Welcome To Thin Air!

If you are reading this post on or about April 27, 2015, you have recently learned that It’s All Over, Fat Man!, one of the best and greatest independent websites covering the Denver Broncos, announced on April 26 that it would cease its operations.  This collective decision by the IAOFM writers was made for reasons that I believe will allow them to seek the happiness and well-being that they deserve.  I highly respect their decision, and I wish them the very best on whatever their future holds for all.

As a long-time reader and a short-term commenter of IAOFM, I did express concern that the community that had built up during IAOFM’s operations would be without a home to engage in the strong discourse that has developed during that time.  Because online communities have a habit of dispersing rapidly after a site closes down, I in turn made the rapid decision to create a new place where that discourse can still have a place to continue.  Thus, Thin Air has been born.

What is Thin Air?

On or about April 27, 2015, my thoughts on what this site is about are close to the following “mission statement”, if you will: “Providing a home for those wishing to read and write insightful commentary on the Denver Broncos and more”.  There is no guarantee that this mission will stay the same in the future, as one can never fully predict what the future will hold.  One of the most cliched coachspeak lines out there is that you take a football season “one game at a time”.  We’ll take Thin Air one day at a time, see what develops, and change as need be.

What should we expect at Thin Air?

At the time Thin Air was founded, I would expect that a principal expectation to hold is that this will be a much more reader-driven website than IAOFM was. Although I do have the time and desire to write some articles, I do not anticipate they will be nearly as frequent as the average blogger, or as frequent as the IAOFM writers worked at their peaks.  I have many other professional, personal, and leisurely roles to live, and I must fulfill my commitments in those regards as well. I expect my role to be more of an “editor-in-chief” type, in which I write a little but not a lot, and guide and encourage insightful commentary among others who wish to participate.

While there was never a “good” time for IAOFM to call it quits, the time they did is probably as “least bad” as possible.  This is because we’ll have the draft in a few days to use a “guinea pig” to observe what we want and what works, and then we will enter the dead part of the NFL season where we will have time to refine operations.  The look and feel of this site will also evolve.  Right now we’re just running on WordPress’s default Twenty Fifteen theme, but I plan to alter it to cater more to our needs.  I’m aiming for a clean design that’s similar to what IAOFM offered.

Here are some of the ideas that I have for Thin Air:

  • First and foremost, I’m always open for volunteers who are willing to contribute.  You can start, of course, by simply commenting on any article at Thin Air.  If you are a former IAOFM commenter you will be able to use Disqus here just as you did there.  But if you have an idea for top-level content that you feel meshes with what the community here wants to read, then don’t be shy and give it a try! There will be absolutely zero obligation on how much to write; just do so whenever you can and want to.  As of Thin Air’s founding, the method of creating articles will be a work in progress, and through continuous feedback I hope that we will find a process that will work for everyone.  My desire is to make this process as effortless as possible.
  • At least for the beginning, the comments will be the primary form of content.  Until we have a better idea on who wants to contribute and in what form, I anticipate that most of the action will be in the comments.  I’ll be creating some open threads on common events that occur regarding the Broncos.  I’ve already done so for the upcoming draft, and I will create new threads once we learn which rookies will be added to the Broncos roster.
  • The subject will primarily revolve around the Denver Broncos, but not exclusively so.  If you’re here, odds are you’re a Broncos fan, and as such you’ll want to talk about them.  In the process, though, there may be other subjects to explore.  I expect that we’ll want to talk about the NFL in general, football in general, and perhaps even some subjects that only have a tangential relation to the Broncos, if there’s any relation at all.
  • High quality commentary.  If you came here from IAOFM, you are well aware on how that site was different from other Broncos sites, and I feel it was because the writers and commenters held themselves to a higher standard than your average site.  I expect the community here to do the same from a natural process of self-enforcement.
  • Ideas to be determined!  I’m never going to have all the ideas, and if anyone participating has something they think will work, I’m always open to considering it.

What shouldn’t we expect at Thin Air?

  • The first thing that must be stressed is that this will not be an exact replica of IAOFM, or any site for that matter.  What IAOFM created was an effort that will never be reproduced.  Thin Air will be different–how different, I cannot say, but when people move onto the future, they must change with the future.
  • Thin Air won’t be an encyclopedia of facts about the Denver Broncos. Information such as the Broncos’ schedule, roster, draft picks, history etc. are just a search away on Google–they and others can do all the hard work of constructing that data so we don’t have to.
  • I am not interested in doing the work of aggregating links from other sites relevant to the Broncos, but I’m open if others want to.  I only have a limited time to find and read such articles, and quite honestly, I’ve found that by following Adam Schefter and Lindsay Jones on Twitter, and checking in with major operations like Google News or Yahoo as well as other NFL sites I trust, I can learn the big picture of what’s happening fairly easily.

Why the name Thin Air?

Obviously, this is primarily an homage to the unique conditions of playing at a mile high altitude in Denver.  But there were a pair of ancillary reasons as to why I chose this name:

  • Thin Air is also the name of a song from another one of my favorite forms of entertainment, Pearl Jam.  (This is apparently a trait that I share with both Jim Irsay and Lindsay Jones.)  This site’s domain, in-thinair.com, has an “in” and hyphen tacked on because obviously thinair.com was taken, and “in” is a short word that comes before the lyrics of the song title in question.
  • I do enjoy a bit of irony in the fact that this site began a day after IAOFM ended, and that site’s name contains the word “fat” while this one contains the word “thin”. However, unlike at IAOFM I do not expect any puns revolving around “thin”–that’s a controversial rabbit hole I don’t want to dive down.