Championships are hard to come by |

Championships are hard to come by

Sports Geek
Jeff Sauer
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jeff Sauer

Let’s face it. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool, Colorado pro sports fanatic, you were extremely spoiled during a five-year span from 1997 to 2001.

The Broncos paraded through downtown Denver with the Lombardi trophy twice, while the Avalanche were busy raising their second Stanley Cup banner into the rafters at the Pepsi Center, and life was simply as good as it gets.

We were sitting atop the sporting world perch, just enjoying the view. Small market Colorado – world champions – certainly had a nice ring to it.

Now, just a decade later, we hang our hat on faith and optimism, hoping that one of our young teams might pull us out of our present “Rocky Mountain Low,” by simply making it to the postseason.

My apologies to Mammoth, Rapids and Crush fans, along with your championships of course, but we’re talking about the “big four” here – baseball, basketball, football and hockey – and the outlook is hard to predict.

It just depends on whether you’re a glass half-empty or a glass half-full type of fan.

The Rockies currently give us our best shot at winning a title before the Avs, Nuggets and Broncos, although debatably the toughest title of the bunch to win. Tulo and CarGo are locked into longterm deals and General Manager Dan O’Dowd is constantly tweaking the team, searching for the right mix, despite the fact that his decision to part ways with Ubaldo Jimenez will most likely come back to haunt him. The Rox need to get ‘er done while the classiest player to ever wear the purple pinstripes, Todd Helton, can still drag his aching back out of bed.

The Avs would be my second pick to bring home the hardware sooner rather than later. This is purely a reflection of their previous success and the fact that they still employ Pierre Lacroix, who is by far the best in the business when it comes to pulling the trigger on big trades.

A few more Von Millrs drafted, and the Broncos will be back on track soon. Once again, put your faith in the person calling the shots for the organization – John Elway. The Broncos’ top three draft picks this year are all starting, which is good, but Miller is clearly off the charts expectation-wise.

This leads us to the Nuggets. You tell me who the starting five would be on opening night if they decide to play this year, because I haven’t a clue. Actually, the team did land a future All-Star in Danilo Gallinari, one of the players acquired in the Melo trade. The guy can flat-out splash the net.

Fantasy Land

Looking for a last-ditch move to salvage your fantasy football team?

Your trade deadline is this week, and you’re probably overstocked on RB/ WRs now that most of the bye weeks have passed. Offer up two of your players in a trade for Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. The “Graham Reaper” is pretty much a guarantee for 100 yards and a touchdown each week going forward, likely out-producing your starting wideouts.

Jeff Sauer is a longtime western Colorado resident and former Roaring Fork Valley resident. He can be reached at soprisjeff@

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