Highlighting the MHR members who have been voted into the 2015 Hall of Fame in the middle of the season seems very appropriate given that these three have been among the site's leaders for both knowledgeable and sensible commentary - particularly in threads with a lot of sensitive debate.
Just this past week all three were highly involved in what could almost be described as group therapy as fans here discussed, debated, questioned and possibly even relaxed a little over the state of our 6-0 Broncos.
A big Mile High Salute to all the members who make Mile High Report the community it is, and an extra Emmanuel Sanders bow for McGeorge, Shasta77 and Whorfin for their selection to the 2014-15 Hall of Fame.
joined May 2009
McGeorge got his first taste of Broncos football at age 4 when Elway was drafted and he and his dad would talk about the future Hall-of-Famer.
"I never had a choice," says the Colorado native. "I was born into being a Broncos fan."
And even all these years later, McGeorge admits to still getting "butterflies" before Broncos games.
"I look forward to them all week, and the game itself is an intense experience for me," he says, adding that as a former athlete, Broncos games help satisfy his desire for competition. "I yell, I jump up and down, I curse, I revel and I'm laser-focused on what is happening. I win and lose with the Broncos."
So far that has meant McGeorge is 6-0 this season, but he anticipates finishing 11-5 and an early exit from the playoffs.
"We lose our first playoff game," McGeorge predicts. "Manning's body will fail him later in the season as his core muscles are over-taxed and his effectiveness wanes due to overuse. It will be a lot like the end of 2014. Our window to win the Super Bowl closed last season. It's a bummer."
While that may seem rather pessimistic for some, McGeorge has a reputation at MHR for being a straight-shooter, whether it is popular or not. In fact, it was an unpopular opinion that inspired McGeorge to write his first fanpost - a critique of Josh McDaniels, who (hard to imagine now) was a favorite of MHR's leadership.
"I had great respect for Ted Bartlett, Doug Lee and TJ as writers and thinkers. Unfortunately, I wasn't wrong on McJedi and they were underestimating his inexperience as well as the notion that Bilicheat's coaching tree bares only rotten fruit (Weis, Crennel, McJedi, ManGenius, Bill O'Brien, etc)," McGeorge says. "I really did want to pick a fight with Broncos fans I was sure had their heads purposefully buried in the sand. I like to argue, and I enjoy confrontation. A battle of wits, if you will."
This confrontational - but often correct - trait of McGeorge's is a big part of his nomination for the Hall of Fame.
"Many of us don't always agree with him because he speaks a lot of truth not many Broncos fans want to hear, but he has a lot of knowledge and always backs up his arguments with thought, facts and foresight - and he's not often incorrect," wrote Broncs55 in his nomination.
One of McGeorge's favorite parts of MHR is Horse Tracks because he doesn't "like having to stay on topic if the conversation drifts astray."
"I'd rather discuss last night's episode of Game of Thrones, the 2nd Amendment or best ski area in Colorado," he notes. "I also like the injury report and yellow banner update posts because I get my actual facts from MHR instead of an outlet like the Denver Post."
One thing you will never catch McGeorge talking about at MHR - or anywhere - is fantasy football. He hates it. No wait, he HATES it.
"Rooting for an individual's stat accumulation over the goals and successes of his team in a team sport is madness to me and ruins the sport. When Tom Brady threw his 400th TD and the WR tossed the ball into the stands, Brady said, ‘It's just a ball and it's just a stat.' He's right. A TD is just a number."
But a team, like the Broncos, aiming to win together is a massive feat.
"The NFL is a team sport - a game where 11 guys need to row in one direction in order to enjoy cohesive performance and team success. Seeing so many fans today getting bent that Hillman scored instead of DT, that Manning only had 1 TD pass in a low scoring win...having to root for Phil Rivers to throw multiple TDs vs the Saints... I HATE IT," McGeorge says. "I'm a football fan to the core. I love the Broncos because I love NFL football, and Denver is my favorite and ONLY NFL football team."
joined November 2010
Shasta77 has some serious street cred on MHR and it's due in part to his strong Orange & Blue bloodline, but it's his respectful commentary that has earned him a reputation for solid analysis time and time again.
Stay22's nomination put it perfectly: ""He has one of the highest football IQ's here. He shares his knowledge gracefully."
And if you didn't know Shasta77 before this weekend, then you most certainly know him now. Or at least you know exactly why he was chosen by his peers and this staff as a member of the Hall of Fame - for his thought-provoking, intelligent analysis of the game of football.
This no doubt was instilled in him at a very young age when he learned to play the game - and break it down on film - from his father, both a player and coach himself (and who happens to be in the Oregon Hall of Fame).
"I love film breakdown," he admits. "As a coach's son, it's in my blood."
That was nowhere more apparent than his explainer of the current Broncos offense and why it is struggling. If you somehow skipped over that article, don't waste another second, and go read it now. You'll learn something, we promise.
And that opportunity - to share thoughts and learn from others - is what prompted Shasta to get involved at MHR.
"I stumbled into MHR during Tebow Time," he says. "I love both the passion and astute observations of the community, and being able to toss my thoughts/learnings into the mix."
