Soicher Commentary: Elway deserves a statue already

Soicher Commentary: Elway deserves a statue

John Elway has three Super Bowl championship rings and a gold Hall of Fame jacket, but he’s missing something that would truly “cement” his place in football history.

Erect that man a statue already.   Oh, sure the retired jersey number unveiled this past weekend is nice, but the most influential person in our state’s history deserves to be bronzed.

Really no logical excuse.  The team knows how to do statues.  They unveiled one of owner Pat Bowlen a couple of years ago and it's magnificent.  Arms folded.  Sunglasses.  That dude’s in charge, right?

The Broncos seem more committed to embracing and honoring their history than any other team in pro sports, which is what makes this so baffling.  The Ring of Fame along the fifth level façade is wonderful and each inductee gets his own steel pillar and bronze bust outside.

Mile High Monument, just recently erected in the parking lot, might be the single most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on.  With the possible exception of 7/11's Slurpee Machine on "Bring Your Own Cup Day".  Where was I?  Oh yeah.  Just outside "Mini Mile High" is a fabulous statue of the greatest Broncos *fan ever.  Barrelman has a statue.  The Duke does not.  Maybe the Broncos are simply trying to pick the perfect location or just the right pose.  This would work.  So would this, this and this.  Oh, a helicopter statue would be spectacular.

Elway retired 18 years ago.  Hasn’t it been long enough?  He’d never say so, but don’t ya think John wonders as he walks past Dan Marino’s life-size figure in Miami?  Bart Starr’s in Green Bay?

Baltimore, the city John refused to play for, has two.  Johnny Unitas and Ray Lewis.  And get this: The Indianapolis Colts have already commissioned a Peyton Manning statue.  And he retired 15 minutes ago.

Elway is just as deserving of a statue as any former player in NFL history, except Arizona’s Pat Tillman, who gave his life for his country.

Maybe Elway, himself, is against it because he’s running the team now and it would feel kinda awkward hosting his own ceremony.  That’s okay.  He’ll get over it.

Don’t the Broncos want little kids walking up to the stadium 50, 100 years from now asking “Daddy, can you tell me about that number seven guy?”

Truth is, Denver’s a lousy statue town.  It’s just as inexcusable that Joe Sakic isn’t hoisting the Stanley Cup outside the Pepsi Center.  The Rockies have a gorgeous statue of baseball pioneer Branch Rickey, but that probably belongs in Brooklyn, and replaced in Lower Downtown by Todd Helton.  That National League clinching moment would work.  Former Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony was on his way, but forfeited all statue privileges by demanding a trade.

There’s a big blue bear at the convention center and a big blue horse at the airport.  No Elway.

It’s time to give the man who sculpted so many of our most cherished memories a sculpture of his own.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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