Broncos Give D50 Family a Super Treat
While Leona Lawless and her father Cecil Newell were in the stands at Levi Stadium cheering the Broncos on to their 24 to 10 victory Sunday night, still another fan was with them in spirit.
“She was up in heaven rooting us on,” said Cecil on Monday morning. He was referring to his wife Patricia who died two years ago from Alzheimer’s disease.
Cecil and Patricia were long-time, die hard Denver Broncos fans who held season tickets for more than 40 years. Leona, who is a pre-school teacher at Hodgkins Elementary calls the Broncos season tickets the one “luxury” her parents indulged in. “They had three tickets and five kids,” she recalled. “So each week one of us would go to the game with mom and dad. We would go to church and learn one thing and then attend the games in the south stands and learn another. “
When Patricia, who worked for more than 20 years in the kitchen at Skyline Vista Elementary, became ill, Cecil stopped going to the games. It hurt too much to be in the stadium without her.
After her death, Cecil started going to games with his children and grandchildren, all the while thinking about the love of his life and wondering if he would ever see his team play in a Super Bowl.
Being a long-time season ticket holder, he was automatically qualified for the lottery to purchase Super Bowl tickets, but wasn’t selected.
Leona thought if the Broncos organization heard about his devotion to the team and the disappointment of the last couple of years, they might help out.
“I wrote an email to the Denver Broncos and asked them to honor my dad. I expected a T shirt, hat or maybe even a visit from a player, instead they offered him two tickets to the game.
On short notice, Leona and Cecil found the money for the tickets, hooked with family connections in the
San Francisco area who gave them a place to stay and headed to the Super Bowl.
“It was phonemical, extraordinary,” said Leona on the morning after the game. “I wore my mom’s scarf in her memory and it was just so healing and wonderful.”
Cecil remembers the early years when the Broncos were one of the worst teams in the league. He says it didn’t matter to him and Patricia that the team was more likely to lose then win when they went to the old Mile High Stadium.
The Broncos were something they shared together.
They still do.
“I tell you, it felt like divine intervention that I was there,” he said.
Posted February 8, 2016