A far-away community of Broncos fans

I had the great fortune of flying to Boston over the weekend on business. It was a great time to be there: the weather was downright balmy (50s!) and the seafood sampler at the Union Oyster House (allegedly the oldest restaurant in the United States) was terrific.

And oh yeah, did I mention? The New England Patriots lost to the Denver Broncos.

I know how Bostonians feel — I felt that way for many years growing up, and have it it the past couple of seasons when we made it to the playoffs only to be unceremoniously dumped out in the first round. Too bad, so sad. For them.

I’m sure my neighbors at the Inn at Harvard didn’t apprciate my crazed yelling and screaming at the TV on Saturday night. It felt kind of weird, watching the game by myself, but I’m just not a sports-bar kinda guy. Besides, where the hell was I supposed to find a sports bar in Boston, Mass., that would tolerate a short Asian Denverite wearing a conspicuous Broncos shirts (nobody picked a fight with me all day, thankfully, although I got some funny looks as I walked around Cambridge).

So imagine my pleasant surprise the next day (Sunday) when I went several hours early to Logan Airport for my flight back.

First, before I went to the concourse, I checked out a “Wireless Gadgets” store for electronic doodads and iPod toys, and overheard the clerk, an earnest young man with that unmistakable Boston accent, commiserating with another shopper about the Pats’ loss the night before. I spoke up, showed my Broncos shirt (yes, I wore it two days in a row) and told him the Pats played the way the Broncos have recently in the post-season. The kid was seriously — and I mean seriously — heartbroken. he felt betrayed by all his favorite heroes for having fumbled and dropped the ball and making all the mistakes that gave Denver the edge.

But he was gracious enough to wish the Broncos luck as I walked out of the shop, and hoped we’d go on to the Super Bowl and play Seattle, making for a rare Western U.S. matchup.

When I passed through security and got to the United concourse, I settled down a ways from my gate because one of those overhead TV sets a couple of gates down was tuned to the Pittsburgh-Indianapolis game.

I ended up watching the whole thing, taking a brief break just to snag a Burger King Whopper for lunch. By the end of the game, which c0incided with the exact minuite we had to start boarding the flight, there were 40 or more Broncos fans gathered by this television set, all staring up as earnestly as if the Broncosw themselves were playing.

Towards the end of the game, the crowd of Denver-bound travelers began cheering and applauding whenever the Steelers had a good gain, and we all groaned in unison when Troy Polamalu’s interception (and it clearly was an interception, folks) was called an incomplete pass by the stupid ref.

The woman next to me had sat during most of the game but she stood on her crutches for the last half of the fourth quarter, and breathed a loud sigh of relief (as we all did) only when the Colts’ game-ending fiel goal went wide right.

The passengers finally boarded the plan in high spirits. It was a great way to finish a trip to enemy territory.

Gil Asakawa would love it if the Denver Broncos could beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

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