Despite a season mired in mediocracy, Colorado Rockies fans have at least one thing to feel pride about: Nolan Arenado.
The elite-tier third baseman may be one of the lone — if not the only — bright spots for Mile High City sports fans this year, especially amid the Rockies’ season-high nine-game losing streak heading into Friday.
But, hey, at least there is plenty to cheer, and jeer, about on the gridiron.
Here’s the best and worst of Colorado sports this week:
Cheers | Nolan Arenado’s career year despite Rockies dumpster fire
Author’s note: Don’t read this as a veiled shot at the Colorado Rockies for completely imploding during the second half of the MLB season.
Look, it’s been a long season at 20th and Blake — one that started with the Rockies being considered by smarter minds than mine as World Series contenders and now has turned into among the worst years in Denver professional sports.
So, let’s focus on the positive: Nolan Arenado.
With 21 games left, Arenado is on pace to hit career numbers in home runs, batting average and OPS and could win his seventh consecutive Gold Glove.
So, let’s not focus on the Rockies’ losing season, especially with a whole month to play. Or the club’s season-high nine-game losing streak (in a season, no less, that started out with losses in 12 of its first 15 games).
Or the fact that Colorado stands second-to-last in the National League. Thank the heavens for the Miami Marlins.
(I guess this really was a veiled shot at the imploding Rockies.)
Jeers | The state of college football rivalries in Colorado
This weekend marks the second game of the home-and-home agreement between the University of Nebraska and the University of Colorado, a rivalry game that resumed last season in Lincoln after nearly a decade.
But, the Buffaloes and Cornhuskers are scheduled to me only twice more in the coming years, at Nebraska in 2023 and in Boulder in 2024.
And coming on the heels of the final Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver between CU and Colorado State University, the current state of rivalries in the region is poor.
Sure, CSU and Wyoming play the Border War each year. And Air Force gets a crack at both the Rams and the Buffs this season.
But gone are the days of Sonny Lubick and Gary Barnett battling it out for state supremacy each Labor Day weekend. Gone is waking up on Black Friday hoping Ralphie and company would stomp Big Red.
Cheers | Antonio Brown for being the clown prince of the NFL
Hear me out. Broncos Country should actually thank Antonio Brown.
Instead of building chemistry with Derek Carr, an MVP-level quarterback just a few seasons ago, Brown burned his feet in a cryogenic chamber.
Instead of taking the lead during training camp, Brown instead missed much of the preseason worried about a freaking helmet.
And after pulling one of the most unprofessional stunts in recent memory this week, Brown got into an altercation with Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock, leading to a likely suspension.
So, instead of the Denver Broncos being forced to deal with the headache of shutting down the four-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler on Monday night, the Raiders are now dealing with the pain of babysitting a petulant child.
Jeers | Broncos being saddled with an open-air stadium for another two decades
Secretly (maybe not too secretly) I had hope that a large corporation would swoop in and build the football facility Denver deserves — one with a retractable roof that could host a bevy of large-scale events like the Final Four, winter-time concerts and, yes, a Super Bowl.
Those hopes were dashed with the naming rights deal the club inked with Greenwood Village-based Empower Retirement this week.
For the next two decades (assuming any unforeseen bankruptcy), Broncos Country will cheer on its favorite team at Empower Field at Mile High, which admittedly has a nice ring to it.
And kudos for the Broncos for finally finding a partner to take the place of Broncos Stadium at Mile High (not so much with the rolling off the tongue with that name).
But, a little part of me wanted to see Denver, and the Front Range for that matter, featured for the wonderful place to live that it is on a national stage — like one that comes with an NFL Draft, College Football Playoff or Super Bowl.
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