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MHR Hall of Fame 2017: Four members/authors inducted in fourth HOF class

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Two former authors and two current members earn a Mile High Salute for their contributions to the greatest Broncos blog on the Internet.

Dallas Cowboys v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

It may seem like we had forgotten about the Class of 2017 Hall of Fame, but the truth is, we were just waiting for the perfect moment to announce the winners - the Bye Week!

Because when you factor in the quarterback drama of the offseason and the national anthem drama of the early season, the timing was not the perfect lull in action (or end in drama) we needed in order to give our esteemed members and authors for the 2017 Hall of Fame the attention they deserved.

But we have reached that time in the season when the news is slow and the thirst for positive stories rather than nit-picky complaints is just revving up.

So what better time to highlight the best part of this blog - you! - than right now.

Drum roll, please...

Class of 2017 Former Authors

Kyle Montgomery (aka, Monty) and Steve Nichols (aka hoosier teacher) come from two different eras at Mile High Report, proving that we have readers who have been around a long time to not only make this a great blog but also recognize great authors.

Since neither responded to the requested Q&A about their induction (what? Did they think they were Bob Dylan and this was a Nobel Peace Prize?), we will highlight them here and give a big Mile High Salute for the road they helped pave to making MHR the leader in Broncos blogging that it is in 2017.

Steve Nichols was a prolific writer for MHR between 2008-2010, primarily doing game prep articles during the season regarding the two teams and their likely schemes against each other, and “MHR University” articles in what he liked to call the “reloading time” of the season. MHR University posts were exactly what you’d think - a post to teach you something intricate or basic about this great game. Here’s a good one if you’d like to be smarter in the next 10 minutes:

Kyle Montgomery served as the second official editor of Mile High Report, being hired away from his own Broncos blog - BroncoTalk - to help build MHR as a leading NFL blog on SBNation.

Bringing several staff writers from BT with him in 2013, “kmonty” navigated with relative ease the merging of two staffs to put out the best Broncos blog on the internet.

Monty was a smart leader with a great eye for talent and an aptitude for discerning the best way to handle news and rumor on the same pages. Monty covered SB48 for MHR in New York City in 2014 - one of the worst games in Broncos history but one of the greatest experiences in Monty’s blogging life. He “retired” from blogging just before the 2016 season and has been enjoying a lot of free time with his family ever since!

Class of 2017 Members

The 2017 member inductees to the Mile High Report Hall of Fame are KRONK-00 and Zach Eckels - two members who always keep the conversation intelligent and focused, no matter the context (well, KRONK-00 tends to veer off into favorite macrame shorts, but the rare times he comments on the front page these days, it’s always worth a read).

Congrats and a huge Mile High Salute to you both!

*editor’s note: For the members and former authors, I usually do a Q&A with each and compile the answers. Since KRONK chose a, um, “different route,” both will be posted here one after the other.

Zach Eckels

Zach Eckels first joined Mile High Report back in 2009 and has since made more than 10,500 comments in these “hallowed online halls” of Mile High Report. He has published 20 fanposts and 10 fanshots and always has great football insight for front page articles.

How did you become a Broncos fan?

I've always been one to go against the grain. I inherited it from my father who chose to be a Packers fan during the first year of the NFL because all the other West Kansans were going for the Chiefs. Luckily for me, I had a relative living in Boulder who influenced me from the start at family get-togethers. The Broncos had a young gunslinger named Elway and between the excitement over him, wondrous stories about the Orange Crush and the Broncos gifts she'd get me, I was quickly converted into a fan before I could even think of having an allegiance to another team. Besides, I lived just as close to Denver as the Missouri Chiefs, so there was no reason why they shouldn't be my home team (despite all the arguments and fights it'd get me into with my friends growing up).

What prompted you to join MHR and what do you like best about coming here?

In the before time, I got all my Broncos news from Yahoo Sports. The site acted as sort of a clunky Horse Tracks that kept me up to date all year long. About a decade ago, I started noticing that my favorite links kept taking me to the same blog site. It didn't take long before I cut out the middleman and started directly visiting MHR for my main source of news.

Despite reading posts and comments daily and getting to know who the regular members all were, I didn't actually join until after Week 6 of the 2009 season. After seeing our team go 6-0 under Josh McDaniels, I was such a firm believer in him that I was ready to rub it in the face of his main detractor, McGeorge. The Broncos had just come off an impressive win against the Chargers where Eddie Royal had a kickoff and a punt return for touchdowns. Selecting the name Royal_Fan, I proceeded to rudely join the fight against my nemesis who didn't even know I existed. Yes, I am rightly embarrassed by this story... but it also illustrates what I love best about MHR.

My first posts here taught me a pretty instant lesson that there will always be other commenters who know more than me. And even when I completely disagree with someone, it's best to try and remain civil and understand their viewpoint, because they very well could be right. MHR has taught me 10 times more about football in the past decade than I ever thought I'd know; and every day I come back, I learn something new because others still know so much more than me.

