"We can't say we didn't accomplish something great last year," Reeves says. "We came off an 8-8 season [in 1988] with a new defensive staff, and we made the Super Bowl."
Reeves, though, does worry about El-way, who is publicly stoic but privately seething about the can't-win-the-big-one tag he has acquired. In three Super Bowl appearances Elway has been a 46% passer with two touchdowns and six interceptions. "I'll take the heat," he says. "I did everything I could. We didn't get blown out because we weren't trying."
"I know how badly John hurts," Reeves says. "No words can really help him."
Reeves and Elway played a few rounds of golf together in the spring, and 55-10 never came up. But an off-season golf story touched Reeves. He watched on TV in July as Patty Sheehan blew a nine-stroke lead and lost the U.S. Women's Open.
"I never felt worse for anybody in my life than I did for Patty Sheehan, and I don't even know her," Reeves says. "You can't tell me she's not a winner. She's a great golfer. But that day, I got an ache in my stomach watching, the same ache I felt at the Super Bowl. She'll relive that day of golf the rest of her life."
Sheehan doesn't know it, but she's an honorary Denver Bronco.
Will the Vikings' new buddy-buddy system create team harmony?
If you go there, wins will come.
That wasn't exactly what Viking general manager Mike Lynn whispered to 70 players, coaches and front-office types before scheduling a three-day retreat for May in the New Mexico wilderness. But it was close. And the male-bonding experience left a fresh feeling throughout a team that last season was torn by charges of selfish play and front-office racism in negotiating contracts. "For the team concept, it was the best thing I've been involved with in 30 years of football," defensive coordinator Floyd Peters says.
If the retreat accomplished anything, it was a narrowing of the chasm between the lordly Lynn and the players. "I learned to be more involved with the players and to communicate with them better," Lynn says. "The world is different, everywhere. Anybody who thinks we're dumb for making this trip has blinders on."