We at Mile High Report are pushing hard to give Steve Atwater the recognition he absolutely deserves and rarely got as we lead up to the final Hall of Fame vote for the Class of 2019 as one of the Denver Broncos Mt. Rushmore of all-time greats.
During the Something Something Broncos podcast - a podcast that I’ve grown to enjoy more than anything I do now as a blogger - we talked about our most favorite Steve Atwater moment. And being the wordy blogger than I am, I went on to talk in depth about that moment that is so ingrained in my childhood/early adulthood memory.
As a fan, I grew up in the late 80s and into late 90s as a kid and then teenager and after John Elway it was Steve Atwater for me. He embodied the toughness and fearlessness that many adolescent boys share. His famous his on Christian Okoye is a good example of that, but a better example of how great Atwater truly was as a professional football player came during Super Bowl XXXII.
There was no defender on that field that wanted it more than Atwater. He was one of the few remaining players other than Elway who remembered the 55-10 blowout Super Bowl loss to the San Francisco 49ers that ended the 1989 season. He played with wild abandon, always in on the tackle or pass breakout. He even had himself a sack-strip on Brett Favre that set the tone early for the defense.
However, my all-time favorite moment came late in the game. Favre was driving for what he hoped a tying touchdown. It was third down and on the Broncos side of the field. Favre went for the home run ball, but Atwater was having none of it. He sacrificed everything to make sure no one would catch that ball. In the end, he knocked out himself, one of his own teammates, and the Green Bay Packers wide receiver Robert Brooks.
With 32 seconds left, my anxiety was sky-high with Atwater - our best player - on the sidelines and out of the game as Favre threw a fourth down pass. John Mobley knocked it down and the rest was history.
Within a span of a minute, Atwater would assassinate two other people and the Broncos would secure their first Super Bowl title in franchise history. Hard to overcome that moment in my sports life.
What was your favorite all-time Steve Atwater moment?