Bronco’s and Boys, Part 1

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It is set.  Next week we are heading off to Bronco Training Camp.  Ian, Mikelle and me.  Last year it was Tim Tebow, this year it is Payton Manning.  Just for grins, this is the story of how it went last year.  We will see what happens this year.  Go Bronco’s.

What is better on a hot sunny summer day than Bronco’s and Boys?  Not much.  Mikelle, her handsome hunk of a boyfriend, Jose Torres and long time cutie and friend, Ian Harwick and I attended Bronco training camp last week.

The temperature soared well into the 90’s as we found our way to the ADA tent at the north end of Dove Valley, the Bronco football team’s practice facility.  There we sat, shaded under the white vinyl tent nestled up to the strip of media booths on to the right of us.  The VIP tent, just yards away from us.

There we saw, Alfred Williams #91 who played in back to back Superbowls, standing next to us. Of course, we got his autograph.  Rod Smith, one of our favorite players from the old John Elway days, stood right between the practice field and us.

Jose had never been much a football fan, preferring the Latin

Hot Times at Bronco Training Camp

American version of f”utball—soccer.  Little did he know, his sweetie, Mikelle is an avid Bronco fan, just like her brother Kasey, who has a whole cedar chest filled to the top of precious Bronco memorabilia.  His love for the Bronco’s runs so deep that he named his only son, Jackson ELWAY Learned.   The boy was swaddled in a Bronco blanket and has been wearing orange and blue ever since.

The plan to attend Bronco training camp was hatched the night before over dinner at newlywed Ian’s house with his bride Kristen. There over kabobs and fine wine, (well—affordable wine) Ian and Mikelle began to fell Bronco “orange crush” course through their veins.  Their hearts began pound with the thought of a new, fresh year on the field.  Of course, they had to have their “pre-season” review of the year at Bronco training camp—tomorrow they decided. Kristen and Jose were not impressed. But, for Ian and Mikelle the notion of going came to be and plans were made. Who knew what a great day it would be come.

Of course, like any little sister, Mikelle had to let Kasey know she was headed off to Bronco land…while he was probably stuck in southern California traffic jam.  Immediately, Kasey flashed back to the days when training camp was on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado, where I worked as organizational consultant in rehabilitation services.  While I was working, Kasey would take Mikelle in her manual wheelchair, her cute giggly self nearly leaping out of her chair with excitement, and push her to the front of the crowd, where she inevitably scored the best autographs.

Would history repeat itself? Would Mikelle score big?  With coaching from the cell phone sidelines, Kasey sent his instructions—get as many autographs as you can!  And, boy did she!

After practice, fellow fans lined up against the rail in the ADA tent. Handsome players signed cards, stickers and rosters and when they got to Mikelle, they just seemed to light up.

“How you doing honey?” They would say.

Signatures lined up like the offensive line on her Bronco flyer. Then, at the end of the day, the field nearly empty, Mikelle’s roster of autographs seemed full.  But, there from across the field came Head Coach John Fox sauntering over to the rail. He signed a few autographs then looked up to Mikelle. She smiled that contagious smile of hers. The light of that smile seem to ignite up something deep inside him. In an instant, his right hand reached for his Bronco ball cap, lifting off of his head of gray hair, and with the stroke of a black magic marker, signed his name and handed Mikelle his hat.

Everyone, including the Bronco staff, looked in awe.

“Here sweetheart. Thanks for being a fan.”He said.

She knew she had scored big.  Soon her brother did, too.  Jose, full of pride, appreciated his girl’s magical ways.  And, Ian and I, looked at each other, knowing we had helped Mikelle score another point in her long win column.  Bronco’s and Boys are always a winner.

About Katherine Carol

Special needs & community expert, speaker, co-author of The Tango of Publishing and Shining Beautiful, with Mikelle Learned, book coach, mom, and community builder.

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