A couple days ago I wrote a post, Objectivity Vs. Kool-Aid, and needless to say it generated a ton of conversation. I want to thank all of you for your input and insight, words of encouragement and critiques. The site has grown, in large part, because I take what you all have to say very seriously and want this site to be as much about all of you as it is about me.
What I decided to do was to really look at all the comments and respond to some of the thoughts that seemed to permeate throughout. Hopefully, by addressing all of this here, it will help answer the questions that some of the newer members have as they move forward. Many of you joined MHR during this offseason, with all the upheaval and the shuttering of the Rocky Mountain News. Your only impression of MHR is of how things worked during these crazy times. I figure now that everything is slowing down a bit with 6 weeks to go before Training Camp, that you deserve to find out what the real motivation for MHR is and what I am trying to do.
Buckle up, this is going to be a Looooong post. But please, try and get through it; in the end, it will be well worth it!First, let me start by posting the rules of MHR, that each and every person who created an account, agreed to.
MileHighReport.com is an independent website dedicated to the Denver Broncos. We welcome fans of the Broncos to come to MHR and join other Broncos fans in talking about the Broncos as well as anything else that interests you. We also welcome the fans of other teams to MileHighReport and welcome good-natured smack talk that can go on between fans of opposing teams.
What we will not tolerate at MHR is any personal attack on any member. Have an opinion, state your case, disagree and debate, but keep it about football. Please keep your comments about the topic at hand. "Hijacking" a post will not be tolerated.
The Fan Shots and Fan Posts are yours! Utilize them to make a point, get involved, or just to meet fellow Broncos fans all over the world. We are a community, and like any community your are a part of we take care of each other.
Lastly, please remember this is just a game. Broncos football is a way of life for most of us but let's not lose sight of what we are here for and that is FUN. Enjoy the site, enjoy the game and most importantly enjoy each other.
* Any FanPost or FanShot with vulgarity in the title will BE DELETED, no questions asked
* Any repeat FanPost will be deleted. FanPosts that are nothing but Links, with text to meet the 75-word requirement will be deleted. If you come across news and want to post the link, USE THE FANSHOT SECTION! That is what it is there for!
* FanPosts that are misleading will be deleted. People come to MHR for their Broncos news and the integrity of the site will not be compromised because you want to be a stand-up comedian.
* Any comments that personally attack any other member will be deleted and the member warned.
* Any post or comment that refers to a player, coach or other prominent figure in a derogatory way(name calling) will be deleted. We are all adults, act like it.
* Openly wishing or hoping that the Broncos fail tells me you are not a Broncos fan. At that point you are a Troll and will be dealt with appropriately.
***IMPORTANT*** These rules are in effect for everyone. Whether you have been with us from the beginning or are a brand new member, there is no favoritism here. There are no cliques. MHR has reached the point it has by being different than message boards, a cut above so to speak. I will not let us become the RMN or DP comment section, or a message board.
I have put these guidelines front and center so you can have a basis for what I am thinking. A couple of thoughts about the guidelines. When you really look at it, it comes down to 2 important things --
1. Be Respectful of Each Other -- That encompasses personal attacks, being open to different ideas and beliefs. It also means that whether the comment comes from me, or someone that created an account 5 minutes ago, we are all treated with the same respect.
2. Act Like an Adult -- This encompasses how you get your point across. None of the contributors have a problem if you disagree with us, and no one will care if you are critical of the Broncos (coaches or players) if you do it in a mature fashion. Creating derogatory terms from someone's last name isn't being respectful and just doesn't add anything to the site.
To be clear -- You can be critical of Josh McDaniels without being disrespectful.
So, as you can see, there is nothing, not one thing, in the Guidelines that discourage being critical of the team, the front office, the coaches or the players. Not one thing. I am repeating it because it seems to be a belief that I think the words FAN, POSITIVE, AGREE WITH ME, NEVER BE CRITICAL OF THE BRONCOS are synonyms for each other. THEY ARE NOT! I want the criticism to be constructive. Put some thought behind it!
