Even though they sometimes make me want to drown myself in a souvenir soda, I enjoy going to Broncos games when I get my hands on tickets. What I hate is getting to Invesco. Don't get me wrong: As stadium clusterfucks go, Denver's isn't half bad. But still, most of the options are less than perfect. The light rail leaves you with a pretty lengthy walk, which on the way back can feel like a moving frat party. Driving sucks for all the obvious reasons. Cabs tend to charge you money -- which is fine in other circumstances, but not when you dropped $60 on nosebleeds and are about to spend half a paycheck on a Coors Light.
All of which is why I was so thankful on Sunday to discover the Sports Column shuttle.
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Here's how it works: You spend the morning shot-gunning decently cheap beer and decently decent bar food at the Column, the cavernous sports bar at 20th and Blake. About every 20 minutes for the two hours before the game, a big bus swings by and loads up fans. Said bus then takes some magic route that somehow avoids all of the game-day traffic, dropping you and other hammered sports fans a few first downs from the stadium entrance. And after the Broncos win or lose in some totally new and confounding way, you swerve your ass back to the bus, for a somewhat slower and generally rowdy ride back to the bar (where street parking happens to be free and relatively easy).
I have no idea what it costs to charter a bus every week, but this strikes me as a pretty solid investment for the Column (and possibly one other bars make -- I don't know of any others, but let us know if more of them do the same). Unless you love to tailgate -- parking-lot drinking's not my thing -- the bar shuttle seems the way to go.
The shuttle makes several trips before the game and two afterward, so don't pass out in your in your seats or you'll end up stumbling home. And make sure you save your Sports Column receipt: That's your ticket to ride. -- Joe Tone