Athlete Run-Ins: Smokin' John Elway

We only have one athlete run-in story today, because it's the day after Thanksgiving and we're taking a half day. Wednesday's Scott Podsednik story was excellent — though it had a few people wondering if Podsednik had a legitimate, serious alcohol problem — but today's brings up something we always wonder about athletes off the field: How many of them are cigarette smokers?

According to Ryan Van Bibber from Washington, D.C., Broncos legend John Elway is definitely one.

I had a celeb run-in with John Elway a couple years back. I was a layabout around Aspen, CO, spending most of my days in a down valley bar called the Rainbow Grill. One weekday afternoon in the summer of '03 I had come in for some touchscreen games and kamikaze shots. As I was talking to the bartender, one of the waitresses came in complaining of a table with dirty old men. Looking out the onto the deck we spotted the most famous cog in Mike Shanahan's "system" with a couple of other dudes (obviously not former players) and a really young chick that looked to be the girlfriend of the recently divorced former QB. The most shocking thing about it, besides the fact that he looked much more like Elway the car salesman than Elway the Pro Bowl QB, was that the guy is a chain smoker. That bastard should have an endorsement deal with Marlboro Lights. Anyway ... it's not all that shocking, but I was blown away that a guy who made a handsome living on his physical abilities smoked liked a Jersey dockworker.

Yeah, we're surprised too. Anybody know of any other athletes who are hardcore smokers? And Elway? That explains the craggly face a bit, we guess.

Athlete Run-Ins: Podsednik Takes Six For The Team [Deadspin]