“Bronco Day,” The ’97 Season, and Growing Up a Steelers Fan in Denver

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Act IV: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Even at 25, my distaste for the Broncos still lingers.  I still root against them every weekend, unless it helps the Steelers in terms of Divisional/Playoff postioning of course.  Moreover, while most Steelers fans will list the Ravens or the Patriots as the team they dislike the most, I simply can’t bring myself to do that.  Don’t get me wrong, I loathe Baltimore and New England, but 9 years of living in Denver, and the disappointment of ’97 has left the Broncos at the top of my list of teams I utterly dislike, and that will never change.

Thankfully, I did get to witness the game that I feel is my favorite non-Super Bowl win for the Steelers: The ’05 A.F.C. Championship Game.   Eight years after Pittsburgh’s loss opened the door for the mini “Denver Dynasty,” the under-dog Steelers trounced the Broncos 34-17 at Invesco in the A.F.C. Championship Game.

What made this game particularly fantastic to watch was seeing members of the Denver “faithful” heading towards the exits in the 3rd Quarter and filing out intermittently until the game ended.  If I had the chance to call each and every person from Denver that criticized my fandom, criticized the Steelers, and said that the Broncos had the N.F.L.’s “Best Fans” and those that cheer for the Steelers are “fairweather” I would have done it with glee.  I however chose to relish the victory and simply reflected on how sweet it was to see the Steelers headed to finally earn “One for the Thumb.”


So now here we are, another installment of this terrific A.F.C. Postseason rivalry, and I couldn’t be happier.  I’m wholeheartedly sure that a healthy Deebo and Woodley will be planning on giving the media’s new darling Tebow a nice “Welcome” to the Playoffs.  But most of all, I’m hoping that the Steelers emerge victorious and that the Mile High City’s football team has to wait another year to be crowned champion.  The only thing I’m wondering about is if my former Elementary School will be holding another “Bronco Day” next week if Denver is trounced?

If you readers have any stories about being “Behind Enemy Lines” as a member of Steeler Nation, now’s a great time to comment and converse on the subject.  I earnestly hope you enjoyed my article, and of course, Go Steelers!

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