January 11, 2011
When the Denver Broncos recently announced the hire of former all-time quarterback John Elway as their new executive vice president of football operations, it marked an entirely new way of doing things than we had seen under the ineffectively secretive Josh McDaniels or in the history of the NFL.
All of a sudden, Elway popped up on Twitter, announcing everything from the names of new potential head coach candidates to his thoughts on the future of quarterback Tim Tebow(notes). It's been refreshing for fans, and a look in the eye to those NFL organizations who believe that CIA-level confidentiality must accompany every single move they make -- down to a change in the brand of bathroom tissue in the coach's office lavatory.
[Rewind: NHL implements social media innovations]
Now, Elway and his team have upped the ante when it comes to giving the fans an inside view. They've posted snippets of the pre-interviews with current interim coach Eric Studesville and New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. The linked videos give unique insight into the thought processes of the men interviewing to become Denver's newest head coach. One has to wonder if Rick Dennison and John Fox, who are expected to interview by Wednesday, will do their own videos, but the signs are good -- Elway told the fans via his Twitter account just exactly why Fox's interview was delayed.
Due to the weather in North Carolina, our interview with John Fox has been rescheduled for Wednesday.
I hope that the Broncos' new modus operandi leads to a change in thinking among other organizations. Especially in a climate where the league is bringing in higher TV ratings and making more money than ever before, it's clear that fan interest in the process has reached a level we've never seen before.
[More details: Could John Elway save the Broncos?]
And if the purpose of the interest is to inform and enlighten with an immediacy we never had before, why not get one-on-ones with different coaching candidates and have key executives communicate directly with the fans via social media?
Certainly there's the potential that things could get out that teams don't want released to the public, but the NFL needs to remember who's actually paying for all those new stadiums, facilities and players: The fans, who always want to know more.
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