To dominate the game with the football in your hand is a wondrous achievement. But to put down the ball and dominate the game with the pen in your hand is almost unthinkable.
Washed up stars are supposed to take jobs in which they wear makeup, crack jokes and slap backs. In some cases, they are allowed to be assistant coaches, or front-office men with small offices and smaller voices. Most accomplished players never even try to run a football team, or never are given the chance to try. Matt Millen gave it a shot. So did Larry Wilson. They did not exactly break down the door for others.
In the three years John Elway has been in charge, the Broncos have a .708 winning percentage and have made a Super Bowl appearance and three playoff appearances. What's more, he has operated with the kind of panache you would expect from the quarterback who engineered The Drive and led his team to two Super Bowl victories.
Elway is different. Just as he was a once in a generation quarterback, he is a once in a generation quarterback turned executive.
His office is situated in the middle of the Broncos facility between the football wing and the business wing. Elway had the walls to the entryway of his office torn down, and he replaced them with glass walls. This allowed a clear view from one end of the building to the other, and it also enabled everyone to see Elway's work area. His door is literally always open, and frequently an impromptu conversation is taking place there.
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