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.
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.
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.