Santistevan: Colorado sports will see a minimal shift away from football

Sergio Santistevan

Everybody has their preferences, and when it comes to sports, American prefers football. Football and America are somewhat synonymous.

Colin Hill returns to the field for the Rocky Mountain Showdown and prepares to pass the ball. The Rams lost to the Buffs 13-45. (Tony Villalobos May | Collegian)

During the NFL season, the average game drew nearly 15.8 million viewers. College football playoffs brought in over 28 million viewers.

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However, with the recent success of other professional and college sports in Colorado, there is proof that there is more to life than football.

The Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche are amidst deep playoff runs and have turned the state into basketball and hockey fans virtually overnight.

Despite a slow start to the 2019 season, the Colorado Rockies notched a postseason bid last year, winning their respective wild-card matchup before falling in the Divisional Round.

Softball has put Colorado State University on the map with the team clinching its first Mountain West Championship in 14 years, heading to the postseason for the first time since 2003.

The Rams celebrate a victory after freshman Kaitlyn Cook hit a walk-off run to give the Rams the win over San Diego State. (Joshua Contreras | Collegian).

CSU volleyball is a perennial top-25 program and has labeled CSU as a volleyball school.

On the flip side, football was a major let down throughout the state last year. For those that don’t think football was that bad, let’s put it into perspective.

For the first time since 2006, the Denver Broncos missed the playoffs and the University of Colorado, Air Force Academy and CSU all failed to make a bowl game. That means all three major college football teams failed to win at least six games throughout the season. Additionally, all teams finished below .500 for the first time since 1964. Colorado football wasn’t just bad, it was historically bad.

I’m not saying a changing of the guard needs to happen, because I know it won’t. I love football as much as the next person, but I think Colorado will see a minimal shift to a more diverse group of sports fans in the next few years.

The Avalanche are one of the youngest teams in the NHL and are only going to get better as they develop their core, led by young leaders like Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Cale Makar.

Something must be in the air as the Nuggets are a spitting image of the Avalanche with a young core who look like they are destined to be NBA Champions, as long as they remain together.

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The Rockies will continue to dominate the warm weather season in Colorado as their ticket sales aren’t going down anytime soon. Coors Field continues to hold the single-season home attendance record in the MLB.

CSU softball has proven many times throughout their season that they are a program on the rise and as long as Tom Hilbert is coaching the volleyball team, they will continue to be in the NCAA Tournament regularly.

women's volleyball win Mountain West Champion title
Colorado State’s volleyball team poses for a photo with the Mountain West Championship trophy Nov. 26. (Susie Heath | Collegian)

The same can’t be said for our beloved Denver Broncos and CSU football team. Maybe a change of quarterback and new head coach will turn the Broncos’ luck, but it seems doubtful for a team playing in the same division as Patrick Mahomes and Phillip Rivers.

CSU football lost the majority of their key players from last season, a season that resulted in a 3-9 record. To think the Rams will be better this upcoming season is a bit of a reach, as the team has only three games on their schedule that they are favored to win.

Whether or not the Broncos and Rams are good next season, they will continue to sell out their stadiums game after game, because we love football. However it’s time that we start to respect and admire the success of Colorado sports and a seeming golden age we are about to approach, because if anybody is raising a championship banner soon, it will be a team that doesn’t toss a pigskin.

Sergio Santistevan can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TheRealsSergio.