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Why I'm a fan of Boise State

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New Mexico v Boise State Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

Welcome to the refreshed OBNUG! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts HERE to write your own post (make sure to title it ‘Why I'm a fan of Boise State'). Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!

Why I’m a fan of Boise State

My Boise State fandom was less of a lifelong journey and more of an “aha moment”. I grew up in the Treasure Valley (Meridian, to be exact—during Dairy Days even) and obviously had a certain degree of familiarity with the team up the road and their turf that matched the hue of my favorite Saturday morning cartoon characters. The weird thing is, I have no real recollection of the team's makeup prior to 1994.

I mean, I sort of remember the Skip Hall era, but mainly because our friends and neighbors that were season ticket holders were always moaning about him. I remember players names like Joe O'brien, Winky White, and Erik Helgeson—but again, those memories are fleeting—gleaned from watching the annual Boise State vs Idaho game (or listening on the radio) as my family (who had split loyalties) wondered who would prevail (and it was usually Idaho, believe it or not). Things changed in 1994. I was a freshman in high school and with a year of "lightweight" football under my belt, I'd finally become fascinated with the game enough to pay attention when my dad turned on a contest. Somehow, we ended up scoring tickets to the 1-AA national semi-finals against Marshall.

They say there aren't any bad seats in Bronco Stadium, but as I remember it...these were pretty bad seats. The temperature was freezing and we as far up in the left corner of the stadium as you could get at the time (the section is now the start of one half of "the horseshoe"). Apparently, we were high up enough that the snow hadn't gotten the memo to melt off the concrete stadium steps and I remember watching several people tumble up, and down, the unsalted surface. I'd stuffed a few of those beanbag handwarmers in my shoes to try to keep frostbite at bay, but it was no use—by the end of the game I couldn't feel my toes until we got halfway up Broadway on the trek back to the car.

But the game...the game was incredible. It was the first game I really remember solid details of and the first game I recall feeling the crowd will the team to victory. In particular, I was fascinated by the play of the Broncos' one-handed cornerback DaWuan Miller...who for having a what I believed to be a decided disadvantage was locking down receivers left and right. Indeed, it was Miller’s play that helped seal the game for the Broncos (who’d rallied from a big deficit) and earned them a berth in the title game against (at the time) powerhouse Youngstown State. They lost to Youngstown State in the natty and for the first time in my fledgling fandom I experienced genuine disappointment. I think the gut-punch feeling I felt after losing to the Penguins in the title game was when I first knew that the Broncos were "my team".

Really, they were probably always my team, I just didn't know it until then. When I enrolled at Boise State 5 years later the team became a minor obsession and it hasn't really relented, much to the chagrin of my wife and kids. My wife says I don't listen to a word she says if Boise State is on the television or if Boise State news comes on the car radio...at least I think that's what she says.

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