Magness Arena
Courtesy University of Denver Facebook page

Hockey tickets at the University of Denver begin at $18, and great seats can be had for $40 or less, giving fans the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal views of a squad whose players regularly graduate to the National Hockey League. Glenn Anderson, a member of the Hockey Fall of Fame, and Kevin Dineen, who notched nineteen years in the bigs before entering the coaching ranks (he's currently an assistant with the Chicago Blackhawks), are just two DU alums to have had memorable professional careers, while current NHL-ers include former Colorado Av Paul Stastny, currently with the Winnipeg Jets. Who'll be next? Drop by Magness Arena and find out.

Best Name for Mile High Stadium
Westword file photo

Ever since Sports Authority went belly-up, the Denver Broncos have been shopping for a new corporate sponsor willing to pay around $10 million per year to have its name and logo on the side of the stadium — and the team maintains that this money is important, as it helps keep ticket prices down. But if that's the case with one company, wouldn't the situation be even better with two...or four...or ten? Hell, if all of these businesses with Colorado ties signed up, the entrance fee would probably be around $1.50. Then maybe we could afford to go to the games, too.

Readers' Choice: Mile High Stadium

Best Tailgating
Philip Poston

Sons of Mile High was started by a pair of Broncos-loving pals, but don't worry if you bleed colors other than orange and blue. In an example of open-mindedness that's becoming all too rare in spectator sports these days, the Sons welcome all fans, regardless of their team of preference, and the focus stays fixed on fun and camaraderie, with plenty of suds and grub thrown in for good measure. The group typically arrives at Mile High Stadium five hours before kickoff, with beverages starting to flow within a half-hour, and the gathering spot is usually Lot M (though construction this past season forced a temporary relocation to Lot N). Check the excellent SOMH website for the wheres and whens each week. The Sons tailgate away games, too.

http://sonsofmilehigh.com/

Very few national basketball gurus pay attention to the Nuggets, and that makes sense on some level. After all, the team lacks superstars and plays in the NBA's killer Western Conference, where even making the playoffs, let alone advancing, is incredibly difficult — and that's not to mention our presence in the frequently forgotten Mountain Time Zone. But quietly, the Nugs have assembled a young, vibrant roster whose members have huge upsides. Nikola Jokic is deservedly the center of attention, but guards Gary Harris and Jamal "The Blue Arrow" Murray are maturing rapidly, and Trey Lyles has come out of nowhere (actually, Saskatchewan, Canada) to demand more minutes. If ownership can keep this crew together for a few more years, there's no telling how high they might climb.

nba.com/nuggets

The amount of podcast content regularly churned out by BSN Denver is downright astonishing. The network has all of Denver's major sports teams covered, and covered well, with regular podcasts about the Broncos, Nuggets, Rockies and Avalanche popping up, whether it's in season or out. Moreover, commentators such as Broncos expert Ryan Koenigsberg, a Colorado native who co-founded BSN Denver, dig deep, with recent topics including the draft-centric program "Is It Crazy to Take a Guard at No. 5?" No need to choose between quality and quantity: BSN Denver provides both.

http://bsndenver.com/podcasts

Don't tell management, but the folks behind the Colorado Rockies Twitter account are weird. Take, for instance, the day last season when every tweet was a quote from a Rocky movie: "Yo, Adrian! It's me, Rocky!"; "I am not the richest, smartest or most talented person in the world, but I succeed because I keep going and going and going"; "He's just a man, Rock, so be more man than him! Go get him. Eye of the Tiger!" and more. More recently, during spring training, the tweeters marked Photo Day by creating multiple slideshows filled exclusively with images from disposable cameras. Such messaging is consistently entertaining and frequently left of center. Hope the boss doesn't find out.

@Rockies

Schlereth was part of a Denver Broncos offensive line whose members famously didn't speak to the press. But since ending his on-field football career, he's made up for all those years of silence. He's currently co-host of Schlereth and Evans, the morning-drive show on 104.3 The Fan, a commentator and more for Fox Sports and FS1, and a sometime actor who's made multiple appearances on the HBO show Ballers. How the hell he finds the time to tweet is beyond us, but he sends out messages all the time, engages in back-and-forths with fans and detractors alike, and somehow manages to shift effortlessly between goofiness and seriousness without losing his personality.

@markschlereth

Best Sports Mascot to Follow on Twitter

Miles

Best Sports Mascot to Follow on Twitter
Courtesy Miles the Mascot Facebook page

In the past, we've been lukewarm about Miles, who doesn't boast the majesty of real-life horse Thunder or the flat-out strangeness of predecessor Huddles — especially when the latter was being portrayed by future Denver mayor Michael Hancock. But his Twitter account has made us change our minds. Miles documents plenty of charitable activities, such as hospital visits in the company of players or cheerleaders, but what we like best are the offhand moments, such as admitting "I think I'm going to barf" during a tense moment in the U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey team's battle for gold in South Korea. The squad wound up a winner — and so is Miles's Twitter account.

Denver Broncos

@5280Miles

Platte River Fort
Courtesy Platte River Fort Facebook page

For an unforgettable frontier experience, nothing beats a weekend getaway to Platte River Fort, a working cattle and guest ranch with some serious Western flair. Platte River Fort is open for visitors year-round, but our favorite time to visit is in the fall, when Colorado history comes alive right before your eyes on "roundup" weekends. During roundups, guests hop onto ATVs and follow cowboys and girls as they herd dozens of longhorn cattle on the 235-acre property. After the roundup, learn to use a lasso, try skeet shooting and archery, pet an alpaca, and visit the resident bull. There's always plenty of good down-home cooking prepared in an on-site gourmet kitchen. For overnight guests, we highly recommend hunkering down in the covered wagon.

Best Place to Make an Olympics-Style Clean Sweep

Denver Curling Club

Denver Curling Club
Courtesy Denver Curling Club Facebook page

As folks across the country watched the U.S. men's team win a gold medal in curling, their thoughts were the same: "This is amazing! But what the hell's going on? And why do those guys have brooms?" The answers to these questions and plenty more can be found at the Denver Curling Club, one of the few rinks dedicated to curling in the West; the next closest centers are in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Tempe, Arizona. The huge center is easy to find and regularly sponsors two-hour introductions to the sport that cost $40 per session or $130 for a five-to-six-session curling course and mini-league membership. Taking part requires a strong back; the so-called rocks that curlers slide along the ice weigh 42 pounds. But four years from now, during the next Winter Olympics, you'll be one of the lucky few in the know.

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