Wishful Thinking

Our 18 wishes—ranging from realistic to far-fetched—for making Denver an even dreamier place to live.

January 2014

Wish17Trophy cases overflowing with championship hardware

For a self-proclaimed sports-obsessed town, we don’t have that many championship banners flying in our rafters. But something feels different this year. Perhaps it’s because Peyton Manning is finally used to the cold, because Patrick Roy is behind the bench, or because, well, it’s just time. Below, we take a look at some of our top contenders’ chances of making the metaphorical podium in 2014—and whether Denverites will actually care.




Wish18A bona fide college football program in Colorado

With Saint Manning in town, it’s difficult to complain about the level of play on Colorado’s gridirons; however, I think even he would agree the collegiate action here leaves something to be desired.

Like the Broncos’ vaunted QB, I grew up in the South, where the pageantry surrounding NCAA football makes the NFL look like a two-bit beauty queen. In fact, Manning became a legend-in-the-making in front of 102,854 screaming Volunteers in Knoxville—26,729 more fans than Sports Authority Field holds. The largest collegiate football stadium in the Centennial State? University of Colorado Boulder’s paltry 53,613-seat Folsom Field.

I know the arguments against big-time college football. The money, the scandal, the de-emphasis of academics. I get it. The problem is neither CU nor Colorado State University has shied away from the pursuit of becoming an elite program. CU jumped at the chance to join the Pac-12, another huge-money conference, and has replaced three head coaches since 2005 in an attempt to bring some swagger (and wins) back to the flailing Buffaloes. CSU recently paid $1.5 million to lure Jim McElwain away from the University of Alabama, one of the most storied programs in the history of college football, and is building a new $200 million on-campus stadium to bring attention to its football team. So if we’re pouring resources and money and brainpower into coaches and stadiums and recruiting, why can’t we get a solid product on the turf? I’m not asking for conference titles or Heisman Trophies; I’m just in the market for a few winning seasons strung together. And if and when that happens, I’m also looking for a little enthusiasm from the schools’ so-called fan bases. I’ve been to games at both CSU and CU—in winning seasons, no less—and the fan turnout (and tailgating prowess) is straight-up lousy. For as much as we all seem to love and support the pigskin on Sunday, I can’t figure out why we completely disregard it on Saturday. —LBK