Sports & Recreation

  • BEST PROOF THAT DENVER SPORTS FANS ARE PRETTY DAMN POLITE

    "Suit up, you chump!"

    Denver is one of America's great sports cities, in large part because the majority of the fans here are much less abusive than their peers in other towns. As evidence, consider the incident that took place at the February 8 game between the Denver Nuggets and the Chicago Bulls: High-priced forward Kenyon Martin was sitting out yet another game with… More >>
  • BEST SPIRIT CORPS

    Montbello High School

    The Montbello Warriors may have fallen to the mighty East High Angels when the two basketball powerhouses clashed this winter, but when it came to school spirit, Montbello blew East right out of the arena. East's meager handful of cheerleaders were no match for the all-out battalion of Warriors at the opposite end of the floor: all eighteen of the… More >>
  • BEST MASCOT

    Rocky the Mountain Lion Denver Nuggets

    The most nimble, most entertaining mascot in professional sports, Rocky the Mountain Lion has won this award so often that we might have to retire the trophy -- or at least provide the high-leaping, slam-dunking feline with the lightning-bolt tail a lifetime supply of Meow Mix. Even NBA refs love Rocky, as evidenced by their tolerance of his comic hectoring… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS ANNOUNCER

    Drew Goodman Colorado Rockies

    When versatile, multi-sport broadcaster Drew Goodman -- now in his sixth year with the Rockies -- calls a baseball game, you don't get flash or fulmination or partisan outbursts. You get good, solid reporting, well-grounded in fresh facts and delivered in the modulated, New York-accented tones of an old pro. After all, this is a man who used to double… More >>
  • BEST NUGGET

    Carmelo Anthony

    That Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets' third-year shooting star, was left off the 2006 All-Star roster was a travesty commented upon even by NBA commish David Stern. The seventh-leading scorer and sixth-best foul shooter in the league, 21-year-old Melo may still toil in the shadow of his even more famous 2003 draft-mate, Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James, but for the Nuggets, the… More >>
  • BEST BRONCO

    Champ Bailey

    For a while there, the controversial trade that sent Broncos running back Clinton Portis to the Washington Redskins for cornerback Champ Bailey looked like Shanahan's Folly. But the six-time All-Pro certainly lived up to his rep this season. Despite a painful shoulder injury that kept him out of two games, Bailey racked up eight interceptions and a slew of tackles… More >>
  • BEST ROCKIE

    Todd Helton

    A first-ever trip to the disabled list and a mysterious, self-acknowledged mental funk compromised Todd Helton's ninth season in purple pinstripes, but by the end of 2005, the steady first baseman wound up the fifth-best hitter in the National League at .320. This year he remains the rock of the Rockies, the foundation on which Clint Hurdle's inexperienced club is… More >>
  • BEST AV

    Alex Tanguay

    In mid-March, Quebec-born Alex Tanguay was leading the post-Peter Forsberg Colorado Avalanche in goals, assists and points. A left-handed stick with quick moves and a powerful slapshot, the sixth-year winger is also blessed with good size (6'1", 190 pounds) and unshakable will -- appealing assets as the NHL tries to skate back into the public's heart after a near-fatal work… More >>
  • BEST MAMMOTH

    Gavin Prout

    Now that the Michael Jordan of lacrosse, Gary Gait, has moved to the sideline to coach his old team, Colorado Mammoths forward Gavin Prout has inherited the boss's mantle as the team's top scorer, assist man and points leader. From Whitby, Ontario, the 5'10" speedster also has the respect of fellow players in the league: He was voted assistant captain… More >>
  • BEST RAPID

    Joe Cannon

    For the second straight season, Colorado Rapids coaches and players named their 6'2" goalie, Joe Cannon, as most valuable player. Along with his penchant for acrobatic saves -- he sported a 1.25 goals-against average last year -- Cannon was lauded for his leadership on and off the field. Major League Soccer's 2004 Goalkeeper of the Year returns for this third… More >>
  • BEST CRUSH

    Damian Harrell

    In the high-scoring Arena Football League, gaudy offensive statistics come as no shock, but try these on for size: 122 catches, 1,486 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. Those are the 2005 numbers for Colorado Crush offensive specialist Damian Harrell -- enough to earn him the league's Offensive Player of the Year award as the Crush won its first Arena Bowl… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS TEAM -- PROFESSIONAL

