Things have gone considerably better for John Elway's Arena Football League team in its second year. Heading into tonight's 7 p.m. head-butt with the Indiana Firebirds, the Colorado Crush has already won the season's three home games. That's quite a turnaround from last year, when the Crush managed to lose all eight contests at the Pepsi Center. Fans are taking notice of these American Central Division contenders. But those who have yet to experience the wonders of this indoor sports hybrid will need to adjust to some oddities: For instance, the Crush's three Denver victories have been decided by a total of four points. In the season opener over Las Vegas, the homeboys rallied to tally two touchdowns in the final twelve seconds, snagging a 43-42 win. Since the fat lady hardly ever sings before the clock runs out, the arena-football faithful typically don't bolt for the exits before the game is officially over. Not that everything about this upstart competition is geared to the offense: Earlier in the year, the mighty Crush defense thwarted a Detroit Fury comeback by stopping a two-point conversion and escaping with a 62-61 win.
Although the Crush doesn't have the big-name NFL glitter of the Broncos, the sophomore team offers some recognizable names as it goes about its mayhem. Quarterback John Dutton (who works for co-owner Elway rather than merely languishing in his shadow) and receiver Damian Harrell are attracting followers with their aerial attacks. The curious -- as well as football fans who just can't wait for General Shanahan's troops to muster in Dove Valley -- should roll down to the Pepsi Center, 1000 Chopper Place, to see for themselves. For information, call 303-352-1000 or visit www.coloradocrush.com. -- Ernie Tucker
Inaugural Rock the Slopes en Español calls to all
Andele hacia las montañas. Head to the mountains for today's debut of Rock the Slopes en Español. Sponsored by Denver's Radio Romantica/92.1-FM and Keystone Resort, Rock the Slopes en Español is one great fiesta, beginning with the free MeX Games, from noon to 4 p.m. at the base of Keystone Mountain. Competitions, which are open to all and include mechanical-bull riding and climbing contests, will be accompanied by DJs and giveaways of snowboards and cash prizes.
"We're really excited to launch this Hispanic mountain event," says Radio Romantica spokesman Justin Pass. "This is a no-hassle way for Spanish speakers to check out one of Colorado's great mountain resorts."
The party continues at 9 p.m. at Keystone clubs Parrot Eyes and Greenlight, where DJ Kahlil and others will spin the night away. Admission is $10.
"We're expecting a pretty large crowd," says Pass. "We think the weekend is going to be a huge hit."
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