There's a great door-sized poster of Joe Montana and John Elway from the time the two met in Super Bowl XXIV. The quarterbacks stand back to back, helmetless, clad in old-school 49ers and Broncos uniforms. Though each player cradles a playbook in his arms, both Montana and Elway surreptitiously look over their shoulders, trying to sneak a peek at what the other may have in store. It is a portrait of all-star athletes preparing to go to battle. The two look young, lean and ready.
Were a poster to surface for A Game of Fame -- the celebratory flag-football event taking place this Friday at Invesco Field -- the photo might look a little different. The two would probably sit together in a booth at some swank steakhouse, struggling to cut their rare New York strips while encumbered by their championship rings. Cigar smoke would coil through the air, and Elway would have his hand raised, signaling the waitress for more sour cream for his baked potato. Montana would just smile into his beer, not a playbook in sight.
Times change. But that doesn't mean we can't bring the old boys out for one last go.
Put together to commemorate John Elway as the first Bronco to enter the Hall of Fame, A Game of Fame pits Elway against Montana for four fifteen-minute quarters of flag football. It will be both quarterbacks' first and final game at Invesco Field. NFL legends like Mark Jackson, Rick Upchurch, Roger Craig, Thurman Thomas, Randy Gradishar and Tyrone Braxton will also participate in the game. They'll be joined by recent retiree and crowd favorite Ed McCaffrey, along with David Treadwell, who will probably come out and miss a few field goals for old times' sake. Former Denver Broncos coach Dan Reeves will even be on hand, but his coaching duties will be limited so as to avoid any 55-10-style embarrassment.
The festivities begin at 5 p.m. with an open autograph session with the players. The game starts at 7 p.m.; a post-game concert will feature country musicians Diamond Rio at 9:15 p.m. Fans will receive a John Elway "Class of 2004" collectable bobblehead figurine with each ticket purchased.
And Johnny? It doesn't matter how old you guys get: Give Montana hell.