The News brought tears to the eyes of readers when it ran a cover photo of Colorado Rockies mascot Dinger the Dinosaur standing with his horned head bowed in sorrow after the untimely death of pitching ace Doug Million. News gossip columnist Norm Clarke must have felt like crying after he trumpeted the scoop that Steven Spielberg was in LoDo attending secret meetings about building a studio in Denver--which he wasn't. Clarke couldn't help spreading his serving of crow around, however, noting that chief rival Bill Husted of the Post once reported that Lee Marvin had been seen skiing in Aspen after his death.

The Post ran a killer retraction of its own in September, denying its own exclusive report that All-American boy John Elway sports a nipple ring. And the paper further raised hopes with the headline "Temple Sinai and First Plymouth Congregational Church are having a joint at 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day." Alas, that report, too, proved to be wishful thinking. Said the Reverend M. Scott Landis, "I'm afraid it might attract certain people who will only end up being disappointed."

The city's television stations also did their part to keep the world safe for democracy. When radio station KRFX-FM planned an event in which ten listeners would have newsbabe Natalie Pujo's likeness tattooed on their bodies, Pujo initially agreed to pose for the branding session. But the comely anchor withdrew after Channel 7 news director Melissa Klinzing nixed the stunt, calling it inappropriate for a newsperson. Complained KRFX deejay Michael Floorwax, "Pujo is a hot news chick, a celebrity, but Channel 7 only lets her do the straight stuff, like Punts for Kids or something. We should tattoo 'woozie' on Klinzing's forehead."

Klinzing had other things on her mind, though, such as leaving the imprint of her boot heel on the double-wide buttocks of Post sports columnist Woody Paige. After Paige criticized Channel 7's habit of running Colorado Avalanche hockey games on a tape-delayed basis, Klinzing hit the roof, allegedly authoring an irate letter to Paige that the columnist immediately raced into print. "You apparently don't like the fact that Natalie Pujo tilts her head," Klinzing wrote. "That's something you would never do. After all, how can you tilt your head when it's so far up your ass?"

In the final analysis, there was seemingly no end to the fury. But at least somebody was in a good mood. The seniors at Denver's Manual High School, for instance, closed their school year with a memorable edition of the student newspaper that proved not everybody was bummed out.

"Sandy has the biggest ass I've ever seen on a white girl," teased one cheerful imp.

Another jolly sort wished a friend good luck "keeping his hoes in check" and offered best wishes for the "pimp of the year award and a schmibbin', bliggidy session." Then there was the positive thinker who wished his best buddy "a 40-ounce so you can get your purb on and act mannish."

So here's to you, Colorado. Have a schmibbin', bliggidy '98. And remember the words of Colorado Avalanche star Uwe Krupp, quoted after he and his teammates lapsed into a temporary slump:

"We have to pull up our panties and just do it.

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