Is Joe Sakic Denver's classiest-ever star athlete?

It's comparatively easy to display humility, grace and good sportsmanship for athletes who don't reach elite status. No one expects greatness from them on any level, personal or professional, so folks tend to grade on the curve from the get-go. But stars are as different in this way as they are in any other, and because most of them were driven to excellence by a heaping helping of ego, they often seem to hiding essential aspects of their character when they're on their best behavior. Not so Joe Sakic. The Colorado Avalanche captain's retirement speech yesterday exemplified everything that's been great about him throughout his twenty-year career. Has anyone ever bid farewell this well?

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts