Welcome to the first Ultimate Fan Guide of 2018 (which is because, of course, there was no postseason happening with this team last season - sigh.)
But we are not here to lament last season. We are here to look forward to the new one!
And so we are kicking off the 2018 UFG series on Memorial Day and featuring one of our many MHR members who has served in the military - USMCBroncofan.
While for many of us Memorial Day is too often just a day celebrated for its three-day weekend and grilling opportunity, it is important to know and celebrate the real reason for the day - to remember those who have fallen while serving.
USMCBroncofan joined the Wyoming Army National Guard in April 1989 and then the Marines in March 1996. He retired in December 2015, after completing combat tours to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is our featured fan for good reason today.
Thank you, USMCBroncofan - and all our MHR members in the military serving/having served our country. We are grateful to you and hope you’ll jump down in the comments to share your stories with us too.
Mile High Salute!
We must always remember the members of the United States Armed Forces who have given their lives to protect our freedom. We honor their memory and we hold them and their families in our hearts. pic.twitter.com/kfz6qjLoZ1— Ed McCaffrey (@87ed) May 28, 2018
Ultimate Fan - Offseason!
What attracted you to joining the military and what is it in particular about serving our country that makes you the most proud?
USMCBroncofan: Love the haircuts and chicks dig guys in uniform; the Marine dress blues are the best of them all.
I joined because I always wanted to part of something bigger than myself. In the military it was always about the unit as a whole and not just any one person. We always looked out for and took care of each other. It is probably the what I miss the most since I have retired. It is hard to pin it down to any one thing that made me proud. There are so many things - either that I have done, or that were allowed to happen because of the work I did.
Memorial Day is meant to commemorate and honor the lives of those who have died while serving. Have you had comrades/friends die while serving? How do you commemorate their lives this weekend (and/or anytime)?
USMCBroncofan: I have lost several friends and colleagues over the years.
May 11th, 1997: Maj. Dogs, Capt. Barnes, Cpl. Tsoris, and LCPL Guajardo.
December 11, 2000: Lt. Col. Sweaney, Maj. Murphy, SSgt. Runnels, and Sgt. Buych.
April 11, 2011: Cpl. Ryes and Cpl. Kerns.
I will always share a beer and a moment of silence with each and everyone of them. I do it on Memorial Day and the anniversary of their loss. There probably isn’t a day that goes by that they don’t pop in to my mind in some way or another.
What were some of the hardest moments/days while you were serving overseas and what helped you get through them?
USMCBroncofan: To be honest, the dates listed above. There is nothing harder than losing a brother. I always drew strength from sharing that loss with my extended family.
As a member of the military, what would you ask fellow Broncos fans to do during the national anthem - whether at the stadium or at home?
USMCBroncofan: If they are at home I don’t expect a fan to render the same honors when they are there in person. Do your own thing at home. I personally usually don’t turn on the game until after that.
If you are there in person, I would like to see everyone stand quietly, not just in honor of those that have fallen, but to honor the country also. While it is far from perfect, it has given a great many of us opportunities we might not have gotten in other places.
Here at MHR we know many of our readers have served or are currently serving, some of whom are overseas. What does it mean to have a team to support while being so far away from home and what does it mean to have a community like MHR to be part of - whether it’s debating quarterbacks or controversial issues? :)
USMCBroncofan: Despite the various opinions of the fans, it is always nice to have that connection of shared love. I love my Broncos, and it is fun to share that love with fans no matter where they are from. Even if they think Tebow was a better option the PFM (yes that is a shot at Tim. I couldn’t help myself!)
What is your main hope for this upcoming season with the Broncos?
USMCBroncofan: Improvement. Not necessarily in the W/L record because there are too many variables that go into that. But I want a team to come out the like the 2015 team that never quit and never gave up.
How many TDs vs INTs for Case Keenum this season? 25 TD 10 INT
What is your prediction for who becomes WR3? I like Sutton here
What will be the depth chart order for RBs? Booker/Henderson/Freeman but more of a 1A/B/C
Longest FG for McManus this season? 66 breaks the record
Number of sacks by Von Miller? 18
Number of sacks by Bradley Chubb? 10 just because the Vonster is so damn good
Which No Fly Zone member will have the most INTs? Roby. QB’s will test him and they will fail. (My fiance paid me to say that. She’s a Buckeye, so she loves Roby.)
Favorite Broncos Super Bowl win? 50 it was the first win I got to actually watch live
Favorite Broncos game ever watched? Any time we beat the Faiders
Team you hate to lose to the most? Faiders
Team you love to beat? Faiders
Game most looking forward to this season? Game 1. That means the season has finally started. Been a long offseason.
Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? I like Derrick Wolfe. The guy just brings some nasty that I love.
Favorite Broncos player of all time? Randy Gradishar
Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? Kenny Bell because he was a Husker. Yea yea I know he isn’t a rookie, but he is new.
Least favorite game analyst/commentator? Simms by a long shot
Favorite story about John Elway? To be honest don’t know a lot of Elway stories. Being out of Bronco Country for pretty much my entire adult life makes it hard to get good stories.
How did you become a Broncos fan?
I was born into it. My father was a diehard Broncos fan, so it was how I was raised. I raised my kids as Broncos fans, and now I have a grandson who will be a Broncos fan. It’s in my blood and DNA.
How will you be celebrating Memorial Day?
This poll is closed
The usual - grilling out, opening a beer, probably tossing a pigskin
Saluting my friends in the military and enjoying a beer with USMCBroncofan on behalf of those who died.
Seems like a good day to watch a highlight reel of Broncos wins too.