Welcome back to BSN Buffs.
(You wouldn’t believe how incredible that feels to write.)
Over the last couple of years, we’ve received two questions almost every day. First, why did BSN Denver end our coverage of the state’s premier college sports program? And second, when — if ever — will we bring it back?
The answer to the first question is complicated, but I’ll give you part of the answer. One big reason we pressed the pause button on the BSN Buffs is that, as we transitioned to a subscription-based model, we wanted all hands on deck ensuring that our coverage of Colorado’s professional sports teams was worth every penny you gave us.
Of course, our expectation is still to provide you with the best possible content in every area of our coverage, but we now have the resources and man-power to break back into Boulder.
The answer to the second question is simple. BSN Buffs is re-launching today, Monday, July 22, and it’s going to be my baby.
If you follow BSN Broncos, you might know me, but just in case you haven’t, I want to introduce myself.
My name is Henry Chisholm and I’m from Columbia Falls, Montana. It’s a town of fewer than 5,000 people up in the northwest corner of the state. It’s a few minutes from Flathead Lake and it’s a few minutes from Glacier National Park. It’s a beautiful spot, but in terms of sports, there isn’t a lot going for it unless you’re a big rodeo guy. (I’m not.)
My sports fix came from a few trips to Denver every year to catch the Rockies, Avs, Nuggets and, especially, the Broncos. The rest came from watching TV.
During my sophomore year of college at the University of Montana, I decided I needed more. I wrote for, and then helped manage, a startup sports blog run by college students. I loved it and decided I was going to write about sports for a living. I added a journalism major.
In May 2017, nine months after I began blogging, I wanted to jump up a level. I reached out to Ryan Koenigsberg, asking if there was a place for me at BSN Broncos. Ryan set me up with a gig writing short breaking news stories. Eventually, my role expanded to writing game recaps, then longer quote pieces, and so on. Meanwhile, BSN Denver grew to become the largest digital sports network in the market.
Last summer I moved into a 280-square-foot, air conditioning-less studio in Capitol Hill for three months so I could intern full-time with BSN Denver. I wrote more, watched film to track proprietary stats and subbed on the BSN Broncos Podcast a few times. I learned how to make a career in sports media from people I’d read my entire life, and from people who were in my shoes just a few years earlier.
After the summer, I went back up to Missoula to finish school. I served as Sports Editor at the Montana Kaimin, the university’s student newspaper. I primarily covered Griz football and Lady Griz basketball, while helping out wherever else we needed more coverage, like women’s golf. I wrote some freelance stories for a little extra cash while continuing my work with BSN Broncos.
I also won the Jim Murray Memorial Scholarship, named after the famed L.A. Times columnist who received the first-ever Pulitzer Prize for Sportswriting. A panel of judges, which included ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Chris Ballard, chose their five favorite columns written by students from the top fifty journalism schools in the country. I was lucky enough to have mine selected.
This spring, when I started my job hunt, I kept my options open. I looked into positions covering college or professional sports for newspapers and networks across the country, but throughout the process, I knew BSN Denver was where I belonged.
This is my 225th byline on BSNDenver.com, but my first as a full-time employee.
When I moved to Denver in mid-May and began work with BSN, we still didn’t know what my role with the company would be. At first, it looked like I would be on the Nuggets beat. Then the Avs seemed like a match for a minute. But the whole time, re-launching BSN Buffs just made more and more sense.
I’d just spent a year covering college sports on a daily basis, so I’d learned how to navigate the bureaucracy of an athletics department and develop sources. I’m the same age as the guys on the field, so I have an upper hand relating to them and building trust with them, which is where good stories come from.
Most importantly, Buffs fans wanted our coverage back, so we decided to give it to them.
We picked Monday, July 22 as our launch date, and now here we are. Finally.
For the past couple of months, I’ve worked behind the scenes at BSN headquarters (outside a dozen or so appearances on the BSN Broncos Podcast) studying Buffs tape and brainstorming ideas to make BSN Buffs the best it can possibly be. We’ve played with ideas like eliminating game recaps, our thinking being, “Is it really worth spending 90 minutes on content that readers can get from a half dozen other outlets anyway? Would that time be better spent writing stories like ‘Game Grades’ or ‘3 takeaways from the Buffs’ blowout win over the Huskers?’”
Just like everything else we do at BSN, we want to put our subscribers’ desires first. While we still haven’t made final decisions on all of our ideas yet, here’s some of what you can expect from BSN Buffs:
– Free podcasts every weekday. It doesn’t matter whether Mel Tucker and his guys are gearing up for the Rose Bowl, Tad Boyle and his are prepping for a March Madness run, or it’s mid-June and there is absolutely no news. Don’t worry, I’ve got your Buffs talk.
I’ll be hosting the podcast solo, but I have a long list of regular guests who will appear on the show. Former BSN Buffers Ryan Koenigsberg and Allie Monroy will be staples. BSN’s resident scout/film guy/stat guru Andre Simone and I will record a weekly Draft Pod breaking down prospects from across the country. Former Buff and Bronco Matt McChesney, who currently trains athletes ranging from high school kids to NFL players, will make appearances. Every week, prior to Buffs football games, I’ll find a beat writer from the opposing team to phone in.
– Subscribers to BSN Denver will have access to all sorts of written content. We’ll have news, features, film rooms, deep stat dives and exclusives. We’ll have videos exclusive to subscribers, starting with position-by-position breakdowns of the entire Buffs football roster leading up to the Rocky Mountain Showdown.
(Spoiler: As I’m writing this, Andre is working on a film room explaining the Mel Tucker defense and Allie is writing a piece on the culture up in Boulder.)
I’m also stealing my favorite part of our Broncos podcast: Subscribers have the exclusive right to ask questions which will be answered on the podcast. Just listen to the show, drop your question in the show’s comment section on BSNDenver.com and my guest and I will read and answer EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM on the next show. Basically, subscribers get to choose what we talk about on the podcast.
(Use code SKOBUFFS for $10 off an annual pass and a free shirt when you subscribe.)
– I will also be the only Buffs media member attending Pac-12 Media Day on Wednesday. I’ll pump out exclusive content based on my conversations with Colorado’s contingent of Mel Tucker, Laviska Shenault and Nate Landman. I’ll record a podcast or two on-site at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, CA, as well.
Ryan and I are also working on setting up some two-on-one conversations with the powers that be in CU athletics. Stay tuned for that.
If you have any questions about our plans, ideas you want to share, or really anything else to say, either leave a comment on the post for today’s podcast and I’ll talk about it on an upcoming show or hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is such an exciting time for BSN Denver as we bring back college coverage. Check out the podcast. Give us a follow on twitter. Use your 30-day free trial to BSNDenver.com to see what we have planned. With camp opening next week, I promise there won’t be a better time to stay informed about what’s going on in Boulder.
To those of you who followed BSN Buffs back in its heyday: Welcome back.
To those of you who didn’t: I can’t explain how excited I am to show you what BSN Denver is all about.