Sunday, December 25, 2016

My Top 10 Denver Sports Moments of 2016

2016 was a good year for me as a Denver sports fan.  Here are my top 10 sports moments:

10. Colorado Avalanche 5 Detroit Red Wings 2, Alumni Game 2/26  

The old timers got together for an alumni game in an outdoor venue - Coors Field!  The NHL/Rockies/Avs did a good job of setting up Coors Field for hockey.  I watched this game from a luxury box thanks to an invitation from the Las Vegas visitors bureau.  It was fun to see the Avs alumni from their great teams in the 90's, early 2000's beat the hated Wings this night.  Patrick Roy was fantastic in making several great saves.  The next night was disappointing as the NHL Avs lost to the Wings, but I did get to meet Adam Foote in the club level of Coors Field.

9.  Denver Nuggets hand Golden State Warriors 3rd loss in 40 games 1/13 

The Nuggets were one of the few teams to beat the Warriors in the NBA regular season.  Read more about the game here.

8.  Colorado Avalanche beat Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in OT in season’s 2nd game 10/17

After a thrilling 6-5 win in the opener against the Dallas Stars at home, the Avs win their second game on against the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins at Pittsburgh.  At year's end the Avs had the worst record in the NHL, but the 2-0 start gave their fans some thrills early.
7. Colorado Buffaloes 27 Utah Utes 22 11/26

The Buffs success in football was one of the best stories of 2016, capped by this win over Utah to win the Pac 12 South division and earn a berth in the pac 12 championship game.

6.  Colorado Rockies beat Arizona Diamondbacks 10-5 in season opener 4/4

Trevor Story hits two home runs in his major league debut.  Story was the "story" of the major league season in April as the rookie surprised us all with an early season power surge.  Story had a good chance to be the Rockies first rookie of the year before a thumb injury prematurely ended his season in early August.

5.  Denver Broncos 21 Carolina Panthers 20 9/8

The Broncos win the Super Bowl rematch in the NFL's season opener on a Thursday night before a national TV audience.  The Broncos came back from a 17-3 deficit in the 4th quarter in an exciting game that was decided by a missed Panther field goal as time ran out.

4.  Colorado Buffaloes 41 Oregon Ducks 38 9/24

The Buffs surprise the perennial power Oregon Ducks in Oregon in a high scoring game decided in the last minute.  This was a program defining win for the CU program, and spurred the team to go on to a 10 win season.

3.  Denver Broncos 23 Pittsburgh Steelers 16 in division round 1/17 

The Broncos come from behind to beat the Steelers in a first round NFL playoff game.  This game turned out to be the toughest of the 3 Bronco playoff games.  Brandon Mcmanus 5 field goals on a windy day proved to be the difference.

2.  Denver Broncos 20 New England Patriots 18 AFC championship 1/24 

The 5th time I've seen the Broncos win the AFC Championship at home to earn a berth in the Super Bowl, and this AFC title was one of the best. The last 6 minutes was the most intense for me ever at a bronco home game as the patriots threatened to tie the score to force overtime, but the Broncos held on.  The final failed 2 point attempt by the Patriots was right below my seats in the North end zone.

1.  Denver Broncos 24 Carolina Panthers 10  Super Bowl Win !!! 2/7

The hope for any NFL fan is to see their team win a Super Bowl in person.  I was privileged to have that experience as my Broncos beat Carolina in Super Bowl 50!  It was a memorable weekend in San Francisco that I wrote about on this blog here.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Touring Broncos Headquarters with the QB Club

Last night I was fortunate to be one of 50 members of the Denver Broncos Quarterback Club to sit in on a taping of the Broncos Huddle TV show and later tour the Broncos facility.  The Kansas City game was "a tough loss.  We have to bounce back," said player co-host Emmanuel Sanders during the show, reflecting on the Broncos disappointing overtime loss to the Chiefs on Sunday night.

The player guest this night was Broncos receiver Bennie Fowler, who caught a 76 yard touchdown pass from Trevor Siemian with 2 1/2 minutes to go in regulation to give the Broncos an 8 point lead.  "I thought the game was in the bag after my TD," Fowler said.

The Broncos Huddle was recorded at one end of the Broncos massive indoor practice facility.  It was interesting to get a behind the scenes look at how this TV show is produced.

I marveled at how far the Broncos have come in their training facilities.  I remember as a kid watching preseason practice at the team's 5700 Logan address (north on I-25).  Today's Bronco headquarters dwarfs the old place.

After the Broncos Huddle show was complete our group was taken on a tour of the Broncos facility - seeing places the general public is not allowed to access.

At dusk we saw the Broncos outdoor practice fields, with the huge indoor facility looming in the distance.  "It's a lot colder than last time I was here," I remarked as the 20 degree temperatures sent a chill through our group.  Many of us had watched a Broncos training camp practice here in the August heat, though on this tour we saw the fields from a different angle. 

Next we saw the Broncos weight room, with motivational signs above.

Then it was on to the room where the weekly press conference is held.  Here I am standing where just a few hours earlier Trevor Siemian was interviewed on NFL Network.

The press conference room was smaller than I expected, with beat writers who cover the team each with a little desk to file their stories.  We saw Channel 7's Troy Renck and ESPN's Jeff Legwold, past QB Club guest speakers, working late to meet their deadlines.

Then we were escorted to the main lobby of the Broncos headquarters, where all of the team's past trophies are prominently displayed.  I especially liked the looks of those three Lombardi trophies in the middle!

Here I am with my wife Anne at the Broncos Huddle set.  Thanks to Channel 9 and the Broncos for giving our group an insiders view of the Broncos headquarters!