Mile High Report's own "Peyton Manning" has decided the time is right to ride off into the sunset and hang up his editing hat - and just like Manning's retirement for the Broncos, the announcement is bittersweet for MHR.
In his three years quarterbacking this team, Kyle Montgomery has been an outstanding team captain, taking over an already leading Broncos blog and growing it into a heavy hitter among all the SB Nation blogs.
He blended existing players with many of his former teammates at Bronco Talk and attracted some free agents along the way to make this arguably the best blogging team on the Internet, let alone the best Broncos site period.
And Monty did all of this while writing a dozen - sometimes two - posts a week, editing countless others, vetting hundreds of emails from editors, vendors, Broncos and SB Nation to pass along pertinent information to the staff so writers had the best resources available for writing the best possible posts. And he's even played referee in the staff chat room and in the comments sections when they get ridiculous, heated, or occasionally hostile (though we all know that never lasts for too long because ultimately, we're all fans of the best team in the NFL).
Like any good quarterback, Monty always knew when to throw the long bomb to the end zone for a splashy score and when to zip a quick slant just to get the first down. He also knew when it was best to hand off to his teammates, or when he needed to take control to win the game.
And like all the best quarterbacks, he knows when it's the right time for him to walk away from the game and ride off into the blue and orange sunset. While no one wants to see "Monty" go, we understand and respect his decision to leave the field and enjoy MHR - and the Broncos - from the sideline.
TYKM. Mile High Salute to you!
GO BRONCOS!!!John Elway be like, "Screw it, I can still play."— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) March 9, 2016
Kyle riding off into the sunset after a Super Bowl isn't quite like Peyton Manning doing it, but as a blogger it's darn close. He wasn't always the most active guy in the comments, but behind the scenes he was not only the glue, he was the engine that drove Mile High Report these last three years.
The set of shoes he leaves behind are too big for any one person to fill. Hopefully those of us who remain will collaborate and work together to keep doing what we do. Kyle will almost certainly be missed by all of us.
I'll do my best to wrangle him back in every now and then for a blog post or two when Broncos Country needs it most.
For now, I give him the Broncos-style send off a GOAT deserves. Thank you Kyle, for everything these last four years I have personally known you ... and Go Broncos!
I'm not the longest tenured member of MHR by a long shot, but I've been here for a very, very long time. Monty took over MHR at a time when in general, MHR was languishing a bit. It was still the best place on the Internet for everything Broncos, but we were missing a spark.
Enter Kyle Montgomery. He really should be commended for taking a great place on the Internet, strapping a diesel two-stroke rocket ship to it, and blowing this mother trucker into the stratosphere.
What Kyle has done here at MHR as a leader, visionary and manager of an absolutely insane (in a great way of course) group of bloggers isn't something everyone will recognize, but I've seen it first hand.
Thank you Kyle for your great contributions to our home here on the Internet. It has truly been a pleasure and honor to work with and for you. I wish you the best in everything you do and thank you for what you've meant to us.
Ian St. Clair:
When I got a Twitter message from @MileHighReport in mid December, I had no idea what to think. My thoughts ran the gamut of being "called out" to "I wonder if he wants to me to join to his team?"
When I opened it and read that it was the latter, a smile shined across my face. Two years ago, I made the decision to blog about the Broncos ... after years of being told I should. Two years later I'm on THE Broncos blog.
I've worked with some incredible editors over the course of my career, and while I'm the shortest tenured staffer at MHR, Monty is one of the best I've worked with and seen. It starts with his passion. Everyone in this community knows he loves the orange and blue, but he loves this blog. He also cares deeply about the people he brings on board. That rubs off on all of us. That makes us even more passionate to put forth the best stories possible, but also make sure no one in the media or another blog comes close to what he helped build.
I will be forever grateful Monty added me to his team, and unlike a certain quarterback who just left, I relish the shadow he leaves behind.
Kyle was running the show before I got on board, but I have been reading MHR since back in the dark days of 2008. I definitely could tell that there were some changes for the better once Kyle took over (no disrespect to Bena).
