Best Of Sports & Recreation
Best Guess for When the Broncos Will Go Back to the Super Bowl
This is it, folks: the Broncos' last best chance to make it to the Super Bowl with Peyton Manning.
The list of Broncos who played worse last season than they did in the season before that is long, and there are a lot more names on it than just Peyton Manning's.
Justin Morneau has been around. He made his major-league debut in 2003 and followed up a long and successful stint with the Minnesota Twins with a brief stop in Pittsburgh before inking with Colorado — and in his first season with the Rockies, he batted a brawny .319 by way of 160 hits, seventeen of them home runs.
The Denver Nuggets have been a team in turmoil this season, losing their coach, several big names and plenty of games.
The Avs are loaded with young talents (including Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Ryan O'Reilly) who overachieved in 2013-2014 before coming back down to earth this season.
Although Deshorn Brown has only been a Rapid for a couple of years, he hasn't been shy about taking charge.
Although he's not the team's number-one star — that's still John Grant Jr. — Adam Jones is giving the spot a run for its money.
Attackman Eric Law is a hometown boy — a native Coloradan and graduate of Arapahoe High School who played his college lacrosse at DU.
Best Sports Team — Professional
We come not to bury the Denver Broncos, but to praise them.
Best Coach — Professional
It's been a rough year for pro coaches of the big four teams in Denver: John Fox jumped from the Broncos before he could be pushed, Brian Shaw was unceremoniously dismissed by the Nuggets, and Walt Weiss managed to survive as Rockies skipper only because general manager Dan O'Dowd was the designated (and belated) sacrifice.
Best Coach — College
For coaches at colleges outside the power conferences, validation for a job well done comes when bigger universities come calling, and that's what happened for Jim McElwain, who was hired by Florida after the end of the regular season.
Best Sports Announcer
KOA longtimer Alan Roach has manned the public-address system at a slew of Super Bowls, but not at the 2014 edition, because of the theory that hearing him would have given the Broncos an unfair advantage over the Seattle Seahawks.
Best TV Sportscaster
Vic Lombardi continues to stand head and shoulders above his sports-anchor peers, in part because he refuses to be confined to TV.
Best Radio Sports Show
Sandy & Scott
It's a combination that shouldn't work. Sandy Clough is Denver's resident sports intellectual, breaking down teams, players and strategies with the scholarly acuity of a scientist, while Scott Hastings has a reputation as a fun-loving goofball who's incapable of pronouncing any "g" at the end of a word.
Okay, okay: Betty Fitzgerald Hoover and Peggy Fitzgerald Coppom, known collectively as the Twins, aren't traditional mascots for CU-Boulder, which already has a fine one (hello, Ralphie).
Best Roller Derby Name
Sweet Mary Pain
Quick — what's Colorado's fastest-growing recreational pursuit? You know, besides that.
Best New Roller Derby Team
The Denver Roller Dolls rebranded themselves as the Denver Roller Derby this year — the league's tenth — partly to mark the addition of a new traveling men's team, Ground Control.
Best Full-Throttle Fun for Women
The Scarlet Headers
Riding motorcycles isn't just for the boys: Each week, the Scarlet Headers, a group of hog-riding women who promote equality in the world of motorcycling, come together to ride, gear up on motorcycle maintenance and support rookie riders.
Best Twerking Workout
If you've ever had the inclination to practice your best Miley moves, the Twerkshop at Tease dance studio is the perfect place to burn some cals while learning a sexy new routine.
Best Yoga With Live Music
Karma Yoga Center
In Hinduism, "bhakti" means love and devotion — and that's what Katrina Gustafson's classes are all about.
Best Yoga With Scenery
#Yograffiti by @lafitara
For a sweet new hashtag showing off Denver in all its glory, check out @lafitara's #yograffiti on Instagram to see the Denver resident flexing and posing in mind-boggling fashion in front of street art and city buildings, showcasing often-overlooked parts of the 5280.
