As I’m sitting here trying to erase the memory of tonight’s humiliation of the Denver Broncos, I am thinking of happier memories of the Super Bowl – and I find that NONE of them actually involve the football game, but all of them involve my mother.
Football was very important to my mother. She listened to the Gunnison High School games on the radio on Friday afternoons while she was at work. Western State College games on Saturday afternoon were broadcast on the local radio and Mom could be found working on a jigsaw puzzle with one hand and smoking her cigarette with the other while she listened to the game. And Sundays? Well, Sundays were reserved for the Broncos and since we lived in Gunnison, Colorado, she could always find them on TV – which meant that Mom could be found in her blue chair, having a drink, smoking a cigarette and yelling at the television.
We weren’t allowed to disturb Mom during this time – other than to make popcorn and help yell at the team and cheer for the touchdowns. I had to re-learn that lesson when I left home to attend college – and I would forget about the Broncos and call Mom on Sunday afternoons. Since this was in the days before caller ID, Mom would answer the phone in case it was an emergency and right after I would say “Hello Mom” and she recognized my voice, she would yell “The Broncos are on!” and hang up.
These may not sound like happy memories — but I remember my mother’s joy in watching the Broncos play. When they made it the Super Bowl, she would paint her face orange, stipulate that Orange Crush was the only drink allowed in the house and jump on the furniture yelling and cheering for the team — all while still holding onto her cigarette. You couldn’t help but join in with her – and even though you weren’t at the ball field — you were still at the game.
So as I watched the Broncos get broken by the Seahawks tonight – I smiled as I thought of my mother and her enthusiasm and love for a team – even when faced with such terrible defeats. I’m also hoping that God did not kick her out of heaven because I’m pretty sure the words coming out of her mouth as she watched the game from up-on-high were not ones which are usually heard amongst the angels and saints – but I’m sure she said them while her face was painted orange and her wings had the Bronco emblem on them!