From the inside I can tell you that Kyle did a great job steering this ship called MHR toward a goal with the many different temperaments and personalities pulling it in every direction. Writing for MHR and being part of this staff has been enjoyable, and Kyle deserves much of the credit for that.
Kyle - you will be missed around here, but I am sure that Tim will do a great job of managing us and keeping the ship on course. TYKM.
Wonder if this cold weather is causing the balls to become ............... deflated?— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 30, 2015
I'll show myself out.
It's hard to believe Kyle and I have been acquainted for almost a decade. When I was a college student attending North Dakota State University, I had decided to start up my own Broncos blog named "The Beat," which mainly focused on the NFL Draft in relation to Denver. This was shortly after the advent of Twitter and when blogging started to get really popular in the online community.
In late 2007, early 2008 - Kyle had approached me about leaving The Beat to join him and the rest of the staff at BroncoTalk. He was a big fan of my draft musings and at the time, it was content that BT was lacking and needed. For a while I pondered the decision; I wasn't too keen on giving up my own baby and becoming part of something bigger. But ultimately, after multiple discussions with Kyle, I decided to close down The Beat and "take my talents" to BroncoTalk. Essentially, you can say Kyle drafted me out of my dorm room. It's an opportunity I will never forget and am forever in his debt for it.
Over the years, I wrote occasionally for BroncoTalk, but it was hard to juggle article commitment, a double major course load and working while going to university. Despite this, Kyle always believed in me and encouraged me to write. After some absence from sports writing upon graduating, he asked me in 2013 to move on over with him and some of the staff from BT to help fill the ranks at Mile High Report. I was stoked for the opportunity and am very glad I did so.
Since then, I've been able to forge new friendships, make more connections and help carve my craft as a writer. All of this is because of Kyle Montgomery. No matter how long I was away from writing or how intermittent my contributions were, he always had positive things to say about my work and me personally that helped fuel the fire for me to continue writing about the Denver Broncos, and even if he doesn't know it, to pursue my passion of writing in various other forms and outlets.
Kyle is an absolutely top-notch individual whose leadership and guidance have helped make Mile High Report not only the best Broncos source on the Internet, but one of the best sports blogs across all media types. His passion and dedication for the Denver Broncos is unparalleled, and his decade of sports journalism in regard to the team we all love is a testament to that. He is someone I look up to professionally, and am very thankful we were able to cross paths.
To Kyle: Thank you for everything you have done for me and so many others. You've enriched my life beyond what words can describe and provided me with endless opportunities that have opened doors where I only thought there would be walls. Never forget how much I and the rest of the All-Pro writing staff you've assembled care and think of you. You mean the world to us and always will. Wishing you the best always, my friend. Ingat lagi!
Over the years that Kyle has been at the helm of MHR, the biggest problem I encountered with him was not knowing whether to call him Kyle or Monty.
MontyKyle took a great blog and gave it a breath of new life that took it in wonderful new directions. The team he assembled to blog about the Broncos could not have been better. More importantly, those he added to the staff are poised to be the building blocks for greatness to come.
His leadership will certainly be missed, but never forgotten (most likely because we'll see him trolling like a boss in the comments section sooner rather than later). Kyle, it has been a marvelous pleasure blogging with you. Go Broncos, my friend!
Kyle has so many attributes you want in an editor/leader. He knows what he's doing. He cares about what he's doing. And he cares that his team enjoys what they are doing. Kyle was extremely easy to work with mostly because he was a very easy guy to communicate with. He wasn't shy about telling a staff member they were going off the rails in a post, but was even quicker with his compliments. We will all miss you Kyle! Thanks for everything you have done at MHR!
As has been the case with all major friendships in my life, football brought us together, but a love for the Denver Broncos made us inseparable.
Kyle and I once went so hungover to a blogger convention that Drew Magary (Deadspin) yelled at a room full of us. We'd spend the next eight years yelling back. (Well, I would, but Kyle is a sage and has only been upset once in his life - when he broke his ankle running in place at a stoplight).