The coach's son sees improvement on the horizon for our beloved Broncos, so rest easy knowing it can get better:
"The offense is starting to find itself, admittedly slower than I anticipated. But since the Vikings game, we are seeing more running lanes and running backs aren't missing them (especially Hillman); the pass protection has improved every week as well. The passing game still looks lost at times (both receivers and QB), so if we can add a few elements that help decongest the passing lanes (crossing routes, return to the Moore route combinations, use the RBs/TEs/Slot receivers to spread the defense, etc.) I think we'll see our passing game establish a rhythm. Going more no huddle would help this as well. I think we'll get there."
Shasta was born into his Broncos fandom, but it wasn't hard for him to buy in.
"That first meeting of Floyd Little sealed the deal," he says, adding that his favorite thing about the Broncos is watching players become great. "Watching talent development - the BMarsh's, Danny T's, etc., who came from nowhere to shine in starting roles."
Speaking of those players, the Broncos' defense is what will get the team its coveted championship. Shasta is confident of that.
"The defense will determine how far we go in the playoffs for the first time in a very long time. But the offense will do enough to make that possible. Based on what we've seen from that defensive group so far, I think they help Elway bring another Lombardi to Dove Valley," Shasta says. "And Manning will shake off the avalanche of criticism and help this offense find a groove in the second-half of the season to go out on top - just like Elway, next stop Canton."
joined October 2011
Known around MHR (or at least on the CIWT) as the Grand Inquisitor of the Directorate of Homerism, Whorfin represents everything that is good about this community - a knowledgeable football fan who doesn't mind allowing his optimism and love for the Broncos to go above and beyond normal homerism. Because, as he likes to say, "worry is imagination ill-used," so it's better to focus on 19-0...and adjust accordingly.
Whorfin's influence is nowhere more seen than in the daily MHR polls. With an unhealthy penchant for the "all-of-the-above" option, Whorfin has not only convinced many a pollster to include it (even when it makes no sense), but the option itself has just become known as the "Whorfin" option.
And any poll without usually incites a tantrum in the comments - both real and imagined (queue the gif, prodigal!)
As if this is not enough, "Whorfin" is apparently also the name of an "everything pizza" at Broncodano's local pizza joint. Our "Whorfin" is no longer just name, he's a brand.
But if there were ever a brand we would want associated with Mile High Report and the Broncos, it would have to be Whorfin. His optimism is embodied best in his famous "19-0, baby!" every season, including this one...even after the Broncos may lose.
"Anything else is defeatism, and defeatism must be, um, well...defeated. Would I bet money on it? Probably not," he says, adding that he learned his lesson after the Broncos lost to the Cowboys in the 1977 Super Bowl. "I was sooo PO'd, I paid that one off in pennies. In a paper lunch bag. Dropped on a desk. I haven't bet on them since."
But for the naysayers, Whorfin has a retort.
"The Dolphins did it, the Patri*ts almost did it, why not the Broncos?" he adds. "I start every game anticipating a Broncos win, because a win would make me happy. I can't conceive of expecting a loss. What's the point of devoting three hours to something I expect to disappoint me?"
That's probably why his favorite kinds of posts at MHR are "happy ones."
"The NFL is, after all, entertainment, and I want my entertainment to make me happy," Whorfin said, noting that MHR is a key component to his entertainment value from the Broncos. "The challenge arises when the season is not turning out to be a happy one. I look for the silver linings in all clouds, and then focus on those almost to the exclusion of all else. I'm not obtuse to the apparent shortcomings of the team, I simply choose to not dwell on those things that don't contribute to being happy."
But Whorfin will not shy away from a debate either.
"If there's a point I feel that needs to be made and has yet to be made, I'll make it," he says, or he will rec someone else who has already made it. "Otherwise, I post stuff that cracks me up. Sometimes I post stuff that cracks other people up. Blind Squirrel Syndrome, and all. Oh, and b***h-slapping trollmites. That's fun."
Stay22 seconded that view in his nomination: "Whorfin is a cornerstone of this community. A master of font manipulation and can always make me laugh. He's even fun to fight beside when the trolls invade."
Whorfin became a Broncos fan via "conversion by the sword," thanks to his older brother.
"I came home from kindergarten one day spouting off about the Cowboys and how great they were. (I had fallen victim to the false teachings of a friend at school)," Whorfin said. "My brother, six years my senior and a rabid Broncos fan, beat me until I bled Orange and Blue. That was over 50 years ago, and I still do to this day."
For much of those early years (before ESPN, satellite TV and sports bars), Whorfin couldn't get Broncos news except through occasional weekly highlights.
Now that he is "in-market," Whorfin uses MHR for "in-depth analysis of my favorite pastime." He was attracted to the blog several years ago because of its content but mostly for its community.
"The ‘best' part is the continuity of the community. Sure, there have been some changes, people come and go, but by and large, there is a constancy that is comfortable," he says. "Although interweb boards reduce us all to anonymous avatars, I have come to ‘know' and appreciate the actual people behind a lot of them. Living in the middle of nowhere (not really, but you can see it from my deck), and as an avowed hermit, MHR satisfies my need for human interaction."
Such interaction is one of the things that has separated MHR from other Broncos sites and blogs for many a Broncos fan. As Whorfin notes, the articles were often a "springboard " for commentary that could add context and depth of knowledge.
"The whole is greater than the sum of the parts," Whorfin says of MHR. "Despite my best efforts, I have learned about the team and the game at an exponential rate."
Stay tuned for more Class of 2014-15 Hall of Fame announcements in the days ahead...
Sportspersons of the Year
Class of 2013-14
Class of 2014-15
Class of 2013-14
Class of 2014-15
Kaptain Kirk (2013-14)