The best part of the Mile High Report Hall of Fame is the opportunity to recognize the best of the best among our readers and contributors. It's the equivalent of a Pro Football Fans Hall of Fame (which should totally be a thing, by the way).
But since it's not (and let's be honest, would there be any other team's fans we'd want to honor?), we will come as close as possible by saluting members who have been chosen by their peers for outstanding communication, education and often wit when it comes to contributing on the site and ultimately to Broncos Country as a whole.
The mantra for the Hall of Fame - and for Mile High Report in general - is "for Broncos fans, by Broncos fans" and it really holds true. Because of MHR's members, all of us learn a lot more about our team as well as football in general - and often quite a bit about each other - in the various discussions and debates.
Many times the conversations are hilarious, almost always they are educational and occasionally they are heated. But in the end, we (mostly) remember we all cheer for the Orange and Blue - and therefore each other too. There is no greater place on the Internet to meet with fellow fans to cheer on our favorite team, cry together after losses and then pick each other back up to do it all over again next week ... or next season.
So here's a huge Mile High Salute, as well as a big thank you, to j-man, ozark_orange and sadaraine for truly representing what it means to be a Hall of Fame member - always aiming to educate as well as learn from the beloved Broncos Country audience.
Nomination received 76 recs
With more than double the recs of any other candidate, j-man even garnered a nomination from Marcus Allen Krause - a Raiders fan - via an entire Fanpost:
"This outsider's opinion is that j-man is a champion...j-man straddles that fine line perfectly by saying his opinions, both good and bad, in a very respectful way that encourages debate and conversation. I have never witnessed a bad word towards a member even after an insult or insensitive comment."
In fact, j-man has been popular at a lot rival SBNation blogs, getting recs from several commenters from around the league in his nomination. Though a member at MHR since 2009, j-man spends a lot of time on other blogs too talking and debating with fans. The welcoming spirit from the MHR community all those years ago has kept him coming back.
"First of all, it's a great honor to be in the MHR Hall of Fame, to see MHR grow from John Bena, Kaptain Kirk, Jeremy Bolander to this staff. MHR has been wonderful to me," j-man said.
j-man became a Broncos fan partly for their uniform colors, partly for the Rocky Mountains and partly because of the rabid fan base.
"The part I like best is the butterflies I get before each game and how I'm really happy or sad for about two hours after the game," j-man noted, admitting that he cried a time or two after a Broncos loss when he was a kid.
The most frustrating part of being a Broncos fan is watching the close ones get away, like the Baltimore game in 2012-13, the Super Bowl in 2013-14 and wearing Manning down last year.
"It's just I want to see Mr. Bowlen win one more SB while he can still enjoy it," j-man said.
Nomination = 22 recs
Ozark was nominated by Bradfather because she "makes me a better reporter, knowing things I don't know," and the nomination was quickly heralded by Whorfin: "Absolutely. Queen of the CBA and maven of all things contractual."
A regular commenter on Calikula's Imperial Weekly Thread as well as throughout the site on posts of all kinds, Ozark doubles as MHR's resident capologist. Want to know who is still under contract and for how much? Ask Ozark. Curious what happens to the salary cap when a player gets hurt? Talk to Ozark. Need someone to keep the boys in line - or join in the revelry - over on the CIWT? Yep, Ozark.
A member at MHR just since 2013, Ozark had 8,197 comments at the time of nominations, had written 17 fanposts/fanshots and had garnered 22 recs for her nomination. She has since doubled the number of comments and added 11 more posts to her MHR resumé.
But true to her unassuming style, Ozark's humble acceptance of the nomination last July pointed to one of the reasons she is appreciated by so many on this site:
"Too many other outstanding nominees who have been here a lot longer and contributed a lot more. Give me time though. I think over 8,000 comments in a little over a year shows I'm seriously into MHR! ... I'm confident that very deserving candidates will be chosen for the inaugural class."
And it turned out that she has rightfully been named one of them.
Joining Ozark and j-man as first ballot Hall of Famers, Sadaraine has been at MHR since 2008, bringing much entertainment and knowledge to the site with his regular "No Bull Review."
Nomination = 29 recs
"No Bull, enough said," writes Topher Doll. Big Pete agrees, saying, "He's first-ballot material for sure."
Now a staff member at MHR (and incidentally did not vote during the staff selection process since he was a member at the time of the nominations and elected based on that qualification), Sadaraine was drawn to MHR because of the information.
"I loved the learning aspect of MHR and was so excited to be able to ask questions of people who understood the game a much higher level than I - Stygg, Steve, Ted and others," he said. "The discussions that stem from the articles really help me to learn more about this wonderful game."
Employed in IT, it took a while for sadaraine to build up his confidence to post, but now it's something he encourages all members to do.
"I have always loved reading about the insights on games by others and the discussions that stem from them. Once I learned enough to not feel like a complete idiot writing an article, it was a natural step for me," he said, noting it used to be a "very intensive process" but has gotten easier. "I always encourage everyone in the community to post their stuff as it is what makes MHR so much better than any other site on the Internet."
Sadaraine became a Broncos fan, thanks to his step dad, while a pre-teen during John Elway's Super Bowl years. Bleeding orange and blue ever since, sadaraine continues to love the learning aspect of football because, as an IT guy who loves to know how things work, there is always more to find out.
"I want to thank this great community for what I consider a very high honor," Sadaraine said. "There is no greater place on the Internet for Broncos fans and to be voted into its inaugural HOF means a great deal to me. I look forward to this year's voting as there are at least a dozen members I can think off the top of my head who deserve this as much if not more than I do."
Congratulations and a big Mile High Salute j-man, ozark_orange and sadaraine! It's a great honor to have you as contributors at Mile High Report.