The Comeback Kid's Birthday! (Posted 7/20/2015)
Ranked as the fourth best quarterback of all time by Mens Fitness (Tom Brady was second), John Albert Elway, Jr. was prolific during his time in the NFL. He set records and won rings. In 2002, he added a masonic ring to his collection! On Sunday our brother will turn 55. Let’s take a moment to look at the decorated career of our Hall of Fame brother.
John was born with his twin sister, Jana, on June 28, 1960 to Janet and Jack Elway. He was born in Port Angeles, Washington, but spent much of his childhood moving from town to town due to his father’s football coaching career. Before landing in San Fernando, California, the Elways moved between Washington, Montana and Idaho. Spending three years under center at Pullman High School, John Elway broke records and got a lot of national attention. As a graduating senior, Elway had over 60 football scholarship offers and a draft offer from the Kansas City Royals in the 1979 MLB Draft. He would eventually choose Stanford University.
Elway’s collegiate career was full of highs and lows. While Elway broke almost every quarterback record in the Pac-10, his Stanford Cardinals never won a bowl game. The closest they would come would be in 1982 against California University. Elway drove the Cardinals down the field for a last second field goal to put them up 20-19. Unfortunately, Elway watched the Cal Bears return a kick with four seconds left in what would go down in history as, “The Play.”
Even after a NCAA career that did not include a Heisman Trophy or Bowl Game title, John Elway was still a highly regarded football and baseball prospect. Despite being offered a star role on the New York Yankees in 1981, Elway decided to play football instead and entered the 1983 NFL Draft.
With the Baltimore Colts owning the first overall pick, it was rumored that Elway would play for coach Frank Kush. Even though Kush and GM Ernie Accorsi were excited to pick this highly touted draftee, Elway was vocally against playing on the east coast. After threatening to switch sports and play baseball, the Colts drafted John Elway with the first overall pick and promptly traded him to the Denver Broncos for their first round draft pick (Chris Hinton), backup QB Mark Herrmann, and a 1984 first round pick.
The first three years, while playoff bound years, were not notable for Elway has he was a budding NFL quarterback. The 1986 season saw the Broncos beat the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Championship Game with the famous game winning drive, “The Drive.” Elway went on to play the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXI. After a 39-20 loss to Big Blue, John Elway would spend the next two seasons returning to the Super Bowl, but losing each of them to the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers. It took eight more years before Elway reached the Super Bowl again, this time beating the Green Bay Packers. John led the Broncos to a repeat performance when they beat the Atlanta Falcons in the 1999 Super Bowl. He retired after that season with two Super Bowl Championships and nine Pro Bowl selections. After retiring, Elway remained active in the NFL by becoming the GM and Vice President of Operations for the Denver Broncos. He is also a part owner of the Arena Football team, Colorado Crush.
Being a staple in the Denver community, John Elway chose to join his local lodge, South-Denver Lodge No. 93 in 2002. He joined during a Two Day Class on February 22-23 through the Grand Lodge of Colorado. John has been a mason in good standing ever since. Make sure to wish our brother a very happy 55th birthday!
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The Bodies of the Scottish Rite, sitting in the Valley of Boston, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acknowledge and yield allegiance to the Supreme Council, 33°, of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America, whose Grand East is in Lexington, Massachusetts.