MHS’ Best of 2018: 25 of the year’s most terrific tales

Dec 15, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; General view of fireworks going off at Broncos Stadium at Mile High before kickoff between the Cleveland Browns against the Denver Broncos. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

2018 is in the rear-view mirror, but many of the sports stories in the year that was will spawn new chapters in 2019. From the Rockies’ playoff run, to the Avalanche’s ascension, to the Nuggets’ near-miss, to the Broncos’ first back-to-back losing seasons in 46 years, Colorado sports never failed to hold our interests.

Enjoy this tour through the past year, and please join us as we look forward to writing another volume here at Mile High Sports in 2019!

Click each photo to read the whole story!

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Buffs coach Tad Boyle: ‘We can beat anybody — we just proved it’

January 8: The fiery coach of the Colorado Buffaloes basketball team made an emphatic point at the expense of a rival team being investigated for NCAA violations. (@sdrotar)

Buffs coach Tad Boyle: ‘We can beat anybody — we just proved it’
Buffs coach Tad Boyle: ‘We can beat anybody — we just proved it’

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Time to drop the ‘party deck’ jokes; the Rockies have spent their way into contention

January 10: After spending more free-agent money on a bullpen than any other team in baseball history, the Rockies’ old reputation was thrown out the window. (@sdrotar)

Time to drop the ‘party deck’ jokes; the Rockies have spent their way into contention
Time to drop the ‘party deck’ jokes; the Rockies have spent their way into contention

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Landeskog wears the ‘C’, but MacKinnon finally leads the way for the Avalanche

January 11: In the wake of the Matt Duchene trade, the Colorado Avalanche developed a new pecking order, and started a shocking playoff run. (@DerekinDenver)

Landeskog wears the ‘C’, but MacKinnon finally leads the way for the Avalanche
Landeskog wears the ‘C’, but MacKinnon finally leads the way for the Avalanche

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In today’s NFL, relying solely on the ‘eye test’ for quarterbacks can leave you blind

January 25: As the Broncos scrambled for their next quarterback, a series of very different athletes raised hopes… and concerns. (@sdrotar)

In today’s NFL, relying solely on the ‘eye test’ for quarterbacks can leave you blind
In today’s NFL, relying solely on the ‘eye test’ for quarterbacks can leave you blind

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By giving up some control, Michael Malone becomes a better coach

February 5: Nuggets coach Michael Malone’s evolution happens in real-time as the Nuggets start to gel behind budding superstar Nikola Jokic. (@jmorton78)

By giving up some control, Michael Malone becomes a better coach
By giving up some control, Michael Malone becomes a better coach

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Mirai Nagasu, once an Avs’ ‘Ice Girl’ to make ends meet, aims for history in PyeongChang

February 22: The amazing story of how University of Colorado student Mirai Nagasu went from the sidelines to the world’s biggest spotlight. (@mackbreck8)

Mirai Nagasu, once an Avs’ ‘Ice Girl’ to make ends meet, aims for history in PyeongChang
Mirai Nagasu, once an Avs’ ‘Ice Girl’ to make ends meet, aims for history in PyeongChang

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The Once and Future Queens: Shiffrin ascendant after Vonn’s fairytale ending misses its gate

February 22: Colorado skiers Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn have become the most dominant athletes in their respective disclipines, but on this day, the 22-year-old Shiffrin stole the Olympic limelight as the 33-year-old Vonn left that stage for the final time. (@sdrotar)

The Once and Future Queens: Shiffrin ascendant after Vonn’s fairytale ending misses its gate
The Once and Future Queens: Shiffrin ascendant after Vonn’s fairytale ending misses its gate

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Case Keenum provides a quick fix — one that can’t last

March 14: The Denver Broncos added their quarterback of the future, but even if Case Keenum could live up to his anomalous 2017 success with the Vikings, he was never going be a Bronco for long. (@sdrotar)

Case Keenum provides a quick fix — one that can’t last
Case Keenum provides a quick fix — one that can’t last

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After 21 seasons, Tim Howard is still producing world-class performances

March 25: Father Time proved that he has nothing on Rapids goaltender Tim Howard, as the ageless wonder thrilled the faithful for another season. (@Conor_Bonfiglio)

After 21 seasons, Tim Howard is still producing world-class performances
After 21 seasons, Tim Howard is still producing world-class performances

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25 years of (Major League) Baseball in Colorado: How the Rockies forever changed Denver

