Ralph Backstrom, the ex-Montreal Canadiens great and former coach of the DU Pioneers, has enjoyed great success in his first year as principal owner of the Colorado Eagles, the new minor-league hockey team that plays at the Budweiser Events Center (aka the Bud Barn) near Loveland. For every game, the arena is packed, the hockey is relentlessly rough-and-tumble, and the mascot is perfect. Meet Slapshot, a huge, yellow-beaked Eagle with compact-car-sized feet and claws Godzilla would envy. The big fellow is not always surefooted out there on the ice -- he's taken a couple of falls and had a time of it getting back up -- but the kids adore his goofy, large-scale pranks. So do we.
Ralph Backstrom, the ex-Montreal Canadiens great and former coach of the DU Pioneers, has enjoyed great success in his first year as principal owner of the Colorado Eagles, the new minor-league hockey team that plays at the Budweiser Events Center (aka the Bud Barn) near Loveland. For every game, the arena is packed, the hockey is relentlessly rough-and-tumble, and the mascot is perfect. Meet Slapshot, a huge, yellow-beaked Eagle with compact-car-sized feet and claws Godzilla would envy. The big fellow is not always surefooted out there on the ice -- he's taken a couple of falls and had a time of it getting back up -- but the kids adore his goofy, large-scale pranks. So do we.


Listen, people, Carmelo or no Carmelo, you can still pay less than face value for Denver Nuggets tickets. True, the days of the ten- dollar, weeknight, center-court, lower-level NBA ticket are over (at least for this season), but Willie still can hook you up. He's the ringmaster of the ticket-scalping circus happening outside the Pepsi Center before and during the first quarter/period of Nuggets and Avalanche games. You can't miss him: He's an African-American gentleman, about 6' 3", who usually wears a long leather coat with a faux-fur collar. He's also the guy shouting, "Yeah, what?" to all the other scalpers crying out, "Hey, Willie!" For the Nuggets, pay no more than $30 for lower-level corner seats, $60 for centers. That's still about fifteen to thirty bucks less than face. Buying tickets for the Avalanche on the street is a different game entirely, however. You may have to actually pay more than face value, which is illegal in Denver, but, hey, it's a thrill. And you should always go to Willie: He bargains fast and hard, but he's the fairest of the lot.
Listen, people, Carmelo or no Carmelo, you can still pay less than face value for Denver Nuggets tickets. True, the days of the ten- dollar, weeknight, center-court, lower-level NBA ticket are over (at least for this season), but Willie still can hook you up. He's the ringmaster of the ticket-scalping circus happening outside the Pepsi Center before and during the first quarter/period of Nuggets and Avalanche games. You can't miss him: He's an African-American gentleman, about 6' 3", who usually wears a long leather coat with a faux-fur collar. He's also the guy shouting, "Yeah, what?" to all the other scalpers crying out, "Hey, Willie!" For the Nuggets, pay no more than $30 for lower-level corner seats, $60 for centers. That's still about fifteen to thirty bucks less than face. Buying tickets for the Avalanche on the street is a different game entirely, however. You may have to actually pay more than face value, which is illegal in Denver, but, hey, it's a thrill. And you should always go to Willie: He bargains fast and hard, but he's the fairest of the lot.


CEO John Elway's struggling arena football team managed to win just two of sixteen games in its first year (neither of them at the Pepsi Center), and halfway through the debacle, you half expected old Number 7 to suit up and spark a couple of comebacks himself. But this season, the Colorado Crush has gotten off to a sparkling 5-2 start, thanks to new coach Mike Dailey and a welcome return to form by veteran quarterback John Dutton, who had led the San Jose SaberCats to an ArenaBowl championship in 2002 and picked up MVP honors in the big game. A record-setter at the University of Nevada, Dutton was originally drafted by the NFL's Miami Dolphins in 1998, and he had cups of coffee with the Atlanta Falcons and the Cleveland Browns. For better or worse, the 29-year-old finally found himself in the pass-happy, touchdown-crazy indoor game, where his 6' 4" height, quick release and dead-on short-throw accuracy became matchless assets. So far this season, he's tossed 22 touchdowns.
CEO John Elway's struggling arena football team managed to win just two of sixteen games in its first year (neither of them at the Pepsi Center), and halfway through the debacle, you half expected old Number 7 to suit up and spark a couple of comebacks himself. But this season, the Colorado Crush has gotten off to a sparkling 5-2 start, thanks to new coach Mike Dailey and a welcome return to form by veteran quarterback John Dutton, who had led the San Jose SaberCats to an ArenaBowl championship in 2002 and picked up MVP honors in the big game. A record-setter at the University of Nevada, Dutton was originally drafted by the NFL's Miami Dolphins in 1998, and he had cups of coffee with the Atlanta Falcons and the Cleveland Browns. For better or worse, the 29-year-old finally found himself in the pass-happy, touchdown-crazy indoor game, where his 6' 4" height, quick release and dead-on short-throw accuracy became matchless assets. So far this season, he's tossed 22 touchdowns.


Now in his third year with the Colorado Rapids, defense-obsessed mid-fielder Pablo Mastroeni has revealed a new taste for attack, but there's no one better in Major League Soccer as a stopper. Just 5' 9" and 150 pounds, the Argentine native moved to Phoenix when he was four and played college soccer at North Carolina State. Those who previously didn't know him -- or the game itself -- took notice in 2002, when Mastroeni became a vital part of the U.S. National Team that shocked perennial powers like Portugal and Mexico at the World Cup before that tough loss to the Germans. Once again, National coach Bruce Arena has picked Mastroeni (and Rapids teammate Ritchie Kotschau) for his roster, but Rapids fans will get to watch the feisty, dogged defender all season long at Invesco Field.
Now in his third year with the Colorado Rapids, defense-obsessed mid-fielder Pablo Mastroeni has revealed a new taste for attack, but there's no one better in Major League Soccer as a stopper. Just 5' 9" and 150 pounds, the Argentine native moved to Phoenix when he was four and played college soccer at North Carolina State. Those who previously didn't know him -- or the game itself -- took notice in 2002, when Mastroeni became a vital part of the U.S. National Team that shocked perennial powers like Portugal and Mexico at the World Cup before that tough loss to the Germans. Once again, National coach Bruce Arena has picked Mastroeni (and Rapids teammate Ritchie Kotschau) for his roster, but Rapids fans will get to watch the feisty, dogged defender all season long at Invesco Field.


Sure, it's swell to nab a T-shirt at a Nuggets game or pick up the latest bobblehead doll. But for sheer feel-good, trouser-tightening reward, nothing beats the Colorado Mammoth's promotion of letting some lucky fan (in one instance, volunteers were asked to race across the field in swimming flippers, honors to the winner) sit and stew field-side with swimsuit-clad hotties from Donna Baldwin Talent, a modeling agency. The view is awesome -- and you can almost see most of the lacrosse field, too. Hot tub by Cal-Spa, if you care.
Sure, it's swell to nab a T-shirt at a Nuggets game or pick up the latest bobblehead doll. But for sheer feel-good, trouser-tightening reward, nothing beats the Colorado Mammoth's promotion of letting some lucky fan (in one instance, volunteers were asked to race across the field in swimming flippers, honors to the winner) sit and stew field-side with swimsuit-clad hotties from Donna Baldwin Talent, a modeling agency. The view is awesome -- and you can almost see most of the lacrosse field, too. Hot tub by Cal-Spa, if you care.


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