The news broke yesterday that Jason Elam will be signing a one day contract with Denver so that he can retire as a Bronco. Following is the requisite retrospective of selected moments from his various careers.
Jason Elam, Brookwood Georgia Kicker
When Elam spent the final few years of his pro career with Atlanta, it brought him very close to his childhood home. One Falcons scrimmage actually put him back on the Brookwood field where he played high school football.
“It was a dream to be able to do something like this. I’m not trying to be cheesy or anything like this, I’m fulfilling a dream here. It’s pretty special. To be able to come back, I never dreamed that this would be able to happen.... To this day, he’s [former high school coach Clay Cox] still been my best coach. I still call him up and talk to him about technique and stuff.”
Jason Elam, Hawaiian Kicker
Elam spent his college career, 1989-1992, kicking for the University of Hawaii. Several years ago, he recollected on the experience:
"I think it [playing at UH] made me grow up a lot faster than I probably would have normally. Just having to go that far away from home [Georgia] and having to go through some of the homesickness stuff. it was hard being a 17-, 18-year-old kid going that far away. But after my sophomore year, once i got over it, I absolutely loved my junior and senior years years. And I think that being able to play all four years and get that experience and get my name out really helped....
I mean, UH was great when I was there. We had great teams. We were going to bowl games and won the WAC my senior year, played in the Holiday Bowl and got a lot of exposure. In coach [Paul Johnson's] offense we were definitely going to score a touchdown or kick a field goal."
Jason Elam, Mile High Kicker
After a highly successful 17 year NFL career, Elam compiled many highlights, set numerous records, and scored nearly two tons of points. My first thought was to include a video clip of his record tying 63 yard field goal, however I quickly realized that was too obvious (plus it will probably be shown repeatedly by the media in the next day or so). Instead, we'll watch Elam using his arm rather than his leg - tossing around the pigskin with fans on the sideline and in the stands before a game.
Jason Elam, Author
In recent years, Elam has added published author to his resume, co-authoring three books: Monday Night Jihad, Blown Coverage, and Blackout. The thriller series incorporates football, terrorism and religion. The fourth book in the series is due out later this year. Elam commented on the origins of the books:
"The genesis of Monday Night Jihad goes back almost 10 years...My brother kept a journal of all the crazy football stories I'd told him over the years. About a year-and-a-half ago, I began to think what if I was able combine all those quirky stories with a terrorist element to create an action-adventure story. Through this story, I want to bring out why people of strong conviction do what they do."
Jason Elam, World Hunter and Missionary
Over the years during off-seasons, Elam has made numerous trips abroad, typically for big game hunting or for missionary efforts.
"Over the last decade, during offseasons, I've been going to Africa and the Middle East, like Israel, Jordan and Gaza last year. Some are for fun. Some of it is missionary or relief work. My Gaza trip had a big part in this. Before going in, we called ahead because if they're not fighting Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, they're fighting amongst themselves. The Israeli side said they highly recommend we not go in, but that everything was quiet."