Now, let's get to the thoughts that were permeating throughout the Objectivity thread from a couple days ago. I am going to copy some of the comment text, but I AM NOT SINGLING ANYONE OUT!!!
Comment -- I’m a huge Bronco fan and I disagree with several things The Coach has done. Am I not allowed to express this kind of opinion?
Of course you can! Be critical! One suggestion I would give, because this is how I manage people working for me, is to come up with solutions. Don't just bring a bunch of problems to the table. We all know the defense was awful last season. What can be done to fix it? Don't like a certain move a coach makes? What should he have done to do it better.
Constructive Criticism is always a good thing. Try not to just bring problems; try and formulate solutions.
Comment -- If your opinion is "DENVER IS TERRIBLE BECAUSE MCD RAN OUT A PRO BOWL QB", that’s fine, as long as you base your opinion off the fact that denver will, in fact, be a terrible team because either McDaniels doesn’t have the people skills to keep his players united or that denver will be terrible because they have no pro bowl qb.
The comment above was used as an example, and wasn't the belief of the person saying it, but it is the perfect way to explain my next point, and possibly the biggest misconceptions there are about MHR. You do not have to back up every thought or opinion you have with some kind of fact. We are all fanatics and with that comes irrational thoughts at times. Sometimes, you just want to vent and get something off your chest. MHR is the place to do that.
The FanPost section is at your disposal for this. As long as you follow the guidelines above, say what you feel. The most important thing, however, is to avoid taking responses or comments personally. Riding the fence is easy, if you pick a side you will invariably have those who agree with you and those that disagree. Debate, talk about it, but keep it business.
I, for one, like to see if the opinions or ideas I have can be backed up by some kind of data. What I am not, however, is a stats guy. Like many of you, I feel stats can be twisted and turned to fit any argument I want. The only numbers that matter to me, in the end, are the ones located in the W/L columns. Stats are a part of the journey, not the destination.
Comment -- I’ve tried in the past, but there are 2 reasons why I don’t do it.
1. Why spend hours preparing a post that will get completely ignored? None of the La-La crowd will rec it and most people will never see it because it will never hit the front page.
2. I don’t like focusing on proving people wrong. I don’t like expending energy hating on the Broncos. I just want to be able to read some thoughtful, smart analysis that doesn’t ultimately feel like apologist propaganda.
There is no doubt, being critical is much harder than being positive. That's because this is a fan site, and by the nature of fans they are going to try and look at the bright side of things. Sports is a release, a getaway for people. No matter what is happening in each of our lives, we use the Broncos as a way to get away from it all. Not many people chose to go on vacation to a place it rains all the time. The same could be said here.
Now, that doesn't mean it gets ignored. I try to think outside the box. When the Broncos make a move I disagree with, I try and ask myself, "Why? Why would they make that move?" I get differing opinions, then come to my own conclusion. I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE everyone to post FanPosts, whether it's those of you in La-La Land or those who are not. Do not get discouraged, and if you feel like you are getting wrongly attacked for your position, email me -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment -- La-La Land, the 13-3 army, and their place here.
This really wasn't a comment, but a generalization of MHR that has been floating around for awhile. MileHighReport is not a "supporter" of the La-La Land inhabitants, per se. Meaning, I am not a full-blown member of the 13-3 gang. Do I hope and wish the Broncos go 13-3 in 2009? Hell yes! Do I think they will? No, I do not. That is the beauty of MHR. If I really ruled with an iron fist, I wouldn't let these guys have a voice because they disagree with me. I do, and always will. Just like anyone who thinks the Broncos will go 6-10.
Of course, as a Broncos fan, one is much more fun to talk about, and to dream of, and to look forward to. Be honest, how much fun is it to look forward to a season when everyone talks about the team going 4-12? At 8-8 last year, the Broncos were closer to 4-12 than 13-3. That doesn't mean there isn't a place for both to coexist.
