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Mile High Memories: Elway in the 1990s brings back great memories

(Photo by E. Bakke/Getty Images)

The John Elway episode of “Mile High Memories” took me back to when I was a kid and was falling in love with the Broncos. Sandy Clough and Jim Armstrong gave amazing insight to what was really happening in this golden age of the franchise. Saying “golden age” makes it sound so fancy.

Until I listened to this episode, I had no idea that John Elway was almost traded to the Washington Football Team. He basically stumbled upon that information while talking with Earnest Byner.

That reminds me of when I was fired from a job. I found out when I couldn’t open my email.

That’s right, I made this about me.

I really enjoyed hearing about the impact of John’s father, Jack. Sandy and Jim shared some great stories of how Jack influenced John and kept him moving in the right direction. As a father myself, it put a smile on my face.

Wow, I circled back to me again!!

One of the big things I got out of this episode was that Dan Reeves constantly had John Elway on a leash, but wasn’t happy with the idea that he (Elway) couldn’t run around and completely dominate the big dogs at the park. He was on a leash! What do you expect, Dan? Oh, then Reeves drafted Tommy Maddox to be Elway’s replacement. Nice move!

Anyway, I don’t like Dan Reeves anymore. Again, back to me.

It was fascinating to hear the story of Mike Shanahan and how his relationship with Elway grew over the years. And how Elway was resurrected by Shanahan.

Sandy and Jim walked us through the Super Bowl years. The hard-to-forget success mixed with struggles in the Reeves era.

Losing to the Jaguars and how Elway and the Broncos learned that sometimes you have to lose in order to know how to win. You can use that line. I say it to my kids all the time. You’re welcome!

While listening to this episode, I was reminded of when the Broncos won their first Super Bowl and where I was when it happened. I was working at Safeway in Broomfield and all of the staff was huddled around a small TV. Nobody was in the store shopping. The entire state of Colorado was in this together.

I remember how the excitement of “The Helicopter” play cut through the tension like butter through warm butter. And when the Broncos eventually won the game, every Broncos fan felt like a big weight was lifted off their shoulders. No more, “Yeah they’re good, but Elway chokes in the big game”. Those people could finally go pound sand.

Oh, and with tears in his eyes, my boss yelled, “Get back to work!” He was a real jerk.

This was a team made of grit, led by the Duke. By the way, John Elway once rubbed my shoulders while I was covering training camp. Not in a weird and inappropriate way, but in a “Hey, what’s up DeHuff? I think you’re an amazing person. I’d ask for an autograph, but I’m too shy.” type of thing.

Any hoo, take some time and listen to this masterpiece. It’s well worth your time.


To listen to this episode of “Mile High Memories,” CLICK HERE