    Colorado Crush

    John Elway has long known the taste of pay dirt, but when the Arena Football League team he co-owns (with a couple of guys named Bowlen and Kroenke) won the Arena Bowl championship on June 27, 2005, in Las Vegas, the famous ex-quarterback took special satisfaction. The Colorado Crush had been a member of the league for just three seasons… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS TEAM -- COLLEGE

    University of Denver Pioneers Hockey

    Going into last year's NCAA playoffs, the Denver Pioneers (of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association) were underdogs -- even in the eyes of their archrivals from Colorado College. Little matter that the Pis had won the 2004 NCAA championship in a 1-0 nail-biter over favored Maine; this wasn't the same team -- not without star goalie Adam Berkhoel, now lost… More >>
  • BEST COACH -- PROFESSIONAL

    George Karl Denver Nuggets

    If they were playing in the softer Eastern Conference, the Denver Nuggets -- led by Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby -- might really be flying high. As it is, though, they aren't doing too bad (first in the NBA West's Northwest Division), and much of the credit goes to no-nonsense coach George Karl, who hasn't posted a losing… More >>
  • BEST COACH -- COLLEGE

    George Gwozdecky University of Denver Pioneers Hockey

    In the first nine years of his tenure as the University of Denver's hockey coach, George Gwozdecky's scrappy Pioneers had their brief moments of glory. For example, the 1998 team won 26 games after losing 25 the year before. But now the Pioneers remain on top of the college-hockey world. With Gwozdecky (University of Wisconsin, class of 1978) behind the… More >>
  • BEST COLORADO OLYMPIAN

    Gretchen Bleiler

    Sleek and blond, she looked lovely in her February 2004 photo spread for FHM Magazine, and she clearly had a ball as an honorary starter for this year's Daytona 500. But 25-year-old Gretchen Bleiler, a native of Ohio who's lived in Aspen since she was ten, is at her best in the half-pipe, throwing spins, flipping and getting good air.… More >>
  • BEST SACK

    Gary Barnett

    Against all odds, the University of Colorado football coach survived the scandal-plagued departures of the university president, the chancellor and the athletic director, but in the end, Gary Barnett also had to take a hike -- not because he was a male chauvinist pig, or because he looked the other way while his program wooed recruits with sex and drugs,… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS BARGAIN

    University of Denver Pioneers Basketball

    Sure, it's fun to go to Avalanche or Nuggets games -- as long as you've got a wallet the size of Stan Kroenke's. For those of more modest means, DU's men's and women's basketball teams offer plenty of bang for your buck. The teams are improving, and they play in a gorgeous venue, Magness Arena, yet ticket prices begin at… More >>
  • BEST ADVENTURER GONE
    GLOBAL

    Josh Bernstein Boulder Outdoor Survival School www.boss-inc.com

    Since 1968, the Boulder Outdoor Survival School has offered wilderness-based life-changing experiences to people around the world. But the life that BOSS may have changed most is that of Josh Bernstein, who today is the outfit's president and CEO. BOSS has become the go-to source not just for individuals, but also for publications and moviemakers looking for survival experts.… More >>
  • BEST CHAMPION WITH
    LOCAL ROOTS

    Ulmus Americana Cheesman Park

    Denver Forestry keeps a list of champion trees, the largest examples of their species found in the state. Of the 73 champs rooted in Denver, 25 can be found at the Denver Botanic Gardens, another 17 in the city's parks system. The tallest of all is the American Elm located by Cheesman's east entrance at Ninth Avenue, adjacent to the… More >>
  • BEST WALK IN THE CITY

    Bear Creek Greenbelt

    Round a lush bend on the Bear Creek Greenbelt trail and you'll find yourself smack-dab in the middle of a thriving prairie dog town. Little heads pop up and out of burrowed holes that dot the wide, open meadow; elsewhere, the cheeky varmints stand still as statues, hoping not to be noticed. This is one of the delightful surprises that… More >>
  • BEST FARM IN THE CITY

    The Urban Farm

    The Urban Farm, located on a reclaimed corner of the former Stapleton Airport, is one of the city's hidden treasures. It's a real farm with all kinds of animals -- cows, sheep, goats, chickens, a gorgeous hog the size of Kansas and lots of horses -- where urban kids can get a feel for rural life and learn to ride,… More >>
  • BEST WAY TO FEEL LIKE A KID -- WITH A HANGOVER

