A Good Time to Be a Denver Sports Fan

SBN’s Denver Nuggets blog chimes in this morning to echo all of the positive energy in the wake of yesterday’s big win. In short, life is good in Denver:

In other words, the 2007-08 Nuggets just weren’t a team worth rooting for. And the same could be said of the last three Broncos teams, most of the Rockies teams in the post-Blake Street Bombers Era up to 2007 and most of the Nuggets teams in the post-Dikembe Mutombo / pre-Carmelo Anthony Era.

You see, unlike our counterparts in larger markets like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas or Boston, Denver sports fans have always been rooted (somewhat) in reality. We don’t expect to win every game and recognize that our franchises, being located in one of the countries smaller markets by professional sports standards, are unlikely to outspend in order to win. And thus, we live by a simple credo: as long as the players and coaches we root for care more about the outcome of the games they play than we do, we will support them with our dollars, time and emotions. […]

Since the Rockies arrival in 1993, I can’t remember a time when we could honestly say that the personnel running, coaching and playing for all three of our favorite teams – the Broncos, Rockies and Nuggets (sorry, I regard the Avalanche like an adopted fourth child and don’t know enough about hockey to comment on it intelligently) – genuinely cared more about winning as much, if not more, than we the fans did.

Just months after the Nuggets completed their best season in NBA franchise history, we find the Broncos off to a stunningly wonderful 5-0 start, the Rockies in the playoffs for only their third time in team history (even though they’re down 2-1 to Philadelphia) and a possible third straight 50-win Nuggets season that could see them make another Western Conference Finals.

But again, it’s not about the wins but the guys producing these wins. Doesn’t it feel better rooting for the young, energetic, workaholic Josh McDaniels than the arrogant, how-dare-you-question-my-authority, resting on the laurels of past glory Mike Shanahan? Shanahan became so entrenched as the Broncos “coach for life” that he had the chutzpah to build a 34,927-square-foot home that includes a bowling alley, a racquetball court (I didn’t know people still played racquetball) and a shuffleboard table. I hope he has time to enjoy it when he’s commuting to Denver from Dallas next year. And on the field, it’s certainly more enjoyable rooting for the humble, team-first Kyle Orton than the cocky, me-first Jay Cutler.

A fantastic read, and really, it’s true: as fans, our biggest request isn’t that teams be dominant—that’s always appreciated—but at the very least, that we can root for them. Right now, if not dominant, the Nuggets, Rockies, and Broncos are all comprised of players and coaches that care, and for sports fans in any city, that’s about as good as it gets.

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