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Best Of 2005

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Best Of :: Sports & Recreation

Best Day Trip

Just an hour and a half from Denver -- and a short, soul-restoring drive out of Colorado Springs -- Manitou Springs has got to be one of the most wonderfully weird places in Colorado, if not the world. Laden with kitschy mementos of the auto-mad '50s, when travelers motored west to mountains and drive-up motels, Manitou is a combination tourist trap and liberal enclave, an artists' community with a disproportionately large number of cigar-store Indians and ice-cream parlors. Victorian houses lie in colorful clusters across a mountain valley, and nutritious, mineral-laden spring water runs freely from taps all along the charming main street. There's an old-fashioned arcade, complete with nickel pinball machines and shooting games, and kiosks that sell lollipops and rock candy. Santa Claus sets up shop here in the off-season. And who can blame him? Manitou's a quick, easy escape from city life -- and reality.

Best Candidate for CU Athletic Director
Ceal Barry
Nathan Santistevan

She doesn't own a nearby liquor store, which is a major plus. But Ceal Barry, who bowed out this year as basketball coach of the Lady Buffs, does hold a winning record that would be hard for any other candidate for CU's next athletic director to beat. Through two-plus decades in Boulder, she's kept her eye on the ball. That means she knows her student athletes are students, first and foremost, and deserve to experience all the best that a CU education can bring (which is plenty -- not that you'd know it from the headlines these days). And if those student-athletes win some important titles along the way, so much the better. Barry recognizes that at CU, it's not whether you win or lose, but how the game is played -- with honor and integrity and honesty. Which makes us wonder: Why waste her on the AD job? There's that presidency open, too.


Best Candidate for CU Athletic Director

She doesn't own a nearby liquor store, which is a major plus. But Ceal Barry, who bowed out this year as basketball coach of the Lady Buffs, does hold a winning record that would be hard for any other candidate for CU's next athletic director to beat. Through two-plus decades in Boulder, she's kept her eye on the ball. That means she knows her student athletes are students, first and foremost, and deserve to experience all the best that a CU education can bring (which is plenty -- not that you'd know it from the headlines these days). And if those student-athletes win some important titles along the way, so much the better. Barry recognizes that at CU, it's not whether you win or lose, but how the game is played -- with honor and integrity and honesty. Which makes us wonder: Why waste her on the AD job? There's that presidency open, too.

Best Candidate to Replace Gary Barnett

Vodka rocks? Hooker in the hotel room? Little weed? Hey, while they're at it, why don't the mooks in the University of Colorado athletic department lay something really special on their football recruits: A pep talk from Professor Ward "Sacred Buffalo" Churchill. Instead of explaining X's and O's (or even court orders to appear before the grand jury), Coach Churchill could stress the value of crisp downfield blocking against the U.S. Justice Department and the importance of listening to everything quarterback Osama bin Laden says in the CU huddle. Go, Buffs! Beat Eichmann State!

Best Candidate to Replace Gary Barnett

Vodka rocks? Hooker in the hotel room? Little weed? Hey, while they're at it, why don't the mooks in the University of Colorado athletic department lay something really special on their football recruits: A pep talk from Professor Ward "Sacred Buffalo" Churchill. Instead of explaining X's and O's (or even court orders to appear before the grand jury), Coach Churchill could stress the value of crisp downfield blocking against the U.S. Justice Department and the importance of listening to everything quarterback Osama bin Laden says in the CU huddle. Go, Buffs! Beat Eichmann State!

Best Sports Promotion

In the pre-George Karl era, there was nothing much for Nuggets fans to get excited about. Except one thing: Nesting Doll giveaway nights. The sheer absurdity of the promotion was irresistible, compelling crowds to stream into the Pepsi Center despite the potential loss. On December 26, early fans scored Nene nesting dolls. They weren't disappointed with the three Nenes stacked inside each other, and the true believers came back in droves for Andre, Kenyon and Marcus. By the time Melo -- the last in the five-part series -- was offered, the Nugs appeared to be back, lending a luster to those five grinning dolls.


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Best Day Trip: Manitou Springs

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