Susie Wargin

Susie Wargin

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Brady Quinn

Darren McKee

He’s been a friendly, entertaining and sometimes controversial voice in the Denver market for decades. He was the one constant who worked with several co-hosts. He immersed himself into the Denver sports scene when he was off the air to be more educated and informative when the red light went on. Then suddenly, he was fired.

Darren McKee’s absence from afternoons on The Fan has created some “holes” in listeners’ daily routines. It also created a lot of support not only from listeners, but also (as DMac describes them) “The Muggles” – referring to the media and those who are gathered around at press conferences. Regardless of who or where the Denver media work, there is a strong bond, especially between those who have been around for a while.

So, for those of you missing DMac’s voice and wanting to hear a number of his stories in one sitting, here’s your chance. A full hour of Darren McKee about his journey through broadcasting and thoughts on reinvention after his latest firing.

Howard Griffith

Howard Griffith has two Super Bowl rings to show for his NFL career, but the path to Denver wasn’t easy. A walk-on at the University of Illinois, Howard became a record-breaking team captain. One of those records was scoring EIGHT rushing touchdowns in a single game.

He was drafted in a round that doesn’t exist anymore in the NFL (9th) and never saw the playing field with the team who picked him (the Colts). From Indi, he bounced around to the Bills, Chargers, Rams and Panthers before finally landing in Denver where he played fullback for five seasons. He blocked for Hall of Famer Terrel Davis, caught a number of clutch passes and scored a few touchdowns, including two in Super Bowl 33.

After he retired, Howard hopped over to the “dark side” and joined the media. Again, he paid his dues in the Denver market and then landed an analyst gig with the Big 10 Network where he’s been going strong for 17 years.

Ron Egloff

After a decent college career at the University of Wisconsin, Ron Egloff didn’t hear his name on draft day in 1977. Two teams reached out with invitations to try out in their camps: the Falcons and the Broncos. The tight end wasn’t fond of the heat, so he chose Denver where he had to fight for a roster spot with 7 other tight ends. He won.

Not only did Ron make the Broncos roster in 1977, he went to their first Super Bowl that year. The Broncos got behind early in that game and Ron couldn’t make the impact he was hoping. But he was just a rookie and he thought getting to the Super Bowl was easy. He never made it back.

Ron did make an impact with the Broncos for several years, until Dan Reeves cut him out of the blue. He was shocked but signed nearly immediately with the Chargers where he spent another season as his career was winding down.

In retirement, Ron invested in and helped run the iconic Jackson’s Hole in Lakewood, Colorado for two decades. He also lent his name and marketing savvy to a couple of companies and continues to stay involved in the community as a board member of the Denver Broncos Alumni Association.

Hosted by Susie Wargin

Tyler Polumbus

He was the inspiration for this podcast. Nearly every day on the radio, Tyler Polumbus tells stories about his trials and tribulations in the NFL. One day his co-host remarked how his stories would make a great book called “How I Got Cut.” Susie Wargin was listening that day and that’s when the lightbulb to create Cut Traded Fired Retired.

Tyler is a Colorado native who played football at Cherry Creek High School. He had several scholarship opportunities for college and chose the University of Colorado where his father also played football. After a great senior year on the offensive line for the Buffs, he was invited to the NFL Combine where he tripped and fell during the 40-yard dash. Needless to say, he went undrafted, but was invited to minicamp by 31 teams. He picked the Broncos where Mike Shanahan became a mentor for him. Unfortunately, Mike would be fired after Tyler’s rookie season.

The Broncos’ next coach, Josh McDaniels, cut Tyler in 2010. Over the next few years, he spent time with the Lions, Seahawks, Redskins, Falcons and landed back with the Broncos for the perfect finale to his career: a victory at Super Bowl 50.

In retirement, Tyler took a stab at radio where he has flourished. He’s worked for 3 different companies, sometimes by his choice, sometimes because others have decided his fate.

Hosted by Susie Wargin

Derek West

He played the sport he loved for over 2 decades and was eventually told by two NFL teams that he wasn’t good enough. Those words hurt, but Derek West didn’t allow football to be his only identity.

Derek is a 5th generation Arvada, Colorado native. He won a state championship in high school at Pomona and was a freshman at CU when the Buffs won the National Championship. After a solid career at CU, the 6’7” offensive lineman went to the NFL Combine and was drafted by the Colts. He was bit by the injury bug for most of his time in Indi and was released after 3 seasons. After a stint in NFL Europe with the Rhein Fire, Derek got some game tape and came back to the states where he was briefly signed by the 49’ers then the Cardinals. Both teams told him he wasn’t good enough to play in the NFL anymore.

So Derek started retirement and has spent the majority of it in the sports supplement industry. He also met his wife Khara, who grew up in Boulder and played softball at Nebraska. They have two daughters who are currently college athletes themselves: Jordan plays softball at Colorado State and Ashley plays volleyball at Utah. For the record, Derek did get long time CU Coach Bill McCartney’s blessing to marry a girl who went to Nebraska.

