|11-14-2005, 09:21 AM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2005
Q&A with Elway
Sunday, November 13 at 12:01 AM
Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway talks about a number of subjects -- among them his involvement with the defending Arena Football League champion Colorado Crush, possible future endeavors with the Denver Broncos, acting, former teammate Steve Atwater and why he would -- or would not -- choose Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning over New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Q: From what you've done in the front office with the Colorado Crush thus far, do you have more confidence that you can be successful doing the same in the NFL?
Elway: I think any time you have experience . . . as football players you have all the experience on the field. You don't have the experience off the field. So, with the Crush, being in the front office, I've been able to run an organization the best way I think that I should. Obviously, winning a championship makes me think we did something right. But it's all about putting the best team together -- not just in the front office but the players on the field. I really believe that for an organization to win on the field, you have to be great in the front office also. I would hope that this experience would help me if that (NFL) opportunity were to arise. But I also know that it's a totally different league. There's a lot more to it. I'm getting the basics with the AFL, but the NFL is a different animal.
Q: Did it help that you had to experience losing first, then building into a winner so quick in the AFL?
Elway: I always believe there's a reason why you go through everything. By going through the year we had the first year, changes had to be made. A lot of times, change is tough. But I had no second thoughts. I knew what I had to do -- and obviously it was difficult with Bob (Beers) being a family friend. But I knew for the organization, we had to move in a different direction. Being thrown into the fire and getting the thing turned around in a hurry made it more difficult. But I really look at my life, and things have been done the hard way. I think you learn better when things are done the hard way.
Q: A lot of people tend to think things have been handed to you, and that it's all been easy.
Elway: I've experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I think to really appreciate anything you have to be at both ends of the spectrum. I've always joked about Joe Montana not appreciating his Super Bowls nearly as much as I do because he never lost one. We lost three before we got one. I think you have to experience those lows before you really enjoy the highs. You learn a lot more from the lows because it makes you pay attention to what you're doing.
Q: Is it big thing for you still to become involved with an NFL franchise, as an owner or in the front office?
Elway: The way I look at it is, I'm happy with the Arena Football League right now. I'm happy in Denver -- I still have two kids in school here in Colorado. Is it something that I would look at if the opportunity presented itself? Yes. Is it my driving force every single day I get out of bed? No.
Q: Since winning the AFL title, have you been approached by any NFL teams?
Elway: No, I haven't.
Q: You surprised by that?
Elway: No, because I haven't expected it. I haven't expected, and I haven't put myself out there . . . I haven't interviewed for any jobs. There have been openings, but I have not interviewed for any jobs, nor do I want to right now.
Q: What about the Broncos? Seems like you have the close relationships with Pat Bowlen and Mike Shanahan.
Elway: There has to be room. Obviously, they're set up the way Pat wants it set up right now, so there isn't the room. And the Arena League, actually for me, is the best thing that could have happened to me because I get to run the whole process. I'm seeing not only the football side but the business side, and I'm involved in the business side and in charge of the direction of what we're doing. It's really been a better situation for me being with the Crush than it would if I were with the Broncos because this has given me a lot more broad range of being exposed to all the different things that are involved with a professional football team.
Q: Does a part of you want to be with the Broncos if there was space?
Elway: You know, not right now. I don't have that desire right now. I'm happy with the Crush. I think we have the challenge of coming back and trying to be good again this year and win another championship -- which sometimes is more difficult than winning the first one. But no, I don't have any pangs to where I want to be with the Broncos. I'm happy with the Crush, having the experience of running the team the way I see fit and getting exposed to all the different aspects of business and sports.
Q: How many former players -- and entertainers, for that matter -- are talking to you about their interest in getting an AFL franchise?
Elway: Usually, it's from the commissioner (David Baker) when he says, "So and so wants to get involved, would you talk to him?" I spent a lot of time with Jon (Bon Jovi) when he first thought about coming into the league. I didn't talk to Tim McGraw or (Mike) Ditka when they joined.
