If you’re a fan of Colorado Public Radio then you’re probably familiar with the voice of Vic Vela, an anchor and reporter with a passion for telling human interest stories. A little over a month ago Vela attended a Stiffs Hang Out event at The Celtic and interviewed some of the Denver Nuggets’ most passionate fans. He was working on a piece that aimed to capture what’s at stake with their scorching start to the season—the Broncos don’t look so hot, while the Nuggets’ cultural footprint appears to be growing. This could be the year that Denver fully embraces the Nuggets.

I sat down with Vela to talk about his piece for CPR and his lifelong passion for sports—a passion that might catch you off guard if you’re the type to judge a book by its cover. Vela’s cultural tastes, while eclectic, are highlighted by some predictable favorites. References to Phish, Grateful Dead, and Elton John comprise his social media presence, and he travels to see them on tour. It’s all on brand for a dude who wears his hat slightly off center, throws up peace signs, and calls you “man” as if he too abides.

The easiness he projects is hard earned. Vela’s perspective is colored by a battle with addiction and his story is one of ongoing recovery—a story he shares in public forums with a hope that it finds those who need to hear it the most. He spoke about his path to a healthier place, his lifelong love of sports, and the importance of emotional honesty in the latest episode of Full Court Press.

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