No. 1 With a Bullet

Not only that, but if an elk happens to jump out in front of Grissom some afternoon at the corner of 53rd and Madison and it just happens to be the heart of hunting season, he'll be ready. As for Mr. Clinton's recent child-safety-locks measure, he's opposed to it. When the government takes a little bit of freedom, he reasons, it won't be long until, well, until it outlaws all kinds of sporting goods. Imagine a world without baseball bats or scuba gear or bereft of the Taylor-Made Burner Bubble Driver.

I'm glad Grissom is alive and well and has found a new interest. The only concern now is that he might, as has long been his custom, move on to bigger and better sporting goods. AK-47 assault rifles, perhaps. Surface-to-air missiles. Nuclear submarines. Get careless with these and you could lose an entire foot.

Your Broncos got the day off Sunday, but the saga of pro football in these parts continued apace.

For those Denverites who haven't noticed--and you could fill Mile High Stadium seven or eight times over with such folks--the city's amazing Major League Soccer team continues to tear through the playoffs.

Don't let this get around, but the Colorado Rapids, who went just 14-18 in the MLS regular season, last week swept the heavily favored Kansas City Wizards two games to none to win the first round of their post-season.

This was a feat comparable to, say, Thomas Jefferson High School taking out Elway and company, and it would have been enough to keep the glass slipper on Cinderella. But when the Rapids, who are coached by a guy with the single best football name in town--Mooch Myernick--went down to the rainy Cotton Bowl Sunday afternoon and laid their cleats to the Dallas Burn, 1-0, the unlikely mutated into the impossible. Just 7,376 fans saw it happen--along with an ESPN audience that must have numbered in the hundreds--on a field still sporting American-football markings from a college game the day before.

Pending the outcome of Wednesday night's Rapids-Burn match at Mile High, Mooch and the boys stood on the brink of MLS Cup '97, to be played October 26 in Washington, D.C.

A little perspective. The Rapids lost six of their last seven regular-season games this year, finishing fourth in the Western Conference. They failed to beat Kansas City in four tries and, until Sunday's upset, had never won at Dallas in the league's two-year history.

Kansas City? Dallas? Those names provoke some unpleasant memories around here, football-wise. So does Washington, whose MLS team won the cup in 1996 and figures as the favorite again this year. Can the Rapids knock them off, too?

Who knows? But make no mistake. For most of the world, this is football. The game with the speckled round ball is football. The game you actually play with your feet. The rest of us might do well this week to give it due respect.

Knock 'em cold, Mooch.

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