Right about the time of the third "Fax Machine" joke I saw on Twitter this past Friday, March 15th, I knew that fighting for attention in this Broncos obsessed city would be a near impossible task. It was interesting, quirky, NFL business related drama that ... if it was in another sport, would be treated less, err, dramatically.
Such is life in Denver for every other professional sports team.
There was a time in Denver when the Nuggets and the Broncos were the only games in town. Really. When Denver was granted a Major League Baseball expansion franchise in 1993 (Colorado Rockies), that broke a string of 25 consecutive years of just Broncos and Nuggets here in Denver (Broncos became an AFL Franchise in 1960. Nuggets became an ABA Franchise in 1968). Even then, the Nuggets had to fight, scratch, and claw for comparable coverage to Denver's beloved Broncos.
Since the Rocky Mountain News closed its doors in February of 2009, the Nuggets piece of the Denver sports pie has shrunk even more. Despite being the most successful franchise in the Denver sports landscape since 2003 (nine, and soon to be 10 consecutive playoffs trips since the 2003-04 season), the Nuggets are resigned to the place where the Denver Broncos NEVER had to go. That place is called "prove it to me". It's a bad place to be in, particularly when it comes to sports media. It's like someone withholding sex from their significant other as a punishment for not measuring up to what is an unreasonable standard.
The sad reality is, without the constant presence of competition from the Rocky Mountain News (Scripps), The Denver Post (Media News Group) has devolved into the "we will put our reporters on the story that drives the most revenue" trap that one newspaper towns fall into. As great a job as Benjamin Hochman does on the Nuggets beat, he is only one guy. When the Post is using "stringers" for certain away games (stringers are local away reporters the Post uses to write a game story when they don't send their own beat reporter) it means, well, they start to no longer care. At least it appears that way. Their priority is the Broncos -- who have two beat reporters and two columnists who write stories primarily about the Broncos.
The Rocky made Denver Nuggets coverage exponentially better than it is now. We at Devner Stiffs will always do our absolute best to be THE definitive source for Nuggets news and information. However, that doesn't change the fact that Denver misses the Rocky, big time. They made the Post better, and quite frankly we miss our friend Chris Tomasson on the beat as well.
The local TV coverage is just as bad. On Friday, March 15th - when the Nuggets were set the play their biggest game of the year against the Grizzlies and win their 11th in a row, every local TV broadcast led with Elvis Dumervil and the faulty fax machine. What gives? The Broncos season ENDED in January didn't it? I know, I know. This is a Broncos town, I get it. Those are the facts of life.
However, the Broncos have never ... even when they didn't post a winning season until 1973, had to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune like the Nuggets. The standard for the Broncos has always been "Play hard and we will support you". The standard for the Nuggets has always been, "Prove it". Well, enough is enough.
I'm drawing a line in the sand. No more. The Nuggets don't need to prove jack squat to anyone. Not after being the most consistently successful sports franchise in Denver for the last 10 years. Not after all the tried and true Nuggets fans went through in the 1990's to get to this point. Not after losing Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups. No more. I'm saying right here and now the Nuggets will get respect.
Every one of you knows this. Shout it out loud. Tell your neighbors, tell your friends. Tell your work mates and casual acquaintances. Tell complete strangers and people all over the world. This team is for real. This team is here to stay and this team will entertain you.
Command respect. It's the only way to get it in return. Forget about the National TV yahoo's who are paid to talk about the Lakers ad-nauseum. Take it to the local reporters on twitter. Tell them to follow Denver Stiffs, South Stands Denver Fancast, Mile High Sports, The Colorado Sports Guys and Sandy Clough's lead. Time to get in line.
Something special is happening, my fellow Stiffs. Now is time to celebrate it. As my friend Colin Daniels from South Stands Denver says, (paraphrasing) "Just enjoy the ride". Heed those words.
Twitter: @jmorton78 https://twitter.com/#!/jmorton78