Sports & Recreation

  • Best Guess for How Many Times Tim Tebow Will Be on the Cover of Sports Illustrated in 2012

    Four

    Stop the presses! Our crack team of researchers pegged the answer to this question at three, but that was before the Peyton Manning signing. Then we revised downward, briefly, to zero, before finally settling on four, thanks to Tim Tebow's trade to the New York Jets. Bright lights. Big City. Meet your new biggest star. Readers' Choice: Two… More >>
  • Best Mammoth

    John Grant Jr.

    As long as goals are still a good thing in lacrosse, then John Grant Jr. is not only the best Mammoth, but the best player in the entire National Lacrosse League. He currently leads the league in points, goals and power-play goals, and is third in assists. In fact, he may be the biggest reason the Mammoth own the best… More >>
  • Best Rapid

    Jeff Larentowicz

    The team's leading goal-scorer from last season was one of only three players to suit up for every game. And even though the Rapids couldn't repeat their championship run from the previous season, Jeff Larentowicz played the full ninety minutes in all three playoff games. He also notched his second career brace — when a player scores two goals in… More >>
  • Best Av

    Gabriel Landeskog

    A lot was expected of the number-two overall pick in the NHL draft, but few people were counting on the kind of performance that the Swedish-born Gabriel Landeskog has turned in. The lefty is in the top five in most offensive categories among rookies and second on the team in points. In March, he was named the NHL's top rookie.… More >>
  • Best Outlaw

    Jesse Schwartzman

    The Outlaws missed their chance to play in the Major League Lacrosse championship for the second year in a row, but Schwartzman proved to be the best goaltender in the league. He was the only goalie to post a per-game goals-against average under ten, and he was second in the league in save percentage. Schwartzman played in every game last… More >>
  • Best Performance by a Nugget in China

    Wilson Chandler

    The Nuggets had three nominees for this award, which is two more than any other NBA team. Kenyon Martin went all Kenyon Martin and butted heads with team management before leaving the team early, and J.R. Smith was fined over $1 million — about a third of his salary while there — for missing practices. So Wilson Chandler didn't have… More >>
  • Best Sports Team — Professional

    Denver Broncos

    By "Best" we mean most theatrical, unexpectedly decent, lucky and utterly inexplicable. When Tim Tebow took the reins of a 1-4 team, most people expected the team to enter the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, not the playoff race. But thanks to a stout defense led by rookie Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil and multiple late-game minor miracles by the Chosen One,… More >>
  • Best Nugget

    Ty Lawson

    When Carmelo Anthony was traded in 2011, the Denver Nuggets took a lot of pride in playing well without a having a star on the team or definitive leader. They could have used one, however, when Oklahoma City's two stars were eliminating them from the first round of the playoffs. While Danilo Gallinari might be the most talented Nugget, little… More >>
  • Best 49-Year-Old Pro Athlete

    Jamie Moyer

    Old athletes are still young by everyday life standards — except for Jamie Moyer. The left-handed veteran (who got his first start against Steve Carlton) is attempting to make a comeback and to make the Rockies roster after missing last year recovering from Tommy John surgery. And after a slow start, he's now competing for the fifth starter position —… More >>
  • Best Sports Team — College

    Colorado State University Men's Basketball

    The Rams have come full circle under head coach Tim Miles, from complete joke to NCAA tournament participant. In Miles's first season in Fort Collins five years ago, the Rams went winless in conference play during the regular season. This year, CSU won all but one game at home and beat three ranked teams on the way to earning an… More >>
  • Best Coach — Professional

    John Fox

    Let's not go nuts here because John Fox led the Donkeys to a .500 record in a crappy division, but he gets credit for not doing what so many coaches in his position would have done: be a stubborn, old, crotchety coach. Rather than try to shove a square peg into a round hole by making Tim Tebow run a… More >>
  • Best Board for Locavores

    Never Summer Proto CT

    Denver-based manufacturer Never Summer Industries marked its twentieth anniversary in the snowboard business with the addition of the Proto CT, a springy new all-mountain freestyle board that ruled this season's demo days and earned top reviews. Like all boards in the line this year, the Proto CT is made in Colorado and features Never Summer's patented Rocker Camber Technology, a… More >>
  • Best Powder Keg

