A True Fan uses more sick days during football season than any other time of the year.
A True Fan never has False Hopes. Ever.
A True Fan knows that bringing a bag of chips to the tailgate entitles him to a burger, bratwurst or hot dog, potato salad, beanie-weanies, hors d'oeuvres and unlimited beer.
A True Fan knows exactly when to head into the stadium in order to catch the team's warm-ups.
For a True Fan, it's not wardrobe-worthy unless it has a team name or logo on it.
A True Fan thinks nothing of wearing the jersey of a 300-lb lineman on his own 140-lb frame, and knows it makes him look hot.
For a True Fan, a BAA sticker matches any color car perfectly.
A True Fan would've made a better call that would've resulted in a touchdown.
If Oscar Mayer created blue and orange hot dogs, a True Fan would buy them. If the hot dogs were available in an eight-pack, a True Fan would eat seven and freeze the other for all eternity, yet couldn't explain exactly why.
A True Fan has seen a potato chip that bears an uncanny resemblance to a current or former coach or player.
A True Fan knows that there's a huge difference between face paint and blue makeup.
A True Fan considers last year's playbook to be this year's bedtime story.
A True Fan buys team-related merchandise for his unborn child. And if it's a girl, she'll be the first female All-American QB in Bronco history.
A True Fan can't wait to have kids so he can name them after his favorite players. And if it's a girl, Chris, Alex or Lee still work, sorta.
At some point in its life, the dog of a True Fan has worn a Bronco bandana around its neck.
True Fans never cheer when we're on offense.
True Fans never boo unless it's justified.
A True Fan who drives four miles out of the way to save 3 cents per gallon on gas thinks nothing of spending $4.50 on a hot dog at the game.
When writing a check, a True Fan instinctively writes "Go Broncos!" on the memo line instead of the account number.
A True Fan who has vehemently screamed horrible insults at the top of their lungs at players who could beat the everliving snot out of them would just as eagerly apologize if they met that player face-to-face.
"Benefit of the doubt" always applies to a True Fan's team.
A True Fan never lets little things like weddings or anniversaries get in the way of the game.
A True Fan either schedules his or her wedding in the off-season, or gets married in the stadium on game day.
A True Fan knows that the best honeymoon includes an away game.
A True Fan feels guilty about throwing away the ticket stub after a really, really big win.
A True Fan knows the Broncos are ranked too low.
A True Fan knows that University Place has everything to do with football.
A True Fan who has never played a down of football knows he has some really critical advice to share with coaches who have been involved with football since they were sperm.
The opposing team got lucky on that #@%!ing play, thinks a True Fan.
According to a True Fan, there's nothing wrong about wanting to cry after a particularly tough loss, even if they never have, of course.
A True Fan has no problem purchasing an "authentic" jersey that looks subtly different than the jerseys worn by the team.
It's crossed a True Fan's mind at least once to buy that old junker and, with some orange and blue paint, some new tires and rims, a new frame, new transmission and a refurbished engine, create a rolling tribute to the Broncos.
A True Fan looks forward to the next game immediately after the last game is done.
A True Fan can't believe the QB didn't see the open guy.
A True Fan would've seen the open guy if he were playing QB.
Superstitions, to a True Fan, end after a loss.
A True Fan has much better eyesight than any referee.
Every True Fan knows that it was they who caused the fumble by the opposing QB because there's no doubt the QB clearly heard their clever taunts over the other 30,000 screaming fans.
A non-student True Fan spends more time on campus during football season than many full-time students.
A True Fan can't understand why people are leaving a 63-6 game when we still could get 70.
"Road Trip" and "Party" both have two syllables, a True Fan realizes, and smiles.
If the daughter of a True Fan were to announce their engagement to an attractive, intelligent, kindhearted and exceedingly wealthy Vandal fan, he would hesitate, just for a second, to offer his blessing.
Ebay is just an innocent hobby, a True Fan tells himself.
The wife of a True Fan knows that it's just a matter of time before the spare bedroom becomes a team shrine.
The phone never rings during game time at a True Fan's house.
A True Fan who can't balance a checkbook can calculate every possible scoring scenario and the appropriate clock management necessary to overcome a late-game deficit.
For a True Fan, there are two seasons: football and off. Yet, a True Fan knows the off-season only means no live games.
A True Fan even feels pride when their PS2 game simulation resulted in a win.
A True Fan has traveled to Hawaii just to attend a football game.
A True Fan welcomes Casual Fans and treats them with respect in hopes that they will one day become True Fans, too.
* Note: the structure of this article was inspired by Bernie Lincicome of the Denver Post, who wrote a classic column a few years ago about what defines a "real golfer." Considering the recent discussions on BroncoCountry, I thought the structure was appropriate and, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this is my meager tribute to Mr. Lincicome who has long been one of my favorite sports columnists.