Denver has a great Sports Blog scene. Blog View is a series profiling some of the sites that enhance our experience as fans.
I have popped over to It's All Over, Fat Man (to which I will refer as IAOFM from now on) hundreds of times - usually having followed a link I spotted on Twitter where the blog's account profile reads "Independent Analysis of the Denver Broncos Football Club featuring writing by TJ Johnson, Emmett Smith, Ted Bartlett & Douglas Lee".
Johnson, Smith, Bartlett and Lee met while working together at the highly-respected SB Nation site, the Mile High Report, per their "about us" page. That explains why IAOFM is as polished as it is. The contributors are clearly very experienced - far more so that we are here at the South Stands.
All writers contribute vigorously to the site which receives what appears to be a minimum of two posts per day, even in the summer. The volume of the content is impressive. I have never logged in to find a weathered top post. It's not a stagnant blog - and that's a good thing. Latency is a killer in the blogging game - something I learned the hard way. Once people stop coming it can be difficult to get them back.
The first thing you might notice about IAOFM is the design. It has none. There's a plain white background and blue header text in a tasteful font. That's it. There are no photos, no advertisement, no scrolls, no banners - nothing. Even the Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus links at the bottom of the page are in hypertext only - no icons.. It's the cleanest, if not the most intriguing looking site imaginable.
All that is soon to change. David Singer, who also hosts HockeyFights.com and is in charge of the technical side of the site, plans on a redesign. It's likely that it will include advertising "inventory".
Another thing that jumps out is that each and every article has dozens of comments. We're jealous. It's indicative not only of a loyal readership - but of heavy traffic. I get the impression that IAOFM gets many times the daily visits of most independant sports blogs.
Another indication that IAOFM is very successful in terms of generating page views is that the site's Facebook page has, as of today, 1147 "likes". We are currently pushing 90.
Readers of the site click in from all over the Country and from all over the World. This is evident based on the handles of the commenters who use monikers like "orangeandblueaussie" and "ohiobronco".
IAOFM categorizes posts as "prime cuts" and "originals".
The writers do an immense amount of linking to external stories and source materials. Links are highlighted in blue. IAOFM is a virtual clearing house for NFL subject matter dealing with the Broncos and with the league as a whole. If one were to follow every link and read every linked article he would spend half a day navigating through it.
I have extracted more than one idea for a post from IAOFM or from an article I linked to through it. I find the material fascinating and the writing to be positively top-shelf. The individual contributors have unique "voices" that really shine through in their writing. The site can be silly and snarky and it can be very stat-driven and precise. The diversity of the type of posts at IAOFM is one thing that sets it apart. Consider this post: Former Bronco joins Cromartie to create nonprofit for über dads
versus this post: Studying third-down theory, Part 1
One post is pure comedy - the other provides ridiculously deep analysis. The contrast is enjoyable. Few sites provide that. Most tend to lean in one direction or the other and fail to incorporate humor with knowledge in this way.
Interestingly, as with Mile High Report, the contributors to IAOFM don't live in Colorado. Instead, their commentary comes from New York, California and Ohio. Don't think for one second that this renders them any less able to cover the Broncos like a big, orange blanket. The notion that a Broncos blog has to be Denver based is ridiculous. With myriad online resources, out-of-staters are easily able to stay abreast of the goings on and Dove Valley and at Sports Authority.
As Broncos training camp nears I will be using IAOFM to keep tabs on my team and on stories from around the league. I suggest that you do the same.