With the lions share of the Denver media out at Dove Valley covering the Broncos last open practice on Thursday, the throng at Pepsi Center for Andre Iguodala's introductary press conference was thinner than it otherwise would have been. Nate Timmons of Denver Stiffs was there, though. He covered the event like a blanket. In fact, one could make the case that his was the most thorough coverage. Nate asked great questions, took copious notes and conducted himself as professionally as anyone from the major outlets.
I was taken aback when I realized that Nate was there. I wasn't aware that the 'Stiffs were accredited as media by Kroenke Sports. They are - and it's a distinction they have worked hard to earn. By allowing them media access, the Nuggets haven't done anyone any favors. The team knows that the kind of in-depth coverage the blog will provide only helps bring fans closer to the team.
Kroenke Sports' other major Denver Sports franchise has not come to the same realization. Despite the fact that some of the finest hockey writers in town write for digital media, the Avalanche do not - and reportedly will not - grant any media access to bloggers. They are steadfast about it.
When it comes to how it's best covered, hockey is a nerd sport. It's fans are fanatical, they're informed, and they often know more about the game and the people who play it than the mainstream media outlets are. Hockey fans are actually far more likely to turn to blogs for information than NBA fans are. And Denver has good hockey blogs.
By recognizing Denver Stiffs as legitimate media, the Nuggets have given Denver bloggers their "Jackie Robinson moment" down at the "Can". Now it's the Avalanche' turn.
The team should grant one hockey blog full media credentials for the coming NHL season. The PR department should allow writers to submit writing samples and resumes and make requests to be the first blogger on the "inside". Then they should select Ryan Boulding or Kevin Goff, formerly of the Avalanche Guild. Either of these writers would leap at the chance to build an Avs-specific site and to cover the team in the style of the Denver Stiffs crew.
This would be wonderful PR for the Avalanche and a boon to their fans. And their fans deserve it. The Denver Post does a wonderful job covering the Avalanche - and no blog can take the papers place. But hockey fans want more coverage than the daily can possibly provide. They're nerds, after all.