Now today...the Denver Broncos played the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. I've barely watched football all season - but the fact that the Broncos were in this game meant I needed to see it.
If any of you know me at all, you know that Peyton Manning has pretty much been my favorite athlete ever since he was in college at Tennessee. I cheered him on during his first crummy years at Indianapolis. I pounded my fists on the table every time he would lose to the Patriots in the playoffs. In the fall of 2005 (I think) during a NODA conference in Miami, I begged my friend Laura to watch the Colts/Patriots Monday Night Football game in the bar with others so I could watch alone in our hotel room...because I wasn't sure if the Colts would win. And if they didn't win, I didn't want to be around anyone. But they did win. I cried tears of joy before texting Laura that it was okay to come back to the hotel room. And then the Colts went to the Super Bowl that year, beating my home town team, the Chicago Bears. I would watch the AFC Championship game that year with my dad in Pennsylvania. It would be the last football game I ever watched with my dad, as he passed later on in February of 2007.
Laugh if you must. I get it. Borderline Obsession, perhaps. When the Colts lost to the New Orleans saints a couple years later, I cried so hard that my husband thought I had bet my paycheck on the game. And then when Peyton took the year off for his injury, I was furious when the Colts let him go. But he signed with Denver. And went to the Super Bowl yet again. And lost.
I haven't watched much professional football over the past couple seasons because I was tired of some of the crap that was going on in the NFL, and I felt sad that Peyton continued to have bad luck in the post season.
Which brings me to today's game. Which I pretty much watched by myself. I stayed pretty calm for most of the game - and in the last four minutes I was shaking so much I had to sit on my hands. And that 2 point conversion attempt by the Patriots had me about ready to pee in my pants. But the attempt failed. And the Broncos won. And once again I cried tears of joy.
With football, everything usually comes down to a single game. Baseball, hockey, and basketball you usually have a chance to turn things around and make up the loss. But in football, you get once chance. I've come to the conclusion that the team who wants the win the most will triumph. Remember the year the Patriots went 16-0 and lost to the Giants in the Superbowl? That's exactly what I'm talking about.
That's how I know that the Broncos are gonna win Superbowl 50. Because you could not set this up any better for Peyton and company to really want to win. He's one of the most successful quarterbacks in the history of the game - and he is the best student of football ever. And it would be the perfect ending to a famed and fabulous career.
If Peyton hangs it up after this season, I would not blame him. And I would just want to say one thing:
Thank you for making me love football for these past 18-ish years.