WOOO HOOO, the final – and in many ways the most important – group to honor for our 2016 Hall of Fame is finally here – our members.
And it is an awesome group to induct – anon76returns, Calikula, metalman5050 and Rodney Adams.
Their following Q&A is perfect insight to exactly why these three are a deserving trio. They are passionate about this team and love the interaction, knowledge, debate and education that takes place here at MHR on a daily basis.
Rodney Adams had an "acceptance speech" that deserves highlight because I have no doubt it speaks for all the winners as well as all our members here:
First off, a great big congratulations to my fellow Hall of Fame inductees, and a tip of the hat to those deserving individuals whose turn has yet to come.
It's been a real honor that so many of you have lent me your ears for all this time. As iron sharpens iron, men sharpen men - and I believe we’ve done that for one another here at Mile High Report. You’ve made me better, and I hope I, you. I'm proud to be a part of this, and I'm humbled to have been elected into the Hall of Fame. Thank you for your votes and your kind words.
As many of you already know, my name is Alex but I write under my brother’s name, Rodney. It seems all too fitting that it’s in his name that I accept this award. He, too, loved our Denver Broncos. And I think he’d have been very proud both of what these Broncos were able to accomplish this past season, and also of my award here today.
"I’m in the Hall of Fame, Rod!"
Yes, you are. You all are! Huge congrats to anon76, Cali and Alex (aka Rodney).
How did you become a Broncos fan?
anon76returns: I suppose I was more or less born into it, as my mother's family all hailed from Colorado, and Denver was the closest NFL city to my childhood home in Montana. I have vivid memories of getting in trouble in my second-grade class and getting sent back to the classroom when all the other students were out at recess and not minding at all because it allowed me to read and re-read the book on the Denver Broncos I had checked out of the school library. I'm also told that somewhere my mother has pictures of me watching Broncos games on TV with all of my stuffed animals dressed up in my spare Broncos jerseys.
Calikula: I became a Broncos fan waaaaaaay back during the first Super Bowl run. I was a recent transplant from California and I used to believe I was a Cowboys fan. Well, me being the young impressionable kid that I was, I jumped on this bandwagon instead.
Time passed and I joined the Marine Corps. I still didn't know jack squat about football (a friend of mine gave me a Raiders beanie, and I didn't even think twice about accepting it, to give you an idea). Whenever people would ask me who my favorite team was, the answer was always the Broncos. I love Colorado, and to me, the Broncos are Colorado, so there you go.
In 2007 I got out of the service. It was September, and one of my best friends and I were watching the Broncos vs. Raiders. The Broncos got out to an early lead but then the Raiders tied it. The game went to overtime. We whooped and hollered and jumped around the entire game. The Raiders got in field goal position, and "Seabass" kicked it straight through. Boo. Broncos lost. But wait! What's this?!?! Mike Shanahan called a timeout a second before he kicked. It's not over yet. He lines it up and...it's wide!!!! The Broncos then marched down the field and kicked the winning field goal.
From that moment on, I was hooked.
Rodney Adams: I was still approximately knee-high, give or take, and sporting my first Broncos Starter™ jacket growing up in Grand Junction when I got my first lesson in defeat - our beloved Broncos lost to Phil Sims in the '87 Super Bowl.
Over the next three years, Denver would go on to two more Super Bowls - both of which they lost. I was hooked, and I was ready for us to win it all. To an 8-year-old seeing his team go to the big show seemingly so often, simply getting there didn’t impress me much. Winning was all I ever wanted.
Unfortunately, it wasn't until the Broncos took out the Packers right after my 18th birthday that I finally got that great taste of victory.
That first Lombardi Trophy took about 10 years of cheers and fails, and I think it's these football lessons that taught me the value of patience and loyalty that I still hold in every day life. I also believe it's this fandom, that journey, and this climb that rooted me in the core belief I still hold to this day - second place is not a prize.
What prompted you to join MHR and what do you like best about coming here?
anon76returns: During the 2011-2013 seasons, I was experiencing a personal renaissance in Bronco fandom, as the latter Shanny years and McDaniels debacle corresponded to me moving out of Montana, and then out of the West entirely while at the same time getting married and having a kid (his first football-related words were "Tebow, Tebow").
By 2013 I was becoming increasingly interested in finding an online place to discuss the Broncos, and no site provided near the breath or depth that MHR did for discussing my favorite team. I read Horse Tracks daily for the entire season, but didn't actually sign up for an account until the last weekend of the regular season when we pasted the Raiders and Manning put all the single-season passing records as far out of reach as possible. Good times.
Calikula: It was November and the infamous 59-14 game had just happened. I needed answers. I used to lurk on Denver Post and there used to be links to MHR from there. After several months of lurking on MHR, I finally began commenting around February 2011.
