Aside from the Denver Broncos themselves - the team which provides us the reason for coming here every day - it is the authors putting their heart and soul to pen and paper (or, keyboard and the Interwebs) who keep this site moving.
Their willingness to spend what little free time they have researching, writing, editing - and sometimes defending - is a monumental effort that can sometimes go under-appreciated by the masses but is the backbone for a blog site to survive.
Without content, there is no comment. Recognizing that fact - and being willing to provide it no matter the amount of praise or scorn - is what drives a good author. It is their unwavering desire to educate - and often learn with - an audience.
Though the criteria for this award was any former author who had been a writer for at least a year, it goes without saying that those enshrined here should be passionate about the team and its fans. For those two reasons more than any, there could not be a better choice than Kaptain Kirk as this year's inductee.
Winners in the Author and Member categories will receive a bonafide plaque from MHR to honor this outstanding nomination and enshrinement by their peers. We have also asked them to do a Q&A as part of their "acceptance speech" so we can all appreciate a little more their love for this team and this site.
How did you "become" a Broncos fan?
First. I'd like to thank the Academy... Oops, wrong speech.
I became a Bronco fan in the late 70s, when my family moved to Colorado from southern California. The Orange Crush defense - and just the way Coloradans felt about the Broncos - sucked me right in. Since to that point I had favorite players to watch but no team affiliation, and I was already a Raider hater, it was a natural process to become a diehard Broncos fan.
When were you a writer at MHR and what were your favorite posts to write?
Mile High Report is a community where I have always been welcome. From the first attempted comment I made (that was actually a post), all the way to the present. I started lurking here in March of 2009. I had seen a link to this site on the Yahoo Broncos page.
The final Kaptain's Log of 2014
The end of Training Camp must come; here is Kaptain Kirk's final take on the Broncos' TC.
After a few weeks, I created an account and began participating at the best, most knowledgeable Broncos fellowship I have ever seen. To date, I have yet to see anything close to the discussion and trading of knowledge, opinion and fraternity that exists here. For that reason, I will always feel like I am back in a familiar easy chair when I visit, which isn't as often as I might like.
What you may not know is that I was hospitalized back in June 2006 and almost lost my life on a few different occasions. I went through three bouts of aspiration pneumonia, severe malnutrition, and my liver and kidneys were shutting down almost to the point of dialysis. I was hospitalized off and on for the next two and a half years, with an eight-month stay as the longest stretch.
I had to relearn to walk three times, had six months of swallow therapy because I was tube-fed (G-tube in my stomach) for over a year. It turned out that I got Lupus, a chronic immune disease where the body attacks the organs.
It took quite awhile for me to return to the living, as it were. It was at this point when I was starting to care about other things - beside actually fighting for my life - that I discovered MHR.
After a few months of hanging around MHR, I decided to start increasing my knowledge on football and the Broncos in particular. I emailed a few of the staff at that time and asked if I wrote on something (whatever was on my mind at the time), if I would be stepping on anyone's toes. I really liked this place and treated the site like it was mine. I got the green light to do whatever I wanted, within the framework of the rules on site, of course.
So I began doing research into the areas that I wanted to learn more about (and no one else seemed to be writing about) and just shared what I had learned in a post. More and more people were liking what I wrote, so I began writing larger projects and pretty soon, the momentum turned perpetual. I was having fun and enjoyed the receptiveness of the community.
So we come to the next chapter. I decided to attend Broncos training camp at Dove Valley that summer. I live in Colorado Springs, and it is a 50-60 mile drive to and from the training complex. At the time, it was a bold thought - but exactly what I needed.
The day of camp, I met Don Fleming, aka "firstfan," and a kid named Joe whose last name defeats my reckoning. We sat together and as I had planned to take notes to share, I got out my pen and notebook. The terrific thing about us sitting together was that we could all watch different things and when I didn't quite see everything the other two would comment aloud on what happened and also what they saw. So like a madman, I wrote down what they were seeing too.
That first year I think I attended nine out of the 16 practices. Since then, I've only missed one or two. I wrote my training camp reports as if the reader were sitting next to me, and I was narrating everything they would see. Needless to say, the Kaptain's Log Training Camp reports were extremely popular posts and probably my favorite to write.
A short time after that, there was a schism among some of the staff about the way John Bena ran the site, which caused four staff members to quit and start their own place. Another writer was drawn away by a career advancement that he had been striving for and one that wouldn't allow time to contribute any longer. So a new influx of contributors were brought on, me being one of them.
Since I left MHR to join Broncoplanet, the staff has continued the care-taking of this site. John Bena, who started this arena in 2005-06, once told me that this site was a living organism and it would go on long after both of us had moved on, as long as there were passionate fans willing its existence. I see that his words were prophetic.
What is your favorite thing - and most frustrating part - about cheering for this team every year?
The highs and lows of the entire process that is the football season is what I look forward to each year. Scouting prospects, the draft and training camp might be my favorite parts. The season is just the ice cream. But then the playoffs come and that's where the cherry is. The goal for each campaign is near and will they or won't they achieve the ultimate prize?
To me, the regular season is like the icing on the cake - I just enjoy the game. Win or lose, there is always something to write about. I still get excited when the Broncos win, but since we all know the extreme difficulty in an undefeated season, I don't let the losses ruin my entire week.
In fact, each year sees me shrug off the setbacks a little easier. I'm not sure if that's the Prozac, but my point is, there are so many variables in each football play, much less game or season, that trying to play fantasy football manager and expect a certain amount of points every single time, is just nonsensical.
People often forget about the human element, which is the most important factor and the real reason we are so attracted to the sport. Injuries happen. Bad plays happen. Sometimes the other team is actually that much better or has its act together more.
What is your prediction for this season?
As far as predicting the Broncos record for 2015, I don't do that anymore. They were the best team in the league and truly should have won their third Lombardi in 2013.
So for me, I don't have any expectations on how many games they will win or lose. That is how I enjoy the season. Despite having the same goal each year, every new season brings a different journey, and I am along for the ride.
The only things I expect are that John Elway will field a competitive team as best he can within the salary cap and that Gary Kubiak will teach the players how to pursue a Super Bowl ring. The rest is up to them, as well as the overall health of the team.
Anyway, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this honor. I am only a small cog in the big wheel of life, and if my presence has brought a laugh or good feelings from anyone here, it's a good thing.