Thursday, February 4, 2016

Gridiron Gang: John Elway

Super Bowl 50 is right around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than to acknowledge the former football stars that were, or currently are, members of our great fraternity. Today we highlight John Elway. Now I know what your thinking, and NO, John Elway was not a member of DeMolay. He is however a Mason.

John Albert Elway was born June 28th, 1960 in Port Angeles, Washington. John's father, Jack Elway, was a football coach for Port Angeles High School. Some would say that football was always in John's blood. As John's family moved a lot because of his Dad's work, John started High School at Pullman High School in Pullman, Washington, but would finish his final three years at Granada Hills High School in San Fernando Valley, California. As a senior, Elway would be named to Parade Magazine's All America High School Team.

Elway went to college at Stanford, where he played both football and baseball. He would go on to win two Pac-10 Player of the Year Awards, become a consensus All American, and finish second on the Heisman Trophy ballot. He was drafted by the New York Yankees to play right field in 1981, but chose to stick with football. In 1983, John Elway was drafted by the Baltimore Colts with the 1st overall pick. Elway, who refused to play for the Baltimore Colts due to his father's persuasion, used baseball in order to leverage a trade. The Colts would later trade Elway to the Denver Broncos, the place Elway would spend his entire NFL career.

Elway led the Broncos to three Super Bowls in the later part of the 1980's, losing all three attempts. He was named the NFL MVP in 1987. Although it took 8 years to get back to the big game, Elway would lead the Broncos to Super Bowl victories at Super Bowl's XXXII and XXXIII. He was named the Super Bowl MVP at Super Bowl XXXIII, which would be his final NFL game. He was named to the Pro Bowl a total of 9 times in his 16 year career. Until 2014, John Elway started the most Super Bowls at Quarterback with 5, until Tom Brady started his 6th Super Bowl at Super Bowl XLIX. John Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004, along with legendary running back Barry Sanders.

Elway would later become the Executive Vice President of football operations for the Denver Broncos, a role he currently holds to this day. John Elway's Denver Broncos, led by Quarterback Peyton Manning, will take on the Carolina Panthers, led by Quarterback
Cam Newton, this Sunday at Super Bowl 50. So when did John find the time to join a Masonic lodge? John Elway would become a mason after his playing career was over, joining South Denver Lodge No. 93 at a Grand Lodge of Colorado two day class February 22 and 23, 2002. Although there is no evidence to how active he is within his local lodge due to time scheduling, Elway is a brother of our great Masonic fraternity, which earns him a spot in our Gridiron Gang.  

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