The Queen Miners’ Road to the NFL and How the Broncos Discovered It

Quinn Meinerz’s resume is full of dirty jobs.

When he was 15, Meinerz spent nights and weekends under artificial lights in the back of Ponderosa Steakhouse on East Sumner Street not far from his home in Hartford, Wisconsin, cleaning dried food portions from plates and cookware. The work type wasn’t very fun and he was stuck indoors most weekends eating it.

His second job was better. A farm on the edge of town was looking for an extra farm worker, and he was happy enough to work outdoors and get dressed. There were some not-so-fun parts, like picking rocks, but he really enjoyed the work. The main problem was that it did not provide enough consistent work.

Job #3 was out too, fortunately. His technology and engineering teacher told him that a construction company was looking for a “big, tough guy,” and if he was interested he could call them. Mainers, who was about 300 pounds in high school, felt he would be a natural fit.

“I was like, Hey, I’m a big and strong guy!Mainers say.and building materials abroad. Let’s see what it’s all about. “

Meinerz coped with mostly menial tasks – preparing tools on job sites, removing debris during demolition work, and transporting liquid concrete from a truck, for example, to someone’s new yard spot.

A tangible business can be one of the most risky, both physically and financially. If it flipped over, not only would the weight of the wheelbarrow shatter the metatarsal bone in your foot or ankle, but there was also an informal understanding that whoever dropped it had to pay for a can of beer for the crew. In particular, this aspect of high risk sometimes encouraged some statesmanship. Instead of leaving a few inches between the concrete and the top of the wheelbarrow, the driver once filled it to the top, hoping to get some free beer out of it and maybe see how strong this kid was.

“I’m trying to move this wheelbarrow through wires and rebar and all that other stuff,” says Meinerz. “So when I went to lift it up to move it, it started to roll. And usually when you flip, you get out of the way, because the main thing that could happen was that it would swing down and break your ankle. …they started laughing, as it started … slowly turning over, because I was trying Stop it. They were all laughing and then I got mad because they were laughing, and I knew what the outcome would be if I [dropped it]. …so I grabbed it and was able to raise it again. They all looked at me with wide eyes.

He and his father later estimated that a construction wagon filled with liquid concrete could weigh about 400 pounds.

“They said they’ve never seen anyone do this before,” Miners says. “Even the truck driver. Everyone was dumbfounded. I pulled the wheelbarrow and threw it and said to them, If you think I pay for a can of beerAnd everyone started laughing.”

About five years later, Meinerz had another dirty job. They pay a lot better and work a lot harder, but it suits them all. As an offensive lineman for the Broncos, he battles in the trenches, helping to create the slightest light of day for running backs and keeping pass forwards at bay at every crucial second necessary for a quarterback to clear the field.

It’s the kind of job Meinerz has always wanted to do, and he grew up in Hartford, Wisconsin, and that’s what he was made for.

“Queen didn’t grow up on a farm, but that work ethic is there in our community, very strong,” says Miners High School coach John Reeders. “They pride themselves on how hard they work, and that’s Quinn, 100 percent. He always wanted to improve himself and improve others wherever he had a chance to do so.”

That, in essence, is “this area’s motto,” says Meiners—and it’s a motto he adheres to, too. “We pride ourselves on working hard.”