My date with destiny

A handshake with John Elway

Stony Hooker, Features Editor

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It is a rare occasion when you get to meet your idol, a mentor, someone you have looked up to your whole life. I am a life-long Denver Broncos fan. Naturally, John Elway is someone I’ve always dreamed of meeting. On Sunday Dec 3rd, I fulfilled my dream but in probably one of the most lackluster of ways.

My journey started Saturday morning; my mother and I boarded a plane in Tampa and landed, 35 minutes later, in Ft. Lauderdale. We rented the fanciest car we could find, a Ford Taurus, and headed to the land where the people are more plastic than human, South Beach. As we cross the Intercoastal onto the barrier islands I begin to count the cars. In two miles I count 4 Lamborghinis, 6 Ferraris, 10 Maseratis, 15 Porches, 20+ BMW, 30+ Mercedes, etc. While being amazed by the superfluous amount of money in the area I see a familiar name in large gold letters “TRUMP.” I never knew that I didn’t like the way rich people lived until I went to South Beach. Everything was so perfect yet felt imperfect at the same time. The shear idea of the hard work to upkeep this island made me feel exhausted; I was out of my league.

Arriving at our hotel, the valet opened my door and took my bags which I promptly insisted I could handle it myself. The St. Regis Bal Harbor is by far the single fanciest hotel I have ever stayed in; big fluffy beds, views of the Atlantic Ocean, infinity pools, golden chandeliers, $8 bottles of water. This was a big leap from the motels in dingy towns that I enjoy when on road trips.

The next day, my mother and I adorn our bright orange Peyton Manning and Von Miller jerseys respectively and make our way to Hard Rock Stadium, the sight of the Broncos vs. Dolphins game, but more importantly the sight of where I would soon absolutely botch my chances at being cool when I met John Elway.

The Broncos very rarely come to play a Florida football team, so we purchased very nice seats close to the field. These were the best football tickets I had ever had. We entered at the floor level after finding our specific designated entrance on the north side of the stadium. We go through one set of ticket checkers, a metal detector, another set of ticket checkers, and the third ultimate ticket checker. After going through the preverbal labyrinth of ticket checkers we head down a hallway to get our wrist bands put on.

As a disinterested man placed the wristband on my arm, a line of men in suits come around the corner up ahead. They are tall and business like, but one of them with blonde hair and a large smile caught my eye. He seemed familiar, but I couldn’t place my finger on it. As the line of sharp dressed men passes by me, it hits me and in a moment of overwhelming excitement causes me to yell “That’s John Elway!” Who was now three feet away from me. John (we’re on a first name basis now,) in his maximum coolness, reached over and shook my hand with a smile and a wink. I was left frozen and babbling in the attempt to tell him how much of a fan I was, but before I could collect myself he was long gone.

The Broncos lost the game but I won the day, and John Elway is winning at life.

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My date with destiny