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Random thoughts from basketball oblivion: Of podcasts and radio

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Has the major FM Sports talk station in Denver abandoned all-sports talk for exclusive Broncos coverage? Yes and no. This is not a bad thing for the Nuggets coverage. Additionally I answer your questions from twitter.

Friday night, ME of ALLLL people quoted TuPac on twitter, and I was the only one (aside from the youngster Aniello Piro from Mile High Sports) who understood what I was saying. Literally everyone in the press box is younger than me. How does this happen? I don't even listen to hip hop ...

Anyway ... on today's random thoughts

What the heck is going on with 104.3 The Fan lately?

Your Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl early in February, a great moment for the city of Denver and we are sure it was a boon to sports talk radio. I mean ... it's the the freakin' Super Bowl. Of course it's great. One million people packed downtown Denver and celebrated the team a mere three days later. It was great for the active sports talk stations in Denver (after the collapse of ESPN Denver left only two sports real talk outlets, 104.3 The Fan and Mile High Sports). Talking Broncos is big business.

Since the beginning of the year, the fan has gone "all in" with the Broncos. In the morning drive they have Mike Evans and Mark Schlereth (former Broncos player). In the mid-morning they now have Cecil Lammey (Fantasy Football guy). In the early Afternoon theres the excellent Sandy Clough and now ... Brandon Stokely (again ... former Broncos player). And in afternoon drive-time you have Darren McKee and another former Broncos player Alfred Williams. The Fan by appearances and by demonstration is well and truly a Broncos adjunct.

Does this reflect poorly on The Fan? No ... not really. The Broncos are big business and drive huge ratings in Denver. This has always been true and will likely always be the case. As I've said often, Denver is a GREAT Broncos town ... but a less than enthusiastic sports town for all three other major sports. Particularly when it comes to sports talk radio. Radio stations have to deal with the reality that is it's demographic. When you can assume ratings are so high for one sports team (Broncos) then you cannot blame them for going where their metaphorical bread is buttered.

However, as has been demonstrated as the station's dismissal of co-host's who are capable of talking anything other than Broncos they have limited themselves tremendously when breaking news happens (like if the Nuggets pull off a big trade, or if the Rockies are on a good run) this puts tremendous stress on Evans and Clough to carry the weight in informing their audience about the ins and outs of that particular news. Both are fully capable, but it is a strange separation and leads one to wonder if their co-hosts would be capable of talking about subjects that aren't NFL or Broncos related (I'm purposely leaving out The Drive with Al and McKee ...  they've shown little to no willingness nor ability to talk about anything other than Broncos and NFL)

Where does that leave the Nuggets coverage? Thankfully there are outlets like Colorado Sports Guys Podcast that talk about the Nuggets for one very good reason. The NBA skews very young. The average listener of CSG is 21 to 30 and reaches an international audience. The downloads of CSG have EXPLODED over the past year and we are hitting new records with each subsequent podcast. There's an audience for the Nuggets and related talk ... but it is the podcast listening audience. Maybe we are fully entering a brave new frontier when the NBA DOMINATES the podcast listening audience and the NFL handles the older skewing terrestrial radio?

Colorado Sports Guys has well and truly succeeded because of the hard work of Nate Timmons (who also has a really good additional Nuggets podcast with Harrison Wind from BSN Denver ... check it out right here), Ross Martin (without whom there would be NO CSG ... Ross truly is underrated) and lastly myself because it really is our baby. We've developed a unique audience that listens every single episode.

My initial inclination was to be upset when The Fan let one of their last "All-Sports" hosts (Ryan Edwards and Shawn Drotar) go this last week. Both are friends of Denver Stiffs and of myself personally ... I know they will both land on their feet and go forward to new and exciting things. I'm sure there will be competition opening up very soon for the Fan, and I guarantee that you will get terrestrial radio coverage of Nuggets, Avalanche and Rockies. In the meantime I want you to know that Colorado Sports Guys, Denver Stiffs and all the other Nuggets-centric blogs and websites out there have your back (including Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post). You want to hear about the Nuggets ... we got chu!

This week's Twitter questions

I selected three questions this week from twitter to answer. This week they range from Nikola Jokic, to the three point line. Lets dive in

Nurkic has been the subject of a couple articles in the last few weeks, including our former colleague Nate Timmons on BSN Denver last week. You can check that out right here. To answer Brooke's question ... there is really not much limit to Jusuf Nurkic's potential. Where he has been suffering of late is a bit of a crisis of confidence. It's hard to come back in the first season removed from torn patellar tendon surgery (just ask former Nuggets player Antonio McDyess who suffered set back after set back after his patellar surgery and it cost him two years of his career).

I'm sure that frustration (and soreness) has translated onto the court, and maybe into some of his current mood. It's real frustration and Nurkic likely needs to handle it better than he has. HOWEVER, Nurkic has tremendous talent, and I have little doubt he will be back. He is by far the Nuggets best defensive player, and when he works through whatever is going through his head right now he will be back in a big way.

This is referring to Golden State Warriors player Stephen Curry. Simple answer ... no. Mostly because moving back the three point line will do nothing to deter Curry from shooting threes. His range is unlimited. I do believe, however, that the NBA is a better league when there's more diverse offense and the current "threes and layups" model will run it's course just as much as bully ball of the 1990's ran it's course.  The league may do something in the future to emphasize big men with post-moves again, or at the very least allow teams to have more diverse offense that includes everything. I suggested taking away the corner three as an option. We shall see if the league would have the appetite for such a change.

Scott Hastings described Nikola Jokic as a "Big Great Dane Puppy". That's the most accurate description of Jokic I've heard. He is VERY goofy generally. In a good way. Jokic seems to enjoy people and his life. He looks like he genuinely enjoys basketball and wants to get better. He is driven and works hard at every practice that I've witnessed.

Goofy though. He really is a big kid but that talent. Hard not to be impressed.

Thanks to all who asked questions on twitter. I will be answering more next week. In the meantime take care.