Column: Drinking the orange Kool-Aid
Forgive me, Minnesota, for I have sinned. I spent my Sunday afternoon rooting for the Denver Broncos.
Before you turn the page, hear me out. My allegiance to the Broncos has nothing do with Tim Tebow's recent rise in popularity or his dashing good looks - it has everything to do with my father's Colorado roots, his allegiance to orange and blue and my childhood brainwashing.
In my parents' home, there is one room in the house reserved for Denver Broncos and Ronald Reagan memorabilia. John Elway is revered just as highly as the Catholic Saints I grew up memorizing, and most gifts to my dad include some sort of Broncos theme (last year it was a Broncos toaster).
The years of 1997 and 1998 were pretty pleasant in my household, as the Broncos showed their superiority with two straight Superbowl wins, the first against the Green Bay Packers (one reason Vikings fans should favor the Broncos) and the second against the Atlanta Falcons. It was Elway's big hurrah.
Having said all that, I had been hearing the rumblings of the 2011 Vikings, Broncos match-up for quite some time now.
The last time the two teams met was in 2007, when the Broncos defeated the Vikes by a score of 22-19. I believe I was overseas at the time and missed it. Before that, the Vikings squeezed by with victories in 2003 and 1999. I can still recall the madness of the match-up in 1996, when the Broncos won by four points.
Considering I haven't had television for a few years, I must say my football viewing has declined quite a bit. But for a game as big as this, I knew I had to venture out to find a suitable viewing venue. So I went to Zorbaz alone to cheer against the Minnesota Vikings. Not the most popular move.
I played it cool - I arrived in my casual Sunday church clothes and grabbed a spot at a high counter top to view the battle. Nothing about me yelled anti-Vikings, until of course I did yell, accidentally.
It was the Broncos fourth quarter interception that got me going. Talk about a game changer (sorry Viking fans). I may have clapped following the two 'take-that' touchdowns the Broncos delivered in the second half, but the excitement following the interception was too much to contain. Following the outburst, I put my head down and texted back and forth with my family back home.
In a phone call home after the game, my dad's excitement mimicked that of someone who had just scratched the winning ticket. What more could a native Coloradian ask for than a close game and a three-point win in the final seconds of the game? It was better than a blowout.
I, too, was pretty excited. But don't blame me - any purple and gold tendencies I was born with were brainwashed away when I was fed the orange Kool-Aid.