Elway's Downtown
The new Elway's at the Ritz-Carlton is such a great people-watching spot that your neck will hurt after a few drinks at the bar, but that's far from the only head-bobbling going on. The steakhouse also has "a roomful" of real bobbleheads featuring its namesake, retired Bronco legend John Elway, and they're free for the asking to anyone who wants one. They read "Class of 2004" and look nice on a souvenir shelf. Make ours a 7 and 7, and keep 'em coming.
Infinity Park
It seems like every other whistle-stop on the map needs some claim to fame these days, but we're glad that the hamlet of Glendale chose rugby for its raison d'être when it could just as easily have hyped its strip clubs and sex-toy stores. SuperTarget, move over: State-of-the-art Infinity Park, which boasts an all-grass regulation rugby pitch, is the first municipal rugby stadium in the country, sports a big-ass wide-screen JumboTron, seats 5,000 and will eventually house a Rugby Hall of Fame. And not only does it host the Glendale Raptors' men's and women's teams (as well as youth teams and camps), but it's also a sweet little outdoor venue for summer movies and concerts-to-be. Welcome to the scrum.
There's a lot of electricity at Purple Martini's south location, and we're not just talking about the night a Greenwood Village police officer tasered former Nuggets bench-warmer DerMarr Johnson. "Purple," as the cool kids call it (also known as "Second Stringers"), is a top spot to watch backup Nuggets picking up chicks. In fact, these guys probably score more here than they do on the floor of the Pepsi Center.
On hip-hop nights, there's a line out the door at Blue Ice, and people pack the dance floor. But in the back, behind the cloth screens, you can usually find a Nugget or two chilling, sipping expensive champagne and macking on hotties. Big man Marcus Camby frequents the spot, and Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony come around from time to time. The ballers keep their distance from the dance-floor drama, but their presence is always made known through the grapevine.
Ann Slocomb sees tennis not merely as recreation, but rather as a healthy form of mind-body gestalt, something like life itself. So she opened Positive Strokes for Women, a tennis shop and wellness center that caters to the fairer sex. Here you can not only work on your serve, visit an in-house nutritionist, let an expert customize your racquet or take part in a fitness workout, but you can also pick and choose from the latest court fashions by LBH, Jerdog, Balle de Match and Wilson, yoga and workout gear by local designers Stonewear Designs and VivaDiva, or a message T-shirt from be.ology. And, for your comfort, it's all ladies-only. Ace.
For years, Argentina-born Christian Gomez anchored DC United, one of Major League Soccer's premier franchises; the crew earned the MLS Supporters' Shield for best regular-season record in both 2006 and 2007. Since the Rapids haven't performed at a comparable level this millennium, they clearly need some help, so praise be that Stan Kroenke's minions put in a call to D.C. United after the latter obtained the services of Gomez's countryman, Marcelo Gallardo. One man does not a team make, but if anyone can put the Rapids back on the right foot during the season to come, it's Gomez.
There's a foosball tournament somewhere in the Denver metro area almost every night. For example, on Mondays you can get your foos on at the Colorado Cue Club in Northglenn; on Tuesdays, it's the Attic in Boulder. The list goes on, and the tournaments are easy to find thanks to www.coloradofoosball.com and its extensive day-by-day schedule. The website also includes the International Table Soccer Federation's official rule book in .pdf format, plus forums and player stats for all of Colorado's mad foosball-heads out there. Goal!
Matt Holliday had better numbers, but there is no denying the hold that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki had on the city last season. From his early, I-don't-play-on-losing-teams clubhouse speech to the chants of Tu-lo! that shook Coors Field long into October, the rookie Rockie left an indelible imprint on the greatest run in franchise history, setting the record for most home runs by a first-year National League shortstop, leading all shortstops in several defensive categories and converting an unassisted triple play. The team rewarded the 23-year-old with a record-breaking contract, locking him up for the next six years in hopes that the player oft-compared to Cal Ripken and Derek Jeter will become the face of the franchise. He's off to a great start.
Like many other teams, the Colorado Rockies pump a song over the loudspeakers every time a player comes to bat. The tunes are chosen by the ballers themselves, and second baseman Kaz Matsui clearly took home the Most Valuable Song trophy in 2007 for his selection of Run-D.M.C.'s "It's Tricky." Not only is the 1986 old-school jam a great-ridiculous classic, but the cultural juxtaposition of the Kings from Queens and the Japan-born Kaz made it even better. Sadly, Kaz was traded in the off-season, so a new champ will have to be crowned this year.
The Rockies' startling, exhilarating run to the World Series may have caught the baseball world by surprise, but souvenir-makers took it in stride, cranking out merchandise and memorabilia by the truckload. T-shirts, hoodies, baseballs, flags, pennants, mugs, pins and programs were just the beginning. But the best souvenir was the limited-edition clay Rockies muerto made by Chicano artist Jerry Vigil and featured on the November 1 cover of Westword. The folk figure's quirky individuality showed just how deeply the team has ingrained itself into Denver's cultural fabric.

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