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Advocating for the InDenverTimes...

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One of the reasons I started this blog last season - other than trying to get George Karl fired - was because I felt that our Nuggets were being under-covered by our two major newspapers, the Post and the Rocky Mountain News. The Nuggets have historically been a third-class sports citizen in Denver, behind the Broncos and CU Football. But after the Rockies and then Avalanche showed up, the Nuggets were relegated to fifth-class citizen status among the Denver media. If the Nuggets got a page devoted to them in the Friday paper, the Broncos (in the offseason no less) got three, the Avalance two and so on. And even with the advent of online editions of the Post and the Rocky, the coverage typically mirrored the print edition with the Nuggets receiving the least amount of coverage. (It should be noted that attention to all things not-Nuggets in Denver doesn't just happen in the newspapers, but on Denver sports talk radio, as well.)

There are multiple reasons for this, justified and unjustified. The primary reason being that the Broncos were in Denver first and are one of the most successful franchises in NFL history, whereas the Nuggets didn't join the NBA until 1976 and have been one of the least successful franchises in NBA history (32 NBA seasons and just two Western Conference Finals appearances). The Rockies get the summer all to themselves plus a disproportionate amount of offseason coverage compared to the Nuggets. And of course the Avalanche were NHL Champions from Day One upon arrival in Denver.

As Denver area readers and Nuggets fans know all too well, the limited coverage the Nuggets once received got even more so when the Rocky Mountain News shut down its operations a few weeks ago, and in doing so laying off one of the most dedicated and informative beat writers the Nuggets have ever had, Chris Tomasson. As I stated in my column about the shuttering of the Rocky, sports bloggers and sports reporters can and should co-exist, but you need a good reporter in order to have a good blogger. Bloggers like me may attend a lot of games and watch every game - home and road - but we're not (yet) in that locker room with a microphone in the coach's face, we don't follow the team from city to city and certainly don't get the scoop on trades, playing time decisions, injuries and so forth. How many players, coaches, and league executive cell phone numbers do you think I and my fellow Nuggets bloggers have?

I've always looked at fans - especially those who buy tickets (as I just did for the playoffs) - as taxpayers who essentially pay for our professional teams and leagues to exist in the first place. Taking that analogy a bit further, we as taxpayers depend on a hard working and earnest free press to keep those teams and leagues accountable to us. And this is exactly what Chris Tomasson has been doing for us since September of 2002 when he started covering the Nuggets. Oh, and he has over 100 cell phone numbers for players, coaches and league executives.

Now we, the taxpayer, have the opportunity to get even more Nuggets coverage from Tomasson (and get more Broncos coverage, Rockies coverage, local news coverage, high school sports coverage, etc) by supporting the InDenverTimes - an online newspaper staffed by former Rocky Mountain News reporters that's aiming to launch on May 4th if they get 50,000 pledged subscriptions by April 23rd. They're asking for just $4.99 a month to keep these reporters employed on our behalf and I've already subscribed.

I caught up with Tomasson and asked him some questions about the new venture that Nuggets fans would want to know.

Denver Stiffs: Why is this worth $5 a month to Nuggets fans?

Chris Tomasson: Unequivocally there will be more content in the InDenverTimes than there was physically in the Rocky. Our space got hit dramatically in the paper. And whether you're in town or far away, if you want additional coverage of your team beyond one newspaper and enjoyed the Rocky coverage of the Nuggets, this gives you the opportunity to get a mulligan on that coverage.

DS: Will you get to editorialize more about the Nuggets?

CT: The key word is analysis. I can bring a unique perspective to the Nuggets and the NBA because I have contacts throughout the NBA. And the other people we're bringing on board are known in the community for their trusted and respected analysis.

DS: In the meantime, where can Nuggets fans find your content?

CT: I've been putting up stories on the website already. (Check out Tomasson's articles on the Nuggets probability of losing Chris Andersen after the season, Renaldo Balkman possibly being "the new Dennis Rodman" and the impact of the global economic crisis on the Nuggets cheerleaders.)

DS: Will I be able to catch up with you before the Warriors' game on Saturday night?

CT: I'll be at Pepsi Center around five o'clock. Can you get in that early?

DS: Unfortunately, no. I'm just a fan.