The Denver Broncos’ ugly loss in Super Bowl XLVIII won’t sit well with anyone in the Broncos’ organization for quite some time, but especially vice president of football operations John Elway.
Elway, 53, was the Broncos’ starting quarterback for 16 seasons, winning two Super Bowls (XXXII, XXXIII) with the franchise before retiring. However, hidden in his usually glowing resume is the fact that Elway actually lost three Super Bowls by wide margins — Super Bowl XXI (by 19 points), Super Bowl XXII (by 32 points) and Super Bowl XXIV (by 45 points), respectively — before ever claiming his first Lombardi Trophy. Those losses still sicken Elway, and Sunday’s 43-8 loss to the Seahawks has now taken up residence alongside.
“I’m not over them yet. Just added this one to it,” Elway said during his end-of-year press conference on Tuesday.
Having experienced more than a few disappointing finishes in his career, Elway understands the pain that Peyton Manning and the rest of the Broncos’ players are going through this week. He was reassuring that the feelings would dissipate, but also warned that the taste of defeat would persist.
“We’ll get through this disappointment that we’re in right now. It will take awhile,” Elway said. “The taste will never leave.”
Even with the terrible taste still potent on his tongue, Elway expressed a sense of pride for the incredible successes that the Broncos enjoyed during the 2013 season
“We didn’t play very well [in Super Bowl XLVIII] … it was a helluva year,” Elway said. “We went through a lot of different things. But I’m proud of the team”
With Manning and most of the Broncos’ core players expected to return next season, Elway should have Denver in line to at least compete for another Super Bowl next season.