When I was 6 years old my dad decided he wanted to be a preacher and so we packed up our stuff and moved from Topeka, KS all the way out to Denver, CO. At the time I didn't understand how that move would be life changing for me. It was a move that would lead to the greatest bonding moments that I ever had with my Daddy.
We moved to Denver John Elway's rookie season. The Mile-High city was Bronco crazy. Everywhere you looked there were bright orange jerseys, t-shirts, posters, pennants, even coffee mugs. It was more than a little boy's 6 years of sensory perception could handle. It was overload to the eyes, ears, and the heart. I was hooked from the beginning. Come to think of it, it was more than a grown man's 30 years of sensory perception could handle. It was overload to the eyes, ears, and the heart. My dad was hooked from the beginning.
Since that time the Denver Broncos have been a constant conversation piece in my family. They have been a source of joy (SuperBowl XXXII and XXXIII anyone?) and sorrow (those other not so Super Bowls), provided a wealth of entertainment (The Man in the Barrel) and devastation (Tebow?), and a constant reminder how some things are just understood as a "father-son-thing."
I have so many great memories with my dad growing up: He baptized me; he took me fishing; he taught me how to work with power-tools. Many of my best memories though had something to do with Dad, me, and the Denver Broncos. One year we forsook the family Thanksgiving to drive to Dallas and watch the Broncos beat the Cowboys. In the parking lot after the game, we walked back to our car with the aforementioned Man in the Barrel, Denver's most well-known super fan. I was in college when the Broncos won SBXXXII. It was the first Bronco Super Bowl that my dad and I didn't watch together, but thanks to a little invention that was becoming popular, the cell phone, I was able to talk with my dad throughout the game. I still remember when Elway dove head first over the Packer defender, dad called and yelled through the phone, "We're gonna win this one!"
Probably my greatest Dad-Bobby-Bronco memory came in my 20s when I took dad to Canton, OH for the NFL Hall of Fame induction of John Elway. We toured the hall, saw Elway get inducted, watched the Broncos play the preseason Hall of Fame game, and stuck around to meet, shake hands with, and get autographs from many of the Denver Broncos. More than being star struck, I was pumped because my favorite football players were getting to meet my hero! I'm telling you seeing Champ Bailey meet my dad - priceless!
So, fast forward several years. I'm about to have a son. I've caught some flack from some folks because I've decided to do his nursery in Bronco orange and blue. I hope they will read this post and maybe begin to understand. Choosing to do Josiah's nursery isn't about me being a crazy Bronco fan (well not entirely *wink*), but about what I hope to build with him. My dad is my hero, and one of the best buddies I've ever had. My dad is also someone who probably wouldn't be as Bronco crazy as he is, if he didn't love his son.
I don't know much about what the future holds for Josiah and I. But, I do know this...I hope to be half the dad that my own dad is. I hope Josiah might one day call me his hero. I hope someday we can take 3 generations of Bronco fans to a game. I hope when my boy looks at the colors orange and blue that the first thought that crosses his mind is relationship with his daddy.
Tonight, I'm watching the NFL draft, eagerly awaiting that first round Bronco pick! Next year, I'll have a little buddy right beside me. He won't understand yet, but someday he will, and after all isn't that what every daddy desires?