    Silverton Mountain

    Slaves to the snow report found themselves salivating over the stats from Silverton Mountain this season, where forty-inch dumps were dropping while the rest of the state's resorts sat high and dry. Silverton is a seven-hour drive from Denver even when it's not snowing, so if you're making the trek, go ahead and book at least one ride in the… More >>
  • Best Way to Plan a "Sick" Day

    OpenSnow.com

    Powder chasers had their work cut out for them during the 2011-2012 season, with snowfall averages down across the state and winter storms few and far between. To be in the right place at the right time, you had to be either very lucky or, better yet, following the powder predictions of Boulder-based meteorologist Joel Gratz, co-founder of OpenSnow.com. The… More >>
  • Best Coach — College

    George Gwozdecky

    We tend to forget about University of Denver hockey coach George Gwozdecky because he is so consistently excellent. But his team was ranked in the top ten nationally and made the playoffs. Again. Although they exited after the first round, DU has won two national titles with Gwozdecky at the helm, and this year he juggled three capable goalies, each… More >>
  • Best Performance by a General Manager in a Bad Situation

    Masai Ujiri

    Formerly an international scout, Masai Ujiri, in his first year as a general manager, found out that the best player in franchise history no longer wanted to play for the Nuggets. Rather than panic, Ujiri was patient and swung a good deal for Carmelo Anthony with the New York Knicks — especially considering that everyone knew Anthony wanted to sign… More >>
  • Best Mascot

    Rocky

    It's hard to beat Rocky. The Nuggets' mountain-lion mascot is still knocking down over-the-head-backwards half-court shots and throwing down trampoline dunks, still amusing opposing coaches, still flirting with buxom ladies in the stands. And until some other furry-costume-wearing wannabe knocks him off the throne, Rocky is king of the town. Readers' Choice: Rocky… More >>
  • Best Lift Ticket Deal

    Woodward Wednesdays at Copper Mountain

    If you noticed some of your colleagues taking weekly "sick" days this winter, blame the $35 Woodward Wednesday Pass deal at Copper Mountain. The pass — a fraction of the price of a regular full-day ticket at Copper or anywhere else — was good for a single-day lift ticket on the new Union Creek high-speed chairlift serving Copper's terrain-park system… More >>
  • Best Halfpipe

    Buttermilk

    Shaun White's perfect score in the Men's Snowboard Superpipe competition at Winter X Games 2012 wouldn't have been possible without a perfect pipe to play in, and this season, Buttermilk's 22-footer was widely regarded as the best in the world, not just the best in Colorado. Sixteen-year-old Aspen local Torin Yater-Wallace milked his home pipe for all it was worth,… More >>
  • Best TV Sportscaster

    Drew Soicher

    Sports news today doesn't wait for the evening newscast; it breaks on Twitter. And in addition to breaking news via @drewsoicher, Channel 9 personality Drew Soicher brings just that — personality — to the job. Soicher's a sportscaster in the finest tradition: humorous, knowledgeable, and not afraid to put himself out there. Case in point: After legendary MC Heavy D… More >>
  • Best Person for Tim Tebow to Date

    Jackie Burns

    They say opposites attract, and who could be more different from the eternally good Tim Tebow that the Wicked Witch of the West? Tebow is out of Denver, and although the musical, Wicked, is coming here, it's also still playing on Broadway in the Big Apple, where the Chosen One will now throw passes for the New York Jets. Broadway… More >>
  • Best Terrain Park

    Woodward at Copper

    This season, Copper Mountain poached terrain-park manager Justin George from Keystone and gave him free rein to build an ever-changing system of progressive terrain parks in partnership with the Woodward at Copper action-sports camp. The parks work their way up from kid-friendly boxes, jumps and jibs to pro-level, crap-your-snowpants booters and massive urban-inspired features like wall rides and double-kink handrails… More >>
  • Best Way to Get Stoked for the Season

    Snowboard on the Rocks

    Snowboard-video premiere parties have become big business in Denver and Boulder, with increasingly high-class and high-capacity venues, and sold-out crowds packed with pro-athlete VIPs. Our favorite of the bunch is Snowboard on the Rocks, an annual film-and-music extravaganza at Red Rocks Amphitheater presented by So-Gnar and Snowboard Colorado magazine. The fall event, now heading into its third year, combines live… More >>
  • Best Radio Sports Show

