I went to my first Denver Bronco experience in 1960. The fledgling American Football League was in its infancy and The Denver Broncos were born. They came to Pueblo to play an “inter-squad” game in the high school stadium to drum up excitement for ‘professional football’. What I remember about that game were the yellow and brown used uniforms and the striped vertical socks. We saw Gene Mingo (now of Ring of Fame status) kick a 65 yard toe-style field goal through the uprights. I am a fan from the beginning and for life and I have the tattoo over my heart to prove it. By the way, it was recently updated by one of my Lyft customers after winning Super Bowl 50.
One year ago, I drew Super Bowl tickets in the season ticket holder lottery and off I went to San Francisco. I witnessed one of the great defensive performances of all time in a championship game. I had a blast for seven days in the Bay Area attending all kinds of team events, picture taking moments and sitting on the five yard line right behind Bill Romanowski. The Vaughn Miller sack strip fumble happened right in front of me. In my 56 years of fandom it was as good as it gets.
I returned to Denver at two in the morning on Tuesday following Sunday’s game. That same afternoon we joined 1,000,000 orange clad fans (1 out of 5 Coloradans) for the victory parade on a warm and sunny winter’s day. I then walked back to my car and started my Lyft driving. My first “ping” was a passenger named Ed. As I pulled up to a building in the Baker District, I saw a young man with a white cane standing across the street holding his smart phone. I called out his name “Ed, – it’s Mark – let me swing around to pick you up”. I was greeted with a smile that would warm Vladimir Putin’s soul. I helped him into my car and he immediately apologized for needing a long ride. “I am sorry but with the Bronco parade today Acesss-o-ride is not running. I said, “Hey, no problem it gets me out of this mess.” Ed looks me straight in the face and says “I guess you can tell I’ve been blind since birth”.
He asked me if I had gone to the parade and I said, “Ed, I was not only at the parade, I was at the Super Bowl!”
“Wow, you were there!!! I watched the game on the radio.” He said, “I love Dave Logan and Ed McCaffery’s take on the game.”
Ed then began a barrage of great questions: “Where were your seats? Tell me all about the stadium, What were the Panther fans like? Why was Cam Newton so out of sync? What was the food like there? What? $15 for a vegan hot dog!!! What was the look on Tom Brady’s face when he was booed as a former MVP?” and many more. The 25 minute ride went very fast.
I walked Ed to his 3rd floor apartment. “Wow, Mark, I got to see the game though you, you took me to the Super Bowl.”
“Well Ed, I can’t imagine a more perfect way to share that experience than with a native Colorado guy, a life time Bronco Fan and with someone who sees with his heart”.
NEXT WEEK: “Ed Part 2”
Onward and upward,