5280: But isn't it interesting that that much attention is paid to you? JE: I guess that's why everyone loves me. I give them something to talk about. (laughs) Seriously, though, I'd been to the White House before, and the last time I went to the White House I got food poisoning, so I wasn't all that excited about going back.
5280: Another one of the rumors was that you were going to get into politics. JE: I don't know where that started. I enjoy supporting the Republican Party, but I've never wanted to get into the front line of politics. It was flattering to hear people say, "you could be a senator," or "you could be a congressman," but it was never something that I seriously considered. Someone very smart once said to me, "Why would you want to do that when 90 percent of the people love you now? The moment you get into politics, half of them will stop liking you."
5280: In the early days, there were some newspaper columnists who certainly didn't like you. They went after you, and went after you hard. Did that hurt? JE: Honestly? Yes. But, over time, as you mature, you become so callous to it that it doesn't hurt anymore. If anything, the problem goes the other way. In some of my relationships, people will try to criticize me or degrade me or whatever, and it bounces off. I feel strongly enough about myself that I don't hear those criticisms.
I know that people are going to have their opinions, but all I can do is do the best I can with the abilities that God has given me.
5280: But there was a time in this town, where it was clearly known, if you make Elway mad, he won't talk to you. JE: There was a guy I did that with, a guy from a radio station here in town, where the guy was on me from day one. Viciously. And whether it was something he really meant, or whether it was something that he was doing for ratings, I don't know. But at some point you just say, you're going to stop using me. That's where I lose respect, and don't want to deal with someone.
5280: Now that football is over, do you find yourself pulling back from people in public? JE: No, if anything, I've always tried to be very cordial to people when they come up and talk to me. Sure, there are times when I'm with my family or whatever, and it's a little more difficult, but I've always tried to take the time and just say hello.
And you know, I honestly think it takes less time to be nice than it does to be a jerk. When you're a jerk, you usually have to explain to them why you're being a jerk. Sure, there are times, you're getting gas, you just want to veg, but it really is easier just to be nice.
5280: When it's all said and done, what would you like people to know about you? JE: I've just tried to be who John Elway is. In the things I read about myself...