Comment -- Why does "Positive" have to be the default attitude of a fan? Having a "Neutral", or even "Prove it to me" attitude about an unknown coach or player is perfectly acceptable. Especially if I feel they have made some mistakes, I want them to prove to me that they were right.
I’ll be the happiest guy on the planet if I’m wrong, but I’m not going to just blindly believe trading next year’s #1 for a nickel corner was a genius move just because the guy who did it happens to get his paycheck from the Broncos. What would you be thinking if Al Davis had made that move? Be honest. And just saying "it wasn’t unprecedented" doesn’t mean it was a good idea.
This is another great example, and something that has been a hotbed for conversation since the draft. I'll start from the top. I agree 100% with it being OK to have a "Prove-it" attitude. In fact, when it came to Jay Cutler, I was a big-time "Prove It" guy. Win a big game, and I'll give you the keys to Elway's locker. That was my thought then. So, as stated previously, the definition of being a fan is NOT being a drone.
Now, as for the Alphonso Smith pick, involving the trade of next year's 1st-Round selection. This was one of those moments when I asked myself "Why? Why would they do that." The easy answer, and the one given by the MSM, was that Xanders and McDaniels got played, raked over the coals by the Seahawks. Perhaps.
Let's think outside the box for a minute. Do not, for one second, think economics is not a factor. The Broncos had two first-rounders in 2010, one possibly very high. Pat Bowlen has no desire to pay a huge singing bonus, possibly twice. Depending where, high draft picks are impossible to trade, so why take the chance? The Broncos saw a player they felt was a first-round talent and wanted to rid themselves of the expense of a first-round pick in 2010. As much as fans hate to hear financial concerns are a reason for decisions like this, it's a fact.
Is that the reason? Maybe not, but it at least puts some thought behind the Why? instead of widening a divide in the fan base.
Comment -- I would like to see more hard analysis about what the team does instead of the rosy view all the time.
Great point. Trust me, it is simply irony to the fullest that all the contributors are somewhat on board with what has happened this offseason. Speaking only for myself, I can't take a harder line on many of the decisions because I really agree with them.
I felt, at the time, that Shanny's tenure in Denver had gotten old. The team was becoming more about individuals, not about TEAM. Shanny was involved in several things off the field, including a new restaurant. That is his right, and probably didn't affect his performance, but I wanted a guy that lived football 24/7.
I also thought Shanny was a victim of his own success, and the weight of that had become unbearable. He was fighting a hopeless cause, because every year was Super Bowl-or-bust.
I like Josh McDaniels. I liked him before he was hired by the Broncos. My wife is a Bostonian and a Patriots fan and I have watched every Pats game over the last 8 years. I have seen the way this guy does his thing, how he coached Tom Brady and Matt Cassel and how he handled himself, even with Bill Belichick. I am also a Northeast Ohio guy, and can see John Carroll University (where McDaniels played WR) from my office window. I had this respect for McDaniels BEFORE he was hired by the Broncos.
As for the Cutler saga, it was hard to see him go, but as I stated many times, in type and on MHR Radio, he always seemed an awkward fit. That is just how I feel. It was how I felt when he was a Bronco. Did the team become less talented individually? Yes. Will they be a better, more close-knit team now? We'll find out.
These are just some of the 330+ comments in that post. Again, I thank everyone and truly appreciate it. People that attack from afar show their true colors, and everyone who is a part of this site, and commented in hopes of making it a better place, showed the class you all have.
I am hoping to put these issues to bed now, and move on with the task of getting ready for the 2009 season. The Broncos are getting ready, and we need to as well, as a community of Broncos fans. Let's try and become stronger as a fan base and community. It is only a matter of time before the real antagonists invade MHR. In just over 90 days, the Broncos and Bengals kick off the 2009 regular season. Will you be ready?
Oh, yeah - one more thing. I told you reading the whole post would be worth it. MHR Radio returns tomorrow night (Thursday Night) at 7pm EST / 5pm MST) at its new home -- BlogTalkRadio. You can visit the MHR Radio page Here!