The Orange Mane has suspended operations.

Hey all - 

What a ride this has been. I always wondered, back in the early days whether this would make it to 2021, twenty years after I started this. This year was always the year that was in my head given that it launched in 2001.

It started as a freaking goofy blog, where I posted my wry insights and silly pictures and jokes. It was completely juvenile. Here, take a look. I'm proudly embarrassed when I look at it now. 

In April of that year, I launched a message board off of it, and many friends from the DPO and RMN joined the site. I owe a big Thank You to Garcia Bronco for his dedication in that time of helping round people up for it. Back then, I felt like the big newspapers and even team site had no idea what they were doing. Funny, to this day, I still think they don't, but that's neither here nor there. I knew, I just knew, that I could run an online community better than "the big boys," and so I went for it and launched it on draft weekend. It was an immediate success. We had tons more traffic than ANY other Broncos forum on Draft day. It looked very different back then. Again, take a look. If you click through, you can see the threads and the things we were talking about at the time. I get a tear in my eye seeing some of those old names and recognizing many of them here today. If you look, you'll see Bluflame, another person who I need to mention as critical to the success of this site. I don't remember exactly when she became a moderator, I just remember that I could always, always, ALWAYS count on her. Her dedication to this community is unmatched, even by me. I love you Darla, I truly do.

Along the way, I became friends with Meck77 (Steve Fesch) who had just been putting together plans for Orange Force One - the ultimate party bus for Broncos tailgating. It was from that the moniker "the online tailgate party that never ends" was born. You can see Steve's OrangeForce One logo on this iteration of the website. Meck77 brought a new level of fun to the site because it gave people a lightning rod to meet, and people started going to games for that purpose. That was the golden era of the Orange Mane. It brought a certain "realness" to what was going on here. It made me feel incredible to meet people, shake their hands, and have a beer with them. It was a strange thing because it wasn't like getting together with strangers. It was like being there with old friends.

This is where I met Kaylore, and he's another person who must be mentioned. He brought things to a whole new level with his camp reports. His youthful energy mixed with his knowledge of fundamentals and attention to detail was a hit here. People couldn't get enough of it. There were others who pitched in, but Kaylore was a standout, and even people entrenched on other forums would come here to soak it all in. His contribution to this site was important and gave the die-hards something to really sink their teeth into.

There are so many people I should thank and mention. Wabbit. Montrose. SoCalBronco. Old Dude. TheRev. DomCasual. JCMElway. Archer81. There are more. So many more. So many great people.

I'm not going to go any further into why I feel I can no longer shoulder the burden of carrying this as just "a guy with a website" anymore. I've already done that in a previous thread. I've said all that needs to be said. What I will say is that things have been piling up around us, and I've reached my breaking point. I feel exposed in the current world, and I'm too old with too much responsibility for the souls under my own roof to be put at risk by the souls on the forum I'm trying to host. This site isn't set up for that kind of liability, and I don't have the heart to ban people over their disagreements about what constitutes truth in a world of lies. As I said before, I am taking myself out of the line of fire.

With that, I leave you all with the best wishes that I can offer as we continue down in a world that looks very different from the world that existed when I started this site. May God bless you all... and Go Broncos!

With love,

Now raise a glass and shed a tear with me: