Good morning, Broncos Country!
As the 7-4 Broncos waltz into Jacksonville on Sunday to take on the 2-9 Jaguars and try to bring the current record between the two teams to five games a piece, it seems like a perfect time to remind ourselves how lucky we really are.
Did docllv just say lucky?
The Broncos are coming off a disappointing loss to a division rival that has the team sitting on the outside-looking-in for the playoffs - possibly asking our rookie QB to win the next game to keep any sort of playoff chances alive - and she said "lucky?"
Yes, she did.
It’s not the position Broncos fans hoped to be in by Week 13 as it could be the first time in five seasons this team doesn’t finish as the AFC West champions, but that hasn’t been decided yet, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Instead let’s keep in mind who is in control of this team - not just on game day but overall.
Mr. TYJE himself.
L.A. Times reporter Sam Farmer just published an outstanding read on our even more outstanding GM that will make your day. I promise.
John Elway, the greatest Bronco ever, is also the John Elway of NFL general managers https://t.co/8yq7wB6SNm— Sam Farmer (@LATimesfarmer) December 2, 2016
Calling John Elway the greatest Broncos player ever and then referring to the GM as "the John Elway of NFL general managers," Farmer highlights something we’ve all come to know and love at many levels - Elway’s disgust for losing.
It’s apropos to recall that quality this week as the Broncos head to the Jaguars for an important Week 13 game. Many in Broncos Country remember all too well the 1996-97 playoff game against Jacksonville that Elway and the Broncos all but had wrapped up in the first half only to watch their Super Bowl hopes dwindle play by play in the second half.
Elway took that postseason loss as hard as any and helped will the Broncos through their "revenge tour" the following year, beating the Jags 42-7 (thanks largely to 184 rushing yards by Terrell Davis) on the way to winning the team’s first Lombardi.
But Elway embodies that competitive fire in every aspect of his life - even in a friendly pool game.
Farmer writes of the infamous story when No. 7 got rid of a favorite new pool table just days after his backup Bubby Brister beat him at a game on it.
"Bubby absolutely schooled me," Elway said.
So naturally Elway tossed the table and started fresh with a different one - a move he’s been doing ever since he took over as Broncos’ GM in 2011.
With five playoff appearances, five division titles, two Super Bowl appearances and Super Bowl victory in that tenure, it’s worked out pretty well for the Hall-of-Fame quarterback.
Whether it was tossing Tim Tebow in favor of Peyton Manning, tossing John Fox to bring in Gary Kubiak or tossing Brock Osweiler in favor of either an inexperienced seventh-rounder or a rookie, Elway has no problem making the big decisions.
"To be great, you’ve got to be good for a long time," Elway told Farmer. "We’ve always set out to do things for the long term, not necessarily for the short term. Don’t try to pump everything out of it the first year, that’s maybe going to hurt you down the line."
Much of Farmer’s story includes anecdotes you’ve probably already heard and maybe a few you hadn’t. Like the day John Elway "decided" - thanks to a little convincing from his dad - he was destined to be a quarterback:
"I remember him taking me to school in ninth grade, and on the way there he was asking me, ‘What position are you going to go out for?’" Elway said. "I said, ‘I’m going to go out for running back.’ We had a 1968 Impala, one of those with a shift on the steering column. I still remember him putting it in park. Ten minutes later, I get out of the car and I’m a quarterback."
But the entire brilliant read is a reminder that having Elway as our GM is the true embarrassment of riches for this franchise.
Winning 71 of his first 100 games - the best record of any GM - Broncos fans can be certain whatever deficiencies this team has - and there certainly are some glaring ones - Elway will address them. If not this year, then the next. Or the next. Even the next.
But like No. 7 said himself, you’ve got to take the long view. Rest assured, Broncos Country, Elway has a grand vision for the future of this team.
It's just in his DNA to win.
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Since he took the reins of the Broncos in 2011, no team has had more playoff appearances (five), division titles (five), Super Bowl appearances (two), or Super Bowl victories (one).
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