KIRKLAND- Two-time Super Bowl Champion John Elway has shocked the football world by coming out of retirement to play for the Seattle Seahawks. New Seattle Head Coach/GM Mike Holmgren made the bold move to acquire the quarterback who defeated his Packers in Super Bowl XXXII after neither Jon Kitna or Glenn Foley distinguished themselves as an elite QB in training camp.
"If you have a chance to sign the QB who has won the most games in NFL history, you do it," said Holmgren at a circus-like press conference at team headquarters in Kirkland. Kitna relinquished his #7 in deference to Elway, who is expected to see action in Seattle's next preseason game and start the season opener against Detroit on September 12.
"This is a sort of homecoming for me, having lived in Pullman growing up," said Elway. "It will be strange to wear another uniform, but I think Coach Holmgren is going to do great things here in Seattle, and I wanted to be part of that."
Elway will face his former team for the first time on November 14 at the Kingdome, and his surely bittersweet return to Denver as a Seahawk is on December 19. The move has electrified and divided the Seattle fanbase, many of which are skeptical about embracing the QB of a hated rival.
If all of that sounded like a nightmare you wanted to wake up from...
A) You're old enough to have been absolutely tormented by John Elway from 1983-1998.
B) You have some idea what it's like to be a Vikings fan today.
I HATED Elway. He threw for more yards and touchdowns against us than any other quarterback, and was 19-10 against us as a starter. It sure seemed even worse than that, with blowout losses and Elway comebacks seemingly happening every fall.
I remember in 1987, I was maybe 5 feet from him as he got off Denver's team bus before a game at the Kingdome. I wasn't in awe, I didn't want an autograph. I just shot eye-daggers of medical-grade hatred at him and literally, in my head, wished him ill. I wanted Jacob Green and Fredd Young to meet at Mr. Ed's knee and torso and split him in twain. I wanted him to writhe in pain on the Kingdome Astroturf as 65,000 Twelves roared in bloodlust.... Yes, I was a sick little 12-year old.
Even in '99, if the Seahawks had brought the guy in, I would have had to hold back the bile churning up my gullet... I sure as hell wouldn't have bought an Elway Seahawks jersey, so it blows my mind that ANY Vikings fan would plunk down $80 on a Vikings replica with "4 Favre" on the back.
So that's the Favre thing... translated into twelvish.