Originally written on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 11/10/14

Super Bowl XXXII

The greatest sports moment of my life occurred on my oldest daughters birthday – January 25th. She wasn’t born yet, but the year was 1998 and the Denver Broncos were in the fight of their lives against the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. I was 19 years old and living a stones throw from Jack Murphy Stadium where my sports heroes were about to become part of NFL lore.

Up until this play I felt the Broncos were controlling the game, but failing to capitalize at key moments when they could have iced it. When John Elway took off on third down inside the red zone, I felt the anxiety of the riskiness of the move, since it was hardly third and short. When he dove and helicoptered for the first down I screamed my head off. That was the moment when I felt there was no way the Broncos could lose this game now – of course, the nail biting final 3 minutes of the game made that feeling seem prematurely absurd.  However, there was no denying the significance of this play and it would become the defining moment of Super Bowl XXXII and it was easy to put it number 1 on my all-time list.

Situation: Late Third Quarter in the Super Bowl.  Third down near the end zone with the score tied at 17.

The Play: When Elway made that diving first down it energized the entire Broncos team and help keep Brett Favre and the Packers at bay until late in the fourth quarter when Elway and the Broncos would march down the field to score the winning touchdown with less than two minutes to go in the game.

Any Broncomaniac older than 20 will recognize this game as the single greatest moment of their fandom.  For us older fans who had to suffer through three or four Super Bowl disasters, it was vindication for all of the trials and tribulations from August 14, 1959 to the day Pat Bowlen hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in triumph.

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Go Broncos!

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