More Than A Football Game

Yes, it’s true. Yesterday during THE game, Diane and I offered a cheer to start each quarter. “Give me a B…R…O…N…C…O…S. What does that spell? Ah, the easiest answer to any test I’ve ever taken.

This morning, January 25, 2016, I read with appreciation the feed-back on the game.

I’ve worn orange ever since 1973 when my family moved to Lakewood, Colorado. A friend of mine from Eugene, Jerry Frei, had also moved to the Denver area, hired as the Offensive Line Coach for the Denver Broncos. His message was brief, “Mark, we need a Chaplain…to lead worship each home game day morning…that’ll be eight Sundays. Please come to our Saturday practice so we can talk about it.”

What a surprise. I learned the details—the entire Bronco team the night before league home games stayed in a Denver hotel and the morning of the game had an informal, voluntary chapel service in the hotel meeting room. Oh my.

But, I learned [had been at the Lakewood church less than 2 months] the 8 chapel services would be at the same time of my church’s worship. My regret was honest but difficult, “Sorry but I cannot change my church’s worship…too selfish.”

I meant it. But the invitation and my Lakewood venue meant a new team to support.

So, since the morning of declining the offer I began my support of the Broncos. And have not changed since.

Serving two wonderful churches in Colorado—Lakewood from 1973-80 and Broadmoor Church in Colorado Springs from 1980-88, my sons, Matthew and Andrew became Bronco supporters. One definition of “loyalty” was when the Broncos beat the Packers for their first Super Bowl victory, Matthew and Andrew said to one another, “Now. We can die.” Wow, that’s loyalty…and fortunately the loyalty didn’t lead to reality.

Then yesterday.

Okay. I realize Carolina’s a 4 point favorite in the Super Bowl. Carolina’s terrific and Cam Newton’s the real deal. But so is the Bronco defense. February 7 will have a special flavor to it…and our family will be wearing orange.

There are two take-away’s from yesterday’s game. The first is the loyalty of parents. Archie Manning, Peyton’s father, wore gloves the entire game so he wouldn’t bite his nails. Then in the last two minutes—when the Patriots drove to tie the game–Archie left his seat and went to the hallway to listen to the game on the radio. I can identify with that…as a parent. And can recount so many times when cheering on Matthew and Andrew that I wish I had worn gloves.

Then. A description of Peyton Manning, which I believe is both true and beyond significance. The Denver Post writer, Mark Kiszla, offered his gratitude this morning, “Thanks for the humility in victory and the grace in defeat.”

If only. If only you and I would have that attitude…no matter victory or defeat. A lesson to learn and embody…whether or not we are wearing gloves.

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About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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