I've spent countless hours with Kyle, days even and I can't tell you a single thing that we've talked about yet his presence in my life has often provided me with enough strength to make moments like these as humbling as the sight of earth from above.
Kyle and I personally ended the Tebow era by attending one quick home game in which Tom Brady in a Charlie Daniels-esque display showed the young Tebow how it's done. We watched the end of the Brady era in person last season as the harrowing Denver defense stomped around their yard until the Patriots had no one left to field the ball.
Kyle was a big fan of Breaking Bad and I think that stems from the every man-ness of Walter White, that's Kyle. He won't speak much above a soft voice very often, but he'll change your life by showing you how to dispose of a body in a bathtub.
Kyle is the best.
MHR has grown into the juggernaut it is today because of him. He has put together a great staff, and he has done a ton of behind-the-scenes stuff to make MHR what it is today. He has also helped me turn into the blogger I am today. I was a staff member before he joined and was debating whether I wanted to continue this commitment.
When he took over, it was like a breath of fresh air. I felt rejuvenated and motivated by the fresh ideas and the staff members he brought with him.
It has been a fun four-year ride with Kyle! It has been an honor covering Peyton Manning's entire time in Denver, two AFC Championship wins over the Patriots, two Super Bowls, and of course last month's Super Bowl win. Just like Manning (but with one less year), three years was enough for Kyle to change MHR for the best, and it is time for him to walk away on top.
Kyle, it has been a pleasure blogging with you, and you will be missed.
Congrats on a great run, Kyle! MHR is in good hands with Tim. https://t.co/GmaDzaOFd8— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) March 22, 2016
This season I had to do one tiny part of Kyle's job for one Broncos game while he deservedly got to enjoy watching it as a fan at Mile High. It was the Broncos-Patriots game, featuring backup Brock Osweiler. In our conversation to go over the must-dos for writing the game recap, Kyle must have told me 10 times how crucial it was to post the story within five seconds of the game ending.
Five unbelievably fast seconds.
It was so important, in fact, that Kyle even said publishing first and adding facts later was preferable...just get the story out there immediately if not sooner.
If you recall that game - and I know you do - the outcome could have gone a number of different ways within the last minute of the game. It looked like Broncos could win 24-21, but one minute for Tom Brady is nothing, so I was actually (shamefully) prepared to write "Patriots win 27-24."
But dat defense, d'oh!
So the game goes into overtime at 24-24 and Patriots get the ball first. I was all-too-sure it was going to be 27-24 Pats again, maybe even 30-24 Pats, so I kept changing the headline and tweet just in case. But a three-and-out for Brady in OT meant the Broncos got the ball and likely could win 27-24 on the foot of McMoney. But just to make my life miserable - and wonderful - C.J. Anderson trotted 48 yards to score six. The four seconds it took him to run was all I had to fix all my scores, headline, tweet and hit "publish." I have never not enjoyed such an awesome game in my entire life.
Ironically, I got it published within five seconds - as admonished - but forgot to fix the all-important "permalink" with the actual final score that makes sure our Broncos-Patriots story comes up first in a search. Sheesh.
Come back, Peyton Manning.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) March 11, 2016
My point is that I was completely stressed out, and I was only covering the game one time. Monty did that every week for three seasons while ALSO tweeting clever, witty, informative barbs within milliseconds of things happening in the game. Then he made sure the staff was all over a multitude of important game-day posts - instant reactions, fan shots, important quotes from the team, etc. I'm not sure he ever went to bed on post-game nights. But without blinking, he managed multiple stories all week, keeping us going with ideas, edits, news, etc., before doing the game-day drama all over again.
Kyle handled MHR exactly the way Manning handled the line of scrimmage - making quick decisions based on tons of moving parts that seemed like it was instantaneous but was also the culmination of tons of preparation and hard work. And just like Manning, Kyle made an amazingly difficult and time-consuming job look easy.
There was always going to be just one John Elway. And there was always going to be just one Peyton Manning.
And there will always be just one Kyle Montgomery.