No respect, I tell ya... your Denver Nuggets get no respect...
Last night, after following the Nuggets-Warriors game in the car via an app that basically messages me the play by play, I was excited to get home and find a spot to catch the Nuggets win via any method possible. My first stop was to pull up the ESPN app on my Apple TV for highlights. I found a :46 second highlight reel entitled, "Curry, Warriors fall to Nuggets"
Huh. Not Nuggets win, but Curry loses. OK, I guess that's fair, he did just win the MVP with the now-champion Golden State Warriors. But after watching the 46 seconds, I was a little pissed. The highlight reel was made up of four clips. Here they are, in order:
Clip One: (opening shot on Steph Curry bobblehead doll with the championship trophy in one hand, and the MVP trophy in the other) "Look at this! Preseason, and the Nuggets and the Warriors are breaking out the goodies! (cut to game action) Steph Curry bobblehead night! Look at how skinny Andrew Bogut is! Look at how much weight he lost, if you can see him in your picture. Curry with the rip and the floater there, and then later..." (Curry scores at the end of the clip)
Clip Two: Gets past Kenneth Faried... "Aw, GOTCHA! (Curry banks it off the glass) All Faried can do is goaltend. Quick move, and then... second quarter..."
Clip Three: "It's Curry, again... to Marreese Speights, with the finish... (Speights gets a layup) Curry had seven assists to go with his 14 points..."
Clip Four: "Harrison Barnes sprained a knee in this game, Luke Walton says he's day to day... (Draymond Green slam with a Curry assist), Draymond Green able to finish here. Curry 14 points to go with his 7 dimes. Nuggets win it though, 114-103."
Huh. End of highlights. What. The. Fudge...
Only I didn't say fudge. Only one Nugget mentioned, in Faried, who had a 22 point, 12 rebound monster of a night (11 of those boards were defensive. Great game by the Manimal). And even then, mentioned with the comment, "All he can do is goaltend". Curry's points and assists got two mentions in three quarters of a minute. Beyond that, "Oh by the way, the Nuggets won." What the hell happened to "History is written by the victors"?
One grasps that this is only a preseason game, that the Warriors have kicked off this inconsequential period with a 1-3 record, and that our guys were 30-52 last season, with nary an All-Star on the squad. One might even grasp that ESPN needs to set these internationally-viewed stories to garner the most viewers broadly, and so places the biggest stars in each game front and center, and still... The story wasn't even a kick in the groin, it was a dismissal. It was 46 seconds of nothing to do with the winning team. I'd like to report that this event is unique to a game against the champs, but this is typical of all four preseason Nuggets highlight reels.
National pundits also anticipate your Denver Nuggets to land in the bottom five teams league-wide by season's end, and in one of the bottom three spots in the Western Conference, depending on which report you're reading. The franchise as a whole is also sniffed at on the four-letter network, with this to say in their Franchise Ultimate Standings:
The Nuggets are bottom-dwellers this year, ranked the second-worst franchise in the NBA (ahead of only the lowly Knicks) and the third-worst franchise in all of pro sports. Not an enviable spot, especially since Denver's other pro sports franchise ranks in the top 20 (hat tip, Peyton Manning).
Forgetting the fact that ESPN seems to have forgotten that Denver also has the Rockies and Avalanche along for the ride, the sports world seems to have a unique take on respect. Many sports figures declare the mantra, "Respect is earned, not given."
I've always had a slightly different favorite, a quote by Ziad K. Abdelnour:
"Trust is earned, respect is given, and loyalty is demonstrated. Betrayal of any one of those is to lose all three."
Respect is given. It's been an interesting preseason thus far for Nuggets fan closely following the proceedings. There have been many moments to be hopeful about, even if this team doesn't make the playoffs this season.
Even better, I'm starting to get a little giddy over what I hope is a healthy serving of crow for several of these national pundits who see the Nuggets as something on the bottom of their shoe, when they're taking the time to see them at all. It will be interesting to see which of us is right, as I always have my blue-and-gold colored glasses on. But R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Find out what it means to me. Which do we deserve: a little more respect than we're getting, or the invisible treatment after a couple of forgettable seasons? Sing it, Nuggets Nation!
Reminder: Stiffs Night Out Season Kickoff 10/28
Please join us for the next Stiffs Night Out on Wednesday, October 28th at 6pm as the Nuggets take on the Rockets in Houston to kickoff the 2015-16 NBA season. The event will take place at Jake’s Sports & Spirits at 3800 Walnut Street and Jake’s will be serving happy hour drinks until 7pm and 50-cent wings all night long! We will also play Nuggets trivia for prizes, including Nuggets game tickets. See you on the 28th!