What are your favorite kinds of posts to read/comment on?

My favorite posts to read are Sadaraine's No Bull Reviews, which are always very levelheaded and reasonable. Even when I rarely disagree with something he says, he makes it easy to understand where he's coming from. I also love to read Joe Mahoney's statistical posts. I really should have them bookmarked as many times as I refer back to them during debates both on and off MHR. The numbers he shows make some pretty clear arguments that really give a different perspective on the game without having to try and research it all on our own. Lastly, I really enjoy Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann's fluffier articles. I hate to call them "fluff" as they usually contain important information, but her fun writing style makes them so enjoyable to read.

Favorite thing about watching the Broncos?

My new favorite thing about watching the Broncos would be celebrating and dancing with my 5-year-old. Outside of that, it's the opportunity to watch living warriors play out a battle that we've all envisioned in our heads in thousands of different scenarios. Seeing what we were right about and what we got wrong. Watching unforeseeable variables affect how everything goes. And just when you think you've seen it all, watching Parks return the blocked PAT against the Saints; Tebow to DT to win a playoff game in OT against the Steelers; Stokley catching the tipped pass for a touchdown at the end of the Bengals game; the 35 comebacks Elway blessed us with. Anything can happen any given Sunday, and that's why I find myself accidentally holding my breath every single week.

What is your prediction for this season?

19-0 'til we ain't!

In all seriousness though, as excited as our players are about McCoy's offense, I'm predicting the playoffs this year. We still seem to be that 8-8 to 12-4 team we've been the past couple seasons, and that always gives you a shot.

As long as Siemian can stay healthy, I'm starting to think there's a good chance that he will be able to shock the world (myself included) and prove his loyal supporters around here right. My hope for this year is that he gains some confidence and learns to project that on the field. If he can manage that, and we stay relatively healthy, our team is strong enough to beat anyone.

KRONK-00

KRONK-00 has been infiltrating MHR since long before 2012 when he stopped lurking and started commenting. Though lately he has more often retreated to the safe haven of the CIWT (Calikula’s Imperial Weekly Thread) where he is free to talk football, soccer, family ties to the Broncos, opera, David Hasselhoff, fast cars, faster women, food, politics and puns. And boy does he love the puns. He’s also not one for doing things as expected or writing short answers. Hence, his “Q&A” for the MHR Hall of Fame has moved the bar - I’ll let you decide if that is up or down ;)

MHR (℅ docllv):

• How did you become a Broncos fan?

• What prompted you to join MHR and what do you like best about coming here?

• What are your favorite kinds of posts to read/comment on?

• Favorite thing about watching the Broncos?

* What is your prediction for this season?

/…there’s a crack like a shot, startling KRONK-00 back to consciousness. He finds himself in a cavernous, darkened warehouse – still restrained to a chair. His ankles are tied to the legs; his hands secured by the wrists behind the back. He’s been stripped to his Bronco-roos, and the cretins have face-painted him as a Raiders fan.

The vixen standing before him is dressed in her orange leather onesie (presumably to better conceal KRONK-00’s Broncos-orange blood), a “seven”-foot bullwhip snaking out from her right hand. Six-inch open-toed pumps reveal matching bright-orange nail polish. Somewhere The Provider purrs, and Whorfin feels a shiver dance down his spine.

KRONK-00: So we meet again, Questions-witch.

BronconatrixLLV: I give you full marks for your resilience, but you know I’ll have my way. All it takes is a willingness to apply some well-directed pressure, and my sweet, sweet time. I have plenty of both. As I trust you are learning, you’re not going to like me when I don’t get answers to my Broncos questions.

Kronk-00: {“B” is cray-cray.}

KRONK: {You might want to start thinking about how we’re going to get out of this.}

Kronk-00: {There IS no getting out of this; just give her what she wants. Lie, if it makes you feel better.}

KRONK: {NO! Never. Not on that. There’s nothing left that she can threaten us with. Nothing worse that she can do to us.}

BronconatrixLLV (as if penetrating his inner dialog): You may as well give me what I want. And don’t try lying to me. Again. /the whip cracks; somewhere a low, slow moan escapes Whorfin

KRONK-00: I’ve already answered your other questions. Leave it at that.

BronconatrixLLV: Now you know I can’t do that, KRONK-00. I told you at the beginning of all this, when it was still fun and games: I need three intriguing responses from the five primary queries. THREE! /crack! You’ve given me two.

KRONK-00: I’ve answered four questions; there’s plenty enough material in there to meet your demands.

BronconatrixLLV: Hardly; I’m not so easily pleased. Becoming a Broncos fan because you moved to Colorado in ’77 as a teen with your family, where your father’s brother’s family already lived and had season tickets since the late 60s, isn’t that dramatic. And you’re a “home-team kinda guy?” Big deal.

KRONK-00: You said I got a point for that one.

BronconatrixLLV: True, but it was because your brother-in-law Ken Bell played for the Broncos from 1986-90 and played in three Super Bowls. How that sealed your fandom, because “it was personal” then. And his son/your nephew @AFRO_THUNDER80 is trying even now to follow in his NFL footsteps.

