Many local sports fans have been rather dour over the past few months, and for good reason. The Denver Broncos and the University of Colorado Buffaloes football teams both fired their expensive head coaches mid-season and seem far away from doing anything special. The Colorado Rockies were strong through the All-Star break, after which they declined, and their September run came up short. Last season, the Avalanche lost in the first round of the playoffs and started this season with another batch of youngsters, while the Nuggets have been dealing with Melodrama since the summer, when the face of the franchise balked at signing a three-year, $65 million contract extension.
But as we wind down 2010, The Denver Post’s Woody Paige reminds us that things aren’t quite as bad as many of us might think. In fact, there are some good reasons to be optimistic going into 2011. Paige points out that the Rockies have managed to pull off a double-barrel asset lockup this year, securing the rights to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki through 2020 and lefty pitcher Jorge De La Rosa for at least the next two years. The Buffs fired embattled coach Dan Hawkins and brought in Jon Embree, a move that has returned some sense of enthusiasm to Boulder. The Broncos, while still in the process of imploding in a horrendously disappointing season, may yet find encouragement in rookie quarterback Tim Tebow, as well as the prospect of a top-three draft pick.
Finally, the Colorado Rapids—who just brought home the state’s first national championship in many years on a fluke goal—just might provide momentum in 2011 for other local teams to join them in making a little sports magic happen. So don’t despair, Colorado sports fans. Things are looking up. Besides, we are talking about sports, after all.