Feature

Elway Alone

May 2003

The way I'm looking at it is that things were really good for me for a long time. I was very fortunate to have what I had, to get to play here in Denver, to be able to walk away from the game with two Super Bowl wins - which is what I played for my whole life.

But the way I look at life is that there are positives and negatives. The more pluses you have, the more negatives there are to go along with it. I think everybody ends up back at ground zero, no matter what you do. The only question is how complicated the ride is going to be.

Sometimes I think that life was almost too good to me. If you have everything, and it's so perfect, you don't appreciate it. By having these kinds of traumatic experiences, it's really opened my eyes. Life isn't all about accomplishments. It's about relationships. My kids are getting older, and they aren't going to be in the house that much longer, so it's opened my eyes up to them, and made me want to slow down.

5280: How does the Crush fit into that? JE: That's why I'm excited about the Crush coming along. For my whole life Saturday and Sunday in the fall meant football. It was that way growing up, when my dad was a coach. It was that way through school and it was that way as a pro for 16 years. Now, with the Crush, those Saturday and Sundays are in the spring instead of the fall, but it gets me back to what I like, which is that test, week in and week out. I like the highs and lows. I love the exhilaration of winning a football game or the terrible disappointment of losing games. After all the traumatic things that have happened, I feel very comfortable getting into that again. In some ways, it's something that I'm appreciating more this time around.

5280: Has what you've been through changed you spiritually? JE: I've always been pretty spiritual. I'm not a consistent churchgoer. But from my father I got the belief that, even though as a family we weren't real spiritual, that you treat people the way that you wish to be treated, you believe in God. Those were the core beliefs of our family. So, have I changed? No. Has it gotten stronger? No. But that's because I feel that I've always had a strong base. It's not something that I've ever shown to anybody else. I've always looked at it as a personal relationship. Sure, there have been times that I questioned it, but I've never lost it.

I know that sometimes people go the other way and lose it when bad things happen. But I've never questioned my faith because I believe things happen for a reason. Instead of saying, "why me?" I try to look at the positives. Take the relationship I had with my dad. I would never be where I am today if I didn't have the 69 years he was here. And then losing my twin sister, who was just a great gal, it was just so unfortunate. I know how bad she wanted to win, and to live. Anytime I think I have problems, I just look back at her and what she went through, the battle she went through, how bad she wanted to live. For me to think that I have problems, well, that just puts it into perspective.

5280: When the newspaper stories came out about your separation from Janet that had to hurt your kids. We talked about it on the radio show (630 KHOW), how it would have to be very hard to be your kids and go to school that day. JE: That's been one of the toughest things for me. In this town, it's very hard to be my kids, to live up to the expectations that are put on them. But one of the things that we've been able to do as a family is to say my persona is out there, but in the family I'm still Dad. That's how they look at me. So I think they've done a great job handling it. I don't know how much they hear about it at school, they don't talk about it. But I know that they're really good kids, and they've got a lot of good friends that are there for them. They don't seem to be embarrassed about it. The key thing is to talk to them, to make sure they know what's going on, so that when they do hear things, there's no confusion.

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