John Elway (John Albert Elway, Jr.) was born on June 28, 1960 in Port Angeles, Washington. After going to high school at Granada Hills (CA), Elway attended Stanford University. Elway made his professional debut in the NFL in 1983 with the Denver Broncos. He played for the Denver Broncos for his entire 16 year career.
Most people believe that 1995 was John Elway's best year, as he threw for 3970 yards, tossed 26 TDs and put up a 86.4 passer rating.
Elway was born in Port Angeles, Washington of Irish descent. He attended Granada Hills High School in Granada Hills, California. He ended his high school career with 5,711 passing yards and 49 passing touchdowns.
He attended Stanford University where he played both football and baseball. His last football game at Stanford was one of the most famous games of all time, the 1982 Big Game versus the University of California, Berkeley (also known as Cal), which ended with "The Play", an amazing (and infamous) play with five lateral passes that allowed Cal to win the game. Although Elway never led his team to a bowl game, he had an accomplished college career. In his four seasons (1979–1982) at Stanford, he completed 774 passes for 9,349 yards and 77 touchdowns. His 24 touchdown passes in 1982 led the nation, and he graduated with nearly every Stanford and Pacific-10 career record for passing and total offense. He won Pac-10 Player of the Year honors in 1980 and 1982, was a consensus All-American, and finished second in Heisman Trophy balloting as a senior. Although his team never qualified to play in a college bowl game, in 2000, Elway was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.
In the 1983 NFL Draft, Elway was selected as the 1st overall pick by the Baltimore Colts, but he threatened to quit football and play professional baseball if he was not traded (he had by then played two summers in the New York Yankees organization). The Colts traded him to the Denver Broncos for two veterans and a first-round pick in the 1984 draft.
1980s professional career
Elway stormed into the mile high air as one of the most highly anticipated athletes in the history of the NFL. The local newspapers ran a section that was called, "The Elway Watch". He soon became known to by all the Broncos fans simply as "The Duke" of Denver.
In the 1986 season, Elway lead the Broncos to Super Bowl XXI, after defeating the Cleveland Browns on a famous possession at the end of the game that became known as The Drive. Elway and the Broncos started out the Super Bowl against the New York Giants very well, building a 10-7 lead and then driving to the Giants 1-yard line in the second quarter. However the Broncos lost five yards on their next three plays and came up empty after kicker Rich Karlis missed the field goal attempt. From that point on, the rest of the game went downhill for the Broncos. Elway was sacked in the end zone for a safety on the Broncos ensuing possession, cutting their lead to 10-9. Then in the second half, the Giants scored the 30 points and ended up winning the game 39-20. Still Elway had an impressive performance, throwing for 304 yards and a touchdown, with one interception, while also leading Denver in rushing with 27 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
In 1987, Elway was selected to start in the AFC's Pro Bowl team and won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award. He went on to once again lead the Broncos to a victory over the Browns in the AFC title game, earning their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, this one against the Washington Redskins. The game started out very well for Denver, and they built up a 10-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. At the time, no team had ever overcame a 10-0 deficit in the Super Bowl. But in the second quarter, the Redskins suddenly stormed back with a record 35 points, and ended up winning Super Bowl XXII 42-10. Elway did have a few highlights. His 56-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Nattiel after just 1:57 had elapsed in the game set a record for the fastest touchdown in Super Bowl history. He also became the first quarterback ever to catch a pass in the Super Bowl, recording a 23-yard reception from halfback Steve Sewell on a halfback option play. But overall, Elway's performance was rather disappointing: just 14 out of 38 completions for 257 yards and one touchdown, with three interceptions.
After recording an 8-8 record in 1988, Elway once again lead his team to the Super Bowl in 1989 season, with yet another win over the Browns in the AFC championship game, going on to face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV. However this game ended even worse for the Broncos then their previous Super Bowl losses. San Francisco blew out Denver 55-10, the most lopsided score in Super Bowl history. Although Elway scored the only touchdown for his team on a three-yard run, his performance was exceptionally abysmal: 10 out of 26 completions for 108 yards with no touchdown passes and two interceptions. But he didn't try to hide from the media after the game or downplay his dismal performance. And when he was asked if he wanted to go back to the Super Bowl after three losses, he responded that he wanted to go back every year, even if his team kept losing. Still by this point, many doubted that he would ever win a Super Bowl in his career. He was already being compared to other famous quarterbacks who failed to win a championship, like Fran Tarkenton and Dan Fouts.
1990s professional career
Ending on Top
It took Elway another eight years, but eventually he did lead his team back to the Super Bowl in 1997. During the 1997 preseason American Bowl game in Mexico City, Elway ruptured his right (throwing arm) biceps tendon. It was treated non-surgically, and he returned to play 19 days later, going on that season to finally win a Super Bowl — behind the overwhelming running game of Terrell Davis — finally winning a Super Bowl after three disappointing failed attempts. In 1998, the Broncos repeated this feat and Elway was awarded the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII, throwing for 336 yards and 1 touchdown with no interceptions, while also scoring a rushing touchdown in Denver's 34-19 win over the Atlanta Falcons; it was his last game.