    The Drive

    Former Bronco Alfred "Big Al" Williams and co-host Darren "D-Mac" McKee each have their own shtick on The Drive — and it works. In fact, Big Al's buffoonish, Madden-esque approach belies a deep knowledge of Denver sports and keeps D-Mac's sharp opinions and bluster in check. The two have an excellent rapport with one another, they refrain from shouting, and,… More >>
  • Best Non-Sports Spot for Watching Games

    Sub-Culture

    There's a large contingent of urbanites who long ago cut their ties to sports culture but never abandoned their love of sports. For these folks, going to a bar to watch a game can be a nightmare of brosephian machismo, terrible food and light beer. But now there's a place where they have a sporting chance of enjoying themselves: Capitol… More >>
  • Best Sports Announcer

    Peter McNab

    Hockey doesn't get as much attention as other professional sports in this town, but not because of a lack of passion, something that is always on display when Peter McNab and his broadcast partner, play-by-play man Mike Haynes, get together. Haynes usually gets a lot of props — he's won this award several times — and deservedly so. But McNab… More >>
  • Best Rockie

    Troy Tulowitzki

    It's about to get all baseball nerdy up in here: In 2011, star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki posted the second-best WAR of his career. The obscure stat — also known as Wins Above Replacement — measures the amount of wins a player is worth to his team. In fact, according to this stat, Tulo was more than twice as valuable as… More >>
  • Best Summer Olympics Hopeful From Colorado

    Missy Franklin

    Regis Jesuit junior Missy Franklin has cannonballed her way onto the world swimming scene over the past two years, winning state championships and then breaking the world record in the 200-meter backstroke. She is expected to easily make the U.S. Olympic swimming team — specializing in the backstroke and the 100- and 200-meter freestyle — and to compete not only… More >>
  • Best CU Graduate Sports Victory

    Jennifer Barringer Simpson

    Rather than donning Tim Tebow jerseys, the sports name Coloradans should have plastered all over their clothing in 2011 was that of Jennifer Barringer Simpson. In an unexpected victory, the 25-year-old University of Colorado at Boulder graduate (and 2008 Olympic athlete) took the gold medal for the 1,500-meter track event at the World Championships in Athletics in South Korea last… More >>
  • Best Roller Derby Team

    Team USA

    Why bother choosing local league loyalties when the best roller derby team in the world this year featured skaters from both the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls and the Denver Roller Dolls? Portia "Frida Beater" Hensley, a star of the RMRG 5280 Fight Club traveling team, led Team USA into battle as a co-captain when the squad rolled into Toronto in December… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar for Watching Games

    Bull & Bush Pub and Brewery

    The Bull & Bush is the best sports bar in town for game-watching because of what's not on the television: glare. This pub's dark wood and low light make the twenty — count 'em, twenty! — glorious flat-screens seem somehow brighter than standard televisions. The games broadcast on them appear like floating visions of victory for fans, with no garish… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar for Food and Drink

    Blake Street Tavern

    The Blake Street Tavern is big fun. At its large, newish home, there are seemingly acres of asphalt where you can party before opening day at Coors Field, just a block away; a huge country-Western dance floor in the basement where you can learn to line dance; a vast arcade area with shuffleboard, Skee-Ball, foosball and Golden Tee; and a… More >>
  • Best Roller Derby Skater

    Tracy "Disco" Akers

    Tracy Akers, aka "Disco," started skating with the Denver Roller Dolls in 2005 and is now a co-captain of the Mile High Club, DRD's traveling team. She won 2011 Triple Threat pivot/blocker/jammer honors at the Roller Dolls' year-end awards ceremony for her all-around talent, but what puts her ahead of the pack is her head for in-the-moment strategy during the… More >>
  • Best Balls at Coors Field

    Rocky Mountain Oysters

    They're not as popular as Rocky dogs or Helton burgers, but fans can still get their Rocky Mountain oysters at Coors Field. Since 1995, sliced bull's testicles, battered and fried to a golden, chewy crisp, have been available at stand 144 in the ballpark, where they have a "small but hard-core following," says Aramark regional manager Richard Hesse. Play ball!… More >>
  • Best Roller Derby Nickname

    Boo Boo Radley

    Roller derby names have the dual requirement of striking fear in the hearts of lesser opponents while making them giggle. Boo Boo Radley, aka Deirdre Sage of the Denver Roller Dolls, accomplishes both — and manages a To Kill a Mockingbird reference, to boot.… More >>
  • Best Place to See a Grownup Cry Over Pac-Man

