There's trouble brewing in my household. I haven't wanted to say anything, because I have so very much respect for my son and what he stands for. We agree on so much, and that's why I hate to see a little thing like a Super Bowl come between us.
As a matter of record, the boy grew up in an environment that gave him little or no choice as to who his favorite football team would be. He also had the excruciatingly good fortune to be born into a world in which the Denver Broncos actually won Super Bowls. Not just one - two. For the first two years of his life, my son knew only one world champion: the team of his father and his father before him. Not that it made a vast difference in his world, save the Terrell Davis Beanie Baby in his crib and his father's insistence that he wear his tiny John Elway jersey on game days. That was nine seasons ago. Now he really believes this stuff.
Which brings us to this year's big game. We both felt the Broncos' season slip away near the end of the year, and we both started eyeing the possible playoff teams. He liked the Saints because he has a classmate who used to live in New Orleans. He liked the Jets because he likes jets. When it came down to just two teams, I kept my mouth shut, and listened to him reason through his pick: "The Broncos' colors are blue and orange, and Cal's mascot is a bear, so I'm going to go with the Bears." For just a moment, it occurred to me to give him the "root the conference" line, then I thought better of it. I've lived a happy life where my son thinks Bruce is the Boss and John Elway is the greatest quarterback that ever played and cheeseburgers are haute cuisine. For nine years I've had my way with him. Now it's his turn. I wonder how many points he wants on that spread.