Q: You've done commercials, and some TV appearances. You're making the funny faces and seem comfortable in front of cameras. You get many offers for TV?
Elway: I had a great time doing Vegas -- did you see that? That was fun. It's just that it takes a long time. It's tedious. For the time that we were on, it took two full days to film it. I've been asked several times to guest-star on some different shows, but I've had too many different things going on in my life the last couple of years.
Q: But has TV piqued your interest?
Elway: Yeah. Yeah, I've thought about it.
Q: What about movies?
Elway: (Laughing) I want to be a cowboy in a western.
Q: Anyone ever approach you about a movie role?
Elway: Actually I was in C'oeur d'Alene, and I was having lunch when some lady who was casting director for a movie being filmed in the northwest asked me if I would do it. I said no.
Q: So you haven't heard from Steven Spielberg?
Elway: No. No. But that to me would be a fun adventure to do a movie.
Q: Bill Romanowski is doing movies now.
Elway: (Laughing) And that changed the whole movie (The Longest Yard) for me because I knew it was Romo. Even though it was a good movie, I couldn't . . . I've got (Adam) Sandler coming to my box for a game this year. Maybe I'll tell him to get me in one of his movies.
Q: Out of all the drives, the comebacks, put your finger on one -- outside of The Drive in Cleveland.
Elway: Two that pop in my mind are Houston (Jan. 4, 1992), when we started on our 2-yard line again and picked up two fourth-and-10s. That kind of legitimized the first drive (in Cleveland). That one, and the one against Kansas City (Oct. 4, 1992) where we were down 19-6. And there's another one we had against Kansas City. There was another one when Marty (Schottenheimer) was there. I think I threw a post deep to Vance (Johnson). Vance caught a post for about 50 or 60 yards. Those three stick out in my mind.
Q: You ever sit with Schottenheimer and tell him, "Nothing personal, but . . ."
Elway: You know I've played golf with him, and we've joked around about it. But I've never talked to him about the comebacks and how many times we've beat him. That never gets brought up.
Q: You ever wonder why you've had all the good luck against him?
Elway: I don't know. It's one of those coincidences, I guess.
Q: Steve Atwater was inducted into the Broncos' Ring of Fame recently. What's your best Steve Atwater story?
Elway: You know, Steve was such a gentleman, really a soft-spoken guy with a smile on his face all the time. Very positive, always in a good mood, always up and just a good man. I don't really have a story, other than when he hit (Christian) Okoye that one time. Steve was a guy that, at his time, was kind of an anomaly for safeties because he was so big. There were other big safeties, but Steve was like a linebacker -- and now I do have a story about Steve. We were playing the Raiders (Sept. 6, 1992), and this was one of those comebacks. It was late, and we're going toward the north end zone. We were in four wide, and they blitzed Terry McDaniel. He came off the backside. I knew he was coming so I did the old spin move. When I was spinning by him, he took a swipe at me. I still have the scar because he took a big hunk -- he had to have a big wad of flesh underneath his fingernails because he got me good and deep. So we're out there a couple of more plays and by then, it's bleeding and my whole arm is red. We go down, I think we score a touchdown. We're coming off and "At" is high-fiving everybody. Now, he wasn't playing because he was hurt. He gives me a big hug, and he's got this nice suit on. I went, "Dude, you're not going to want to do that." He pulls back and he's got blood all over the front of his suit. It was like a tan, nice suit and there was blood all over his suit."
Q: Who would you take -- Peyton Manning or Tom Brady?
Elway: Right now? Wow, that's a very tough . . . I can't compare quarterbacks as apples and oranges in my mind because everybody's in a different system. I think . . . I don't think . . . I would take . . . I think Peyton would be better in Tom's system than Tom would be in Peyton's system, OK? So I believe that. But in the situation that they're in now, and if you look at past years, even though you look at the numbers Peyton has had, Tom Brady is a winner. He knows how to win. I love them both. But I would take Brady because of the last four years that he's had.