    The 1UP

    From life-sized Jenga to an array of video games, all from 1985 or earlier, this vintage arcade/bar is the best place to drink, get to level 254 of Pac-Man, and break down when the ghosts finally get you. The good news is that with over forty vintage arcade games (including BurgerTime and Mortal Kombat) as well as pinball and Skee-Ball,… More >>
  • Best Upscale Roller Derby Nickname

    Brix Hithouse

    Krisana "Brix Hithouse" Barrett gets credit for both clever wordplay and worldly sophistication. When not bumping elbows, she's an executive sommelier. The word "brix" describes the amount of sugar in a wine grape before harvest, which is used to predict the alcohol level in the resulting wine. And while opponents marvel at how cultured Barrett is, well, that's where the… More >>
  • Best Combination of Alcohol and Exercise

    Beer Mile

    Hosted annually by the Denver Run Club, the Beer Mile requires participants to chug a beer and run a 400-meter lap — then repeat three times. Beer Miles are held all over the country, and Denver's most recent version was held on St. Patrick's Day, naturally. It's BYOB — and make sure you come with the strong stuff (at least… More >>
  • Best Roller Derby Grimace

    Angela Death

    Julie "Angela Death" Adams is a wrecking ball of a lead jammer with both the Green Barrettes (her Denver Roller Dolls home team) and the Mile High Club traveling all-stars squad. But it's the "Look out, here I come!" grimace she assumes as she's breaking away from the pack in her speed-skater's crouch that has also made her one of… More >>
  • Best Knock-Down, Drag-Out Fights With Flair

    Primos Hardcore & Wrestling

    With every death-defying match, "Joey Terrofyn" McDougal puts his bloody heart and soul into Primos Hardcore & Wrestling. The owner of Colorado's premier entertainment fighting company started out several years ago loosely affiliated with the Juggalo wrestling circuit. Eventually, the wrestler and promoter realized that his brand of high-flying stunt show was a niche all its own, and he split… More >>
  • Best Free Weekly Yoga Class

    Community Yoga at the Mercury Cafe

    Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Mercury Cafe, Kendall Perry and Piper Rose teach Community Yoga, a class open to all ages and skill levels. The best part? It's free — for everyone. Whether you're a yogi with decades of experience, a first-timer, a senior citizen or a toddler, the instructors make sure the class is tailor-made to fit.… More >>
  • Best Skate Park

    Arvada Skate Park

    The massive new 40,000-square-foot Arvada Skate Park was designed and built by the skater-owned Team Pain Skate Parks crew and overseen by local skater James Hedrick as part of the first phase of development at Gibbs West Community Park. Approximately 97 percent of the $2.1 million price tag was funded by grants from the Tony Hawk Foundation, Colorado Lottery, Great… More >>
  • Best Nanny for Peyton Manning

    Lindsey Vonn

    Colorado's best-known skier Tebowed before a race last December, inciting rumors that she had a special relationship with Timmy. The two turned out to be just friends, but now that Number 15 is gone, Lindsey Vonn can still get in on some quarterback action by becoming the nanny for Peyton Manning and his wife, who have one-year-old twins.… More >>
  • Best Weekly Non-Cruiser Bike Ride

    Loops

    Rain, sleet, snow or shine, the man behind Xrocksthespot.com and cycle enthusiast Broox Pulford maps out and leads Loops, a ride through central Denver each and every Tuesday night. Creeping up on its 200th edition, the free ride meets at Crema Coffee House around 7 p.m. and clocks in at around fifteen to twenty each trip. Pulford fully advocates that… More >>
  • Best Skateboarder

    Julian Christianson

    This year, we watched 303 Boards' CLFX team skater Julian Christianson win just about every skateboard contest that came through town, including the Denver stops of the Element Make It Count Tour, the Maloof Money Cup Skateboard Road Tour, and the Hometown Heroes Amateur Skateboard Tour. He picked up a one-year sponsorship deal with Element Skateboards after winning the national… More >>
  • Best Place to Wear Out Your Kids

    Great Play

    What do you do when you need to burn off some steam? A lot of us check in at the gym. The idea behind Great Play is that, in an age when we're being bombarded with news about childhood obesity, maybe the kids should be doing the same. That's the whole point of the national franchise operation, which recently made… More >>
  • Best Skateboard Video

