McKibbin’s Scribblin’s: Living in Broncos time
We all seem to live – to one extent or another – vicariously through others.
While you might think that’s not necessarily a good thing and points out the need for a little more focus on our inner selves, I’d say you have a point, but there’s some value to enjoying watching others succeed and live happy lives.
Case in point: our beloved Denver Broncos.
This entire state and most of the region have gone gaga – rightly so, of course – over the tremendous season put together by Peyton and the boys. It’s an amazing story for Manning, who couldn’t even pick up a football a few years ago after four neck surgeries. Now the NFL record book is topped by his name under nearly every passing statistic and this year’s Broncos set a ton of team records, too.
And one of the best things that adds to our happiness for Manning is he seems like a fun, intelligent role-model kind of guy.
So for us to ride his bandwagon to the Super Bowl just makes us happy. People around these parts smile a little more and it’s contagious. Who doesn’t like to smile and feel good?
And it’s something we share with a lot of other people, friends, family, even strangers on the street. That makes us feel even better, right? I know law enforcement folks say crime goes down when times are good. Of course, if Denver wins the Lombardi trophy in a few weeks, there may be a little over-celebrating and some problems in our capital city and elsewhere. But even then, I’d say most of that is not done with criminal intent in mind. People are just happy and some choose the wrong ways to express it.
The fact that all this is taking place on a field of athletic competition is another reason we all enjoy it so much. People from across the country ended up on the Broncos, bringing different backgrounds and experiences, and they bond together to accomplish all they can as a team. And it’s really worked well, hasn’t it? It’s an idealized, smaller version of what we all hope society would be like in our everyday lives. So we enjoy it from that perspective, too.
It also makes us proud of where we live; it’s something to brag about. Especially if Denver wins. Everyone likes to be thought of as winners, but many people don’t look at themselves that way. An unfortunate truth, but if folks feel a little better about themselves by sharing someone else’s success, who’s to say that’s a bad thing?
Granted, in the big scheme of things, how well our favorite football team plays isn’t as important as working hard and raising a family, making a business a success or helping a child learn. But it does give us an outlet to express emotions that we share with others, with our extended family of Bronco and Manning fans. It’s something we have in common and it’s a good conversation starter.
This state and nation has been through a lot since the last time the Broncos brought us together like this in 1997 and 98. We’ve had 9/11, the Great Recession, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that cost America and many other countries the lives of brave soldiers. Our leaders seem to only care about scoring points off one another, not doing what’s good for America.
So to have something that takes our mind off such negative thoughts and lets us enjoy ourselves, others and life in general, why not treasure the moment?
So I’ll be among the millions and millions screaming their heads off in a couple Sundays, taking pleasure in seeing another Manning touchdown pass, another defensive stop, another fantastic, athletic play. And I’m hoping with all my might that at the end of the day, after the trophy has been awarded to Pat Bowlen and handed over to Manning, that everyone on the field and watching takes a moment to relish the accomplishment and enjoy the camaraderie we all feel.
If not for yourself, for all the others with you – in person and in spirit – in that moment.
Mike McKibbin is the editor of The Citizen Telegram.
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