    Denver Kickball Coalition www.dkbc.org

    The Denver Kickball Coalition started as a drunk-Sunday league on the fields of Morey Middle School, but over the past four years it's grown into a sporting powerhouse. Today the league has a draft, numerous teams with crazy names and even crazier uniforms, bachelor auctions to raise money for charity, and cutthroat competition. Although the original Commish, Joe Phillips, headed… More >>
  • BEST INDOOR SOCCER

    Golden Goal

    Golden Goal works as an indoor soccer facility for the simple reason that it lets you play. While some indoor joints assault you with snack bars and gear shops, promotions and spam e-mails, Golden Goal merely ushers you past walls lined with outdated soccer posters, leads you onto one of the facility's two playing fields and lets the games begin.… More >>
  • BEST OUTDOOR SKATING RINK

    The Rink at Belmar

    Like just about everything else at oh-so-hip Belmar, the rink couldn't be just a rink. This slick facility, complete with a rental kiosk housed in a refurbished, 31-foot vintage Airstream trailer, proved to be enormously popular with visitors to the shopping center this winter, and also served as the site for such loony, Belmar-style retro events as the Dated Holiday… More >>
  • BEST TERRAIN PARK

    Copper Mountain

    Designing, building and maintaining a terrain park is as much an art as it is a science, and Copper Mountain displays the right blend of physics and beauty with its snow sculpting. Dubbed "Catalyst," the park runs beneath the American Flyer lift and is separated into three zones that run parallel to each other down the mountain. The left side,… More >>
  • BEST OUT-OF-BOUNDS SKIING

    Arapahoe Basin

    Arapahoe Basin already appeals to the independent skier, the person who'd rather power down the slopes than vamp through Vail. And while there are plenty of challenging runs -- including the classic Pallavicini -- on A-Basin's official map, the area also boasts great out-of-bounds skiing. A short walk from the top of the Lenaway Lift and through the U.S. Forest… More >>
  • BEST OUT-OF-SIGHT DEAL

    Schussbaumer Ski Club www.schussbaumer.com

    In 1952, early fans of skiing banded together as the Schussbaumer Ski Club, even opening a crash pad in Georgetown. That had to move when I-70 came through, so in 1965 the members built a chalet in Breckenridge that was close to the only game in town -- back when that town was a sleepy old mining burg just beginning… More >>
  • BEST BUMPS

    Mary Jane at Winter Park 303-316-1564

    Winter Park is rich in history from the early mining days of Colorado, but at thirty, Mary Jane is still young at heart. Over the past three decades, the area's runs -- Rail Bender, Trestle, Needle's Eye -- have become infamous for their great fall lines and the Volkswagen-sized bumps that keep lots of knee surgeons in business. And if… More >>
  • BEST CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARDS

    Ben Anderson Icelantic AT Boards www.icelanticboards.com

    A Best of Denver award may seem like small potatoes after your brainchild was just named Best New Product at the 65th International Trade Show for Sports Equipment and Fashion, but Ben Anderson knows where he comes from, and he beamed with Colorado pride when he accepted that honor in Germany in February. An Evergreen-based entrepreneur, Anderson wants to revolutionize… More >>
  • BEST INNER-CITY SNOWBOARDING PROGRAM

    Chill www.chill.org

    Founded in 1995 by snowboard-company pioneer Jake Burton, Chill started as a simple idea: to introduce inner-city kids and at-risk youth to snowboarding. Today the program has spread from Vermont to cities and states across the country, including Denver. Organizers work with 25 youth-service agencies -- including foster care and group homes -- to identify kids who might benefit from… More >>
  • BEST FREE WAX AS YOU
    HEAD FOR THE HILLS

    Maison De Ski 2804 Colorado Blvd., Idaho Springs 303-567-2044

    By spring, all that wax you lavished on your board or skis at the beginning of the season has long since disappeared. Halfway up I-70, you realize that you're going to be stuck on anything that's flat, with the sticky snow pulling at your skis or board like a nagging child pulling on his mother's skirt. But a quick trip… More >>
  • BEST BREAKAWAY LANE

    Eastbound I-70, just past Golden

    The only thing that sucks about going to the mountains for the weekend is coming home in Sunday-night traffic. Giant SUVs struggle along like lumbering mammoths, and at the slightest trace of snow or ice, traffic often snarls to a halt. Frustration sets in fast: People want to be out of their cars, into their homes. A small ray of… More >>
  • BEST MOTORCYCLE RIDE

