Athlete

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

The first guy since John Elway to whom most Broncos fans willfully handed the quarterback crown—that is, as long as he engineers touchdown drives that bring Super Bowl rings and parades.

Missy Franklin

Swimmer Missy Franklin accomplished what most professional Colorado athletes couldn't in 2012: She won championships. A lot of them. As an amateur. The 18-year-old Regis Jesuit High School senior was the most decorated female athlete at the London Olympics—and then she declined seven-figure endorsement deals to return home and lead her high school swim team to a 5A Colorado state championship. She may be leaving for the University of California, Berkeley this fall, but we'll keep claiming Franklin as Colorado's sweetheart as long as she'll let us.

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

The guy hasn’t taken an official snap while wearing his new jersey and he’s coming off an extended rehab-heavy offseason, yet he’s easily the most popular athlete in town. Just the fact that Peyton Manning is here still seems pretty unbelievable—especially considering the guy he replaced helped lead the Broncos to their first playoff home win in six years. Yes, Tim Tebow had his mitts all over this category—but then came one of the greatest quarterbacks in National Football League history. We hardly knew ye, Timmy.

Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos

The 23-year-old first-round-pick-slash-Broncos-backup-quarterback-slash-underwear-model-slash-reported-virgin transcends football and brought national media attention to a franchise in desperate need of an angelic…er…iconic face. www.timtebow.com

(Tie) Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki

Picking your favorite Rockie these days is like choosing your favorite child. Do you go with the guy who made us forget about losing Matt Holliday, or do you pick the man who put the concept of a power-hitting, do-everything shortstop back on the map? Whoever you choose, we hope you, the fans, understand this: Two of the best 10 baseball players in the world work on Blake Street. That’s not hyperbole. That’s the truth. www.colorado.rockies.mlb.com