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MHR Staff Off-the-Snap: Ian St. Clair

Get to know the newest member of the MHR Staff, Ian St. Clair!

Name: Ian St. Clair

MHR Member Since: December 2015

MHR Staff Since: December 2015

Bio: How big of a fan am I? Fact: I got the Denver Broncos in my wedding vows. "I promise to always be a fan of the Broncos," my hot future wife said. I've no doubt taken the love for the Broncos passed on from my mom to unprecedented heights. I don't think she realized, still realizes, the orange monster she created in the early 1980s. But there was no other way for it to play out.

Not just because I'm a third-generation, lifelong Broncos fan, but because I grew up in Greeley. Since I can remember, I was at the University of Northern Colorado campus for training camp doing anything and everything I could to get autographs. Watching them put in the work to become the best team in the NFL. Then if we went to the Smiling Moose, or anywhere near campus, you would see John Elway, Tom Jackson and Karl Mecklenburg. As a kid, it was surreal. That's a common narrative over the course of my life as a Broncos fan/writer. I remember as a kid my parents having friends over for the Super Bowl completely stoked and ready for the game. "This is the year." By the second quarter, everyone got incredibly quiet. That was another common theme, save for those two wins in 1997 and '98.

Oh, those two wins. I still get chills, and a little teary, when I think of Dave Logan's call. "You can stand up and salute, Denver. You got the world champions." She never said it, but I know my mom would have done anything to have her dad there to experience and see that. When John Mobley knocked down that fourth-down pass, in unison Broncos Country leapt out of its seats. The next season was the greatest in Broncos' history capped by a Super Bowl route.

Six years later, I got two surreal moments that involved the Broncos. As a journalism student at the Harvard of Weld County (UNC), I was an intern at the Fort Collins Coloradoan (as a Colorado native that drives me nuts) in 2004. That summer Elway held his celebrity golf tournament at the Omni Interlocken in Broomfield. That also was the year Elway got inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I was tasked with getting quotes from athletes on Elway. Charles Barkley. Dave Krieg. Mark Rypien. From his former teammates and coaches. David Diaz-Infante. Terrell Davis. Mike Shanahan. All of a sudden, Elway starts to walk onto the practice green. I turn around and there are fans six-deep on the sidewalk just to get a glimpse. I then somehow asked a few questions. "Is this real?" I asked myself. Later that summer, I covered my first Broncos game - a preseason game against the Houston Texans. It didn't matter it was a meaningless game. I was covering the Broncos. The first surreal moment came when I walked into the press box. Then again when I walked onto the field for the first time. The next when I took my first step into the locker room. "Hey, that's Rod Smith?" In that moment, I thought of my grandfather and how proud he would have been. "Is this real?"

"I promise to always be a fan of the Broncos," my hot future wife said.

I covered the Broncos for two years before my first full-time job in journalism. In my professional career, I've held every position in a newsroom save for photographer. Two years ago, I made the jump to Internet marketing. It was because of that move I finally could heed what people had told me for years and I created a Broncos blog, Hardcore Orange. That led me to Predominantly Orange, BSN Denver and now to MHR.

Am I fan? Obviously. Am I a fan when I write? I do so without the orange and blue goggles. Broncos Country deserves nothing less than honest analysis. After all, it is a way of life.

Favorite Broncos Post: In January before Wade Phillips was hired by the Broncos as their defensive coordinator, I wrote a column: Wade Phillips is good for the Broncos not bad. That was when some said they wanted no part of the hire. Everything I said in that column has been proven true. But that's not why it's my favorite post. Shortly after I published the story and sent it out on Twitter, I got a response from someone with the handle @sonofbum, and then they followed me. I double taked, and thought to myself, "No way." I read the tweet and then clicked on his profile. Yep, response to my column and followed by Wade Phillips.

Favorite Story: In Nov. 2010 I worked for the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in Cheyenne. I heard about a sophomore who broke his neck at wrestling practice at the new Cheyenne South High. I knew I had to do the story. To give him and his family time, I didn't meet Isaac Salas and his mother until the end of April in 2011 at Craig Hospital. Every Friday until early August, I made the trek from Cheyenne to Craig Hospital to spend time with Isaac. I was there for the darkest of times when he wanted to give up and the brightest of times when he finally got out of his room and could cruise for chicks at a state park in west Denver. I was there when he was able to leave the hospital and go home. I was in the van. I had the series written and was ready for first edits when I ran into Isaac's grandfather on Saturday, Sept. 3 at Walmart. I told him the series would publish in a few weeks. He was his typical jovial self and told me that Isaac had to go back to the hospital but it wasn't anything serious. I woke up the next morning, my first wedding anniversary, to the news Isaac had died. To this day, as I write this, I tear up when I think about it. I knew I had to tell Isaac's story. So I did. I incorporated moments of the past with the present to write the series.

Part I

Part II