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John Howell

John Howell lived out a dream. He played 8-man football in a very small Nebraska town. Some folks scoffed when John set his sights on playing Division I football, specifically at Colorado State University. When he got a call to be the last person in camp because another guy backed out, John drove straight to Fort Collins and joined the team as a walk on. While he did play and letter his freshman year, John had trouble connecting with teammates and felt like he was an anonymous scout team punching bag. So he quit. He also quit going to school and flunked nearly every class. During winter break back in Nebraska, John realized he was proving the naysayers right. So he went back to Fort Collins and got “word whipped” by a coach for his grades. But that verbal shakedown didn’t make John mad, he was happy because he realized the coaches actually knew his name.

John had an outstanding career as a safety for CSU and went on to be drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs where he played for four years and won a Super Bowl. The Super Bowl victory came after his second season, a season he almost didn’t have because John experienced a “freak out” of anxiety at the start of training camp and left. After a 10-day hiatus, where he received some invaluable mental encouragement from other pros, John returned and the Bucs welcomed him back. He’d play two more seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and called it quits after a nagging hamstring injury wouldn’t heal.

These days John runs a hunting ranch at Dismal River in the same town where he grew up. He’s also married to his college sweetheart Laura, and they keep up with three very athletic children who play sports at the pro, college and high school levels.

Hosted by Susie Wargin

Davy Armstrong

He is literally the definition of a “Homegrown Player.” In the 2000’s, Major League Soccer started a Homegrown Player initiative which allowed clubs to develop their own youth players without exposing them to the MLS SuperDraft and thereby giving the club the opportunity to sign the player themselves. That’s exactly what the Colorado Rapids did with Davy Armstrong.

Davy was born in Aurora and started playing soccer at the age of 6. He excelled at the sport and turned heads when he played for Rangeview High School as well as his club team. Three years before he graduated from Rangeview, Davy entered the Rapids Youth System and the MLS’s initiative worked perfectly: Davy became the Rapids first homegrown player when they signed him to their pro team in 2010. Turns out there was a lot going on in 2010: Davy was just 18, graduated from Rangeview, gave up a scholarship at the University of Washington to sign with the Rapids and the Rapids won the MLS Cup.

Trying to figure out professional sports at the age of 18 isn’t easy. Davy got through it and played for the Rapids, Phoenix FC and the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. Eventually injuries got the best of his young body and it was time to retire from a sport that had been his identity for nearly two decades. These days, Davy is a firefighter, with a very heartfelt reason behind his passion for helping people.

Hosted by Susie Wargin

Alfred Williams

One would assume that a 2-time All American, Butkus Award winner, National Champion and 2-time Super Bowl Champion played football his whole life. Not the case with Alfred Williams. He begrudgingly started playing in high school: Alfred wanted to be a quarterback and when he was switched to defensive line after a couple days of practice, he quit.

Thankfully a coach kept after him and convinced Alfred to come back out and promised he would be by his side and help him. Not only did that high school coach help him with football, he helped him navigate life. Alfred made sure that same coach saw Super Bowl 32 and 33.

While Alfred had incredible success at the University of Colorado and was a first-round draft pick in the NFL, he still faced many struggles during his time as a pro level including injuries, questionable coaching and guidance and a divorce. Life got a lot better when he signed with the Broncos in 1996.

Big Al has always considered Colorado his home and stayed true to that in retirement, entertaining fans on Denver TV and radio stations for years. These days he’s an afternoon co-host on KOA Colorado with Dave Logan and Ryan Edwards.

Hosted by Susie Wargin

Eric Lacroix

It wasn’t just an ice rink on every corner and growing up in Montreal that put Eric Lacroix on the ice at age 5. His affection for a stick and puck was also influenced by some guys who hung around his house like Patrick Roy, Michel Goulet, Pierre and Sylvain Turgeon. There were about 2 dozen of them, stars or up and comers, who were represented by Eric’s sports agent father, Pierre.

So hockey was everywhere and Eric was good at it. He was drafted by the Maple Leafs in 1990 and made his professional debut in 1993. Soon after that, he was traded to the LA Kings where he roomed with Rob Blake, played with Wayne Gretzky and his coach was Barry Melrose. Life was amazing in LA. Until he was abruptly traded to the Colorado Avalanche, where his dad was now the General Manager. Once the shock wore off, Eric embraced his new teammates who had just won the Stanley Cup. He had success on the ice and all was good… until it wasn’t and he asked Pierre to send him back to LA. A quick decision Eric regrets making because Los Angeles wasn’t the same and neither was the rest of his NHL career.

After hockey, Eric spent time on coaching and front office staffs with a few teams including the Avalanche. These days, he runs a hockey camp, a foundation and does TV work for Altitude. He is also husband to Jill and dad to three active kids, including two hockey players.

Hosted by Susie Wargin