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No Boise State fan will ever forget the excitement of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.
There are certain defining events in your lifetime where you will be able to tell someone exactly where you were and what you were doing when the event occurred.
For Boise State fans, one of those events is the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, particularly the last minute of regulation and the overtime sessions that followed.
I can tell you where I was: in my room, the rest of my family asleep, when Drisan James caught the ball, stopped and flipped the ball to Jerard Rabb, who was running the opposite direction. Screaming as Rabb ran toward the end zone, not caring that the rest of my family had long given up on the Broncos as the Oklahoma Sooners began to close the gap near the end of the third quarter.
I had to pinch myself when Vinny Perretta completed a desperation fourth-down pass to Derek Schouman, then remind myself that, yes, this was real life, when Ian Johnson threw the ball into the crowd and the upset had been completed.
Dreams could come true. David was capable of downing Goliath. Over six years later, now over halfway through my college experience, I still use those memories—forever ingrained in my mind—as motivation in many difficult situations.
I’m not from Boise, or even Idaho, so I often wondered if fans of the Broncos felt the same way as I did. On a family trip out West during the summer of 2007, my suspicions were confirmed: They did.
In a Wal-Mart just outside of Boise, the entire big screen TV section was showing a replay of the game. At about eight o’clock at night. In July.
Yet, it seemed as if all of the males in the store were surrounded around one of the bigger TVs, watching the replay with just as much interest as they did when it was happening live: clapping when Boise State pulled off the improbable hook and ladder (we happened to catch the replay at the right time), letting out a collective “oh!” as Schouman made the catch in the end zone, and high-fiving when Zabransky perfectly sold the pass and handed the ball behind his back to Johnson.
That’s when I realized, even though I don’t have any true ties to the university, the Boise State Broncos would forever be a part of the way that I operate in life.
It may sound corny, but then again, maybe that’s just being a fan.