By John Elway
John Elway, the winningest quarterback in NFL background, stocks his triumphs and tribulations with younger readers and encourages them to recollect that victory in any undertaking is simply a comeback away.
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I wanted to snow ski, like my sisters did most weekends in the winter, but Dad wouldn’t let me, fearing I’d injure a knee. I dreamed of being Cowboy running back Calvin Hill (who also wore number 35). ) I was late to John’s first football game. I walked in at halftime and remember seeing a basketball coach I knew walking out. “Either those players are the worst I’ve ever seen or your son is the best player I’ve ever seen,” the coach said. —Jack Elway I wanted to play organized football as soon possible.
Whatever success I’ve had on the field has extracted a price of pain. Dad always said if you expect something for nothing then the price is too high. Hits are going to hurt when you play a contact sports like football. I’ve had five knee operations, a fractured rib, torn rotator cuff, groin and hamstring pulls, sprained elbows and fingers, countless bruises and turf burns, and one season a sore elbow that stung every time I threw. Still, in 14 seasons I missed just 15 games. The fame of playing in the NFL has brought thousands of letters and requests from people, many of whom are in pain.
I reached the district level a couple of times before being eliminated. What crushed me the most was knowing that one more victory would have earned me a cool football uniform. A few awards came from AAU track meets, where I won sprint races. One day I was out painting the house, and John asked if he could have $5. I thought he wanted it to go to the store or something. Later, I found out he used it to enter a nearby AAU track meet. ” —Jack Elway Unfortunately, my blazing foot speed stayed in Montana when Dad took a job as an assistant football coach at Washington State University, and we moved to Pullman, Washington.