Posts Tagged ‘pro football’

One of my best friends tells me that my one quirk, the part of my personality inconsistent with all the rest, is that I like football.  I don’t personally see this as a contradiction; maybe there are other things about me she doesn’t know.  My brother does not like football.  Or at least, though he may enjoy it, he sees it as an attack on the priorities of our nation, and more particularly, his family.  Sure, football is a great team game of hard work and strategy.  But people are obsessed, and paying millions of dollars to men who do nothing but feed our entertainment lust is unproductive.  “Hello!  What about Hollywood?”  My brother feels almost the same about movies.  Except that movies can communicate important messages, an aspect of entertainment rather lacking when it comes to sports. 

All the same, I see football as a sort of strategy class and people-watching session.  Living in Colorado, I became a fan of the Broncos when they were doing well enough to win back-to-back Superbowls.  And for several years afterwards, I stuck with them, engaging in the family ritual of changing into team colors after church and sitting down with pizza and a pop in front of the television to watch the came and coach from the couch.  I adopted the title of Morale Coach, wanting to encourage our players to play hard and to be good sports, not to fight or taunt or through tantrums.  Years of disappointing seasons and gloomy Sunday afternoons took their toll, so that I wasn’t sad when I committed to do a Bible study on Sundays during football. 

Fair weather fan?  I can justify that.  Last year was the worst, the Broncos harboring a team full of players who didn’t seem to want to win.  And if the players aren’t trying and don’t want to win, I’m not going to sacrifice my happiness cheering for them.  Much as I admire Coach Shanahan, I have to admit coaching ought to impact the attitude of the team – a team that had its share of personal trouble, losing a teammate in a dramatic drive-by shooting and generally being involved with a party crowd up to no good.  Still, one has to follow Mike Shanahan’s example of accepting the need for a new coach driving the Broncos. 

This season is a whole new ballgame.  A young coach named McDaniels came in and, holding his head high through some early controversy, established his game.  There’s a lot of new talent – or new to Denver – on this year’s lineup.  Our running backs aren’t signature Mike Shanahan anymore.  But our defense can play, our punter is good, and our offensive line is holding long enough for a no-name quarterback, Orton, to come through with his plays and make all of us rethink his place among the league’s quarterbacks.  Play has been clean, with few sloppy turnovers. 

I’m not saying the Broncos don’t have their weaknesses.  What I’m pointing at is energy.  The defense sees the ball coming towards them, and everyone around takes a lunge at it.  There’s no casual, “he’s not my man to cover” attitude, or wimpy shoves representing themselves as tackles.  On offense, when there’s no hope left of making the first down or of scoring that big run, the running back, Moreno, pushes for a few more opponent-dragging feet.  Introducing a creative new formation, called the Wild Horses, the offense has been willing to take risks, and capitalize on unexpected opportunities (read: deflected passes caught and run for big plays). 

The Broncos are 5-0, and it’s all about enthusiasm.  After the overtime win this Sunday, the coach took a leap into a celebration hug with one of his guys, a player I don’t recognize, a nobody – of whom the coach is proud, with whom the coach has rapport.  Everyone was slamming their fists into the air, jumping and yelling.  The last time the Broncos won their first 5 games, they won the Superbowl, and I became a fan.  This year, a fan is reborn. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn


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