Kronk-00: {That one should be worth two.}

KRONK: {Not really; it’s not like “we” played for the Broncos. Or had a son. That’s more like reflected glory.}

BronconatrixLLV: And joining MHR in late 2012 – after lurking daily for four or five years – isn’t something to brag about. Even if you did sign up during a period of site upheaval – specifically to write a couple of posts about how important the site had become to you, and how you wanted to see it continue to hold on to its theretofore high standards – it’s old news. Besides, you already got all your recs for that.

KRONK-00: So what about “favorite types of posts”? There was good stuff in there. Important stuff.

BronconatrixLLV: Half a point. That you prefer analytical posts that utilize film breakdowns to evaluate defensive schemes, offensive play design, player performance – or even the dynamics of roster construction within the constraints of draft capital and the salary cap – is all good.

That you liked the “voices” of HoosierTeacher, Styg50, DocBear, TJ, Rodney Adams, Shasta, BroncoMike, Sadaraine, CH74, BroncoDano, Colinsky, IvanTheNotSoBad, and many other well-respected members is also a credit to you.

But I think you’ll have to agree that it’s hardly “scintillating.” And I put the “sin” in scintillating. /crack! somewhere, Whorfin swoons…

KRONK-00: So, what? Half a point for “favorite thing about watching the Broncos”?

BronconatrixLLV: Yep. Nothing special about “I like football and beer, watching with my friends. And the Broncos are my team. QED.” Kinda pompous there, too, at the end. No, you got your credit there for your perspective on being a fan; how you’ll support the team and the players even when they aren’t so great. Without denigrating the character of individuals who are doing their level best to advance the teams’ objectives, even if they sometimes get it wrong. For being able to say after gut-wrenching losses: “we’ll get ‘em next time!” Kudos to KRONK-00 for that.

KRONK-00: You judge too harshly. I think it’s pretty impor –

BronconatrixLLV: ENOUGH! /crack! the whip tassel neatly cleaves an errant ear-hair from the lobe; somewhere, Whorfin endures a sudden attack of priapism…

Kronk-00: {I think I just peed a little…}

KRONK: {Tighten your chin-strap, Buttercup. This isn’t over.}

BronconatrixLLV: Prediction, KRONK-00. That’s all I need, and this little confrontation can be over for you. Back to BFFs.

KRONK-00: /KRONK-00 spits between her pumps. Go kiss an AP troll.

BronconatrixLLV: Oooohh, KRONK-00; talking dirty to me? /crack! close, between HIS feet… You are NOT…

Kronk-00: {Tell her!}

/crack! closer still…

BronconatrixLLV: …going to like me…

KRONK: {TELL her!}

/crack! too close for comfort…

BronconatrixLLV: …if I don’t get answers…

KRONK-00: OK! OK, you win…

BronconatrixLLV: /waiting expectantly, while KRONK-00 simmers. Well?

KRONK-00: 19-0, baby!

/CRACK!

Kronk-00: {yeeee-owwww!!!}

BronconatrixLLV: …to my Broncos questions!

KRONK: {That’s gonna need stitches…}

BronconatrixLLV: Canned answers aren’t good enough, KRONK-00. /sigh I really didn’t want it to come to this.

/she walks back into the gloom, returning shortly with a charcoal Lab – maybe six-weeks old. It’s wearing a small, crocheted Broncos vest. Big, puppy eyes. Adorable. She sets it down on the floor in front of him. KRONK-00 can smell “new-puppy” from where he sits.

Kronk-00: {Wait; what’s the puppy for?}

KRONK: {Sssshhhh.}

KRONK-00: You wouldn’t. Not even to get answers to your questions, Witch.

/she backs away, loops back the whip, and slings her arm forward…

KRONK-00: 10! 10 wins! 10 and 6, as the AFCW tears each other apart. We make it in either as division winners or as a wild-card.

/she lets her arm slacken, the whip slinking ineffectually to the ground to her side. Eyes locked with his, she drops it. Strolling around behind him, she slices through his wrist-restraints. Leaning forward, she softly whispers in his ear:

BronconatrixLLV: That wasn’t so bad, now was it, KRONK-00. But you did make it harder than it needed to be. Why all the resistance? Tell me. I AM the Questions-witch, after all.

KRONK-00: Because I HATE placing expectations on the team. It kills all enjoyment for me as a fan. Thinking they have to be champions year in and year out or they’re nothing but perennial failures is nothing but bile to me. All I truly expect is that the players putting on their Bronco-orange uniforms go out with preparation, focus, and a kicking-and-screaming demeanor whenever they take the field.

BronconatrixLLV: Good answer, KRONK-00. Bonus point. You could have said that at first, and we would have avoided all this ugliness.

/she pats him on the head and saunters off, disappearing into the darkness…

/KRONK-00 reaches down and lifts the puppy, cradling it to his chest.

KRONK-00: I think I’ll call you Bowlen