Somehow, somewhere, when I agreed to work the truck unload at Container Store last Sunday, I lost sight of the most important conflict of them all: the NFL schedule. I didn’t realize that the AFC and NFC championship games would overlap with the J-O-B. So I did what any responsible employee would do: I called in sick. I kid, I kid. But I did make one request. I clocked in with about 9 minutes left in the Broncos-Patriots game. Could I pretty, pretty please bring my phone with me? Of course they obliged. They don’t get rated in Fortune magazine’s Top Places to Work for nothing. (The Container Store: where you can balance your career, family AND football life!)
Why did it matter so much? For me, it wasn’t just another game. If I had to decide between the Colts or the Broncos going to the Super Bowl, the difference between which I would prefer would be somewhere near 0.00001%. And this year I would probably give the edge to the Broncos.
For that I know that a lot of die hard sports fans would call me out. I’m not a true Colts fan. I can’t root for more than one team. And I think that’s a bunch of horse shit. (But blue horse shit, for what it’s worth!)
I do not understand the notion that only rooting for one team makes a person a better, truer fan than anyone else. When your team is done before reaching the championship, which for most of us happens every year, are you supposed to pack it up and walk away? Or better yet, does the real fan watch the remaining games begrudgingly and berate everyone else who’s still in the mix? Neither of these sound like fun, but I guess I missed the memo where it was decided that you couldn’t be a true sports fan and actually enjoy the game. The entire game – not just your team, not just your players, but the beautiful, wonderful game and all the players and the stories that make it so rich.
So fine. I’m not a real fan. I’m a front runner. I’m just a silly girl. If that’s your definition of an authentic fan, then I’ll be content to be a faux fan. You know, the one on Super Bowl Sunday waving her pom poms, OMGing about that last amazing play, and generally enjoying the greatest game on Earth. Yeah, I can live with that.
I’m excited to see Russell Wilson in his first Super Bowl. I like him as a person. I like the ridiculousness of a second-year, too-short, 12th pick in the 3rd round guy playing for the Lombardi. I need to see a Media Day with Richard Sherman in it. Their uniforms are snazzy. For these and so many other reasons, I’m looking forward to seeing the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.
And the Broncos. When Peyton first left Indianapolis, I told Mike that I thought it would hurt to see him win a Super Bowl in another city. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I want it so badly for him. Whether he wins it or not doesn’t diminish the legacy he’s left in my heart. I thought I knew just about everything there was to know about Peyton, but when I read the article in the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year issue about just how far he’s come from his neck surgeries I was in awe. I want it for him for the blood, sweat, tears and blind faith he put in himself and his teammates.
If that makes me any less of a fan, then so be it. I don’t want to be that fan. I want to be the kind of fan that finds something, anything, to cheer for up until the very last minute of the season. It just so happens that this season, at that very last minute, I’ll be cheering for Peyton Manning and the Broncos.