ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --** The game of football leaves impacts that resonate far beyond the white-lined gridirons of Sunday, stirring the passions of millions of fans and inspiring countless unique and unforgettable memories for people all around the world. It's an uncanny bond that endears itself and affects lives in many different ways – and now all of those stories about what truly makes football so special have a place to call home.
The NFL's nationwide 'Together We Make Football' challenge is a way for fans to share their love of the game and chronicle how football has impacted their own lives. Fans can tell their personal football stories through video, or by using words and photographs, by visiting TogetherWeMakeFootball.com and entering the contest.
From all the entries, 10 narratives will be selected and turned into short films produced by NFL Films – and five of the selected entrants will win a five-day VIP trip to Super Bowl XLVIII for themselves and two guests of their choosing.
Yesterday, DenverBroncos.com profiled a submission from Broncos fan Erich, who described how he remembers his late mother through her love of the Broncos. To read Erich's story in its entirety, click here.
Today, we will take a look at two more submissions of how football has impacted the lives of a pair of Broncos fans, Joshua and Kevin.
Joshua – whose story can be read and voted for by clicking here – described how Peyton Manning uplifted his family in the wake of losing one of his sons, Jeffrey, to SIDS. Manning made an appearance at Gateway High School – where Joshua's wife teaches – in April 2013 in support of those affected by the Aurora theater shooting tragedy, and the quarterback made a point to offer some special encouragement to Joshua and his family.
"The school told Mr. Manning about our loss and he made it special for our 6 year old as Mr. Manning threw a pass to our son Joel (He caught it), took pictures with him and signed our 10 month old Jeffrey's Manning jersey. This put a huge smile on all of our faces and we now watch the Denver Broncos with Peyton Manning with deeper emotion because of what the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning did for our family. They brought joy and a smile to us in the midst of our sadness."
For Kevin – you can read and vote for his story by clicking here – football has remained a constant uplifting force in his life throughout his struggle with ALS.
"I still enjoyed watching football even though I didn't have the strength to hold a football; I had my aide sit a football in my lap. I joined a fantasy football league on NFL.com. This kept me tuned in and I won the Super Bowl from my league as a wild card."
"I am now in my 14th year of living with ALS and I still play fantasy football (haven't won another Super Bowl, it's so hard to repeat) and now the only real time I watch television is all day on Sundays from noon until I fall asleep on Sunday Night Football, Monday nights and Thursday nights. I can't scream at television, voice is too weak, but I am so enjoying watching my Denver Broncos doing their thing. Football season is my favorite season, although I can't physically play, I can still compete with friends and enjoy the game from my wheelchair."
Continue sharing your stories of how football – and the Broncos – has made its impact upon your life by going to www.TogetherWeMakeFootball.com.
The submission deadline for the 'Together We Make Football' contest is Nov. 5 at 9:59 p.m. MST.