I’ve been running ‘Denver sports with Dom’ for nearly four semesters. Hopefully, these weekly blogs were fun, informative and thought-provoking.
I had trouble coming up with my final topic. I considered an NFL draft preview or a reaction to the Avs’ playoff meltdown.
But you’d have better luck filling out a bracket for March Madness than predicting what the Broncos will do this week. And I’d rather not reopen old wounds for myself and other Avalanche fans.
Instead, I’ll take you through the four-year journey of the Avs, Broncos, Nuggets and Rockies since I began my career at CSU. I’ll then predict an outlook for the next four years of each team.
Avalanche-The last three years, the Avs failed to make the playoffs under Joe Sacco. The front office drafted captain Gabriel Landeskog and brought in Semyon Varlamov.
Prior to this season, Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy were given the keys to the franchise. Many people weren’t advocates of the moves, seeing little improvement for the club this season. The first round series loss to the Wild will sting for a while, but this team has a fantastic nucleus of young players.
Four-Year Outlook: Playoff appearances each year with potential for Stanley Cup run
Broncos-On the day Josh McDaniels was fired in 2010; I was watching the press conference in the student center while preparing for a group project. Even after John Fox and John Elway took over the reins in Dove Valley, Kyle Orton remained the quarterback until Tim Tebow willed the Broncos to their first playoff appearance since 2005.
On March 20, 2012, I got a news update on my phone that instantly had me fist-pumping outside Eddy. Elway somehow lured the Man into wearing orange and blue. Yes, we’ve had our hearts broken the last two years, but as evidenced by their recent free agent signings, the Broncos are all-in for the foreseeable future.
Four-Year Outlook: As long as Manning’s here, Denver is the clear favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Nuggets-The superstar-less era began in 2011 when Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups swapped places with half of the Knicks. George Karl continued to overachieve in the regular season before his squad bowed out year after year in the first round of the playoffs.
After leading the Nuggets to a franchise record for wins in 2012-13 and nabbing Coach of the Year honors, the front office fired Karl. He was replaced with rookie head coach Brian Shaw. This season, the Nugs failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002-03.
Four-Year Outlook: They should be much healthier than this season, but don’t have nearly enough to compete in the West, especially if they can’t get a star in Denver.
Rockies-Some national experts pegged the Rox to win the pennant in 2011. But Ubaldo Jimenez shrunk under the intimidation of pitching at Coors Field. Following another year of mediocrity and unwillingness to deal with the front office, Jim Tracy resigned after the 2012 season.
Fans will forever remember 2013 as the final year for Todd Helton, the face of the franchise for over a decade. This season has been the usual mixed bag for the club. We’ve seen offensive firepower, surprisingly decent starting pitching and an underwhelming bullpen.
Four-Year Outlook: They’ll always be entertaining to watch at Coors, but need pitching prospects Eddie Butler and Jon Gray to be the real deal if they want to compete for playoff spots.
Here’s to betting Denver will host championship parades for the Avs and Broncos between now and 2018. Throw in two years of playoff basketball and another rendition of ‘Rocktober’ in the same timeframe.
This may not be New York, Boston or Los Angeles, but Denver should be proud to be a great sports town right now.
Whether you’ve been a regular or just happened to stumble across this blog, thanks for reading.