John Elway: Horse

This coming Sunday, the Denver Broncos will be playing in their 7th Super Bowl in team history. The Broncos’ record in the Super Bowl is 2-4. The second win on January 31, 1999 ended with John Elway winning the Super Bowl MVP by throwing for 336 yards, 1 Passing TD, and 1 rushing TD. That game ended up being the last NFL game John Elway would ever play in. You can’t go out any more on top than that.

John Elway is back in the big game this week. Only this time, he’s not on the field. John Elway has been an integral part of 6 of the Broncos’ 7 Super Bowl appearances. Six as a player and 1 as the Executive VP of Football Operations.  Knowing that he’s been one of the main reasons for the Broncos’ success just kills me.

John Elway celebrating "The Drive" and the birth of Rosemary's Baby.

John Elway celebrating “The Drive” and the birth of Rosemary’s Baby.

You see, growing up, John Elway was my least favorite player in the NFL. As I mentioned in “A Young Addict’s Perspective,” three times John Elway stole from my Cleveland Browns. He stole what all of us Cleveland Browns fans know deep down belonged to us and our team. John Elway stole our Super Bowls… and more.

As a youngster, I disliked Neil O’Donnell, Kordell Stewart, Boomer Esiason, Warren Moon, and even Bubby Brister (even though we share the same nickname). But I have not disliked a quarterback in the NFL more than I dislike John Elway.*

*I actually despise Ben Roethlisberger more than John Elway, but I figure that goes without saying. No, not just because he’s the QB for the worst team with the most fair-weather fans in the NFL… Not just because he’s 17-1 against the Browns. No. It’s because two times within a single year he was accused of sexual assault. He’s an awful human being and deserves to have his legs broken.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I think Elway was a great quarterback and, other than refusing to play for the team that drafted him, kept a pretty clean personal record as far as I can remember. And yes, I do think he has rightfully been inducted into the Hall of Fame. For goodness’ sake, he’s the only QB to ever throw for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 200 yards in 7 consecutive seasons (1985-91). He’s also one of only two players to rush for a TD in four different Super Bowls (Thurman Thomas is the other).

Note: Neither John Elway’s accomplishments or his character are really in question here.

Remember… I’m a fan of the Cleveland Browns. And whether this is a rational statement or not, he stole from the Browns. He stole from me and all other Browns fans three times in the late ’80s. That is where my dislike for John Elway comes from. He’s a filthy thief. A thief of Super Bowls, yes. But he’s also a thief of Browns fans’ confidence, their drive, their excitement, their hopes, their dreams. He is the anti-Willy Wonka.

Every time I see that massive head of his, all I can think is “John Elway IS Tikbalang! Those awful teeth… goodness! He really IS a bronco!” And that annoying smile. Seeing John Elway smile is about as enjoyable as seeing Ted Bundy smile. It gives you an unsettling feeling in your bowels… like your lunch just liquefied in your colon.

John Elway's smile causes diarrhea.

John Elway’s smile causes diarrhea.

I remember my uncle Dale, a great artist, sketched a picture of John Elway playing in a game. It depicted Elway with an over-exaggerated horse-like smile and the Broncos’ logo was a large “D” with horse’s butt farting rather than their actual logo which had a bucking bronco with steam coming out of its nostrils. My family made copies of this sketch and I passed them out to everyone in my school. That hilarious image is ingrained in my head and still brings me joy to this day.

In my opinion, there is no reason that this man should have any more success in his career. He’s already won two Super Bowls and even won the Super Bowl MVP. In fact, he doesn’t deserve any more happiness in his life. The last time it was exciting to be a Browns fan, he stole the excitement from us, along with our happiness. He took our happiness, he doesn’t need any more.

So, this Sunday, February 2, 2014 John Elway will be going for his third Super Bowl victory and I am torn. I am torn because as much as I dislike John Elway, I love Peyton Manning. Peyton, in my opinion, is the best QB I’ve ever seen play the game. It’s magical to watch him call plays, read defenses, and audible on nearly every snap! I want Peyton Manning to win his second Super Bowl so he can at least have the same amount of rings as his punk little brother. But what do I want more??? Peyton to win, or Elway to lose?

Being a Browns fan, it’s all too easy and common to root for other teams to lose. So I’m rooting for Peyton to win. I’m going to ignore my dislike for John Elway for this Sunday only and embrace my love for Peyton Manning. Go Broncos?

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a cat in my yard that needs a fresh dose of moth balls thrown at it.



