Not everyone was born a stone's throw from Bronco Stadium. Not everyone played PeeWee league football with Brock Forsey. Not everyone is a Boise State alum or even a native Idahoan. Because of this...it's a sure bet that Bronco Nation is filled with stories—stories of when your fandom took the next step. If you're a regular here at OBNUG, chances are that the Broncos are more than a passing fancy in your household...but has it always been that way? This week's Friday Food for Thought topic centers around when you became a real Bronco fan. My story is below—think it over and write your own ode to the Broncos in our comments section.
How I became a Boise State Broncos superfan
Like most, my Bronco fandom has hit a series of different levels over the years. I was born and raised in the Boise area (Meridian, if you must know), so always had some awareness of the program, but you could say my loyalties were not yet set. Most of my childhood was smack dab in the middle of "the streak"—to a newer member of Bronco Nation...this was when Boise State lost 12 straight football games to Idaho. Of course, these were different times...Big Sky times—where there was much more parity. Boise State didn't field bad teams during that 12 year streak—they just couldn't slip past the Vandals. And frankly, in my childish state, I didn't care. I'd watch the annual tussle as a total non-partisan. I was fine with either team winning—and given the amount of Vandal alums in the family, probably was conned into rooting for the Vandals a time or two (don't judge).
By the time I was old enough to have any sense of my own, I started to become more interested in the home team. The first coach I really remember was Skip Hall. I also remember the hardcore Bronco fans in our family's circle grumbling about Hall and I never quite knew why. In 1991 my fandom took a big step...my first Bronco game (at least that I remember)—and it was dumb luck that led me to my first live game. My family was camping near Cascade and hiking on a trail, I found some guy's wallet. When we got back to town, my dad called the guy up to tell him we found it and the gentleman was so happy that we'd returned the wallet intact that he offered our family tickets to the next Boise State game. Turns out the guy worked in the Bronco ticket office. I have no clue who the Broncos played that day or even if they won or lost. I was just pretty hyped to be at a live game in the old 15,000 seat stadium.
In 1994, I remember going to the Boise State/Marshall game in the 1-AA playoffs. I definitely remember the outcome of that game...and how absolutely freezing I was. The Broncos had piqued my interested enough at that point that we made plans to go to a friend's house to watch the 1-AA title game between Boise State and Youngstown State (we didn't have cable). It was the day after that game that I remember my first real Boise State loss hangover (Youngstown won 28-14). A good football game can thrill you no matter who the participants are...but losses only sting when you're a true fan. So...I guess in that capacity, I became a "true" fan in 1994. It wasn't until 1999, when I first enrolled at Boise State that my obsessive-compulsive Bronco fandom began. Poll watching, tailgating, roster memorizing. You know...all the standard stuff. Since 1999, I have watched every Bronco game live at Bronco stadium, in the visiting stadium, or on TV except for one: the 2006 Boise State game against Wyoming, when I was attending a friend's wedding on the east coast...and I still caught a few minutes of that one when I ran back to the hotel room (literally) between the wedding and reception.
So, that's about non-condensed version of my Bronco fan journey. Now let's hear yours. "KC Adams!" am I right?