On May 2, 1999, at the age of 38, Elway announced his retirement from pro football. Elway is regarded as one of the top quarterbacks ever to play the game. Not only does he have more wins than any other quarterback in NFL history, but he has the best winning percentage in league history (148-82-1), and is tied for most Pro Bowl selections for a quarterback (nine). He is third to Dan Marino and Brett Favre in career passing attempts and third behind Marino and Favre in passing yards and completions. His 4 total rushing touchdowns in his Super Bowl games are the most ever by a quarterback. Elway is the only quarterback to have started in five Super Bowls. He is also the second player ever to score a rushing touchdown in 4 different Super Bowls (running back Thurman Thomas was the first).
Elway also holds the record for most game-winning or game-tying scoring drives in the fourth quarter, with 47. Surprisingly often, if Elway had the ball late in the fourth quarter and the Broncos were within a touchdown, he would lead them to tie or win the game. Elway had many comeback opportunities because for most of his career, the Broncos were a good, but not dominant, team. Part of the reason that Denver was not a dominant team can be attributed to Dan Reeves, who coached Elway for the majority of his career. Reeves had a conservative "run-first" approach, and did not have an intimidating running back to power the offense. This often left the Broncos in situations where they were behind in the fourth quarter. Elway holds the rather undesirable record for most times being sacked (516) and most career interceptions thrown in a Super Bowl history(8).
Hall of Fame
His number 7 jersey was retired by the Denver Broncos in 1999, the same year he was inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame. He was the first player to have the five-year waiting period waived. In 2004, Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is the only player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Bronco.
- In 1979, Elway was drafted out of high school by the Kansas City Royals to play baseball in the MLB.
- In the 1981 summer draft, he was the first selection of the New York Yankees. The following year he hit .314 and a club-high 24 runs while playing for the Oneonta, New York single-A farm club.
- In the 1983 NFL draft, he was selected as the 1st overall pick by the Baltimore Colts and on May 2 was traded to the Denver Broncos.
- On January 11, 1987, Elway executed "The Drive", a miracle five-minute, 15-play, 98-yard touchdown drive in the AFC Championship against the Cleveland Browns to tie the game, leading to an overtime win by field goal for the Broncos. It included six passes made (nine attempted), five rushes and an eight-yard sack. He was named the NFL Most Valuable Player and the AFC Offensive MVP.
- In 1991, he became the only quarterback to pass for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 200 yards in the same season for seven consecutive seasons.
- He was named the AFC Offensive MVP in 1993 when he passed for over 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns.
- In 1997, he led the Broncos to their first ever Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XXXII. His three previous attempts in Super Bowls XXI, XXII, and XXIV were unsuccessful.
- On January 31, 1999, in Super Bowl XXXIII he passed for 336 yards in a 34-19 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Elway was named the Super Bowl MVP.
- He was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times during his 16 seasons with the Broncos.
- Over his professional career, he led his teams to a record 47 fourth quarter comebacks.
- He led the NFL all-time list with 148 wins as a starting quarterback. He was also sacked 516 times, more than any other quarterback.
- At retirement, Elway's 300 career touchdown passes placed him third behind Dan Marino and Fran Tarkenton.
- He was only the second quarterback to pass for at least 3,000 yards in 12 seasons.
- On January 31, 2004, he was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- On August 8, 2004, he was inducted to the Hall of Fame along with Bob Brown, Carl Eller, and Barry Sanders.
- Elway's economics degree from Stanford has also benefited him. He started a very successful network of car dealerships in the Denver area (later sold to Wayne Huizenga), and is also the owner of the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League.
John Elway was known for being very personable and appearing on commercials for the foam Vortex football. When the Koosh Vortex football was first introduced in 1994, Elway threw it over 90 yards. In 1998, Elway made history again, throwing the new Vortex Mach 110 over 110 yards.
John Elway is constantly referenced on South Park. In many instances the boys look to him as a hero. It was thought that Elway was Eric Cartman's father. In one episode ,"The Wacky Molestation Adventure", John Elway is known as the "provider" for the boys' make-believe town. Stan Marsh has many posters of Elway on his bedroom wall.
He is also lampooned on The Simpsons where, in one episode, he is Homer's preferred new identity. The Denver Broncos are seen haplessly getting their football drills wrong after Homer receives the team as a gift from Hank Scorpio. Homer is disappointed as he'd always dreamt of owning the Dallas Cowboys. "Awww the Denver Broncos..," Homer later says.
Two days before the 2006 AFC Championship Game on the Denver Broncos versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, a high school student named Joshua Vannoy in Pennsylvania sported an Elway jersey. The teacher, John Kelly, an avid Steeler fan, humiliated him by having him sit on the floor during a test and had the students throw paper balls at him. Vannoy, who only wore the jersey because he was an Elway fan, claimed that he wasn't able to concentrate fully on the test, messed up miserably, and was called a "stinking Denver fan". He eventually stopped attending school and had to transfer to another high school. The teacher claimed that the incident was for fun. When Elway heard the news, he sent him a custom designed recliner.
|16 year NFL career||234||7250||4123||56.9||51475||7.1||300||226||516||3785||79.9|
|16 year NFL career||234||774||3407||4.4||33||0|
Fumble Recovery Stats
|16 year NFL career||234||137||35||0||-135||0|
|16 year NFL career||234||3||61||20.3||1||0|
|16 year NFL career||234||7||253||40||0||3||3||0||36.1|
- Won the AP NFL MVP in 1987
- Won the UPI AFL-AFC Offensive MVP in 1987 and 1993
- Won the Super Bowl MVP in 1998