To begin 2011, the Broncos will have two quarterbacks auditioning for positions.
While Tim Tebow tries his hand at guiding Denver on the field, John Elway—the Broncos most iconic player and greatest QB—will be trying out as an NFL executive.
It was announced today that Elway and the Broncos had come to terms, and the legend from the gridiron will once again try to conjure up some Mile High magic.
The quarterback best known for his late-game heroics as the all-time comeback king, will be needed to bring his Broncos back from the worst season in at least two decades.
Some suggest Elway's reputation could be tarnished if he proves to be a front-office flop, a la Matt Millen, but Elway is no Millen.
Elway is a winner.
Elway is a highly intelligent businessman.
Elway knows football.
Elway is a leader.
Elway is a sports celebrity—technically Denver's first Hall of Famer—and he will bring high-profile players to the Mile High City.
He's the most widely known No. 7 in all of sports and he is admired by a majority of the young QBs today (including Tebow).
Imagine the Duke of Denver going out and meeting with big-name free agents. How could they not be inspired and get goosebumps when Elway hobbles in and tells stories of the glory days in Denver?
Elway was a hero in the 1980s, and his myth grew into legend in the 1990s as he brought this dusty old cowtown its first two football championships.
If there were a Mount Rushmore celebrating Denver sports stars in the Rocky Mountains, Elway's mug—huge horse-like teeth and all—would be the first face smiling away.
Others to be added are arguable—from Todd Helton to Patrick Roy or Alex English, Doug Moe or even Floyd Little—but only Elway would be a certain lock.
In reality, it's a crying shame that Pat Bowlen hasn't erected a statue of Elway outside his palace. The seven horses are nice, but a life-size bronze bust of The Bronco would be more fitting.
Fathers could tell sons, "I saw him play," and explain how the Broncos were once one of the fabled franchises in football.
Or maybe Bowlen is waiting for Elway to erect it himself, after taking the Broncos' reins.
Let's face it, Elway wants to own the Broncos, he has for years.
He owned the Arena Football League's now-defunct Colorado Crush, but Bowlen still isn't quite ready to give up his team.
But naming Elway VP is a major step in that direction.
In steps Elway, out steps Bowlen even further from the spotlight.
Maybe this is Bowlen's test for Elway.
Maybe he told Elway at dinner a month ago, "This team's for you, John. If you prove you know what's best."
Yes, maybe Elway's image will be tarnished a bit—he's got a huge hole to dig the Broncos out of.
Or maybe Elway brings his Broncos back to prominence, takes over as owner and only further cements his legacy as the best thing that ever happened to Denver sports.
Shoot, maybe Elway can lead the Broncos to another Super Bowl title and proudly proclaim, "This one's for Pat!"
Is it possible?
Is it probable?
Of course not.
Should John Elway be the next Denver Broncos owner?
But how many times did Elway lead the Broncos to improbable comebacks in the past? (Forty-seven, if you're still counting.)
Think of it this way: The new head coach and GM will report directly to Elway—everywhere else in the league they report directly to the owner.
Elway will have the same responsibilities any other NFL owner does.
It's an interview that may turn into a full-time ownership position.
This is the opportunity Elway's waited over a decade for, and he's chomping at the bit to prove he can run—and eventually own—the NFL team that holds a special place in his heart.
Does Elway possess The Drive to lead the Broncos?
His competitive fire likely burns hotter than most of the players that were on the field for Denver this season.
So, for Denver Broncos fans, 2011 is the year of the quarterback.
One will try to make his mark on the field, the other in the front office, as both Tebow and Elway try to lead the Broncos back to the promised land.
At the very least, they both bring hope.
At the most, they may bring another Super Bowl to the Broncos.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being a Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets and NBA Featured Columnist for B/R, Kurtzman is the CSU Rams Examiner, the Colorado/Utah Regional Correspondent for stadiumjourney.com and a weekly contributor for milehighhoops.com.
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