Many may know that yesterday the Kansas City Chiefs played the Denver Broncos. This is not the topic I expected to be writing about this morning but it strangely had quit an impact on me yesterday. I spent much of the day wondering which team to cheer for. I know this may sound silly but I had more than just a football game on my mind. You may have read before in my post Family Time talking about our household K-State family. I have no trouble cheering for Kansas State and wear my purple proudly it was my school my alma mater. But the Chiefs were a different story; they were the rival, my KU when I was growing up. As I mentioned before my first football team was the Denver Broncos. It has been a going joke in our family to tease me about liking the Broncos. My husband and boys are Chiefs fans. My oldest daughter a Bronco fan mostly just to annoy her brothers and Dad, and the younger girls cheer for whoever is doing better at the moment.
In the past I had no hesitation cheering for the Broncos with my daughter. The boys knew there was a good chance the Chiefs would lose since last year at this time they were 1-9 not 9-1. This game for some reason was hard. With the Chiefs on the edge of their undefeated record they had a good shot to win. This game meant so much for the Chiefs and more importantly MY BOYS. They so badly wanted them to win especially my oldest. He has been a diehard fan regardless of the season. Every year he’d say this is going to be the year the Chiefs go to the Super bowl. I knew if they lost he would be so disappointed. So how could I cheer against his team, he cared much more about the outcome of the game than I did. The hard part came when I wondered does that mean I was considering cheering against the Broncos? I have been routing for the Chiefs along with my boys, they have grown on me a little since I have lived in Kansas now for 15 years. I do not have a Chiefs shirt or anything but it is good to see them do well. But I have yet to cheer for them against the Broncos. How was I even considering this?
Now you may be thinking how silly, it’s a football game. As I was pondering my options it felt like so much more. If I cheered against the Broncos it felt like I was letting go of a part of me. I was a Bronco fan, I am from Colorado, that is my home and they are my home team. If any of you live away from where you grew up you likely understand. Especially if your family is still there. It’s an internal battle of allowing yourself to settle in and embracing your new location and feeling like that means you are giving up where you came from as your “home”. That is what cheering against the Broncos felt like. I already worry of the day I will have lived in Kansas longer than in Colorado. I am quickly approaching that time. I lived in Colorado 16 years, in Kansas/Colorado for 5, and now in Kansas for 15. When I hit 17 what did that mean?
So what did I do? I cheated. I only half watched the game and actually dozed off at half time. I tried to not to care either way. I didn’t want my son to be disappointed but I didn’t want to not cheer for my home team. I even threatened to turn off the game if they kept not so nicely teasing each other.
I know my Broncos are not the same team after all it is hard for me to imagine Peyton Manning as a Bronco? Elway and the 3 amigos are the players of my day and they are long gone. I hardly knew any of the players by name it wasn’t the same football team. Things change just like the players on the team. That doesn’t mean I am not me. Though I am living in a different state and I am the only one in my house that wasn’t born in Kansas I feel at home in our town with my family. My home town and my parent’s house have changed. But I still feel at home when I walk into the house and get excited to see the welcome to Greeley sign when drive into town. Do I have to cheer for either team? Can’t I just be neutral and have 2 homes? After all home is where the heart is and my heart has room for both places.
So though a tie would have been perfect, my younger son informed me that wasn’t an option. The Broncos came out ahead, and my daughter wore her Peyton Manning shirt to school proudly this morning. My boys were disappointed but already talking about how the Chiefs will win when they play in KC and went to school smiling this morning too. The world went on and I was still me when I woke up this morning. So as it turns out it was just a football game and I made it through without giving up my past and still embracing the present. For now it is over and I have a few weeks break before I have to decide who to cheer for again. This weekend we can just embrace our purple and white and cheer together for the Wildcats!