If your home team is playing in one of the most anticipated Super Bowl games in history, you would be expected to pull for them days before the big game, but that's not the case for Colt McKee, 8, who lives in the town of Taylorsville, North Carolina.
A second grader at Ellendale Elementary School, McKee was told that Thursday would be "Panthers Pride Day," and while many of his peers showed up in the teal and black, McKee's heart was elsewhere -- and he made sure to let his classmates know who he was really rooting for this Sunday:
McKee's teacher and his fellow classmates give him a playful thumbs down for cheering on the Broncos
Despite being the only one in the whole school with Broncos Pride, McKee stood strong and wore the orange and blue, undeterred by the "thumbs down" and the teasing from classmates.
But how did an 8-year-old boy from North Carolina come to love the Denver Broncos?
His mother, Kisha McKee, tells Denver7 his love for Broncos was born about two years ago, before the Broncos played the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLVIII.
"He started watching Peyton and gravitated toward him," said McKee's mother. She told us McKee really started to eat, breathe and sleep Denver Broncos after reading "Family Huddle," a children's book written by the Mannings in 2009 that recounts their younger days playing football under their parent's watchful eyes.
So how did McKee feel when the Broncos lost 43-8 against the Seahawks?
"He cried for an hour," said McKee's mom. "He was upset because Peyton kept throwing interceptions," she added.
McKee's parents, who are die-hard Dallas Cowboys fans, say their son's love for the Broncos was a surprise, but they don't hold that against him and, in fact, encourage him to pursue his love of football -- no matter what team he cheers for.
"He wants to be a quarterback (just like Peyton) and says he's going to go to the NFL straight from high school," said McKee's mother.
Colt McKee sits on a wooden bench he created for his "homemade" football field in his own backyard.
McKee's mother said he practices every day and plays games against an imaginary team, fueling his imagination and feeding his aspirations to make it big in the world of football.
His favorite players? Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. His biggest role model remains Manning, though.
"He even just this week told me he wanted his hair cut like Peyton's!" said McKee's mom.
On Sunday when the Broncos take on the Panthers, the McKees plan to watch the Super Bowl with some friends from church.
As for McKee, he hopes Manning's game against the Panthers isn't his last rodeo.