Staff writerSAN DIEGO — The number four turned out to be a lucky charm for John Elway, who guided the Denver Broncos to their first ever Super Bowl victory Sunday.In his fourth appearance in the NFL championship game, the 15-year veteran quarterback out of Stanford finally grabbed the big one. “I can’t believe it. It’s been a lot of work,” said Elway, father of four children. “This is what we played for and this is what I play for. There have been a lot of things that go along with losing three Super Bowls and being labeled as a guy who has never been on a winning Super Bowl team.”In his three previous Super Bowls, Elway ironically saw the winning quarterback named the Most Valuable Player — Phil Simms of the New York Giants (Super Bowl XXI), Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins (XXII) and Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers (XXIV). And this time he faced Brett Favre, a three-time league MVP.”If we were unfortunate enough to lose this ball game, I’d be happy for John, and I am,” said Favre, who wears No. 4 on his jersey. “He’s played a long time for this and I know the feeling he’s going through right now because it’s a wonderful feeling to win this game.”Favre outperformed Elway by going 25-of-42 for 256 yards and passing for three touchdowns. Elway completed 12-of-22 passes for 123 yards and rushed for a score — but did not throw a touchdown pass for the fourth time this season. Both quarterbacks had an interception.Elway, however, had a lot of help from his running game. The Broncos outgained the Packers 179 to 95 yards on the ground. Elway handed the ball off 30 times to MVP Terrell Davis, who rushed for 157 yards. Elway added 17 yards himself, including a 1-yard bootleg run in the second quarter, which made the 37-year-old the oldest player to score a touchdown in Super Bowl history.Emotions ran high when Elway’s dream finally came true. In the postgame ceremony, Denver’s president and chief executive officer, Pat Bowlen, handed the Vince Lombardi Trophy to Elway, saying, “This one’s for John.”Head coach Mike Shanahan also dedicated the victory to Elway. “I’m happy for him. He’s been working for this his whole life,” Shanahan said. “Any time you go to ‘The Show’ and lose three times, you’ve got a little monkey on your back. That monkey is now gone.” Elway is a member of the “Class of ’83,” which has produced great passers such as Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins and retired Buffalo Bills QB Jim Kelly. Elway is the only member of the class to have won a Super Bowl ring.Now this logical question arises: Will Elway retire now that his dream has come true? “I don’t know,” Elway said. “I’m going to figure that out. I’m going to enjoy this right now. But I’m going to sit down and figure that out.”

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.