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ALSO SEE"The Drive"
Elway excelled in last minutesBy Bob CarterSpecial to

"If world dislike me because they think I"m a spoiled brat due to the fact that I gain upset if i lose, that"s okay with me. Because I"m all around winning. I like to win and I don"t favor to lose," claims John Elway ~ above Classic"s SportsCentury series.

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The numbers never told john Elway"s story. They built him up at times, flogged him in ~ others. His as whole statistics to be impressive, but his true measure together a player ran right to his heart.

John Elway is the only player come amass 50,000 yards passing and 3,000 rushing.
The Denver Broncos star uncovered ways come win. Strangely, that took two championships at the end of his career to certify his stature, come soften the mark of 3 Super key losses. After 16 seasons, Elway retired together the winningest starting quarterback in NFL history with a 148-82-1 record.

He didn"t constantly lead in pass statistics, but he instilled are afraid in opponents. A famous scrambler, Elway led 47 to win or tie drives in the fourth quarter or overtime, much more than any quarterback. "In tight cases I avoid worrying around turnovers," he said. "There"s no pressure. I can just cut it loose."

At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, he was always good at cutting loose, zipping the round at unearthly speed. Critics, though, observed him as one-dimensional, devoid of the touch pass and also slow to review defenses. They looked in ~ pallid touchdown-to-interception ratios and figured his inconsistency would certainly foil him.

They to be wrong.

Elway came to be the very first quarterback to start five Super Bowls, to be selected because that the pro Bowl nine times and also in 1987 to be voted the NFL"s Most valuable Player by the associated Press. Through taking risks as a passer, he made plays various other quarterbacks couldn"t.

"Elway is the master of the inconceivable pass thrown to the unreachable spot," announcer play Summerall said.

Elway is the just player come amass 50,000 yards passing and 3,000 rushing. He ranks second to Dan Marino in passing yards (51,475), completions (4,123) and also 3,000-yard periods (12, tied with Brett Favre). The threw for 300 touchdowns, one of only 4 quarterbacks to reach this milestone.

Though his play in his an initial three at sight Bowls to be undistinguished -- two touchdowns and also six interceptions -- the closed his career with an MVP power in the 1999 supervisor Bowl.

He to be born top top June 28, 1960 in port Angeles, Wash. His father Jack was a soccer coach, and also John participated in numerous sports. After moving to the Los Angeles area, Elway starred in baseball and football at Granada Hills High School. Batting .491 as a senior, he led his team to the city baseball championship. Together a quarterback, he to be a prepare All-American, receiving scholarship supplies from 60 colleges before choosing Stanford.

While Elway never ever led Stanford come a bowl video game in his 4 seasons and lost double to his father"s mountain Jose State team, he collection Pac-10 job passing documents for completions, yardage and also touchdowns. Stated Stanford coach Paul Wiggin: "Every team we play puts increase a picture of John and says, "That"s our battle cry." "

Elway was a consensus All-American together a an elderly in 1982, as soon as he passed for 3,242 yards and 24 touchdowns and finished second to Herschel walker in the Heisman Trophy voting.

The Baltimore Colts made Elway the No. 1 pick in the 1983 draft,but that snubbed them, saying he wanted to play elsewhere. He provided baseball asleverage. ~ hitting .361 v 50 RBI in 49 games as a Stanfordsophomore, the Yankees drafted him. In the summer the 1982, that batted .318for their course A team in Oneonta, N.Y.

Fearing Elway can turn to baseball, the Colts traded his legal rights to Denver. ~ signing a five-year, $5-million contract v Denver, Elway ended up being a lot admired starter. "He throw 50-yard bombs favor 10-yard curls," cornerback Louis light marveled.

When the season began, Elway struggled. Denver finished 9-7 and also made the playoffs despite Elway cram 14 interceptions in 11 games and ranking 17th among AFC passers.

Coach Dan Reeves said he erred by starting Elway for this reason soon. Elway, feather back, said, "All the a suddenly there were no weaknesses on defense."

