Following the gruesome massacre in the school library on April 20, 1999, Columbine High School students had little to feel good about until December 4, when the Columbine Rebels beat favored Cherry Creek 21-14 to take the state 5A football championship. Fittingly, the winning players gave the trophy to Adam Kechter, the thirteen-year-old brother of their late teammate Matt Kechter, one of the students who was slain.

Readers' choice: CU Buffaloes

The Blake Street Bombers have long since flown their last mission. In the new millennium, the Colorado Rockies' general manager, "Dealin' Dan" O'Dowd, and field manager, Buddy Bell, have replaced the old power urges with speed, finesse and pitchers who throw strikes -- and so far the results have been striking. The nouveaux Rox -- seventeen new names graced the Opening Day roster -- led by outfielders Tom Goodwin and Larry Walker, third baseman Jeff Cirillo and first-sacker Todd Helton (who's having a career year) have the best home-field record in the major leagues, remain true contenders for the National League West title and continue to thrill the throngs at Coors Field with an exciting new brand of ball.

Readers' choice: Colorado Avalanche

The Blake Street Bombers have long since flown their last mission. In the new millennium, the Colorado Rockies' general manager, "Dealin' Dan" O'Dowd, and field manager, Buddy Bell, have replaced the old power urges with speed, finesse and pitchers who throw strikes -- and so far the results have been striking. The nouveaux Rox -- seventeen new names graced the Opening Day roster -- led by outfielders Tom Goodwin and Larry Walker, third baseman Jeff Cirillo and first-sacker Todd Helton (who's having a career year) have the best home-field record in the major leagues, remain true contenders for the National League West title and continue to thrill the throngs at Coors Field with an exciting new brand of ball.

Readers' choice: Colorado Avalanche

After losing the NCAA Division II basketball final to Kentucky Wesleyan in 1999, Dunlap's 33-4 Roadrunners dominated the rematch March 25 in Louisville, Kentucky, 97-79, to win their first national title. Stocked with Coloradans and five players recruited in Australia, the Runners gave local hoops fans the touch of March Madness that the state's major college teams regularly fail to provide. In the wake of the big win, Dunlap turned down a coaching offer from California's Loyola Marymount University and signed a new five-year contract at Metro. Good for him, and for the school's 17,100 hard-working students.

Readers' choice: Sonny Lubick

After losing the NCAA Division II basketball final to Kentucky Wesleyan in 1999, Dunlap's 33-4 Roadrunners dominated the rematch March 25 in Louisville, Kentucky, 97-79, to win their first national title. Stocked with Coloradans and five players recruited in Australia, the Runners gave local hoops fans the touch of March Madness that the state's major college teams regularly fail to provide. In the wake of the big win, Dunlap turned down a coaching offer from California's Loyola Marymount University and signed a new five-year contract at Metro. Good for him, and for the school's 17,100 hard-working students.

Readers' choice: Sonny Lubick

Okay, we know: The Dallas Stars have knocked off the more-talented Colorado Avalanche two years in a row en route to the Stanley Cup Finals. But Avs' coach Bob Hartley, formerly at the helm in Hershey, Pennsylvania (Colorado's top farm club), also guided Roy, Sakic, Forsberg and company past detested Detroit in 1999 and 2000, and the continuing confidence general manager Pierre Lacroix shows in him -- at least through next season -- is not misplaced. A bounce of the puck here and there during that furious game-seven comeback in Dallas, and the Avs would have met eventual winner New Jersey for the Cup this year.

Readers' choice: Mike Shanahan

Okay, we know: The Dallas Stars have knocked off the more-talented Colorado Avalanche two years in a row en route to the Stanley Cup Finals. But Avs' coach Bob Hartley, formerly at the helm in Hershey, Pennsylvania (Colorado's top farm club), also guided Roy, Sakic, Forsberg and company past detested Detroit in 1999 and 2000, and the continuing confidence general manager Pierre Lacroix shows in him -- at least through next season -- is not misplaced. A bounce of the puck here and there during that furious game-seven comeback in Dallas, and the Avs would have met eventual winner New Jersey for the Cup this year.

Readers' choice: Mike Shanahan

This is partly a process of elimination. Buddy Bell wears, well, a baseball uniform, and really, how fashionable is that? While Bob Hartley, coach of the Colorado Avalanche, cuts a manly figure, his clothes are "eh," and there's a reason they call Dan Issel "the Horse." So the honor goes to Mike Shanahan, who, while generally swaddled in Bronco-wear during games, cuts an extremely dashing figure off the field. "Some men are born to wear a $2,000 suit," says one bartender where the Broncos coach is a regular. "His players all dress as if they're trying to look like him, but he puts them to shame."

Readers' choice: Bob Hartley

This is partly a process of elimination. Buddy Bell wears, well, a baseball uniform, and really, how fashionable is that? While Bob Hartley, coach of the Colorado Avalanche, cuts a manly figure, his clothes are "eh," and there's a reason they call Dan Issel "the Horse." So the honor goes to Mike Shanahan, who, while generally swaddled in Bronco-wear during games, cuts an extremely dashing figure off the field. "Some men are born to wear a $2,000 suit," says one bartender where the Broncos coach is a regular. "His players all dress as if they're trying to look like him, but he puts them to shame."

Readers' choice: Bob Hartley

With splashy baseball stadia debuting in Houston, San Francisco and Seattle, Coors Field looks ever more elegantly understated. And so do the Rox, who rolled out several new uniforms this season. The team retired its boring gray road togs for ones with purple pinstripes that are equal parts color and class. An alternate home and road jersey, in deep purple, is as visually powerful as any Larry Walker blast to the upper decks. After last season's devastatingly ugly "21st century" jerseys, these new threads give hope that even if the Rockies can't pitch well, they can play with style.

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