How in the world did a guy from South Georgia grow up to be a Denver Broncos fan? This is a question I get a lot. My usual answer is that I followed Peyton from the Colts. Next, I’m hit with the, “how did a guy from South Georgia grow up a Colts fan?” That answer is not as easy to give.
I didn’t have cable television growing up. We had one of those really tall outside antennas so that we could get the local channels. Every so often we would have to go outside and give that bad boy a spin. There was a window right next to it so that you could see the TV and know when to stop. If there was bad weather, good luck watching anything.
My immediate family never really rooted for a team or were die-hard fans of anything. My aunt is from Indianapolis so she’s a Colts fan. She’s a diehard Colts fan too. It didn’t take long before I realized I liked Peyton Manning. He just had a way of carrying himself and leading his team that made me respect and idolize him. The more I watched, the more I liked him. By virtue of rooting for him, I had to root for the Colts.
I remember watching the 2010 playoffs. It was the Colts vs the Jets. Peyton against Mr. Butt Fumble himself, Mark Sanchez. It was overcast in South Georgia that day so I was outside a lot turning the antenna. I watched half of the game through the window. If I let go of the antenna the TV would cut out. The Colts lost that game to the Jets, but Peyton had a pretty good day.
When Peyton had to have surgery it was scary. I didn’t know if I’d ever get to see him play again. The Colts released him after he had surgery and I took that personally. I quit being a Colts fan that day. When Peyton joined the Broncos, my fandom followed suit. A lot of people say I’m a bandwagon fan because I only root for the Broncos because of Peyton. Well I guess that’s me then.
After I graduated high school and joined the Marine Corps, I was able to watch more football. I’ll never forget the blowout loss in the Super Bowl to the Seahawks. What a terrible time. I’ll also never forget the dominating victory over the Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Peyton wasn’t himself, but he led that team victory.
My fiancée and I were hiking the day Peyton retired. We came out of our 5 day backpacking journey and I listened to the replay of his retirement ceremony on my phone. I’m not a very emotional person, but saying goodbye to watching my idol compete was rough. The start of the next football season was weird. It was so strange not seeing Peyton on the field.
Since Peyton’s retirement, I’ve stuck with the Broncos. That is the sports family that I feel at home with. It hasn’t been easy being a Broncos fan either. They are not doing so well. I went to my first Broncos game on Christmas. My fiancée and I sat and watched in a somewhat hostile environment as the Redskins but a beating on the Broncos. Regardless of the beating, watching the Broncos was awesome! My new favorite player is Von Miller. What a guy.