Remember August of 2012 when NASA and the Jet Propulsion Lab successfully landed the Mars rover “Curiosity” against impossible odds? I still remember the thrill of watching people with some of the best minds in the world as they awkwardly attempted high fives in mission control.
For the Bacon family, the championship game this weekend was kind of like that. You see, we grew up in Colorado and have been Broncos fans for life; and like many of the scientists who engineered the Curiosity landing, we took a lot of abuse growing up. If the Broncs didn’t outright stink, they were getting blown out in championship games. But we loved them in spite of all that. My dog’s name was Elway.
We suffered through the perpetual “wait ’til next year” promises, and endured the derision of non-Broncos fans after blowout losses on the world’s largest stage.
It seemed like the team we loved would never reach the mountaintop, but in 1998 it all came together; then lightning struck twice in 1999. And now, after three world championships, I am not sure what to do with myself. This year’s game was agonizing because through most of the contest, everyone on the planet (almost literally) knew that Carolina was one touchdown pass away from tearing the hearts out of the chests of Broncos fans everywhere with a last minute win. And everyone knew they could do it.
But they didn’t. The Broncos held on, and now I feel like those scientists after the initial euphoria faded away. After the celebration of the Curiosity landing died down, they began to awkwardly wander around the control center, not quite sure what to do with themselves.
That’s where I am right now.
Luckily for them, the scientists had months of exploration ahead of them to occupy their time as they collected and analyzed the data being gathered on Mars. I don’t have that luxury, since football is over for several months here on earth.
But unlike the one trick ponies working on the Mars mission, I have choices.
I have baseball.