    Highway 105 Douglas County

    Ready to ride? Hop on your Harley and head hell-bent for leather on Santa Fe Drive 25 miles south of Denver, then hang a right on Highway 67, zip past Bud's (home of the Best Burger) and turn left on Highway 105. This backcountry road takes you on a sixty-mile route through the foothills, along excellent winding curves, hills and… More >>
  • BEST MOBILE ASS-KICKING

    Rocky Mountain Rollergirls www.rockymountainrollergirls.com

    Broken bones, rock and roll, foxy girls knocking the hell out of each other -- and on roller skates, no less. Is it any wonder that the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls are the hottest ticket in town? A motley crew of bad-ass babes in miniskirts, with gobs more guts than the Colorado Crush and the late-season Avs combined, the Rollergirls revive… More >>
  • BEST WAY TO FIND YOUR
    INNER NASCAR

    Bandimere Speedway

    The quarter-mile is a great equalizer, and Bandimere Speedway is happy to oblige drivers who need to prove just how fast and furious they can be with "Take It to the Track." On Wednesday nights through the summer, you just bring your own car, sign up to race it and put pedal to the metal -- best time wins. Of… More >>
  • BEST SPOT FOR CRUISING

    Regis Square Mall 5100 block of
    Federal Blvd.

    There's no place that better captures Denver's northwest side than the Regis Square strip mall, with its cut-rate hair salons, a carnicer’a, El Nuevo Time-Out Billiards, a Rent-a-Center and Tequila Le Club. A big part of northwest Denver culture is cruising, so it's no surprise that on warm nights, most Federal Boulevard cruisers -- mariachi pop music blasting from their… More >>
  • BEST OFFICIAL SKATEPARK

    Aurora Skatepark Iliff Ave. east of Chambers Rd., Aurora 303-739-7160

    The Aurora Wheel Park complex is big and round, shaped like a pizza, with one slice featuring a BMX dirt track, another housing a BMX ramp course, and another piece reserved for three roller-hockey rinks. But by far the most popular topping is the 20,000-square-foot skatepark that opened in 2002 to the excitement of riders throughout the metro area. Designed… More >>
  • BEST UNOFFICIAL SKATEPARK

    Little Dry Creek drainage ditch Westminster

    The large drainage ditch that runs through the Harris Park neighborhood near West 72nd Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard in Westminster resembles one of those huge, concrete arroyos in Los Angeles that are notorious for suddenly filling with flash-flood waters -- along with abandoned El Caminos, stray dogs and Huffy-riding children. But Little Dry Creek lives up to its name and… More >>
  • BEST INDOOR POOL

    Colorado Cue Club 10657 Melody Dr., Northglenn 303-450-7665

    Get a cue: For pool fans in Denver, the place to play is the Colorado Cue Club, which boasts a friendly atmosphere, a full kitchen and 28 pool tables. But its major asset is Chris Honeman, a national champ (she won the BCA North American 8-Ball Championship) who opened the place with friends last year. Honeman knows first-hand what pool… More >>
  • BEST DIVE

    Aurora Reservoir

    For a landlocked state, Colorado has a lot of scuba fans; per capita, we rank third for certified divers. And their favorite place to take the plunge is the Aurora Reservoir, which has a designated dive beach and also an underwater airplane, sunk years ago by the Colorado Scuba Retailers Association so that divers would have something to explore. It… More >>
  • BEST FREE WORKOUT

    Mother Cabrini Shrine Lookout Mountain

    For Catholics, the fourteen stations of the cross represent the events between Jesus's condemnation and his burial -- a progressive series of images that encourage spiritual contemplation, modeled after paths followed by Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem. But at the Mother Cabrini Shrine, a pious pit stop on the east side of Lookout Mountain, the stations also create a cardio-pumping obstacle… More >>
  • BEST CHEAP WORKOUT

    Denver Department of Parks and Recreation annual pass www.denvergov.org

    Some people justify dropping big bucks on memberships to high-class joints with the flabby rationalization that they're more likely to hit the gym if they've been charged a lot for the privilege. And it's true -- you usually get what you pay for at these posh facilities...if you actually use all of their high-priced equipment. But if you want to… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO FIND
    FREE DOG TOYS

    Cherry Creek Dr. N. and S. Adams St.

