Not to worry. Coming this weekend to a screen near you: The Duke and his flying leathernecks take on the Cleveland Canines, whose leader, Bernie Kosar, stays awake nights thinking about avenging the Drive-the 98-yard, last-minute, game-tying touchdown march Elway directed in last year's AFC championship game, won by Denver 23-20 in overtime in Cleveland.
"I don't think they want this game any worse than we want it," says Elway. "I mean, as much as we said last year that we weren't happy just being in the Super Bowl, deep down inside we were. But now, we won't be happy just being there. We know what it's like to go and lose it. That's no fun. We want to go and win it."
The Cleveland-Denver contest could make some Top 10 lists. One featured act will be Bernie vs. Denver's Blue Cross secondary, whose strong safeties have been plagued with injuries all season. Another will be the Amigos vs. the two best cornerbacks in the league- Frank Minnifield and Hanford Dixon. Those two are featured on a movie-style poster, on which they are presented by Corner Brothers, a takeoff on Warner Bros. Corner Brothers? Come up with this one on your own, guys?
The Amigos aren't trembling. "All I can say is, I'm glad they're coming here, and we're not going there," said the Vance. "It's cold and dreary by that lake, and besides, those people throw those dog bones with some serious accuracy."
The man who throws pigskins with the most serious accuracy this weekend in Denver will cash some serious biscuits and get a round-trip, all-expense-paid trip to the Super Bowl.
Perhaps next year our coach in black will get his shot. After all, the oldest starter on Glanville's defense is only 27. And Houston has two more first-round draft choices this year. And Moon and his Moonies are just getting better.
Still, on this day, as the sun settled slowly in the west, there were only Glanville's hollow words, his glum face and a cruel sign that rose amid the hooting Mile High swarms.
It said: JERRY, CAN I HAVE THOSE SAN DIEGO TICKETS?