As time expired on the Denver Nuggets Sunday night, it again became apparent that aspirations for Denver sports success best not lie in the hands of other professional sports teams that call the city home.
Earlier in the week, Denver sports fans watched as the Colorado Avalanche, after dominating in their first game of the second round, were trounced by the Las Vegas Golden Knights. What had started off as a great series, a 7-1 victory, fizzled into four straight losses that bounced what was one of the most promising Avalanche teams in years out of the playoffs. Of all the Denver sports teams, the Avs have shown the most love to the fans, winning two Stanley Cups since moving to Denver in 1995.
The Denver Nuggets collapsed again in the playoffs. At least they extended fans the courtesy to do it in the second round before getting swept in a lackluster series by the Phoenix Suns. Since joining the NBA the 1976/77 season, the Denver Nuggets have not only never won a championship, but they have never even made it the NBA finals. To not even sniff a championship in 49-years is a pretty damn astounding feat. I know that they did almost win an ABA Championship in the 1975/76 season, but really that’s not a whole lot to hang your hat on in 2021.
Then there’s the Colorado Rockies. Rather than get into to complexity of how they’re perennially an afterthought or how their owners are openly hostile toward fans while gladly taking their money, they’re best summed up by calling them what they aren’t: The Colorado Rockies aren’t a real baseball team. At best they’re a farm team for the St. Louis Cardinals and at worst they’re so soul defeating that they can suck the love of baseball right out of you. While baseball season isn’t technically over yet, the Rockies season was over before it began when they traded Nolan Arenado for less-than-nothing to the St. Louis Cardinals. They’re 15.5-games out of 1st place in the NL West and find currently find themselves within the top-5 worst teams in all of baseball.
So that leaves the Denver Broncos, the crown jewel of the Denver sports scene. The most recent team to win a championship, the Broncos, almost by default, are again situated to dominate Mile High sports fans’ attentions. Will there be a new quarterback under center? Will it be more of the same lackluster play that we’ve seen in the post-Manning era? How the Broncos will manage the scrutiny that comes with being essentially the region’s only hope for 2021’s sports success remains to be seen, but damn it this city hungers for some sporting success. No wonder talk of Aaron Rodgers has held the fan focus like it has.
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