    It's Always Sunny in Colorado

    Bucky O'Connell's long-awaited It's Always Sunny in Colorado transcended skate-shop loyalties when it premiered last year. The video helped bring the Denver skateboard scene together by featuring team riders from the rival 303 Boards and Denver Shop crews, among others, with additional standout skateboarding by Greg Piloto, Aaron "Jaws" Homoki, Trevor Uriona, David Reyes, Nial Frederickson, Sean Frederickson and Jon… More >>
  • Best Climbing Gym

    Movement Climbing + Fitness

    The world — well, the International Olympic Committee, anyway — was watching when Boulder-based USA Climbing hosted the International Federation of Sport Climbing Lead Climbing World Cup in October at Movement Climbing + Fitness. It was the first time the competition has been held in the U.S. since 1988: Sport climbing is on the shortlist to become an Olympic medal… More >>
  • Best Bronco

    Von Miller

    Rookie defensive sensation Von Miller forced a fumble on his very first NFL play, was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, recorded 11.5 sacks, played a couple of games in a cast and was named to the 2011 Pro Bowl. Not bad. Off the field, the bespectacled Miller was the picture of poise. And while Tim Tebow was certainly… More >>
  • Best Mountain Bike Park

    Trestle Bike Park

    The Gravity Logic crew at Winter Park has been redefining downhill mountain biking over the past few years, greatly expanding its trail system and special features in the Trestle Bike Park each summer and hosting Crankworx Colorado as its signature event. This summer, look for the opening of three new trails, including the aptly named "Cruel and Unusual," and for… More >>
  • Best Nearby Zipline

    Denver Adventures

    If you want to fly through the air and scope out some nice scenery while you're up there, but don't want to make the haul to the Royal Gorge or Durango, just drive to Golden and check out one of Denver Adventures' zipline packages. Denver Adventures offers four- and six-zipline tours and boasts the fastest and longest ziplines in Colorado.… More >>
  • Best Mountain Park

    Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Golden

    It's crowded in the summer, but Golden Gate Canyon State Park offers some of the best of the Colorado mountains very close to the big city on 12,000 acres of gorgeous pine and aspen forests, meadows and trails. Set just thirty miles from Denver, the park boasts a fantastic visitors' center, along with camping, cycling, horseback riding and fishing. And… More >>
  • Best Mountain and Plains Park

    Carter Lake, Loveland

    There's basically just a tall ridge separating Carter Lake Park from the great expanse of the plains. And it's actually not a lake so much as a reservoir, supplied by water diverted from the Western Slope to keep the engines of Front Range commerce churning. But when you see this park, you will forget all that immediately, because Carter Lake… More >>
  • Best Park for Cycling

    Washington Park

    The Washington Park neighborhood offers one of the best assets to urban cyclists looking for a good workout: a 2.27-mile perimeter around its lush, lake-filled recreation area. The two-lane track, bordered by the picturesque 'hood, works for all skill levels of cyclists, from the extreme amateur looking for an afternoon jaunt on a cruiser to the seasoned veteran looking to… More >>
  • Best Dog Park

    Stapleton

    Here's the thing about dog parks: They're for dogs, and mostly medium-to-large dogs that need some exercise. So while you, the human, might like a spot with a lot of grass, shade, benches, pedicures and an espresso bar, your dog wants a huge expanse of land to burn off its energy. Stapleton fits that description better than any park in… More >>
  • Best Park for Running

    Sloan's Lake Park

    Runners, let's be honest: Running on treadmills is boring, and the scenery never changes. In fact, the only reason we do it is because running up hills makes us feel winded and feeble, while treadmills rarely challenge us with difficult terrain, and they count how many miles we've run, which makes us feel cool. Well, Sloan's Lake Park offers all… More >>
  • Best Park for a Picnic

    City Park

    It's big, it's bold, and it's hard to beat when it comes to throwing down a blanket and relaxing under a tree. Bring your favorite dish from home or stop by a market (Marczyk, 770 East 17th Avenue, or Spinelli's, 4621 East 23rd Avenue, are nearby options) and pick something up. Then scope out a spot in front of the… More >>
  • Best Park for Fishing

    Aurora Reservoir

    It's tough to catch a good fish in the big city. But if you're willing to drive out to the 'burbs, it's as easy as spending the day at the Aurora Reservoir. Home to the $10K Trout Tournament, the reservoir provides 820 acres of water. Bad-ass water, that is. Here's how the city of Aurora describes it: "The best water… More >>
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