I want a new stadium. A modern, open-air, architectural beauty of a venue placed right in the heart of the city. One that looks like it is straight from Flight of the Navigator. It has curves and construction and impressively bright lights with jaw-dropping views of the downtown skyline. One that holds in all of the sound, creating a true home field advantage. One that celebrates the fans just as much as it does the history of the team and the players who currently occupy its inhabitants up to 10 times per calendar year.
I want a head coach. A colorful, gum-chewing, headset-swinging, fist-pumping son of a gun. If he wants to be executive vice president of football operations, fine. I want a guy who, in knowing that his upcoming contest will have as much to do with the elements as it does his opponent, is chasing his players around with water bottles, drenching their gloves despite the practice being indoors. I want a face of the franchise—an inherent leader who connects with people just as well as he does with athletes. I want him to be introspective yet motivational, a guy who can draw up mind-blowing Xs and Os and then crack his players in the shoulder pads in a way that makes them forget whether they are on the field or off of it.
I want a tech-savvy owner who has a résumé littered with philanthropic, trailblazing items that impact the little guy. A guy who is among the most influential individuals in the country. One who does more for neuroscience than oil rigs. I want a front office that, due to the head coach put in place, is rendered invisible outside of scouting and contract negotiations.
I want a run game. I want a player who, when the weather or game situation calls for it, can be handed the football and carry his 10 teammates on his gargantuan shoulders. A man who emulates a juggernaut in cleats. A player who can become a bit of a folk hero and have a burger named after him—one that is served with a side of Skittles. I want Beast Mode.
I want a quarterback who makes up for his lack of ideal size with incredible poise, accuracy and decision making. A kid who is smart, personable and amazingly unpredictable. A player who may not turn heads with his aerial attack, but one who is a weapon each and every time he has the football in his hands. An electric, play-making leader who can extend plays with his legs, get those much-needed extra few inches or put just the right amount of touch on a pass to allow his receiver to high-point the football and make a defensive back look foolish. A kid who, when every single variable indicates that a run play is in the cards—a late-game lead with the clock ticking down and the rain crashing at an increasing rate, unfurls a pin-point perfect pass to a streaking receiver down the left side of the field for a first down and a roaring crowd.
I want to be a part of a fan base that is antithetical to the one which left a contest against a hated, bitter rival at halftime. One that withstands intense elements for the love of their team. I want a guy like Tim Froemke who, before every home game, spends three hours in his garage where he transforms into a high-fiving, crowd riling version of the Incredible Hulk. I want luchador masks. I want a stadium full of individuals wearing jerseys of players currently on the team’s 53-man roster rather than a graveyard of regret and misguided apparel purchases. I want to be the 12th man. I want 137.7 decibels. I want to be the earthquake.
I want to root unabashedly for a team that has won 15 of their last 16 games at home. One that obtains a lead through staunch defense and high-end execution, only to tighten their grip and refine as the game rolls on. I want to not only be celebrating a win, but to be preparing for a conference championship game—at home. I want a team that I can be proud of.