  1. Great sentiments Bub. I laughed out loud at least 5 times. It’s a win win for you. Either Peyton wins or Elway loses

    1. Thanks Cag! I make sure at least the photo captions are entertaining.

  2. Can’t believe you had to bring Bundy into this.

    1. Lol. Sorry about that.

  3. Ben Sprouse · · Reply

    I loved the article till you got to the part on Manning. Is he a good QB? yes Is he great? No He and the rest of the QB’s of this generation have had the scale tipped in their favor. The stats that are currently being put up are inflated due to the fact That Roger Goodell has made it almost impossible to play defense. As far as greatest regular season QB if the league would have been more accepting of a black QB Warren Moon put up 21,000 yards in 5yrs in the CFL and 49,000 in the NFL, granted it probably would have been closer to 17-18,000 if it were 5yrs in the NFL but still 68,000 yards would still be the record today. My personal rankings are always linked to the post season and more often than not the losses in the post season were due to Manning fitting a ball in a tight spot that got picked off when he missed an open player. Manning did get one ring but it was a perfect storm the week prior to the AFC championship game against the Pat’s, most of Pat’s D had the flu and they ran out of gas in the 4th also it was a home game for Indy and the stadium was over 80 degrees and they supplied bananas to stop the cramping only to Indy, then they play the Bears with Rex Grossman at QB, the Bears D and special teams scored more points than their offense that year. There is only one SB that I give less credit than that one which was the Seattle Pittsburgh where some of the ref’s came out later and said they blew the game. Secondly Manning was the first Jaimis Winston or Ben Rothlesburger but his dad paid off the complaint.

    1. I respectfully disagree with your opinion about Manning for 4 reasons.

      1. I didn’t mention Peyton’s stats. It’s all about his ability to read and pick apart a defense. Most of the time he knows where the defense will be on the field and then uses that knowledge to anticipate which one of his reads will be open. I’ve never seen anyone do it like him. He rarely gets fooled. Those observations are what I’ve formed my opinion on.

      2. It takes a team to win in the playoffs and the Super Bowl, not just one player. Each player has to do their part for success. Peyton managed the game well and did his part to contribute to a win. To judge a single NFL player based on their team’s W/L record in the playoffs is a bit unfair. (For an example as to why I feel this is unfair, see the end of point 3.)

      3. Warren Moon had a long and semi-successful career in the NFL as a starter. I understand he didn’t join the league until he was 28. There may or may not be truth to the claim that the league held him back because of the pigmentation of his skin, but I don’t doubt it. But he spent 17 years in the NFL and 15 of those as a starter. Holding him to your standards, he’s not very good. He was 3-7 in the postseason and never made it out of the divisional round. (Moon Averaged 287 yards, 1.7 TDs, and 1.4 INTs in those 10 games).

      4. Peyton’s stats have been pretty even during both Tagliabue’s and Goodell’s time as commish, with the exception of his rookie year. So the claim that Goodell’s rule changes have inflated Peyton’s stats is not entirely accurate.

      That all being said, we are just stating our opinions, and we have different criteria from which we base those opinions. The only person that would be “wrong” in this discussion would be the person who says Brandon Weeden is in the discussion for greatest QB of all time.

      1. I think weeden should at least be in the conversation. Who else has ever been trapped under a giant flag?

      2. Valid point, Nate!

  4. Ben Sprouse · · Reply

    It wasn’t that I was saying Moon was that great it was more that regular season is not the post season. Agreed that my position is opinion. I agree its a team game but from watching Manning play when his team needs a play he relies on himself to stick the ball in a tight spot. For my money it’s still Montana who made the right play even if it meant a 5 yard pass to Tom Rathman instead of going to Rice.

    Watch no 17

    1. The point I’m trying to make is that both QBs are great and that even the greatest make mistakes, bad reads, and force throws which hurt their team. And if you do an honest and fair comparison, you will see Manning and Montana are extremely close in greatness.

      Montana is one of the greatest of all time. But comparing Montana’s and Manning’s playoffs stats, you see that they’re extremely similar. The difference in postseason wins were the collective teams they played for.

      Team defensive rankings in each season:
      2nd, 4th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 8th, 3rd, 2nd, 14th (KC), 7th (KC)

      17th, 15th, 7th, 20th, 19th, 2nd, 23rd (SB Champs), 1st, 7th, 8th, 23rd, 4th (Den), 22nd (Den)

      Manning got his team to the playoffs (13 years) more frequently than Montana (11 years) with worse teams than Montana had. Montana had a top 5 defense making plays while he was on the sidelines every postseason but 3. Manning had a top 5 defense making plays while he was on the sidelines only 3 times his entire career, and had a defense in the bottom 3rd of the league 4 times.

      Joe Montana had 4 playoff games where he didn’t have a single TD.
      Manning had 4.

      Joe Montana threw an interception in the playoffs more frequently (2.8% of his throws) than Manning has (2.6%). That means Manning has made poor decisions less frequently than Montana did. So to claim a guy isn’t great because he forced a few throws in the playoffs is a little harsh.

      Compare their full postseason stats… besides the W/L record. They are extremely similar.

      Montana had his fair share of bad throws that hurt his team in playoff games they lost. Here are two examples.

      1985 Wildcard Game (NYG 17 – SFO 3):
      The 1:09:20 mark. Forced pass that ended up as a TD. 49ers couldn’t recover.

      1987 Divisional Playoff Game (Min 36 – SFO 24):
      The 54 minute and 00 seconds mark. It’s a terrible read and a bad throw. Caused his team to go down by 17. 49ers couldn’t recover.

  5. […] was just happy that John Elway didn’t smile throughout the entire game. I was running low on toilet paper that […]

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