April 4 was Phat (like Lil Kim, PH) Tuesday in Denver.
The Denver Nuggets kept their playoff hopes alive with a big win in New Orleans. The Colorado Rockies took care of the Milwaukee Brewers and for good measure, the Colorado Avalanche scored a dramatic overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks.
3-0 in one night.
Someone hit up Elias, because I have no idea the last time that happened. And it probably won’t happen again for a long time.
All three were in action again on Sunday, with a chance to do it twice in the same week, but it quickly turned into Sad Face Sunday. The Nuggets had their hearts ripped out by Russell Westbrook, essentially ending their year. The Avalanche dropped the season finale in St. Louis and the Rockies were betrayed by Tyler Anderson, dropping their game 10-6 at home to the Dodgers.
Just like that the Avs were done until October. The Nuggets won’t play a meaningful game until then as well. And the Rockies – well – they still have more than 150 to go.
They came quicker than anyone wanted, but welcome, the dog days of summer are officially here. I’m not exactly breaking news to you when I tell you this is the worst time of the year on the sports calendar.
We’re going to have to get through this together. We all knew it was going to be here eventually, but the suddenness was a bit jarring.
The Nuggets held the No. 8 seed in the west for more than 50 days – in this very space I wrote why they could beat the Warriors in round one. Maybe it was just me, but I was fully convinced the team was going to snap their playoff drought. Basketball was going to carry us until at least the end of April. And then poof – Westbrook splashes from 36 feet and they’re done-zo.
The Avs end was obviously inevitable, as they had a historically terrible season, but for anyone still paying attention they were just getting exciting. The kids had arrived to replace the older kids, and Colorado was playing watchable hockey again. If anything, it provided some hope for next year – but it also would have been fun to see another 10 games this year. That just wasn’t in the cards.
The Broncos returned to Dove Valley on Monday for OTAs, but they’ll be gone just as quickly as they arrived. This time of year is the ultimate tease in the NFL – Von Miller will be on a private jet back to Europe before the weekend is over. Listening to Vance Joseph talk is the equivalent of taking three Tylenol PM – there’s nothing to be gleaned or learned.
That leaves the Rockies as the team in town we’ll all get familiar with the next five months. Television sets that have primarily been on Altitude TV the past 200 days will switch to Root Sports. Chris Marlowe and Scott Hastings get a well-earned break; hello Drew Goodman, Jeff Huson and Ryan Spillborghs.
The bats have been relatively cold so far, but that’s not going to last forever. This team is going to rake. It will all come down to pitching, a coin flip for whether starting or the bullpen is more important. Through the first nine games both units have showed flashes, but sustaining it the rest of the way is a monumental task.
The popular line in Denver this time of year is “let’s see if the Rockies can get us to Broncos training camp.” I’m starting to wonder if that shouldn’t be changed to “let’s see if the Avalanche or Nuggets can get us to May.” It’s now a three-year playoff drought for those two, in sports where making the playoffs isn’t that tough of a task. Both will be back – at this point it’s just a question of how long the climb will take.
So, get the leash ready and the poop bag tied to the handle – it’s time to take this walk through the dog days of summer.
We’ll survive – we always do – but Phat Tuesday already feels like a distant memory.