My conversation with Adrian Dater

I meant to write this yesterday, but got a little busy. As most of you know Sunday night, after the Sharks game, I met Adrian Dater for a beer and a conversation about the Avs, and the whole newspaper-blogging thing. Well actually I had beer and Dater had a house Merlot. No, I didn't f-ing leave after he ordered a Merlot. One thing he taught me is that Mariott points are kind of like cigarettes for sportswriters. They get a few, and then a few more and finally they're so addicted to them that they stay 10 miles away from the arena just to get their fix. Anyways the conversation focused on three topics:

• We talked about newspapers and blogs the most, and we both came to a consensus that craigslist, not bloggers, were the real competition for newspapers. I actually told him I feel bad because I consume a ton of The Denver Post's product (I read the sports, Denver and the West and lifestyles sections regularly) but I don't pay a nickel for any of it. It doesn't seem like giving things away, that cost money to produce, is a solid business model. I think papers will have to start charging for online content. Personally I think the basic news should be free (because that stuff will be found everywhere for free). Traditional columns, mailbags and editorials should be on subscription, since that's material that can only be found at The Denver Post, and premium material should be an even more expensive subscription. This material would be Podcasts, blogs, and interactive material like message boards and blog comments etc. All the memberships should be 4-person memberships so that families, and not just one member of the family, can have access (like a newspaper). Or at least have special "family" deals or something. They should also give me my neighbor's login and passwords since I won't be able to steal his paper off of his front porch step every morning.

Speaking of news sites you will need to pay for, Dater also mentioned In Denver Times, which is a news website created by editors at the now defunct Rockey Mountain News.

I'm excited about In Denver Times, because I really want the newspaper industry to find a way to make money. It seems like the evolution of an industry is borne out of tragedy, and maybe the Rocky Mountain News closing will allow these editors to develop a successful news business model. I will most certainly be subscribing to it starting May 4th. So far they have 2 Avs stories (Update: They just published a 3rd) up, a short summary of the Avs 3-1 loss to the Sharks Sunday, and a profile on Tyler Arnason that includes this passage:
One comment on an Avalanche blog earlier this season theorized that Arnason must have pictures of GM Francois Giguere, coach Tony Granato and a goat in “compromising positions.” Why else would he be in the lineup?

• We talked about his now-infamous Jerry McGuire-esque ESPN meltdown. It was interesting to hear what the build up was that finally ended in that eruption. Factors included, a good friend losing a job, the general smugness of ESPN employees, a late night, and , not surprisingly the official sponsor of all rage-induced writing: Alcohol. I think he still means what he said, but he showed true remorse for including names in his blog post, especially since the names he mentioned weren't who he was really mad at at all. I continue to be a fan of his post, as I have nearly exclusively given up ESPN completely.

• Finally we talked about Jose Theodore and Peter Budaj, and why he continues to be of the opinion the Avs were wrong to let Theo go. Essentially the Avs got a thoroughbread with a broken leg and decided to invest the money, time and effort into nursing that horse back to health. When the horse finally started to look like he was back to health, and as strong as he was before the Avs essentially gave him away to another investor, who is now riding the horse to show in the Eastern conference. The logic is that if you invest so much money into fixing something that's broken, you might as well invest more to see it through as long as you've seen some results. I can appreciate this logic, mainly because I work for a government contractor and it's that kind of thinking that keeps money flowing to my program. But I think the moral of the story is that the Avs would be in the same place today (granted without a playoff win last season) if they would have just shot Theo and put him out of his misery to begin with. Or something like that.

In all seriousness Dater wanted to make it clear that he was not a Theo-lover, but he just couldn't fathom how the Avs could just let someone go that they had invested so much money in, after it looked like he had finally put it together. I still think it was the right call. The Avs are already have serious cap-problems next season, and paying $4.5M for a goalie who, still, isn't much of an improvement over the Avs current netminders doesn't seem like a wise investment to me. Of course had they signed Theo, they probably wouldn't have had money to spend on Darcy Tucker, so that would have been a plus. Regardless I think not-signing Theo was the right move.

We mentioned one other thing in passing, that requires a lot more discussion, so stay tuned later today or tomorrow As i look into that.


  1. I don't recall who wrote the goat thing.

  2. I know it wasn't me. At least I hope not.

  3. Nope Adrian... It was Bob in Boulder... aka BiB