Roger and I had met only a month prior, but it felt like the real thing and we’d started talking casually about getting serious.
One night at my home, a show comes on TV about the World’s Best Wedding Proposals. Roger looks at me and says, “I bet you expect me to come up with something really great.”
I say, “Of course I do.”
A month or so later, we are Mile High Stadium several hours before the game. Working with my sister’s organization on the Red Ribbon Campaign, we are collecting money to prevent teen substance abuse. It’s several hours before kick-off and no one is passing by to put quarters in my can, so I take a break to do some sleuthing.
I ask an official-looking security guard, “What do I need to do to get a message up on the scoreboard?”
“Come with me,” he beckons, and takes me into the bowels of the old Mile High Stadium. We end up in some sort of control room.
A woman with headphones on tells me I need 2 weeks notice to get something up. I explain to her my plan, and she says, “In that case, just write down what you want and make a check out to the city for $50.”
Before the game, we get to ride around the field in on the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. The baloney company is also a Red Ribbon sponsor, and my sister is something of a mucky-muck in the campaign. Inside are my sisters, their husbands, and my guy and me. And the head cheese driver.
Can you guess what songs we sing as we ride around the stadium? We wish we were a certain brand of wieners that everyone is in love with, and that our names were spelled a certain way.
During halftime my sisters have strict instructions to keep Roger in his seat. My announcement will be up for only 30 seconds.
That’s not a problem, since he is fixated on the Punt, Pass and Kick competition among a couple dozen 8 year-olds on the field. In fact, when we DO try to get him to look at the scoreboard, he is slightly annoyed at missing Little Jimmy’s punt.
But he does look up in time, to see this on the DiamondVision:
“Roger Luz: Score with me forever. Will you marry me? Lori”
He looks at me. He looks at it. He looks at me. He looks at it.
He tells me later that this is what he was thinking:
“Oh, wow! Someone else here has the same name I do!”
“And, wait! He ALSO has a girlfriend named Lori. Out of 70,000 people, what are the odds?” [OK 1 in 69,999].
“Ummmm. I think that’s me. Is that me? Do you mean ME?”
We lock eyes and he says “yes.” My sisters and their husbands have, by now, let all the people around us know what’s happening. There is a loud cheer in our section.
We leave sometime during the 3rd quarter and float home. Seriously, I don’t remember walking to the car or driving it to my home. Just an elated, ethereal sensation. I now understand the term, “walking on air.”
The Broncos beat the Browns. This is in the Wade Phillips days, and that is an accomplishment.
I am friends with the Bill Husted, gossip columnist for the Rocky Mountain News (now with the Denver Post. I call him the next day to tell him what happened.
He is less impressed with the fact that I proposed than he is amused by Roger’s reaction.
He puts the story in his column later that week, poking fun at Roger. Just a little.
The Associated Press picks up the story. A friend of mine in Chicago calls to see if that was ME mentioned at the tail end of her local news. My grandma hears “the rest of the story” on Paul Harvey. And we get a dozen calls from morning-drive DJs around the country wanting to tease Roger on air for not quite getting that he was being proposed to.
We accept a half-dozen shows (for posterity; we have cassette tapes of them). Roger becomes increasingly irritated at the inanity of the DJs. He bests them each time with his superior wit and intelligence. So there.
Happy 14th anniversary of our engagement today, Roger. Score with me forever?