Ex-stars to play day before stadium comes down

DENVER -- Storied Mile High Stadium will end its days with a
rematch that sports fans thought could only happen in heaven.

John Elway will lead a team of former Denver Broncos against an
NFL All-Star team led by Joe Montana in a flag football game Sept.
15, a day before the stadium is knocked down to provide parking for
its replacement.

"I'm looking forward to playing a last game at Mile High. It's
going to be hard watching it disappear into a parking lot. I've
told my kids you're going to be able to tell kids that their
granddad played in that parking lot," said Elway, who led the
Broncos to two Super Bowl titles and helped create the Mile High

"Most of my memories from Mile High are not good," said
Montana, talking by phone with reporters at a news conference in
the Broncos' dressing room below the infamous South Stands.

Montana was able to get in a dig, noting that when he played for
Kansas City, the Chiefs staved off an Elway-led comeback and won
31-28 in the final minutes of a Monday night game in 1994.

Elway said it was the only time he could remember losing like
that at home in 16 seasons.

Both men said they planned to play extensively in the game,
which will have four 15-minute quarters and be refereed by former
NFL officials.

Elway said he has been working out and can still throw a
football well two years after retiring. "It's the next day that
you feel it," he said.

Montana said: "I know how he works out -- sit-ups, push-ups and
push-aways from the table." Montana, a four-time Super Bowl
champion with the San Francisco 49ers, said he has to do a reality
check when he throws a ball.

"You pick it up and it's the best you ever felt," and thoughts
of playing again pop into his mind, he said. "The next morning it
feels like your arm is going to fall off."

Elway will be joined by more than two dozen former Broncos,
including Floyd Little, Louis Wright, Craig Morton, Rick Upchurch,
Vance Johnson, Randy Gradishar, Karl Mecklenberg, Haven Moses, Otis
Armstrong, Dennis Smith and Steve Atwater.

Montana has Marcus Allen, Roger Craig, Hershel Walker, Tony
Dorsett, Dave Casper, Jan Stenerud, Ray Guy, Lawrence Taylor,
Willie Lanier, Ted Hendricks, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bob Lilly, and
William "Refrigerator" Perry on his roster.

All tickets for the game will cost $30.

Mayor Wellington Webb, who has tangled with the board that built
the new stadium next door because it sold stadium naming rights,
showed reporters new street signs that will be placed along the
road leading to Invesco Field at Mile High.

The street is being renamed "Mile High Stadium Circle Drive."

"As a new city we don't discard our history," Webb said.

Elway compared the destruction of the stadium to a funeral. "At
least we can celebrate the great times we had here," he said.

He said he planned to have fun, especially because he will be
able to call all the plays. But offered one joking caution about
Mile High's famous early-season snowfalls.

"If it snows, I don't play."