Celebrating John Elway's birthday and the seven greatest moments of his football life

Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

One of the best QBs to play the game, one of the shrewdest G.M.s in the NFL today. Happy birthday, John Elway!

Denver Broncos legend John Elway turns 54 years old today. To celebrate, we're going to countdown the top seven moments of No. 7's football life.

During his playing days, Elway earned nine Pro Bowl selections and started in five Super Bowls, winning two of them. Elway's time with the Broncos didn't end after he hung up his cleats, however, as he joined the team's front office in 2011.

Today, three years after he re-joined the team, we'll look back at some of his greatest moments.

Let's get started, shall we?

No. 7: John Elway signs Peyton Manning

We were all following Peyton Manning when he became a free agent in 2012. Where would he sign? Did the Broncos even have a chance?

Yes, they did. Thanks in large part to Elway.

When the Broncos introduced Manning at Dove Valley, Elway said his goal was to make Manning the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. "In some people's minds he's already the best, but he could cement that by winning a couple of Super Bowls here," Elway said in the above interview with FOX Sports' John Lynch.

We'd be happy with just one, John.

No. 6: John Elway drafted 1st overall and traded

In 1983, the Baltimore Colts selected Stanford quarterback John Elway with the first selection in the draft. However, Elway did not want to play for the Colts and was ultimately traded to the Broncos. The complete story is detailed in the 30 for 30 segment below:

No. 5: John Elway inducted into Hall of Fame

In 2004, John Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He was elected in his first year of eligibility. His acceptance speech may be seen below:

No. 4: John Elway named Super Bowl XXXIII MVP

In 1999, the Broncos defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-19 in Super Bowl XXXIII as Elway took him his first Super Bowl MVP award in what would be his final game. Highlights from his final season below:

No. 3: John Elway executes The Drive II

In the 1991 Divisional Playoff Round, the Broncos were trailing to the Houston Oilers 24-23 with just over two minutes remaining in the game. Starting at his own two yard line, Elway executed another brilliant drive. That drive can be viewed at the 18:23 mark of the video below:

No. 2: John Elway executes The Drive

This moment needs no intro:

No. 1: John Elway's helicopter and Super Bowl win

In one of the greatest plays in all of sports history, John Elway sacrificed his body to gain a first down against the Green Bay Packers in 1998 during Super Bowl XXXII:

Elway's Broncos would go on to win the game, 31-24, in what many believe was the greatest Super Bowl of all time.

There were many great moments in John Elway's career; these were seven of our favorites. Be sure to share your favorite Elway moments in the comments below after you wish Elway (@JohnElway) a happy birthday on Twitter!

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