Everyone knows that Denver loves its professional sports teams, so let's give a warm, woolly welcome to the latest addition: the Colorado Mammoth men's lacrosse team. Named for the fourteen-foot-tall, six-ton beasts that roamed the Front Range almost 17,000 years ago, the Mammoth is ready to roar.
For those who don't know much about lacrosse, which was first played by Native Americans, it is played with a stick -- the crosse -- that players use to throw, catch and scoop the ball. "It's a very fast-paced game," says Anita Santiago, director of communications and lacrosse operations for the Colorado Mammoth. "It's very similar to hockey, has the play-making of basketball and the hits of football."
If you want to see the action for yourself, the Mammoth's first home game this Friday night at 7 p.m. is bound to be an ice-age epic: Our new boys take on the Toronto Rock, the defending National Lacrosse League World Champions. Wearing snappy black and crimson uniforms, the Mammoths -- who relocated from Washington, D.C. last summer -- lost to the Rock in last year's semi-finals during double overtime. "We've got a great lineup, with Gary Gait -- who is basically the Michael Jordan of lacrosse -- as team captain," Santiago says. "It's going to be a big season." Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing team sports in the United States, so who knows, maybe next year the Mammoth will be more popular than the Broncos -- or at least the Nuggets.