(Illustration by Guy Stauber)
Moments before the Broncos kicked off against the Chiefs on Dec. 1, Denver Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno had a moment to remember. As the national anthem blasted from the stadium's speakers, tears streaked down Moreno's face. It prompted the question: What could bring a running back in the midst of a breakout year on one of the best teams in the NFL to tears?
In this week's issue of Sports Illustrated, senior writer Tim Layden finds the truth behind Moreno's tears.
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"You saw those tears and you wondered, What makes a player cry like that before a game? Especially a player like Knowshon Moreno, who is finally thriving in the NFL," Layden writes. "In addition to his rushing stats, he caught 60 passes for 548 yards, by far the best in his career, and three more TDs. And he did this for a team with 13 wins and home field for as long as it survives in the AFC playoffs -- Denver will face the Chargers on Jan. 12 -- peaking- with a 37-carry, 224-yard game in the bitter cold against the Patriots on Nov. 24."
"It’s always been that way for me, all the way back to high school and college," Moreno said of the emotional moment. "During the anthem it’s always quiet and still, so I take in the moment and say a little prayer. Usually there’s no camera on me. I thank the Lord for letting me play the game. I thank Him for everything. I run through my whole life right there at that moment. Even the bad stuff."
The No. 1-seeded Broncos play the sixth-seeded Chargers in the NFL divisional round on Sunday, Jan. 12.