Saturday, January 18, 2014

Why I Want the Broncos to Win the Super Bowl: A Love Letter to Colorado

The NFC and AFC Championship games are fast approaching this weekend, and although I usually have no vested interest in any of the NFL teams (being raised around good old college football in the south), this year is a little different. I know it’s wrong to pray for a team to win, yet somehow I can’t stop thinking: “I really really want the Broncos to make the Super Bowl and win it all this year.” You may be wondering:
A) Does she want the Broncos to win because she feels the Patriots win too much in the playoffs and they need to beat? This would be a good scenario, however, not true.
B) Is she hoping for a Bronco victory and Super Bowl berth because she loves the fact that every time Peyton yells “Omaha” in his pre-snap count, $500 will be donated to his foundation for at-risk kids? Also not the reason, but kudos to Peyton!

Let me explain. From 2008 until the end of 2012, I had the privilege of living in the beautiful state of Colorado. At first, I was very nervous about moving across the country from Florida. However, once I moved out there and settled in, I was quickly welcomed with open arms by my fellow Coloradans and the triathlon community there. Even more, I felt like I belonged. For once, no one blinked an eye when I told them that I sometimes took 3 trips to the gym per day or that I woke up before 5am to get a swim workout in. It seemed most people had a similar lifestyle to my own, bikes outnumbered cars, and most people seemed ridiculously happy… that is, unless they were stalking a spot in the Whole Foods parking lot ;)

But then again, how could you be sad for too long with the amazing views and gorgeous sunsets that proved to be almost a daily occurrence?! And sunrises too for that matter. I’ve never been much of a morning person, but I must credit Colorado to slowly transforming me into one. Most mornings I’d just stare into the sky and think, “Geez…you are really showing off today, God!” I can also recount many bike rides where I had to stop, if even for a couple seconds, just to make sure I got a quick photo in to capture the moment. If you’ve ever felt the need to be reminded just how tiny you are compared to the rest of the world, go biking/hiking in the Rockies. The expanse surrounding you will leave you breathless.

But, enough with my ramblings on the amazing scenery in Colorado. You probably already knew that. Now, rewind back to September 2013, a little over half a year since I’d moved out to Southern California from Colorado. When I received the news that Boulder and surrounding areas of Colorado were devastated by a flood, I was heartbroken. Even after looking at pictures and seeing videos, I was still in disbelief. This idyllic area that I’d come to love was damaged. Bike routes that I knew like the back of my hand were completely wiped out. All I could think of was the wonderful people back in Colorado and my friends who were affected by this natural disaster. I knew that the community would come together and help each other, yet I couldn’t help but feel uneasy.

Furthermore, I thought of the young children I volunteered with during my time in Boulder, most of them mini Bronco fans. It pained me knowing the general vicinity of where they lived and accepting the fact that they were most likely hit hard by the flood.

However, amidst all this tragedy and stress, there is one thing I do know: one of the greatest distractions from all the stresses of life is sport. Instead of being emotionally vested in what’s going on in our own lives, sport demands our emotional attention as we tap into the players’ moods, and the grueling competition throughout the innings/quarters/halves, etc. Thinking about it this way means that on average football is about a four hour distraction per week! And I'd argue that this is a good thing.

So, why do I want the Broncos to win the Super Bowl? Simply put, most of the wonderful people I met in Colorado are Broncos fans. I believe that between the fires, flooding, and another school shooting tragedy last year, these awesome people deserve a reason to be happy and celebrate a championship together. So, in closing, just let me say… I love you Colorado and Gooo Broncos!

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