Category Archives: Sports

Where the fans (really) are

tavern mile high
A take on the changing face of live sports…and the evolution of an American original known as “the sports bar.” Published by the good folks at ColoradoBIZ.

It’s midway into the third quarter on a bright September afternoon at Sports Authority Field, and the Broncos are putting it to Michael Vick and the Eagles. Peyton Manning just capped an 80-yard drive with a touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas, and the crowd’s roar is infectious. Two 20-something women gyrate in a victory dance. A tall guy in an orange jersey, BAILEY stitched in white lettering across the shoulders, hoists a beer and joins in, his face lit in a loopy party grin. A woman to my left slaps me a high-five as music pulses over a sound system built into the stadium. Fans are loving the moment.

Except: We’re not actually celebrating in the stands. Continue reading Where the fans (really) are

We are what we watch

Thoughts on watching televised football in the era of the concussion. From ColoradoBIZ.

In his introduction to the 2001 book, Fast Food Nation, The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, writer Eric Schlosser makes a gentle suggestion: Be an informed eater.

“People should know what lies behind the shiny, happy surface of every fast food transaction,” Schlosser writes. “They should know what really lurks between those sesame-seed buns. As the old saying goes: You are what you eat.”

For me, the National Football League’s recent concussion saga evokes a similar sentiment. Continue reading We are what we watch

Going deep

Colorado’s two big universities are obsessing over the urgent need to put millions of dollars into improving their men’s football programs and facilities. Doug Flutie is why. Here’s my take for ColoradoBIZ.

The most famous touchdown pass in college football arced over Miami’s Orange Bowl field for only seconds before settling into the arms of the Boston College wide receiver Gerard Phelan in a breathtaking last-second finale. But the echo from Doug Flutie’s impossible, magnificent, 48-yard heave continues to resonate, and right now, it’s especially loud in Colorado. Continue reading Going deep

Fish story

Marketing a below-the-radar pro hockey team is hard enough, but especially when people mistake you for a trout. Here’s a column from ColoradoBIZ about selling fans on the Central Hockey League’s Denver Cutthroats.

Ben Rifkin realized the Denver Cutthroats had an image problem.

“Two or three times a day we’d get phone calls from people asking about the fishing trade show,” says the affable president and general manager of Denver’s newest professional sports team, which is poised to begin its second season in October. The culprit was a two-word tag line displayed on the Cutthroats’ website and on a large banner hanging from the side of the Denver Coliseum. It said, “Go fish!” Continue reading Fish story

Fashion statement

If sarcasm is the refuge of the shallow mind, as Oscar Wilde famously declared…well then, he never faced down a deadline, I say. Here’s a take on the rising commercialization of live sports from ColoradoBIZ. And yes, it’s pretty much dripping in sarcasm.

Cowards, I say! The people who run the NBA are cowards! Took a perfectly good opportunity to slam-dunk an easy-money scheme and dropped it like a bad bounce pass. Where, oh where, is exploitative capitalism when you need it?

You probably heard. Before the season began, the NBA nixed a contemplated plan to festoon the uniforms of its teams with sponsored logos affixed as patches on the front sides of jerseys. Thus, the league summarily denied fans who have paid good money for courtside seats the chance to see what a Gatorade logo looks like when it’s slathered with armpit sweat. Continue reading Fashion statement

Come here often?

For Rockies fans, even during an awful season, the answer is “yes”

Coors Field

From ColoradoBIZ magazine, a look at the oddity of baseball in Denver.

In a sad Rockies baseball season, there’s one surprisingly bright statistic: attendance.

Somehow, in the middle of a year that’s as grey and sober as the team’s road uniforms, the Rockies averaged 34,055 fans at the All Star break. That’s enough to rank the Rox 13th out of 30 MLB teams, ahead of National League playoff contenders Atlanta (29,834), Washington (29,677) and the Cincinnati Reds (28,396). The 2012 Rockies, with a 33-52 record at mid-season, have managed to attract more fans to home games than the Pittsburgh Pirates, a young, resurgent team that was leading the NL Central at the break. Continue reading Come here often?

The grill of your dreams

Finally, some deserved recognition for the athleticism of tailgating. From ColoradoBiz.

We did not know this and you did not know this, but apparently tailgating is now a sport.

We know: It seems curious. An activity in which people festoon themselves with face paint and smear hot wing sauce over a good share of their jaws does not seem to meet the basic requirements of sport, which generally demands eye-hand coordination and occasional deep breaths of oxygen. Skeptics sniff that even golf or auto racing aren’t sports. Continue reading The grill of your dreams

Glendale? Rugby? Why not?

From ColoradoBiz, circa 2007, I’m resurrecting this column that attempts to explain why there’s a giant rugby field in this odd little Denver offshoot.

Mike Dunafon has lived life every bit as large as his barrel-thick chest suggests: He’s an avowed libertarian who grew up working ranches, tried out for the Broncos in 1976 and 1977 after lettering four years at Northern Colorado, chilled out after a divorce sailing to the Virgin Islands, and once recruited strippers from Shotgun Willie’s to march around in their skivvies and register voters in a sort of comically ribald takeover of the Glendale city government.

But on this Wednesday evening in October, with his royal blue shirt streaked with sweat and his face pink from exertion, he’s just another guy with sore legs. Continue reading Glendale? Rugby? Why not?

A suite idea for fans

Get this: A time-share arrangement for plush seats and personalized service at the local sports arena. In a lousy economy, it’s a concept that’s actually working. Here’s the SportsBIZ column from ColoradoBIZ magazine.

Brother, can you spare a luxury suite?
By Stewart Schley
ColoradoBIZ Magazine

We’re staring down the teeth of a double-dip, the market’s in tatters, and nearly one in 10 adults doesn’t have a job.

It’s a great time to be selling sports-venue luxury suites.

At least that’s what we’re hearing from Todd Lindenbaum, the president of a 4-year-old LoDo company that’s building a growth business from a category you might not associate with the new cultural embrace of austerity. Continue reading A suite idea for fans