The relationship between sports teams and their host cities almost defies explanation. Why should millions of geographically co-located people consider a for-profit business emblematic of their relative worth as a state or city? Mark Cuban doesn’t consider spending money on the Mavericks just so the state will be well represented among its peers. And yet people in North Texas feel like the successes of the Mavs and Cowboys and Rangers and Stars represent some sort of regional validation.

The relationship between sports teams and their host cities almost defies explanation. Why should millions of geographically co-located people consider a for-profit business emblematic of their relative worth as a state or city? Mark Cuban doesn’t consider spending money on the Mavericks just so the state will be well represented among its peers. And yet people in North Texas feel like the successes of the Mavs and Cowboys and Rangers and Stars represent some sort of regional validation.


It’s crazy, but all of us sports fans do it. And inevitably, the relationship becomes somehow symbiotic. Over time, teams tend to reflect the qualities of their namesakes. Think about the flash of Magic Johnson’s Lakers complimenting the glitz of LA; the blue-collar grit of Pittsburgh somehow brought to the field through the Steel Curtain defense; the 1990s economic boom in Dallas embodied by "America’s Team."


This oddity is particularly top-of-mind for me at the moment, as today the Broncos play in the Super Bowl. (For those who haven’t heard, it’s an annual television commercial extravaganza that happens to include a football game.) They’re the team I watched growing up in the Centennial State, where every kid dreamed of becoming John Elway.


It’s been 16 years since The Comeback Kid’s iconic helicopter-leap over a pair of Green Bay defenders in Super Bowl XXXII gave the team its first championship. And even though I know it’s ridiculous, I can’t help but feel a tinge of pride. Nevermind that the team reached the big game 94 percent because of Peyton Manning, 6 percent because of the other Broncos, and 0 percent because of me or any other fan.


But if nothing else, a sports championship gives people from the team’s city a chance to reflect on why they’re proud of the place they came from. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s a chance that doesn’t come along too often. The poor folks in Cleveland haven’t won a championship of any kind since 1964! And for my dad and others from Chicago, the Cubs have kept them waiting 106 years for that crazy bit of validation.


So please excuse my smugness on this particular Super Bowl Sunday. Even though it’s completely ridiculous, I can’t help but feel a just a tiny bit proud.


Oh, and GO BRONCOS.



Happy birthday Sunday to Ruth Summers and Roy Holloway, both of Sherman; Saundra Bell Rollins of Corinth; Anthoni Beckham of Dallas; Logan Tidwell of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Wren Page of Chicago, Ill.


Happy anniversary Sunday to Jerry and Cheryl Wood of Sherman, 35 years.