The Sandlot is my favorite sports movie.
Set in 1962, the movie is a coming of age story about a boy who is struggling to adjust to life in a new town before discovering a love for the game of baseball. He’s aided in that discovery by a few new friends who teach him everything a 5th-grader would need to know about the game, from how to catch a fly ball to how to chew tobacco.
But the movie isn’t actually about baseball. What that movie gets right is how much of what we truly love about sports isn’t actually the sports themselves.
At their best, sports can become a vehicle to help us experience the world. Sports are with us in our youth as we learn to navigate grade school. Posters of our favorite athletes decorate the walls to our bedrooms as we lay awake in bed dreaming about game-winning shots and walk-off home runs.
Sports are with us in adolescence as we begin to discover who we are. They show us what greatness looks like and reveal new emotions that we can feel deep in our souls. They inspire us to grow and challenge us to live with passion and drive.
As adults, sports keep us company as we learn how to be alone. They help us form bonds among coworkers, neighbors, and even complete strangers on the internet. And as we grow old, sports help to connect us to our children, our grandchildren, and to a whole new generation of our peers. They help keep us tethered as the world evolves and changes around us.
Sports are especially entrenched in the way that we experience a city. In every major metropolis throughout human history, sports are woven into the fabric of the society in which they exist, influencing the identities of its citizens and helping to shape the culture of the people who call those cities home. From the ballcourts of the ancient Mayan temples to the floors of the Roman Colosseum, to the bleachers of the modern NFL stadium, sports sit at the heart of it all. You cannot truly know a place without knowing their sports.
Which brings me to DNVR.
Brandon Spano and I had met for coffee a few different times over the last couple of years. I had always kept an eye on what he and his staff had built with BSN. I’ve had close friends pass through his company, and I’m always interested to see the different ways that people approach a professional sports beat. Likewise, Spano had always kept an eye on what my staff and I were doing over at Denver Stiffs. On two occasions over the previous four years, we actually met and discussed whether or not a partnership between us made sense. As recently as last summer, the answer was no. We were both still discovering what we wanted out of our companies, and our visions remained slightly incongruent.
Over the course of this last year, our vision, and the vision of the DNVR staff, became increasingly aligned.
We don’t want to be bogged down by the constraints of convention. With new technologies, digital media has freed storytellers to experiment with new ways of telling their stories. Today, writers are only limited by their imagination and by their passion for their subject. In our case, that is a passion for the Nuggets, Broncos, Rockies, Avalanche, Buffs, and Rams. And at the heart of that passion is a love for the city of Denver itself.
There is something unique about this dusty old cow town. For those who were born here, that love runs as deep as the roots of the red and gold Aspen trees that are currently adorning the hillsides from Steamboat to Crested Butte. For those who are new here, it’s a love that grabs you like a cold breeze careening off of Mount Evans down onto the plains.
The spirit of the west still resides in Denver. We’re provincial. We’re independent. We’re bold. And we want to tell our story, our way. I’m excited to be joining a team of creative, passionate, and bold storytellers who all share a love for this place we call home. Our goal is to cover Denver sports in a way unlike anything anyone has done before, with an emphasis on the intersection of sports, culture, and community because the story of Denver sports is the story of the city itself, and the story of a place unlike any other city on Earth.
I hope you’ll join us on this journey. And I hope you’ll enjoy all of the things that we have in store.
Welcome to DNVR. We are Denver.