I grew up in Bronco Land. Cheyenne, Wyoming is only 100 miles from Denver, Colorado, home of the Denver Broncos. Denver is a great city that I have visited often for entertainment, culture and just a good time. I have been to see a number of Denver Bronco games. Two games are engraved in my mind. One was so cold that we wore our ski outfits in order to sit in the stands and we were thankful to have tickets. The other was a lovely fall day. We were sitting in bleachers in the end zone with a group of friends. When I turned around, the lady behind me was wearing giant orange balls with the famous stallion and BRONCOs engraved on them as earrings The balls were at least six inches in diameter. I remember just staring and saying nothing. The lady, who had clearly been drinking, looked at me and asked belligerently , “What are you staring at?” I thought “Gosh, I’m going to get into some kind of fight if I’m not careful.” So I responded carefully, “I am just admiring your earrings. They are truly lovely.” One of my girl friends, sitting next to me, snorted into her hand. That Christmas, the same girl friend gave me a pair of big, gaudy, orange Bronco earrings which I have cherished for many years. I never wore them but they remind me of long-term friendships and savoring a beautiful fall day with friends watching a football.
This year with the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl facing the Carolina Panthers, my family and I hosted the Super Bowl party. We had Super Bowl Turkey Black Bean Chili, corn bread, fruit and green salad, chips and dip, brownies, and chocolate torte with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Our guests included teenagers, neighbors from down the street, long term friends and family and a variety of dogs and cats.
As my husband says, “The game was a slog.” A Denver coach described it as “grinding” one more win out. Let’s face it, the only “Super” out on the field playing was the Denver Defense. The face of the defense was Von Miller, MVP for the game. But at our house we still had a great time.
Lady Gaga, shining in a sparkling red pants suit and eye make-up singing the National Anthem as the Air Force jets buzzed the stadium on a glorious day in Santa Clara, California reminded me of all the gifts I have living in America. Apparently, all the women across our great land watching the game noted that the referee was in good shape for an older guy. Social media tweets suggested conversation about his physique might have been the most interesting part of the game.
We kept track of our favorite advertisements. Several of us had viewed previews before the game. The Doritos ad with the baby reaching for his dad’s chip was our hands down favorite. I think we will giggle about it together for many years to come–one of those memories you savor and keep alive to relive good times. We also liked the singing sheep in the Honda Ridgeline commercial, though I kept calling them goats. I have to admit we’ve been talking about the new Ridgeline before the game so we may be biased. The Marmot advertisement struck a cord with us. The marmot was cute and generally we like talking animals (though we were kind of grossed out by the puppy/monkey/baby thing) . Several of the women in our viewing group are of an age, where we might have said on a date, “I’m not that kind of girl!” We had a dashhound in our viewing audience so, of course, the Heinz ketchup advertisement with the dogs dressed in buns was a big hit. The Prius ad that started with a stolen car and transformed to a Prius police vehicle was engaging. We bought a jeep this fall to meet my dream of having a convertible so the pictorial history of jeep in action pulled at my heart strings.
The half time show did not disappoint. Cold Play was over-shadowed by Bruno Mars and Beyonc’e . I have seen Beyonc’e live and she puts on a fabulous show, dancing and singing at a high energy level throughout. She certainly dominated this year’s Super Bowl show. By doing so, she brought the concept of empowered professional women of color into living rooms of millions of American, a positive image for lots of teenagers and little girls across America.
In the end, the two big winners were Peyton Manning and the NFL. All the Denver fans wanted Peyton to end his career on a win. Now let’s hope he has the sense to retire while he is ahead.
The NFL, facing all kinds of negative publicity about concussions and domestic violence, capitalized on a huge viewing audience by showcasing children born nine months after a team won the Super Bowl. I imagine the parents of those children are seriously considering whether or not they will let them play football. In fact, Super Bowl 50 did not attract a record breaking number of viewers. We may look back and mark 2016 as the year that the number of Super Bowl TV viewers started declining because of national concerns about the sport. Twenty years from now, the Super Bowl will probably not be the uniquely American sport that it is today. Soccer is on the rise in this country and is certainly the “football” of the world.
But for one glorious Sunday afternoon in 2016, the Bronco fans in my living room shared fun, laughter, friendship and good food. We all left happy when the game wrapped up Broncos 24, Carolina Panthers 10.