Beckett Publications John Elway

ISBN 13: 9781887432740

John Elway

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9781887432740: John Elway
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What marches this amply illustrated tribute downfield with the verve of a two-minute drill is the collection of tribute offerers themselves. John Elway's 10 chapters are built on the testimony of 10 witnesses--Bronco players and opponents--to the future Hall of Famer quarterback's excellence, longevity, creativity, and coolness: the lineup includes Denver coaches Dan Reeves and Mike Shanahan; teammates Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe, and Ed McCaffrey; and opposition field marshalls Brett Favre and Jim Kelly. Under game conditions, all would be assessed yardage for piling it on; then again, an elegy's game plan is to praise without penalty, and praise they certainly do.

Still, Elway offers its perspectives, none more cogent than that of defensive lineman Neil Smith, who spent nine seasons as a Chief huffing and puffing after Elway before ultimately joining him in Denver. "I had the most sacks (15) against John," Smith admits proudly, "and it's probably because he took me to another level when I played against him... But after you'd sack him, really crush him, he'd just get up and grin... and come back and throw a touchdown on you. That hurt." It also captures Elway's brilliance in a nutshell: his skills made the game better, and his spirit never let him give up. If that doesn't deserve appreciation, nothing in sports does, and Elway, like a crafty receiver, catches both halves of that equation quite nicely. --Jeff Silverman

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Beckett Publications
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