In edition five of our new feature Alex Harrison explains why he’s a Broncos fan.
In the mid 80s C4 started showing NFL highlights on a Saturday morning and a live game on a Sunday night. The Bears has won SBXX and everyone knew about “The Fridge” and American Football was (briefly) flavour of the month on TV and in newspapers. I got to watch the 1986 playoff games including “The Drive” against Cleveland and the Broncos SB loss to the Giants (grrr).
My parents, who were both teachers and had no knowledge of sports AT ALL, bought me soon after a book called “American Football” which was printed just after the Broncos lost to the Giants. It explained all the basics (so I was able to follow games better) and there was a big feature on Giants and Broncos players and a special one about the new QB on the block – Elway. I was struck by how he’d refused to be drafted by a team he didn’t want to play for and I think the fact the Broncos has just lost appealed too – it’s in my personality I think to root for the underdog… (and yes, I’ve still got the book!)
I started listening to games on Armed Forces Radio, which involved me desperately trying to tune into a scratchy and frequently disappearing AM signal at ungodly hours of the night, on a very hard and cold bedroom floor. But I guess that extra effort breeds a certain type of devoted fandom!
At around the same time they began publishing over here a weekly American Foot ball newsletter/newspaper (First Down) and so it became easier to follow games. TV coverage expanded a bit, with two games shown a week, plus longer highlights, and the Superbowls were shown in full – obviously I got to see the Broncos lose to the Redskins and 49ers. There’s nothing like being a fan of a losing team!!
Eventually, obviously the Broncos got Shanahan and their winning run ended with two SB wins. I can’t remember being as elated as when we finally won against the Packers – it was AMAZING!!! With the internet age of course things have changed completely and I’ve watched EVERY Broncos game since about 2000…