Though his interception rate remained high, Elway led Denver to a 13-3 record and a division title in 1984. The next year, he set multiple team records, consisting of throwing 605 passes, four shy the Dan Fouts" NFL mark.

In 1986, Elway make his first Pro Bowl. After losing to Denver the season, Raiders cornerback Lester Hayes said,
... Similar to John Elway did with "The Drive" ago in the 1987 AFC Championship Game.
"He does points I"ve never seen before, and also I"ve acquired lots of film."

In the AFC championship video game in Cleveland, Elway did something remarkable once he take it Denver ~ above "The Drive," a tying, 98-yard, 15-play march late in the game. "It doesn"t look at good, stuck means back favor that," Reeves said. "But when you"ve gained John Elway on her team, you"ve always got a chance. Always."

The Broncos defeated Cleveland 23-20 in overtime, yet then lost the Super bowl to the new York Giants 39-20 regardless of Elway passing for 304 yards.

In the MVP strike-shortened season of 1987, Elway passed for 3,198 yards and 19 touchdowns in 12 games and also ran for a career-high 304 yards. He came to be the an initial quarterback since Pittsburgh"s terry Bradshaw (1978-79) to command a team to consecutive AFC titles. Denver lost to Washington 42-10 in Super bowl XXII, though Elway passed because that 257 yards.

Injuries slowed him the next loss when the threw much more interceptions than touchdowns (19-17) and also the Broncos missed the playoffs. His erratic play ongoing for lot of 1989, and also media criticism grew. Playing behind a rebuilt line, Elway complained the Reeves" offensive arrangement was turning conservative.

Elway"s pat improved, perhaps since he was rejoined with quarterback coach Mike Shanahan in ~ midseason, and also the Broncos do their 3rd Super key appearance in four years. This time, they lost even an ext handily, 55-10 to san Francisco.

The loss was a low allude for Elway. Leave the ar with his wife Janet, the turned to preying photographers and also said, "Can"t friend let a man sulk in peace?"

The Broncos sank to 5-11 the next year, Elway"s very first of two shedding pro seasons, and his connection with Reeves deteriorated. The team, though, rebounded in 1991 to walk 12-4 and gain the AFC title game. Reeves was fired after the Broncos go 8-8 in 1992 and replaced by walking Phillips, that favored an offense featuring quick, brief passes.

After a 10-touchdown, 17-interception performance in 1992, Elway adjusted to the violation quickly and threw because that a career-high 4,030 yards and also 25 touchdown passes with just 10 interceptions.

Shanahan, his great friend and also mentor, became head coach in 1995, and also that summer Elway insisted that still had goals. "There"s together a stigma around the men who"ve never ever won it," he said. "It"s not fair, yet I know that"s the way it is. I would certainly love an additional chance."

Elway led Denver come a 13-3 record and also the 2nd round the the playoffs in 1996, then acquired his chance the next season as soon as a 12-4 Broncos team (with Elway throwing for a career-best 27 touchdown passes) rode to the at sight Bowl together a wild card.

Facing the defending champion environment-friendly Bay Packers, running earlier Terrell Davis scored 3 touchdowns and won the game"s MVP award as Denver finished the AFC"s 13-game Super bowl slide with a 31-24 upset. A poised Elway threw for only 123 yards yet ran for a key first down that ended with a spectacular pirouette together he was tackled, and also a 23-yard pass that collection up Davis" to win touchdown.

John Elway went the end on top once he to be selected MVP the Super key XXXIII.
"That to be the ultimate win," Elway said.

In January 1999, the Broncos to be again in the supervisor Bowl, this time against Atlanta and also his previous coach. Reeves" video game plan: protect against Davis and let Elway win us. "My thought, "Good, let"s go," " Elway said.

By throwing because that 336 yards and one touchdown - and also running for one more score - Elway led Denver to a 34-19 triumph.

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"I don"t think there"s any kind of doubt now that he"s a winner," said his father Jack.

Three month later, Elway retired at 38 after ~ considering the decision for weeks. "The pressure"s all gone," he said to his wife the following day. "I can"t believe how happy ns am."