If you would have asked Jeff Morton in 1988 what he thought he would be doing when he was in his late 40’s he probably would have told you ‘Rock Star’ or something banal like that. Indeed, that was the year I started playing the guitar and my passion for music remains the first love in my life.

A close second likely would have been NBA player or writer.

By the time 1992 rolled around my genetics (ie: being short as hell) and coming to terms with my sexuality left me no choice but to leave the athletic portion of my life behind. It was my issues of grappling with my sexuality (how it was becoming very clear to me I was sexually attracted to men) and fear around that which left me eternally struggling with how far I should go into sports. As if that would preclude me from seeking employment as an adult in sports media but … welcome to the thoughts of a teenager in the 90’s.

As the 90’s lazily idled through time I took on the life of a typical late era Gen Xer. Movies and music fan with a singular focus on my obsessions, all the while maintaining an underdog like view of my favorite basketball team. My dream of becoming a media member who wrote about the Denver Nuggets sort of drifted by the wayside as, well, life happened.

When Andrew Feinstein asked me to become a full time writer on Denver Stiffs in 2010 I had already been writing columns known as Weekly Optimism on the site for over a year. As long time readers of Denver Stiffs could tell you I’m prone to cynicism and the term Weekly optimism was a bit of a misnomer. I was well into my 30’s and really didn’t envision it ever being a thing. You know. I’d just have some fun writing about the Nuggets and I would peace out within a respectable amount of time so I could look back and say, man … wasn’t that fun?

Here I am in 2023 and yeah. Best laid plans right?

In Defector, long time NBA blogger Patrick Redford penned a column talking about the history of blogging. It’s well worth your time to read because (along with being a great read), to me, it reminds of what pioneers Denver Stiffs was at a time when blogging was most definitely frowned upon. The hard work Nate Timmons did in getting our site respected and where it took us. From a barely read Pickaxe and Roll on SB Nation and a controversial Fire George Karl blog to one of the leading Nuggets media representatives in the world. Amazing. Credit to my former colleagues. It took a LOT of time folks.

Look at it this way … when Andy, Nate and myself were at the beginnings of enduring the excruciating Melodrama, Zach Lowe was writing blogs at CelticsHub. Yes folks, this is pre Grantland. Even pre Sports Illustrated. This is mentioned as well in the Defector article. Time is a funny thing. You know what else is a funny thing; Lowe, Brian Windhorst and myself are all the same age. We are all now the ‘old men’ in NBA media.

That aside, one of the reasons I started writing the occasional column at Denver Stiffs after so many years was to sort of remind the public about our past and maybe point a way to a new future. Redford talks about the analytical influence of blogging — something that Stiffs didn’t embrace until I asked Adam Mares to join us in 2015, very late to the party as usual — and I sort of feel like we at Stiffs can have an influence in shaping how the Nuggets are covered too. Something that respects our past.

One of the blessings of blogging was how relentlessly forward thinking it presented itself. A medium with a view to new thoughts on the future and that is something that probably benefited sports coverage in the long run. Having things done ‘the way they’ve always been done’ isn’t a productive way to look at things. However, as ever, the pendulum has swung too far. Blogging was subsumed by first the social media place formerly known as Twitter, and now TikTok. One thing Redford’s piece reminded me is, we still need well thought out pieces about the NBA that can’t be packaged into a 30 second soundbite. A well-written column has so much more lasting impact than a drive-by social media post.

Additionally, as I have pointed out ad-nauseam since Carmelo Anthony was treading the boards at Ball Arena the Nuggets themselves have a weird relationship with their past. It was due to former Nuggets GM/President Tim Connelly, Lisa Johnson and yes … Denver Stiffs that the 20th Anniversary of the Nuggets miracle victory over the Sonics ever got celebrated in 2014 in the first place (by the way, this year is the 30th Anniversary of that season for those that are interested in more retrospectives from yours truly). Stiffs has the unique ability to both cover the present while honoring the past.

I’m here to remind the public in Denver that we here at Stiffs have a role to play in honoring the entire picture that is the nearly 60 year history of the Denver Nuggets. Blogging pointed the way to the future in 2010 and we can point the way to all history in 2023. The platform is here and there’s no better place to celebrate all that is Nuggets than Denver Stiffs.