It was a late evening in front of the glow of two computer screens and a PC LED setup that inexplicably always reverts to rainbow (computer LED control software is the bane of my existence), when I found inspiration about a month ago. I wish I could say I was inspired to create something truly meaningful, but really I just wanted to throw together a podcast intro for a podcast I wasn’t doing anymore. Audio and video editing has always appealed to me and back in the good old days of the Pickaxe Podcast my favorite thing was probably cutting together intros and bumpers. So, with absolutely no intention to do anything with it whatsoever, I threw together a pod intro that was themed after the 2023 championship run by the Denver Nuggets. For the hell of it, I posted it on Twitter and the next day I got a text from my old friend Ryan Blackburn. He said Denver Stiffs is looking for a site manager. Coincidence or fate? We’ll never know. I took a moment to reflect on what Ryan was saying, understanding that at this time I was in no way being offered the position, just getting my interest gauged, and it was at this time that it was right to say no. If I said I was interested, it meant going all in from that point forward, regardless if I ended up with the job or not. I slept on it, and the next day I emailed Nate Lundy declaring my interest.

Like a 38 year old Michael Jordan playing with the Washington Wizards, I’m back in the game for a third time. When I left Stiffs back in 2021 it was for a very specific reason: I couldn’t take being with the site I love and care about so much whenever the proverbial ax from Vox media came. Two years later, that’s exactly what happened. The relationship with Vox, in my eyes at least, was never beneficial to the people who founded, curated and worked at Denver Stiffs. We bore the entire responsibility of producing content and managing the site and Vox reaped the rewards. Their business model was based on churning out as much content as possible, it didn’t matter if it was thoughtful or even good, just post something, anything, and make sure it meets the SEO requirements…and do that 30 times a week. Stiffs is not a click farm and it never will be. Despite Vox not caring what we posted, as a staff we always cared deeply. From Andy Feinstein to Nate Timmons to Jeff Morton to Adam Mares to Ryan Blackburn to Brandon Ewing and every other member of this team over the years, quality of content matters more than anything. When you need to put up 30 quality posts every week you start to look at a 100 hour per week burden or more, impossible for one individual to do alone. When you’re given a pittance of a budget to work with, it’s equally impossible to build a staff to post 30 quality pieces of content and pay them fairly. In my opinion, Vox did nothing but take advantage of talented people for over a decade and in the end they thanked everyone by unceremoniously pulling the plug on the whole thing in the middle of the most exciting Denver Nuggets season ever.


There’s something amazing about this site though, something that I think no other site covering the Nuggets has: a community of fans and loyalists who absolutely refuse to let this place die. So when Vox gave up on Stiffs of course our founder Andy Feinstein stepped in to make sure it didn’t end. When Andy needed help managing the site, of course Nate Lundy stepped in with the Mile High Sports umbrella to make sure the behind the scenes things got done, when the site was in transition and not much content was being posted of course you all kept showing up every day, talking in 100+ comment threads about the Nuggets, politics, what’s for dinner and Jeeps. And when the site needed someone to step in and be the day to day manager, of course I dusted off my keyboard and got to writing. Denver Stiffs is special and now that it’s fully back in the hands of the people who recognize just how unique that is, it will always be special and it won’t go anywhere. That fact alone gave me everything I needed to know the morning I emailed Nate and told him that I want to do this.

I took a night to think about it though because another fact is not lost on me: this site requires and deserves a time commitment commensurate to maintain the standard its set. It’s a big ask and I take it very seriously because this site means everything to me. That’s the first promise I make to all of you as the new site manager: you will not see a dip in the quality of content this site has to offer. However, it’s also important to point out that we’re also not going to place unreasonable demands and force people into a “just post anything situation” like it was in the past. I can make this promise to you as well: you won’t be getting 30 posts a week on the site. In order for this site to be sustainable the answer has to be somewhere in the middle and finding that sweet spot is my goal for the first season. You will be getting regular content throughout the year. Previews/Recaps, editorials, podcasts, the things you’re used to seeing will continue and my goal is one way or another, whether it’s a recap, an editorial or even just a weekend thread, to give you a new piece of content everyday. A place that you can read, listen, or hell just skip right past and head into the comments section to complain about your HOA and how you wish you could send the Jokic brothers to the next board meeting. This site is about community and fostering that and growing that continues to be the most important thing.

