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It's a homecoming for John Elway

October 20, 2008 | 10:43 pm


For two hours on Monday night, John Elway (pictured above at his Hall of Fame selection announcement on Jan. 31, 2004) was interviewed in the gym at his alma mater, Granada Hills High, as part of a taping for a new ESPN series, "Homecoming," with Rick Reilly doing the interviewing.

Before former football teammates, former coaches, family and friends, Elway explored his past and produced laughter and admiration for his days as a quarterback at Granada Hills, Stanford and with the Denver Broncos.

Elway revealed the shocking information that during his senior year at Granada Hills in 1979, a college coach offered him a car as a recruiting incentive.

"The same guy offered to have an affair with my mom -- my dad," he said, referring to Jack Elway, then the coach at San Jose State.

Elway talked about The Play -- the kickoff return in the 1982 Stanford-Cal game in which California won by using a series of laterals. Former Stanford coach Paul Wiggin was in the audience Monday and said, "What can you do? It's history. It happened."

Elway talked about The Drive -- the game-winning drive in the 1987 AFC championship game against the Cleveland Browns that started at the Denver two-yard line, and how "I hear from every Cleveland fan I ever run into."

He talked about why he retired from football in 1999, mentioning that he feared playing in the Super Bowl in the rain and that shortly after beating the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII, it poured. "It was a sign from God -- you're done," he said.

The cameras caught him successfully making a drop kick on the Granada Hills field and hitting the crossbar with a 30-yard pass at the age of 48.

Asked what would be his secret dream job, Elway replied, "Own an NFL franchise in Los Angeles."

-- Eric Sondheimer

Photo credit: Marc Serota / Reuters