So you’re hosting a gala celebration, a large party with many anticipated guests, sending invitations to everyone you know, some you don’t; yet others, perhaps business associates that may just be interested in attending to show respect… The invitations include a brief geographical map, the address and contact information. Who would have thought nowadays, people don’t use some convenient on-line mapping or other type of installed automotive GPS service to find their way? Inevitably, someone calls for directions the day of the party, usually after the party has begun, and the host is already involved with the guests. You’re busy finalizing the Grilled Salmon, carving the Garlic-Inspired Prime Rib, squeezing the last lime on the Sea-Monster Ceviche, grilling the Teriyaki Chicken Skewers and giving the last stir to the Chimichurri. Now…, a good host would have parlayed the phone, emails and texts to properly tend to the guests, keep the party lively and guests attended to. Of course, the host is also greeting, welcoming and sharing stories with his or her guests.

Sharing stories, as I was, numerous times throughout this day, and well into the evening; about why I’m wearing a Tim Tebow (Denver Broncos, number 15) premium NFL jersey, when everyone knows I’m a devoted San Diego Charger supporter…in Charger country, where most everyone is a Charger fan. Not being necessarily proud of that (Chargers)…, I continue. So needless to say…I didn’t give any directions that day; but, I did explain the jersey…over, and over, and over again.

The story goes something like this:

A work associate and I have long talked about attending a Bronco/Charger game together during one of his frequent visits to the San Diego area. Of course, he is a Denver Bronco fan, and I am a devout San Diego Charger supporter. I often say that I quite literally watch only one sport…Charger football. So, several years go by and we are still hoping to partner up to attend a game, but could never time everything right for a date here in San Diego. The following year, I ask my wife if she would like to go to Denver, since we’ve never been, to watch a ball game and check out the Denver area. She says to go for it and “make all the plans”. That year, the San Diego Chargers played in Denver on January 2nd, or something like that; and this “So-Cal” boy is not going to get my “shirtless Chicago Bears fan” game on…, anywhere near Denver…, outdoors…, in January.

The following year (2011), is the NFL Players strike. I anticipate the strike being lifted, keeping a close eye on the NFL game schedule, and immediately book a flight for my wife and I, roundtrip to Denver for the October 9th game vs. the San Diego Chargers…, in Denver. I purchased the tickets without even consulting my business associates in Denver. I called them later and said we’re coming in, to get us all some game tickets. This game in Denver had been the turning point of the season for both teams this season. You see, San Diego had won almost all of their games to this point, and Denver had lost all of their games to this point. This was going to be Tim Tebow’s day…, and no-one knew it…, except for the coach. That particular game is half of the reason I own, and was wearing, a Tim Tebow, safety orange, Official NFL licensed number “15” jersey the day of my gala event. It was to be a conversation piece for the party. It’s just what I got for challenging my Denver friend, and a conversation piece it was. Probably way too much conversation.

So the game in Denver gets started. I’m surprised at the amount of San Diego jerseys being worn by the fans in the seats. I’m even more surprised at the “booing” the Denver Broncos received upon entering the stadium. I ask, “what’s up with that?” My associates tell me that the Denver fans are not happy with the coaches, the owners and their decision to keep Kyle Orton (quarterback) playing despite his consistent losing record. My Denver counterpart continues, “Tim Tebow was a Heisman Trophy selection and never plays other than for an occasional quarterback sneak”. Moments after the initial booing, the fans begin to chant “TEBOW, TEBOW, TEBOW”. I start laughing. Sure enough, part way through the first half Tebow is brought in for the “quarterback sneak” and gets stopped at the line of scrimmage (that’s where the ball got “hiked” from, just in case you’re not football wise). The first half of the game continues and it looks like San Diego is going to run away with this one. Even my Denver fans are rooting after good plays are executed by the Chargers. We were all having a lot of fun at the game.

So now it’s halftime and the score is like Chargers, 29 and Broncos 6…, or something like that.

The second half opens and out walks Tim Tebow onto the field to begin his historic, brief career as an NFL star with the Denver Broncos. “Tebow” was being chanted throughout the second half of the game almost religiously as Tim Tebow had routed the Denver Broncos to an almost historic last-minute win. I mean, I was starting to feel humiliated wearing my Charger paraphernalia, and taking quite the ribbing from the fans around me. They (Denver fans) were very friendly and accepting. They were cool. We all had a good time. Final score for this game was a very close, San Diego 29, Denver 24. I told my Denver counterpart that Tim Tebow will be the headline in the news tonight…and that he was, in fact, for the rest of the season. Well, from this point in the season, Denver had won almost every game and San Diego had lost almost every game…and Tim Tebow would now be a household name. The whole nation watched this guy bring an excitement back to NFL…and to the Denver Broncos. Without knowing it, I’m about to lose a bet.