Jun 12, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Strahinja Jokic celebrates after the Denver Nuggets won the 2023 NBA Championship against the Miami Heat at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

This means you’ll also see me regularly in the comments section as well. I want this group to feel connected to the people producing the content and part of Stiffs in every way. I first came to this site because of a silly name I heard about on the radio but it was the community and discussions in the comment section that kept me here for over a decade. I think it’s something wholly unique to this site in the Nuggets sphere and one of the absolute best things to ever happen in that sphere. There shouldn’t be a separation though between content producers and content consumers, we’re all Stiffs. Quite frankly, I was going to be in the comments anyways so this is the lowest hanging fruit for continuing to foster the Stiffs.

It also means I want you all to have the opportunity to be involved. Thomas Tim B2B made mention that we should get some of our regular commenters on the Denver Stiffs Show. Love it, so we’ll do it. If you have an idea for an article you want to write, great! Send it to me and as long as it meets the quality standards I spoke about earlier I’ll post it for you and credit you as a guest columnist. If you have concerns, complaints or queries, send me an email, message me on twitter or flag something on the site (best way to get my attention) and I’ll take care of it ASAP. This site is for all of us and now that it’s back in local hands I want to lean into that as much as possible.

I also want to get us back to the heart of Stiffs. The landscape has changed so much since this site got started back in 2008. Back then you were at the mercy of whether or not ESPN found something interesting enough about the Nuggets to chuck up a 300 word blurb on it (narrator: they did not find things interesting enough). Now, there’s a ton of sites producing timely content on the latest and greatest things the Denver Nuggets are doing. We’ll do some of that too of course, but “being on the beat” isn’t my primary focus. Again, we’re under the MHS umbrella now and former Big Stiff Ryan Blackburn does as good of a job as anyone on covering the beat. I’m not trying to compete with Ryan or anyone else covering the Nuggets for that matter. I believe there is room for all of us but I also believe there is an underserved part of Nuggets coverage in the market. Who out there is breaking down the Nuggets ‘93-’94 upset of the Seattle Supersonics, who’s paying homage to Chauncey Billups and how he changed the culture almost overnight of a talented team not living up to their potential, who’s reminiscing about how George Karl bucked the trend and won 57 games with a team of role players while everyone else was building super teams? That nostalgia, that respect for where this “flyover cowtown” team came from, that’s always been an arena where Stiffs excelled and we’re going to lean into that hard, starting tomorrow. 

Oct 1, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets players JaVale McGee (34) and Kenneth Faried (35) and Ty Lawson (3) and Andre Iguodala (9) and Danilo Gallinari (8) model new alternate home gold uniforms in front of reporters during media day at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

It’s also more important than ever to cover that stuff in my opinion. Fact is, most people in the wider NBA world still look at this Nuggets team as exactly that: a flyover, cowtown franchise that caught lightning in the bottle. For the first time maybe ever, those casual NBA fans, those national columnists, they’re going to be paying close attention to the Denver Nuggets. I have no doubt that Michael Malone, Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and the rest of the team will make sure of that with what they do on the court. Stiffs can help too. Let’s help them understand why December 15th is a holiday; let’s help them understand why there are people on one side who say Carmelo Anthony saved the franchise and people on the other side who say Carmelo Anthony should never see his jersey in the rafters of ball arena; let’s help them understand just how good Alex English and David Thompson and Dan Issel and Fat Lever and all the other Nuggets greats really were. Let’s help them understand that this isn’t a flyover, cowtown franchise but rather a franchise that’s been playing basketball for over half a century with a rich history and a significant impact on the landscape of the league as a whole.

Alex English looks to fire a shot. The Bucks’ defense held the Denver star to 15 points Wednesday night
1989 Press Photo Alex English Looks To Fire A Shot

Let’s make Denver Stiffs new but with everywhere we came from at the forefront of our mind. There’s no more post quotas, no more “just get something up,” no more wondering if today is the day we find out on twitter the site has been shuttered. There’s nothing but opportunity for all of us to make this the best Denver Nuggets site and community possible and it starts right now. I am humbled, honored and admittedly a little terrified to be the shepherd for this herd of Stiffs but above all else I’ve never been more excited. Here’s to a great season and to fostering a community of crazy Nuggets fans through this burgeoning dynasty.