A one-fan, two-team conundrum | PostIndependent.com

A one-fan, two-team conundrum

April Clark
Staff Photo |

Since I have Hoosier roots, I was happy to see former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning lead the Denver Broncos into Super Bowl XLVIII.

Manning is, after all, my favorite NFL payer.

Now that he is Denver’s quarterback, I am in a pickle of sorts when it comes to my fandom. I am one of the torn, sharing my love for two teams at once.

It is a bit of a romance-tragedy.

The only team I grew up with is the Indianapolis Colts. They tiptoed into my world from Baltimore in the middle of the night. I was just entering my teenage years, so it was a deal I was too young to understand. I don’t recall being too concerned. All I knew was Indianapolis was landing a football team. And I would have a better chance at meeting my dream QB, Jim Everett.

I kind of have a thing for quarterbacks.

Some girls might like drummers in bands or firemen. It’s been proven some men prefer blondes. Those are facts that may never change.

Unless rock ’n’ roll went away forever.

I can’t see rock ’n’ roll going anywhere. I also don’t see football tapering off in popularity anytime soon. The billions of dollars we as consumers spend on football is an extraordinary concept to me. I’ve heard we will spend $1 billion on snacks alone.

Suddenly I’m hungry.

With Super bowl ads headed to $4 million price tags, the game isn’t just a little old football game. This is high-dollar advertising stuff that “Mad Men” is made of. Sure, we can put price tags on the stuff we buy. But when it comes to the entertainment value, the excitement that football brings is priceless.

I can’t really pinpoint what it is about football that mesmerizes me. Maybe it’s the team spirit that brings fans from all demographics together to rally for the same cause. The athleticism is always fascinating. I also like watching a stadium of people do the wave. I want to meet the guy(s), or gal(s), who came up with the idea. You know they would be fun to catch a football with at a party.

Even in the living room.

Since he first arrived in Indy, Peyton was my favorite football player. I liked his strategy and his politeness. I enjoyed the refreshing use of the audible — the spontaneity keeps the spark alive. I liked the way he looked in a suit at press conferences. He soon replaced Jim Everett on my dreamy quarterback wish list.

My version of a fantasy football team without needing to know stats or numbers.

My friends like to tease me about the Peyton adoration. It’s not like I’ve started a fan club or anything. If I were to take being a Peyton fan to the next level, I would definitely start a fan club. Call it the Peyton Manning Fan Club, which is probably already taken.

So I would call it Peyton Manning Fan Club v. 2.

Being a Peyton Manning fan was easy for me back when he played for Indy. I didn’t know it at the time, but those were the happiest years of my life. I could support my hometown team and gush about the polite quarterback with no conflict.

It almost seems like yesterday.

Since I’ve been a Colts fan the majority of my life, I was not compelled to jump on the Broncos bandwagon when I first relocated to Colorado. I even started calling the Broncos the Donkeys, following suit of the non-Bronco fans out there.

I figured the name wasn’t that disparaging. Until I witnessed a Bronco fan’s reaction to the team being called the Donkeys.

I don’t remember the initial moment of realization, but I unknowingly morphed into a Denver Broncos fan. I think it was somewhere after Kyle Orton and before Peyton Manning. The transformation was subtle. I started cheering out loud with the locals when the Broncos would score. I wore a Bedazzled NFL Broncos gym jacket. I even invested in some orange earrings. And then, Peyton Manning became the Broncos QB.

All seemed right in the world.

Except I was an Indianapolis Colts fan whose favorite player was about to have a record-breaking career with a rival team. I just wanted Peyton to win another Super Bowl. Odds are he can.

Following two teams with equal admiration is tough. It’s like being in a love triangle. This is going to sound straight out of a romance novel, but my heart is connected to the Colts while my head follows the Broncos. I like to watch both teams win. That was especially difficult when they played each other. I feel torn, as if I’m splitting my loyalties.

Maybe I am. But I am also standing by the player I think makes the best example of a professional football player. That sounds exactly something a Peyton Manning v. 2 fan club founder would say.

Now, where I did I put that Bedazzled Broncos coat?

April E. Clark is planning to purchase a Super Bowl spot when she can afford it. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@gmail.com.

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