Watching the press conference where John Elway announced his retirement in 1998, I turned to a friend of mine to see he had tears streaming down his face. That is the only time I ever saw him cry, before or since. Not even when I kneed him in the junk over a four-square dispute in fifth grade -- that's right Denver, I fight dirty, what of it?
Blubbering, this beacon of machismo managed to stammer out these words about number 7, "He's been like my father."
And I know this guy isn't alone in his insanity. This town is absolutely nuts about the buck-toothed genius who brought us two Super Bowls. We're fanatical about laying claim to the greatest quarterback in the history of the game -- don't start with me.
So imagine my surprise when I read Penny Parker's column last Saturday in which Parker reported that the Cherry Creek Grill had the nerve to cut off our favorite adopted son -- father, whatever. After four glasses of wine, no less. The man is pure testosterone, a Greek god of a being; how could the Grill possibly think that John Elway could get drunk off wine? Everclear and mescaline shots, maybe. Not wine.
And what kind of bar manager thinks to his or herself, "Gee, let's effectively toss Zeus from the bar and tell him never to return?"
I asked around a bit.
Rashad, a manager at McCormick's downtown, said, "It doesn't matter who it is, if they are inebriated or slurring their speech, we will stop serving them."
Bah. Corporate line.
Shannon Baker, at the Wazee Supper Club, laughed before saying, "We would try to cut anyone off before they get drunk. If [Elway] were here, we'd probably try to call him a cab or a limo or something. We would just want to see him get home safely."
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But I finally got a real answer out of a bartender at the College Inn, whose name I will withhold because, Denver, sometimes truth comes with a price. "I don't think that's possible," our Honest Abe booze-slinger said in response to the question: What would Elway have to do to get cut off at the bar? "Drop trou in the middle of the bar, maybe? I don't even know if that would do it."
So I ask you this, Denver: If you managed a bar, what would John Elway have to do to get cut off? Please post your answers in the comments section below.