In the far-flung corner of northeastern Colorado where I grew up, almost everyone I knew cheered for the Broncos. On Sunday afternoons, if I were helping my dad with chores—putting in metal fence posts around a golden-stalked cornfield or moving farm equipment—we’d listen to the game on the radio.
As a kid, I often watched the games at my grandparents’ house. During halftime, I’d go to the machine shed and shoot baskets or play one-on-one with my sister. We’d return to the house just in time for the second half and bowls of homemade caramel corn that Gram had whipped up—a treat to savor during the rest of the game.
On the playground the next week, in a tiny prairie town, my elementary school classmates and I would take turns being John Elway, Sammy Winder, Steve Watson, shoeless Rich Karlis, among others. We’d imitate the jukes and jives we’d seen on TV. In our imaginations, we were as graceful as any professional, though I’m sure our teachers watched with quiet amusement.
Now that I’m a teacher, my students (almost all Dallas Cowboy fans) tease me unmercifully about cheering for the Broncos. When I tell them that I’ve been rooting for the Broncos since before they were born, the subject quickly changes to “How old are you miss? You must be seriously old! Tell us the truth. . .were the dinosaurs your pets?”
Who was your favorite childhood team, and do you still cheer for them?