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"It was a big day for John Elway on Januy 25th 1998. But it wan't a good day on the other 4 Super Bowls that thay did'nt win."
And so began the first "game story" of my sports journalism career: A recap of the Denver Broncos' 31-24 win over the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. I was 6 years old -- and clearly not yet ready to let Elway off the hook.
I loved everything about sports, and especially NFL football, long before that game. But Super Bowl XXXII took it to another level. It was the most memorable sporting event of my childhood, even though I don't exactly remember watching it live. I mostly just remember the feeling of it.
I remember watching replays of the game on loop, often as the climax of a Broncos season-in-review VHS tape that quickly became one of my prized possessions. I remember the specific camera angles on certain plays, and specific broadcasting calls. I remember cutting out pictures and descriptions of the game from magazines and arranging them on a poster board, just so I could relive the action over and over again.
Even now, more than two decades later, I can still feel the same excitement about that game that I felt at 6 years old, breaking it down blow by blow. In that story, Brett Favre (whose name I never misspelled) "throse's" a few touchdown passes, and one interception. A Terrell Davis carry results in a "what the holly smoke FUBULL!" Then, later, Davis gets the go-ahead score, which I describe as "walking standing up TD!"
"Now the Denver Broncos are sellabreating thar 1st Super Bowl vitorree," I wrote.
Working in sports journalism can sometimes make sports feel like... well, a job. But when the work drowns out the fun, I'll think back to that game and that story. It's still as exciting now as it was then. It will always be a big day for John Elway.
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