Hello again, FN. It's been a remarkable year in the world of the Centennial Soapbox, and here's hoping that the rest of 2012 holds big things for each and every one of us. I'm happy to be able to say that I've made the transition from the existence of a college student to that of a working professional, and it's remarkable how life conditions us to deal with change.
The Denver Broncos recently signed Peyton Manning to play quarterback for the next few years, and I couldn't be happier. It will certainly be strange seeing Manning in the orange and blue, but if there's one thing we've gotten used to in the Rockies, it's change with our football team. It has been a tumultuous run over the past decade, but changes and heartache can't take away the dedicated fanbase that resides out here. I've always thought that there is no better fanbase than what we have here; not that we're any better than anyone else, but for nearly 40 years, every Broncos Sunday has been sold out, and we still believe in our beloved Broncos regardless of who is wearing the jersey. In recent years, we have survived the unwarranted benching of Jake Plummer, having our hearts ripped out by the Jay Cutler trade saga, the McDaniels era, and the untimely deaths of three young players in Darrent Williams, Damien Nash, and Kenny McKinley. We have also witnessed a team that most agree should have won the Super Bowl in 2005, the incredible run made by Tim Tebow and his band of misfits, and the sparkling play of Champ Bailey. In short, it's been a roller coaster.
Change always brings with it feelings of discomfort. I am a Tim Tebow fan; however, I am thrilled at the prospect of watching Peyton Manning leading my football team. It will undoubtedly be different, but it will be just as good. Last July, I moved from my home on Colorado's Front Range to a town on the Western Slope. I moved 300 miles from home, across the Rocky Mountains, and settled in to my new life. It has been a tremendous learning experience, and I love it. It's amazing, though, how you notice the little things. All of my life, the mountains have been west, the area where the sun sets. Now I look to the east, and I see the sun rise over the mountains, and it sets over the Utah desert. Rivers run backward out here; I am amazed that I notice that as much as I do. But, through it all, the sun still rises and sets, the rivers still run as they do back home, and I still get up every morning and do my best to be the best that I can be. It's much the same as a sports fan. We witness roster turnover, coaching changes, and new seasons. While everything seems to change, we still watch, we still live and die with each and every moment, and we still want our teams to win.
As I sit and watch whenever I get the opportunity, I am learning to cherish the good and look at the bad as a learning opportunity. Perhaps that owes to being a professional educator. We praise at every good thing that happens, we counsel in the bad times, and sometimes we overreact and must apologize and learn. Through it all, we learn to look at the big picture, while doing our best to make today the best that it can be. In the end, isn't that the best that we can hope for as a sports fan? As seasons come and go, we are forced to adapt or completely divorce ourselves from the proceedings. All the while, though, the good and bad as a whole are what makes the athletic realm the beauty that it is. We do what we can as fans to make the experience great, and we invest ourselves in the process to get there. And what a wonderful thing it is to really care and love something. It will be a joy to watch Peyton Manning in Denver, and if he wins, every heartache of the last decade will be worth it. It is a joy to work in a profession that you love, and if you have any small success, every heartache is worth it.
Take care, FanNation, and remember to give the best of yourself always, in both the good and the bad.