Monday, October 20, 2008

Jay Cutler, Young Elway?

I "came of age" watching John Elway reject the Baltimore Colts to come to the Broncos. Of course, I have been watching and cheering for the Broncos since 1975 so 1983 was a great year.

I watched Elway try and carry the team and make amazing plays in the attempts. Too often, those attempts resulted in interceptions and defeats. Of course, he led them to the Superbowl three times and lost three times. Each time, my heart broke. I never lost the desire to see them in the Superbowl unlike some of my relatives that hoped they would lose in the playoffs rather than see them lose again. When 1996 rolled around and they finished with a 13-3 record, a bye week and home field advantage. The upstart Jacksonville Jaguars came into Mile High and ended the Broncos hopes. Fast forward to 1997 and a spectacular 12-4 record only to finish 2nd in the AFC West to the Chiefs. Then it was revenge game and a 42-17 drubbing of Jacksonville. Then it was into the Chief's house for a 14-10 victory. A Davis touchdown in the 4th quarter sealed the deal. The AFC Championship game was then played against the Steelers in which the Broncos squeaked out a win 24-21.

Then came the Superbowl. The Green Bay Packers were the defending Superbowl champs having defeated Patriots. Brett Favre was the superstar quarterback and media darling. The Broncos weren't given a chance at victory and were a 11 1/2 point underdog. They played it cool and let all the pressure be on Green Bay. I was cautious having watched the previous four losses (yes, I was a boy in 1977 and have hated the Cowboys since that year). I always thought the Broncos had a chance with Davis supporting Elway.

Game day came and I was too much of a wreck to go to a Superbowl party so I watched it by myself. The Packers stuck first followed by 17 Bronco points. Greenbay scored late in the 2nd to bring it to 17-14.

The 2nd half was then a back and forth affair leaving the Broncos up 24-17 going into the 4th Quarter. Green Bay tied it early in the quarter and then the Broncos scored late to go up 31-24 with 1:45 left. It was not until the Broncos tightened up at their own 35 and stopped Favre and Packers on 4th down to end the game. I was then able to take a breath and celebrate the first Bronco Superbowl victory. The next year, they beat the hapless Atlanta Falcons for their second. That was not a game worth discussing.

So the punch line is this: is Cutler a young Elway. Um. No. He needs to show me something first. Show me "The Drive". Show me some playoff births and playoff victories. Show me a Superbowl. show me a Ring. Show me the Ring. Then you can take the mantle.

Until then. Stop the Elway talk.

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