Pick a grudge, any grudge
Reeves vs. Elway just one of many Super Bowl subplots
Posted: Sunday January 17, 1999 10:56 PM
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Dan Reeves hired Mike Shanahan. Dan Reeves fired Mike Shanahan -- or at least they came to a parting of the ways.
And many people think Reeves was fired by Denver after the 1992 season because of a rift with John Elway.
Like the Minnesota Vikings, whom the Falcons upset 30-27 in overtime Sunday, Denver is heavy favorite -- the line opened at 8 1/2 points.
But forget for a minute who might win.
The real drama here is Reeves, who underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery just a month ago.
"If I can stand today, my heart's got to be in great shape," Reeves said after the win over the Vikings.
"It's incredible when you think about it," added Reeves, who took over a team that was 3-13 in 1996 and began 1-7 last season. "Coming from 1-7 halfway through your first year, to be in the Super Bowl your third year."
Reeves is no stranger to Super Bowls -- this will be his ninth appearance in the 33 games. He made it as a player with the Cowboys and an assistant coach with the Cowboys before losing three times as head coach of the Broncos.
Now, he faces Shanahan, fired by Reeves as offensive coordinator in 1992 because Reeves thought Shanahan had taken some power and was too influential with Elway.
"I'll be honest," Shanahan said after he coached the Broncos to their second straight Super Bowl. "We were best friends."
Elway later said playing for Reeves was 'hell' when the coach was fired after the '92 season. As for other matchups Jan. 31 in Miami:
But the matchup everyone will be talking about in the two-week buildup will be Reeves vs. Shanahan and Elway.
Reeves will have a lot of motivation against a team that fired him after he led them to three Super Bowls.
He'll say all the right things about Elway and Shanahan. And Elway and Shanahan will say all the right things about Reeves.
But deep down? We all know, don't we?
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