In week 12 of the NFL season this year, the Denver Broncos were to play the San Diego Chargers in my town, San Diego. Being a desperate, and now quite humiliated Charger supporter, I called my Denver associate and gave him my ultimatum. “If Tim Tebow beats us, I’ll denounce the Chargers as my team for the rest of the season, and become the biggest Tebow supporter in all of San Diego”. “I will post Facebook photos of me watching every Denver game and take pictures of me doing so…”. I told him he can further humiliate me by placing my picture on his company intranet if he desires; but, I told my Denver counterpart, he must purchase me the finest “safety orange” Tim Tebow number “15” NFL jersey. At this point in the season, I had a very strong inclination, that Tim Tebow was going to be traded following the end of the season and there “should” be no further use for the jersey following his football dimise. I was confident that I would finally have a “safety” vest/jersey in case I needed it for work out in the field. I would finally have a matching colored jersey to wipe oil from the underside of my rare 1973 Pumpkin Orange, Volkswagen Thing. It was a bet I was willing to make because the Chargers looked hopeless for the remainder of the season, and I now anticipated that I was going to need something to keep me interested in the remainder of the 2011 NFL season. I continued to tell my Denver counterpart that I was going to root for Tim Tebow to single-handedly win every game, including the Superbowl, by making his trademarked last-moment spectacular plays. This wasn’t going to be a Bronco season…it was going to be a Tim Tebow season! This was going to be HIS season!!!

So inevitably, San Diego lost the game and I was now to be the biggest Tebow fan ever. I was on the losing end of a personal bet… The following week, my Denver friend came to San Diego for business and we decided to join up for dinner. We chose Brian Malarkey’s (Bravo’s Top Chef finalist), “Searsucker” in downtown San Diego’s Gas Lamp Quarter. I knew one of the Sous Chefs at that restaurant, as he was one of the culinary students that attended the same school as I. Searsucker turned out to be a great dining experience. I was told by the Chef, Searsucker is also frequented by many San Diego Charger players. It is a “yuppie” hangout where it is important to be seen…and to see; another place where almost everyone is dressed nicely and looking good. I was told by my Denver friend that the jersey almost didn’t get there in time, that his wife had overnight’ed the package to his San Diego hotel room so he could present it to me. It was there, at Searsucker, that I was presented with my new jersey, in front of many displeased Charger fans scowling at me, presumably desiring to kick my ass. We continued a wonderful dinner and had a nice night, complimented by the very attentive service staff at Searsucker. But now I have one of the finest NFL fan jerseys made…and I have a great story.

I fulfilled my end of the bet, wearing the jersey, taking pictures of me watching the Denver games and posting them on Facebook. It was a daunting task. It was a fun winter activity for me and the NFL. Luckily every game was televised. I took…and posted a lot of pictures. There was even one point in the season that I took pictures of me taking the jersey off to reveal a Charger shirt underneath, in front of a last minute Denver loss that would have eliminated them…but again, “Tebow” somehow pulled off a victory. Like I said, it was a fun season for the Denver game and being the biggest Tebow fan ever.

So Tebow takes his team to win the Divisional title and to the Conference final where they lost…again, somthing like that. I don’t remember that detail junk! I quickly gave up rooting for this guy, shagging the jersey right in front of some Denver fans wearing similar, but cheaper, Tebow jerseys in the bar as we watched the game that day. During that final game, they thought I was one of them. I tried to get a picture with them as I took off the jersey to reveal a Charger shirt underneath. Then they accused me of being, and knowing I was an imposter. I tried to explain the situation, but they didn’t want to hear about it, after their dreams had become shattered and Tim Tebow will go down in history.  And Tim Tebow is now…, how they say, “history”…, yet he and what he did that season will be remembered, and forever logged in history. His last minute game resurrections and his charachteristic “The Tebow” bow or kneel.

So I told this story numerous times throughout the evening of my party. I also told people that I now must get the jersey signed to seal the fate of the jersey, and that it would now make its way into a nice frame on the wall of my home…along with my nice Charger signed pictures and stories, like the Charger offensive lineman (Fonoti) that rented my house…and other stuff signed by him, and Fonoti’s real…, really large jersey that I had. I also told them that Tebow’s jersey would make it to my wall…, but only if it gets signed. That way, I really have a complete story…and I can flip my bet; making my Denver friend the real loser. Now, to seal the fate of my jersey, I must present this story…and hope Tim Tebow finds it amusing enough to oblige.

BTW, I think my party…and the food turned out well that night. Well worth having the wonderfull guests enjoy the food that I prepared,  and the stories that were being shared. Thanks for all of the wonderfull compliments.

Foodie

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