Ravens and Broncos Kick Off Season and I am Bowled Away

Last Night the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos played the first it really counts game of the NFL season in the shadow of the Rockies.

The game was originally going to be in the home stadium of the Super Bowl winning Ravens but, as they share a few parking lots with the also playing at home Baltimore Orioles, it was determined that having the game in Colorado would be best to avoid hoards of roaming Orioles and Ravens fans battling for the same parking real estate.

Having been born in Maryland the Ravens are a team that I follow very closely so the idea of seeing them play the first game of the NFL season as they begin their quest to repeat as Super Bowl Champions had me rather excited.

Now, it should be noted that while I have been a fan of the Baltimore Ravens for as long as there have been Baltimore Ravens, I am also a fan of the Denver Broncos.

While I follow both the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos whenever they play each other I cheer for the Ravens. Photo R. Anderson

While I follow both the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos whenever they play each other I cheer for the Ravens.
Photo R. Anderson

While it is easy to understand my fandom for most of the NFL teams that I follow based on having lived in the areas near the teams (Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Jacksonville Jaguars) it is a mystery as to why I first started following the Broncos.

Even though I have never lived in Colorado I have followed the Broncos since the late 80’s. Granted I visit Colorado now and then but when racking my brain I couldn’t think of an ah ha moment where it all clicked and suddenly the Broncos were in my NFL stable.

It should also be noted that even though I live near Houston, the NFL team that plays at the big stadium with the retractable roof named the Texans is not, and most likely never will, be in my stable of teams.

This fact has led to many debates through the years among family and friends and usually ends with the person saying, “but you follow the Houston Astros, why not follow the Texans as well?”

My response is usually along the lines of saying that at the time I moved to Texas there was an opening on my roster for a National League team and the Astros filled that void. There are not currently any opening on the NFL roster of teams that I follow but there are several teams that would take that slot ahead of the Texans.

It is not that I wish the Texans any ill will I just choose not to support them or really pay attention to what they are doing on the field.

So, on paper the opportunity to see the Ravens and the Broncos play should have been a joyous occasion albeit a torn allegiance one as a rooted for the Ravens to win and the Broncos to stay injury free. (For the record in head to head competition among the Ravens and other teams in my stable only the Redskins trump the Ravens in terms of who I am rooting for).

Unfortunately all of the promise of sitting on my couch stuffing my face with imported European cheeses and crackers were dashed by a prior commitment called the first night of the bowling season.

Assorted cheeses from Europe and Sushi may not be the all-American way to welcome a new NFL season but they do make a tasty snack. Photo R. Anderson

Assorted cheeses from Europe and Sushi may not be the all-American way to welcome a new NFL season but they do make a tasty snack.
Photo R. Anderson

While it could be argued that starting a bowling league in Texas on the same night as the start of the NFL season is downright ludicrous, the fact remains that is exactly what occurred. Of course if the Texans had been playing on the opening night of the NFL season I am sure that the opening day of the season would have been pushed back a week.

So, much of yesterday afternoon was spent in agony as I toyed with the idea of whether I could skip the first night of bowling in favor of my date with that cheese tray.

On one shoulder I had a tiny version of me in a Ravens shirt urging me to watch the game. On the other shoulder was a tiny version of me wearing bowling shoes telling me that my team needed me and that skipping opening night was not being a very good teammate.

In the end the tiny version of me wearing the bowling shoes won out but I did make a compromise with the other tiny version of me and decided that I would wear my Ravens shirt to bowling while praying that I could at least catch the second half of the game.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to the bowling alley. One of my teammates called and said that they would not be able to attend due to an injury and asked me if I would help them post bowl at a later date.

Of course, being the good teammate that I am, and not wanting them to be alone during the post bowling time, I agreed to make the sacrifice of skipping opening night of bowling to be there with them in their hour of need.

It was just a happy coincidence that my “sacrifice” allowed me to once again break out the imported aged European cheese and artisan bread while watching the game.

So, I was able to make peace with the two miniature shoulder dwelling versions of me and found a solution that was win/win. In the words of Hannibal Smith from the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Now if you’ll excuse me, I still have some leftover cheese to make disappear from last night.

Copyright 2013 R. Anderson