Best Free Outdoor Workout Group
The November Project
It's not easy to run, climb, jump or do lunges before the sun comes up — much less in inclement weather. But it helps when you get support and hugs from fellow members of the November Project.
Best Place to Work Out Like Nadia Comaneci
Awaken Gymnastics Inspired Fitness
Awaken is not your average gym. It doesn't feature rows and rows of treadmills, sweaty exercise bikes and back-to-back episodes of House Hunters International playing on wall-mounted TVs.
Best Place for a NERF War
By day, PATH Movement is the country's only fully customizable parkour gym, offering patrons new ways to jump, swing and climb on its movable obstacle course each day.
Best Bowling Alley for Everyone
Elitch Lanes attracts everyone from weekday pizza-and-beer leagues to late-night bowling aficionados. Business and blue-collar types, high-schoolers and senior citizens have bowled alongside each other for years as the booze and sodas flowed.
Best Sports Bar for Watching Games
Flush with its success in the Ballpark neighborhood, ViewHouse opened a second outpost last September right off I-25 in Centennial — and it turns out that residents of the southern suburbs had been hungering to get in the game.
Best Sports Bar for Playing Games
Blake Street Tavern
The winner and still the champ! Since 2003, Blake Street Tavern has been scoring big with sports-bar fans — and the best got better when Blake Street opened Underground Social, the ultimate solution for a big basement space that now features its own bar, jukebox and photo booth, along with...
Best Sports Bar for Food and Drink
Highland Tap & Burger
When Highland Tap & Burger opened in September 2010, it was a sports lover's secret spot for catching a game.
Best Old-School Summer Night
Lakeside Amusement Park
There is no place in this state quite like Lakeside Amusement Park.
Best Summer Activity on a Ski Slope
High Mountain Ropes Challenge Course at Adventure Ridge
As the snow melts, Vail's Adventure Ridge swaps out tubing, ski biking and a kids' snowmobile course for zipline tours, a climbing wall, a primo disc-golf course and other activities.
Best Colorado Landmark You Can Climb
With their name and image plastered on everything from T-shirts to car dealership
Best Place to Kayak Inside the City Limits
It may be rimmed by concrete and smell like feet on its best days, but for city-bound kayakers, Confluence Park is the best place outside of a swimming pool to sneak in an hour or two of after-work paddling.
Best Almost Shooting Fish in a Barrel
Lake Carol Anne
Carol and Punch Bohn, son of legendary boxer Eddie Bohn, run Lake Carol Anne, a private fishing enclave in north Denver.
Best Place for Kids to Commune With Nature in the City
Mordecai Children's Garden
Denver Botanic Gardens offers one of the finest examples of nature play around.
Best Cell-Phone Coverage on a Hike
The Berrypicker trail out of Vail will get you into Colorado's famed scenery quickly as it heads straight up the mountain — the same one you ski in the winter — from either Vail Village or Lionshead.
Best Hike and a Beer
Mount Sanitas and Sanitas Brewing
Boulder is full of good hikes and great beer, but there's one combination that stands above the others.
Best Frisbee Toss and a Beer
Globeville Landing Park and Black Shirt Brewing
Globeville Landing Park, at 38th Street and Arkins Court, is home to the only disc-golf course within the Denver city limits, and although it's small and a little rough, it has its charms.
Best Way to Meet an Outdoorsy Type Indoors
When LuvByrd founder Mike Keshian was living in Crested Butte, he realized that it's not always easy for people who love the great outdoors to find like-minded romantic partners, particularly in smaller towns.
Best Mountain-Bike Trail
The Colorado Trail celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2014, and although it was designed for hiking, the trail's 28 segments are mostly mountain-bike-friendly, too (with the exception of six wilderness areas that you have to detour around).
Best Mountain-Bike Park
Bike Snowmass wasn't messing around when it named its 2.75-mile, 1,400-vertical-foot-drop downhill bomber trail "Valhalla" — but that's just one recent addition to a singletrack and freeride trail system that now spiders out over fifty miles across the mountain resort.
