Through grief, former Broncos quarterback creates a home
Judi Griese died when Brian was 12 years old. He remembers his mom as someone who was always finding a way to help others. Brian Griese had a hard time accepting her death.
“The thing that I don’t think people realize is when you lose somebody it impacts you in a way that is so powerful, that it doesn’t leave, ever,” he said.
Unable to properly grieve his mother’s death as a child, Griese says he became introverted as an adult. When faced with criticism on the football field, he isolated himself even more.
He explained it like this: “I didn’t have anywhere to turn, so I had to figure out a way on my own. And that became my survival mechanism, and unfortunately, kind of painted the career that I had for the Broncos.”
I still consider Brian Griese a Denver Bronco. I always will. The same goes with Jake Plummer. In fact, any quarterback that leads the Broncos to the playoffs makes my list of great Broncos quarterbacks (I've got my eyes on you, Tebow). Thankfully, I don't have to claim Jay Cutler.
Griese once suffered a third-degree separated shoulder in the first quarter of a game against the Raiders in 2000. He remained in the game and led the Broncos to a comeback victory. It was so freaking epic, I remember getting goosebumps watching him play with that much pain.
Throughout his five seasons as a Bronco, Griese fought the "aloof" moniker. Here's the thing--it was true. Griese has spoken about his time in Denver before, but in this piece, he comes right out and admits his introverted nature--as a result of his mother's death--came to define his time in Denver.
Most of the article talks about Griese's work with his foundation, but I continue to love Griese's honesty and the insight into his career as a Bronco.