In their search for a new head coach, the Denver Broncos will keep fans updated via a multimedia effort unheard of in today’s NFL. Complete with video inside the “war room” and candid in-car interviews with candidates as they presumably drive to the team’s head quarters in Dove Valley, the reach out effort represents ownership’s desire to rekindle fans’ trust in what critics label a lost franchise.
Fox 31 local news puttered away unnoticed in the living room corner, the Green Bay Packers’ NFC wild card victory over MikeVick and the Eagles already just a memory as we busied ourselves with needless conversation. Then John Elway’s face flickered on screen, and I turned up the volume.
The segment showed video clips of New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell answering questions candidly from the passenger seat, shots of John Elway, vice president of football operations, meeting the candidate and the inside of the interview room, decked out in framed jerseys–Atwater, Sharpe, you know, the big names.
In the brief video interview, Fewell said:
“First class,” referring to the Broncos organization in the interview with the team’s website.
“Mr. Bowlen, first class. The Denver way of how they did things, you would always ask questions, those guys were so successful. How did they do this? How did they practice on Friday? How did they conduct themselves when they went on trips?”
“Everything seemed like it was geared towards winning,” Fewell continued from the car en route presumably to the interview.
“Championships start at the top and it starts with Mr. Bowlen. He knows how to compete, and that makes it more fun for you as a coach. He understands competition and knows what it takes. It just trickles down the food chain. I see that in the Denver Broncos organization. I see that in how they play and how they’ve prepared and I want to be a part of something like that.”
This kind of transparency is the smartest thing ownership has done in the past five years, a brilliant PR move that I expect to catch on throughout the NFL as the proletariat continue to thirst for more and more information digestible through multimedia.
Before anyone stops to accuse me of an orange tint to my lenses, hear me out. The Denver Broncos, after a tumultuous year and a half under Coach McDaniels; amid out-of-bounds questions about owner Pat Bowlen’s state of mind; having not reached the playoffs since 2005; and following the team’s hire of John Elway, made immediate steps to distance themselves from their past by emphasizing transparency in their search for a new head coach.
The move makes sense, given the fans’ reaction to Josh McDaniels totalitarian, opaque operations. Mike Shanahan was similarly non-transparent, but he won two Super Bowls before coaching through nearly a decade of disappointment.
Now fans have a chance to observe and evaluate these candidates on their own–though they don’t have any capability to vote on a favorite through DenverBroncos.com, for obvious reasons. Expect that question to come down via the Denver Post soon.
Don’t just take my word for it. Check out the multimedia content on the website. As it relates to the evolving role of journalism, I love what the the organization and their official website are doing here.