Best Bike Path in Metro Denver
15th Street Bikeway
It's easy to cycle on the Cherry Creek Trail and the Greenway Trail along the South Platte River, but pedaling gets a little trickier once you surface and merge into the urban grid.
Best Dog Park
Berkeley Lake Dog Park
It's no secret that Denver is a dog town — our canine friends are everywhere — and Berkeley Lake Dog Park gives our four-legged kings and queens plenty of room to roam off-leash.
Best Skate Park
Three years after it opened, the 40,000-square-foot Arvada Skatepark remains the biggest and baddest — and most photogenic — in the state.
Best New Skate Park
Huck Finn Park
Leadville and Lake County raised nearly a million dollars over the past five years to overhaul Huck Finn Park, adding tennis courts, an ice-skating rink and one hell of a skate park.
Best Place to Learn to Ice-Climb
Ouray Ice Park, Ouray
Climbers in Colorado often have to hike for miles to find frozen waterfalls to scale.
Best Terrain Park
Breckenridge gets its park and pipe up early — in time to host the Dew Tour each December — and keeps the pro-class setup running all season long.
Only a handful of resorts in the world have the equipment needed to build 22-foot superpipes to the specifications required by premier events on the World Snowboard Tour, Association of Freeskiing Professionals World Tour and FIS World Cup.
Best Double-Diamond Run
Birds of Prey
To follow in the tracks of your 2015 FIS World Ski Championships heroes, head to Beaver Creek and make your way to the 11,440-foot summit, the starting point for the Birds of Prey men's downhill course and, a bit farther down, the Raptor women's downhill course.
Best Snowcat Ride
Tucker Mountain Snowcat
The best things in life are free, and at Copper Mountain, rides on the Tucker Mountain Snowcat are free with any lift ticket or season pass.
Best Lift Ticket Under $100
Lift tickets at many Colorado resorts have blown past the $100 mark and are now well on the way to $200, which makes bailing out before the Eisenhower Tunnel more appealing than ever.
Best Lift Ticket Under $1,000
Silverton Mountain All-Day Heli-Skiing
Ready to step up your game? A mere $999 will get you an all-day heli-skiing or snowboarding experience at Silverton Mountain.
Best Slopeside Ballin'
Oasis Champagne Bar
Raise a toast to your pow-chasing peers at the Oasis Champagne Bar, a 2,000-pound mobile pop-up bar built on a snowcat trailer. Oasis is run by Sabato Sagaria, director of food and beverage at the Little Nell at Aspen Mountain, who says he wanted to marry food truck chic with...
Best Early-Season Ski Deal for Kids
A-Basin Loves Kids Days
Kids fourteen and under ski free at Arapahoe Basin from November 30 through December 19, with no purchase necessary and no strings attached.
Best Season-Pass Deal
As single-day lift-ticket prices have skyrocketed atronomically across Colorado, multi-mountain season-pass prices have actually stayed pretty much the same.
Best Ski Porn
Just when you think you've seen everything a ski film could possibly have to offer, along comes the next installment of whatever Nick Waggoner and his Sweetgrass Productions crew are up to.
Best App for Powder Chasers
No weather forecast is perfect, particularly when it comes to predicting pow.
Best Boards for Locavores — Ski
Vanguard by Icelantic
Alpine touring skis were all the rage this season for anyone looking to leave the chairlift lines behind, whether headed for the backcountry, the sidecountry, or just taking uphill-downhill laps at a local resort.
Best Boards for Locavores — Snowboard
Funslinger by Never Summer
In a season when powder dumps were few and far between, Never Summer's playful Funslinger freestyle board hit the sweet spot. The slightly asymmetrical deck is light, spring-loaded and extra-flexible, and features Never Summer's patented "Ripsaw Rocker" rocker-camber hybrid shape. Translation? Perfect for throwing around in the terrain park and...