rebecca for letting me contribute. If you would like to read more of Joe's scribbling, well, don't! You can follow him on the mean streets of Twitter, however, @JosephNardone. 

If you'd like to be the next contributor to the Fan's Voice series, please contact Wild Banshee via Twitter or email.

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