Q: Randy Moss or Terrell Owens?
Elway: It would take a lot for me to put up with either one of them. But I think I would take Owens. Obviously, Moss is the best guy in the league at the deep ball. I think Owens will do a lot more for you after he catches the ball.
Q: There was talk years ago that you could have been traded to the Washington Redskins. You ever thought about what that might have been like?
Elway: Yeah, they won the Super Bowl the next year with (Mark) Rypien. But I love Denver so much, so I never took the time to think about it deeply. I would have loved to have played for Joe Gibbs. Obviously look at his record of winning three Super Bowls. And now he's back getting things turned around. Joe Gibbs is one of the great coaches of all-time in the NFL. At that point and time, Dan (Reeves) and I weren't best friends.
Q: Have you seen Reeves since your Hall of Fame induction?
Elway: I haven't. But it was great seeing him at the Hall of Fame. We had some good discussion there. I think that obviously, you look at that . . . Dan's got a great heart. It wasn't anything personal. It was just more philosophical. Obviously, there were some things that were said that at 45 (years old) I wouldn't say, but at 28 I said. Those are the type things that you live and learn, and you grow up. You know, I look at my career and it's still hard for me to believe the way things turned out and how things happened. I've been so blessed that everything has gone the way that it's gone. How ironic, to be my last game that I ever played would be against Dan in a Super Bowl. I remember that whole week walking around my room. The biggest nightmare, the thing I always was afraid of was playing in a Super Bowl when it was raining. I can't throw a wet ball. I could when I was younger, but the older I got, the worse I got at it because I threw the ball so hard. If we ever played in a Super Bowl when it was raining . . . in front of 300 million people and me not being able to throw the ball anywhere.
Q: Terrell (Davis) is going to get at least 50 carries, right?
Elway: Exactly. We're down in Miami, and if we play like we're capable, we're going to win the game. And it's a 50 percent chance of rain the whole time. I'm watching the Weather Channel more than I've ever watched it. I'm scared to death it's going to rain. We get done with the game, and it's an absolute downpour 30 minutes later. That's when I thought God was telling me that's enough -- time for you to go do something else. (Laughing) Have a coup de gras.
Q: You telling that bit makes me think about Brett Favre's situation in Green Bay right now. Can you feel for him in what he's going through?
Elway: A guy that has been as great as Brett Favre has been for the length of time that he's been, you would hope that he would be able to leave the game with a positive flavor in his mouth. I was so lucky to walk away with two Super Bowls and know that the last year was positive. Whether (Favre) keeps that desire to play -- and my guess is, the worse they do this year, the more he'll want to play. You don't want to go out (losing). That's the way he's built. That's just nature. People say he ought to leave the game. I think it's the opposite. He'll want to come back and end on a better note. I think (losing) makes that fire burn brighter than it would be if they were 4-0, finish 12-4 and go to the playoffs.
John Elway your the biggest best and greatest in my opinion in the NFL from your biggest fan
Posted by Dave on November 11, 2005 09:09 PM
Hi John Elway!!! I am a humungus fan of yours and I think you were so great of a quarterback you should allready be in the pro hall of fame and I am only 15 and I am a big football card collector and I cannot find many of your cards in stock so I was thinking since you are nice guy could you please send me one of your famous cards
and email me back at MARSHALLE@aol.com
Posted by Mark on November 11, 2005 09:05 PM
Two People in my life I have idiolized. As a youngster MICKEY MANTLE. As a man JOHN ELWAY........Great Person...Great Quarterback.
Posted by Jack on October 7, 2005 01:05 PM
There is nothing that we, as readers, can add to a John Elway interview. What else can be said about the Winningest Quarterback of All Time? Dan Marino or Joe Montanna would have had no chance to take those 80's teams to the superbowls. They could not endure the hits that John took behind a below average offensive line. Without John Elway, those first 3 super bowl teams would have done no better than 8-8 or 7-9, and no play-offs.
Posted by Avalanche_in.Az on October 7, 2005 09:21 AM