It's often hard to remember many things about being a kid in Denver in the late 1980s and 1990s that don't involve the Denver Broncos, John Elway, or football. Sundays were for watching the games, leaving six full days a week to talk about them at school and with strangers on Prodigy or AOL. The off-season brought the NFL draft and time to trade collectible cards of the players (Prodigy and AOL were good for this too) and play Tecmo Bowl.
The struggles of a scrappy team and its Hall of Fame quarterback to finally win the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy during those years often seemed to parallel my own travails as an awkward tween, adolescent, and pretty terrible high school tight end/strong safety in my own right. During the same era that girlfriends, good grades, and my own big wins on the field escaped me, the Broncos made eight playoff and three Super Bowl appearances -- all of which ended in disappointing and sometimes embarrassing losses.… Read more