I have to admit, I love this time of year in Colorado...this is when the Broncos still have a chance to make the playoffs, the Nuggets might finally get over the hump and get to the Finals, and the Avs always seem like they're in it. Another month and things will be much clearer. And probably a lot more bleak. But for now, they all have a chance. I do miss my Rockies, but they kind of have their own time of the year.
When I was a young kid, my dad used to draw caricatures of all of the Broncos' starters. He strung wire across the basement ceiling and placed these, in formation, offense facing defense, white facing orange. If someone got hurt, he replaced that player's caricature with the new player's. Of course, back then, players played for the same team for more than 15 minutes.
When I started playing football at 6, I wanted to be Floyd Little. I tried everything I could think of to make myself bow-legged. I learned to cuss players like Steve Tensi and Charlie Johnson and love players like Norris Weese, who were different and gave the team a chance.
Then came '77 when all of my childhood dreams culminated in the greatest and most unexpected season ever. I had too many heroes to count: Gradishar, Jackson, Moses, Lytle, Alzado, Keyworth, Morton; guys that were pretty ordinary by themselves but were great together. That's how I learned about teamwork and loyalty. That's how I learned about life.
Now, based on what I learned way back then, I think Elway should still be the quarterback, I think Terrell Davis should come back, I think Mike Shanahan should be given a lifetime contract, I think Rashaan Salaam should have been picked by the Broncos, because he could have rushed for 2000 yards here too.
I have never witnessed anything like the '94 season when the Nuggets stunned the Supersonics in the first round of the playoffs. That was a magical time in Denver history, as was the Stanley Cup victory in 1995, Colorado's first year in the NHL.
These are a few of the reasons why I keep believing. I know about free agency, but choose to believe that people like Carmelo Anthony and Champ Bailey and Adam Foote and Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzales will stay in Denver because they love it and because we love them. Naive, I know.
Having said that, I will give you my very first sports blog, based on what I've seen so far this season.
I saw the Broncos' thrashing of the Chiefs with my own eyes, and I started to believe...but, like everyone else, I saw how bad they can be too. A team like that doesn't have what it takes to make the playoffs. But we may see some pleasant surprises along the way. The unpleasant things, sadly, won't be a surprise at all.
I think the Nuggets should be in the Finals this season. I am a fan, but I don't think Carmelo is the end-all-be-all...I think George Karl is. I believe that man could make a stuffed animal dance. He just has a way of making people (and teams) better than they really should be. With or without Anthony, the Nuggets go deep in the playoffs.
As far as the Avalanche, I have to admit that I was one of the "what color is the blue line?" fans when they first got here. I followed Roy and Sakic and Lemieux and Borque and started to kinda get it, but I've lost touch over the last couple of years. I promise I'll work on that.
Rockies next season? I love this team - always have. There was no greater time to be in Denver than when Galarraga and Bichette and Castilla and Walker and EY were here. Man Oh Man, what a fun team to watch. I was thrilled when they picked up Charles Johnson (cause I was a catcher for 30 years, and he was the best in the game at that time). There have been some magnificent times for the Rockies...but 2011 will be one we will never forget...trust me on this one.
I want to thank you for reading my first blog. My guess is that there are armchair quarterbacks like me all over this state, and I'd love to hear from you.
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By Scott Fisher