    When money's in short supply, people need to get creative. So if you want a present for your pet and can't afford that gold-plated flying doggy disc that's all the rage, take your pooch for a stroll down Cherry Creek Drive, along the eastern edge of Pulaski Park. This particular spot is just south of Gates Tennis Center, whose twenty… More >>
  • BEST AVIAN BED AND BREAKFAST

    Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory Barr Lake State Park www.rmbo.org

    Every spring and fall, when the migration seasons bring thousands of birds to Barr Lake, the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory switches into high gear, gently capturing its avian guests in nets, banding them for further research and then setting them free. The education and bird-banding station is open to the public, but the entire area is filled with weary travelers… More >>
  • BEST REC CENTER FOR DOGS

    Canine Fitness and Fun Center

    Swimming pools have gone to the dogs, as well they should. Many breeds adore the water, and a bob in the pool is wonderful therapy for pups suffering from hip dysplasia, arthritis, sports injuries and other painful conditions. Canine Fitness boasts two pools: a deep one for swimmers and a shallow one for little pooches and big splashers. Both offer… More >>
  • BEST PETA-APPROVED CONCESSIONS

    Coors Field

    Wouldn't you just know it? San Francisco and Oakland took top honors, but our own snuggly, tree-huggin' Coors Field nabbed third place in PETA's recent Vegetarian Friendly Ballparks Project, based on its fine array of vegetarian concession items, including grilled mushroom panini and veggie burgers, wraps and burritos, and your standard peanuts, popcorn and pretzels. And Cracker Jack, no doubt.… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO GET A BEER
    AT THE PEPSI CENTER

    Denver Post Newsroom

    Sports arenas consistently offer three things: hot dogs smothered in ketchup, piss-yellow popcorn, and heady beers the size of your aunt Mildred's ass. But why? Who said that sports and unidentifiable pig organs go together? At the Denver Post Newsroom, located at section 238 on the second level of the Pepsi Center -- which means you need a club-level ticket… More >>
  • BEST BREWERY TOUR

    New Belgium Brewing Co.

    A visit to the New Belgium Brewing Co. is intoxicating, and not just because of the generous selection of free samples -- although those certainly don't hurt. The buzz starts with the guide who welcomes you onto the last tour of the day, even though it's already filled with people who reserved their spaces in advance. The guide loves her… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO PLAY
    DRUNK MONOPOLY

    Atomic Cowboy

    The Atomic Cowboy recognizes that booze brings out your competitive side. Then again, so does every sports bar in Denver with a pool table or a dartboard. But those games require coordination and physical prowess -- two things most of us lack after a couple of rounds of Tanqueray-and-tonics. That's why the Cowboy graciously stocks a selection of board games… More >>
  • BEST BOWLING ALLEY IN A BAR

    Uptown Tavern

    The Back Alley, a tiny, two-lane bowling alley tucked at the back of the Uptown Tavern, looks like it was made for munchkin ravers. But "Thunder Bowl" is a genius alternative to darts or Golden Tee. Each glow-in-the-dark lane can accommodate six people, and the bowling balls are just five inches in diameter and weigh only 3.5 pounds -- which… More >>
  • BEST BOWLING ALLEY ATMOSPHERE WITHOUT LANES

    Harry's Bar

    People who don't own their own bowling ball or shoes don't go bowling because they're hoping for a perfect game; they go to drink cheap beer, inhale stale cigarette smoke and talk shit about their gutterball friends. More often than not, the actual game takes a backseat to lowbrow banter and greasy concession-stand food. So why not just skip the… More >>
  • BEST SCOOT AND SHOOT

    PS 1515 - CLOSED

    Already a popular hangout, PS 1515 gained a rep as a motorcycle- and scooter-friendly joint after the First Thursday Moto Rally debuted in its parking lot last May. Conceived by Aaron Scott as a place where moto-enthusiasts could grab a beer or a shot and talk bikes, the event established the restaurant and its sister lounge across the street as… More >>
  • BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE

    Elway's

    While planning for his swanky new steakhouse and saloon in Cherry Creek, Broncos icon John Elway called just one play out to the interior design team: Do whatever you like, but one of the bar stools has to be upholstered in gold leather. Why? Gold was the favorite color of the famous quarterback's late father and mentor, Jack Elway, and… More >>
Loading...