A quick study, I’m not.
I went to college to be a sports broadcaster. I was so good at it I became a sports writer.
On April 27, 2015, a mere 34 years after I received my degree in Radio/TV broadcasting from Murray State, I joined 9News to become their Broncos Insider.
I still write. My stories about the Denver Broncos can be read on 9News.com. It’s just now I occasionally show up on TV. Perhaps, I’m an inspiration to all college graduates who can’t find a job in their field.
The beginning of my story may sound familiar: I was the first born son of Joseph and Mary.
OK, so mom’s name is MaryAnn. And I wasn’t born in a manger in Bethlehem but a hospital in Aurora, Ill.
Still, I’ve felt pressure since the crib. I’m the oldest of six kids. We moved six miles down the road to Oswego, Ill., when I was 8.
I was a real good farmland/schoolyard/sandlot athlete in Oswego. I was a pretty good practice player in high school. I wasn’t very good when we put on game uniforms. To this day, the gag is my least favorite story angle.
After college, I worked as a gas station/convenient store clerk, a weed eater/snowshoveler, a part-time sports announcer for a now defunct Aurora radio station, a part-time sports writer for the Oswego Ledger-Sentinel, an umpire, basketball referee and player-coach of the Shuler’s Drugstore slo-pitch softball team.
In October, 1984, I threw it all away and moved to Colorado Springs, where one of my first jobs was scrubbing pots and pans at the Air Force Academy’s freshman cafeteria.
For extra money, I called radio play-by-play for Colorado Springs Christian High School basketball and then wrote about the game afterwards for the Gazette Telegraph. Double-dip, $25 times two. Except the radio station rarely paid me.
When the Gazette offered me a full-time job in 1987 at about the same time the sports radio station changed to a Spanish format, I became a sports writer.
I covered preps. One of my first leads, from a high school basketball game, was: “The Thrilla in Manila was nothing compared to the Thrilla in Sierra.” I was not fired but I believe my next assignment was a wrestling match.
I covered the Colorado College Tigers (4-33-1 in my first hockey season) and Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox. I covered the Colorado Buffaloes and -- starting Aug. 17, 1990 when Gov. Roy Romer called a meeting at the downtown Denver Westin Hotel for prospective owners – the Colorado Rockies.
The Denver Post hired me in January, 1998 to cover the Rockies. I met my wife, Becky, at Coors Field, where she still works as a suite attendant. In July, 2005, I was switched to the Broncos’ beat.
While writing and reporting, I gained so much knowledge about the Broncos, I got a job at a TV station. Becky and I are still married. We have four kids – Brittany, Kaitlyn, Blake and Johnny. They make me go upstairs if I want to watch sports on TV.
Where to find Mike Klis online
Where to buy in print
Crossing The 101
by Mike Klis
This is the remarkable story of Rob Holder, coach of the East Palo Alto Razorbacks, who through rugby, his own personal setbacks, his family and his faith provides inspiring lessons of how we should value humility above ambition, honesty above stature, altruism above entitlement. Most of all, Rob’s story teaches us that people should not be judged by color, class status _ or even their rap sheets.
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