Rodney Adams: I joined MHR through a referral from someone over at the Rocky Mountain News site back when it was still in business. To this day I don’t know who it was that pointed me here, only that I’m thankful. I’ve always believed, as I’ve often said, we here at MHR are the elite. I was hungry for a group that could feed me more knowledge than the casual fans and armchair quarterbacks could.
At MHR, I found it, and I never looked back.
What are your favorite kinds of posts to read/comment on?
anon76returns: LOL! Any post where I can challenge prevailing wisdom via a statistical analysis. If I can't start a post with "Actually,..." then it's just no fun!
Calikula: Since my football knowledge is quite small compared to the great minds that comment on here, my favorite posts tend to be opinion pieces. I rather enjoyed the Tebow/Orton wars, I'm embarrassed to say. I'm also known to do my fair share of troll-busting as well. And of course there's my weekly thread – Calikula’s Imperial Weekly Thread.
Rodney Adams: My favorite articles to read are those of the predictive analysis. Although, this is also where I can get myself into trouble with that giant melon of mine. I’ve spent most of my adult life in management, and I’ve got some background in number-crunching as well. Add in a little bit of football knowledge and the will to study up on my passion, and I think it leads me to a pretty good overview of personnel issues on the team. That’s where I then have a tendency of arrogance. I always think I’m right. In fairness, though, I usually am!!
Nothing given.— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) September 14, 2016
Everything earned.#BeatTheColts pic.twitter.com/P4dOzLmfdq
Favorite thing about watching the Broncos?
anon76returns: The players and coaches on the team have changed (except the current HC & GM!), and I have certainly changed, but for three hours every weekend, 16-24 times a year I get to sit down and enjoy seeing my favorite team play in the same way I've been doing for almost 40 years. There's no explaining it, or why any specific aspect of it makes me so happy, but it is one of my very favorite activities and one that has remained unchanged since early childhood.
Calikula: Initially (I imagine most fans are like this) I enjoyed watching offense the most about the Broncos. As time went by I found myself loving defense more and more. I just love how these guys can go out there and do what they do even in the face of all the rules slanted toward the offense.
The other thing that I love about watching the Broncos is how it brings people together. I've been fortunate enough to have several get-togethers with some of the other members of MHR (through CIWT or email), and we come from vastly different walks of life. In a way, it reminds me of being in the military, and how different people from all sorts of different backgrounds get along.
Rodney Adams: I like to see the team chemistry - more of a feel, really. My favorite part of watching the games is to see Peyton chewing someone’s ass, Paxton running to the end zone to congratulate a touchdown, Von doing his dances while his defenders huddle around him. I like to feel the camaraderie, and I like to see the emotion.
"It’s not about one player or one group. It’s a whole team effort, and that’s how we got it done." - @Millerlite40 pic.twitter.com/wIfTghCf9h— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) September 11, 2016
What is your prediction for this season?
anon76returns: I go in every season thinking the Broncos have a chance to win the Super Bowl, and this year is no exception. Inexperienced play at QB is going to be rough for a fan base used to seeing Peyton Manning at the helm for the last four seasons, but at least our offense will be buoyed by the play of our Pro Bowl RB, two Pro Bowl WRs, and possibly a Pro Bowl TE (come on Virg, don't leave me hanging). In the end, the team will go as far as the OL and defense can carry it, which should be into the playoffs with another shot at adding a shiny trophy to the case in Dove Valley.
Calikula: I think this season could be anywhere from 8-8 to 12-4 again. A lot depends on the QB, as we've hashed out a million times already. Can Siemian move past the safe throws and play more aggressively? Can Paxton surpass the veterans? Either way, it’s going to be a fun season!
Rodney Adams: This year the Broncos will ride or die on the chemistry I just talked about. The offense is leaderless, whether we want to admit it or not. The Broncos will get by for a while with that elite defense and an improved run-game, but eventually blame starts getting thrown around once the chips are down. How this team reacts to that adversity will ultimately decide it all.
Rocket-armed rookie Paxton Lynch will get thrown in to reignite the spark around midseason, and he’ll either need to play well or he’ll need to find a way to lead a little bit. Perhaps a little bit of both.
This team is better, on paper, than it was a year ago when they took home the championship. But, that’s what separates football from a sport like baseball – team chemistry can’t be seen on a stat sheet.
No matter how pie-in-the-sky this may sound, this year’s Lombardi Trophy is there for rookie Paxton to reach out and take it. Whether the Broncos do indeed earn it, probably depends more on how well the team responds to the rookie, rather than the rookie’s play itself.
Although, sometimes that’s a package deal. It's chemistry. Go Broncos!