April 5: As the Rockies readied for Opening Day, Colorado native Shawn Drotar takes a tour through history and looks at how the team has changed Denver in ways that no one could have possibly predicted. (@sdrotar)

25 years of (Major League) Baseball in Colorado: How the Rockies forever changed Denver
25 years of (Major League) Baseball in Colorado: How the Rockies forever changed Denver

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Doug Moe gets his due

June 5: The Denver Nuggets’ legendary coach receives the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement award; Terry Frei was there from the beginning. (@TFrei)

Doug Moe gets his due
Doug Moe gets his due

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Josh Kroenke’s playoff expectations have set up Nuggets for a hyper-intense season

June 9: Nuggets honcho Josh Kroenke isn’t interested in the Draft Lottery, or building for the future. He wants to win, now — and it looks like they’re capable of doing so. (@TJMcBrideNBA)

Josh Kroenke’s playoff expectations have set up Nuggets for a hyper-intense season
Josh Kroenke’s playoff expectations have set up Nuggets for a hyper-intense season

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The risk of staying the course for Avalanche is that youth has to keep improving

July 2: As the Avalanche go free-agent shopping, it’s obvious that they believe in the promise of their young roster. Of course, that comes with its own set of risks. (@TFrei)

The risk of staying the course for Avalanche is that youth has to keep improving
The risk of staying the course for Avalanche is that youth has to keep improving

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Pat Bowlen finally nominated as a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame

August 23: Longtime Broncos owner Pat Bowlen’s wait to join the Pro Football Hall of Fame has been far too long — but it’s nearly, finally over. Bowlen deserves to be a shoo-in for Canton. (@RichKurtzman)

Pat Bowlen finally nominated as a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Pat Bowlen finally nominated as a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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So long, Rockies. You will be missed.

October 8: The Rockies’ playoff chase came to a crashing halt thanks to a flurry of strikeouts from an overmatched offense, but this year’s version of the purple and black had nothing to apologize for. (@Dottewill)

So long, Rockies. You will be missed.
So long, Rockies. You will be missed.

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Coach Speak: 18 holes with Jared Bednar

October 15: The Avalanche’s head coach talks about his team and his experiences while shooting a round at Fossil Trace Golf Club with Altitude sideline reporter Lauren Gardner. (@LGRed)

Coach Speak: 18 holes with Jared Bednar
Coach Speak: 18 holes with Jared Bednar

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Meeting Mikko Rantanen

October 24: The Avalanche’s latest star — and NHL’s leading scorer at the time — is still new in town. Mile High Sports makes sure you get to know him. (@BlueSuedeHughes)

Meeting Mikko Rantanen
Meeting Mikko Rantanen

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So Long, Old Friend: Demaryius Thomas will be missed

October 31: The Broncos traded away one of their most polarizing — and most productive — players in franchise history… for a fourth-round and seventh-round pick. How do you like “DT” now? (@Dottewill)

So Long, Old Friend: Demaryius Thomas will be missed
So Long, Old Friend: Demaryius Thomas will be missed

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Taking 11 weeks to play their best was too little, too late for Rams

November 17: The Colorado State Rams finally had the performance everyone expected against Utah State came too little, too late — and didn’t even end with a win. (@RichKurtzman)

Taking 11 weeks to play their best was too little, too late for Rams
Taking 11 weeks to play their best was too little, too late for Rams

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Pedal to the Metal: Jamal Murray keeps the pressure on Denver’s opponents

November 22: The Nuggets’ Jamal Murray gets back to what made him such a tantalizing prospect at Kentucky — aggression. (@TJMcBrideNBA)

Pedal to the Metal: Jamal Murray keeps the pressure on Denver’s opponents
Pedal to the Metal: Jamal Murray keeps the pressure on Denver’s opponents

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Mason Plumlee embodies Denver’s growing culture

November 29: Forward Mason Plumlee’s versatile, unselfish play is the perfect example of the Nuggets’ new state of mind. (@B_Skip17)

Mason Plumlee embodies Denver’s growing culture
Mason Plumlee embodies Denver’s growing culture

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Lindsay or McCaffrey? Colorado boasts two of the NFL’s best

December 3: The Broncos’ Phillip Lindsay and the Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey are at the vanguard of the NFL’s new breed of running backs — and they’re both from the Centennial State. (@Dottewill)

Lindsay or McCaffrey? Colorado boasts two of the NFL’s best
Lindsay or McCaffrey? Colorado boasts two of the NFL’s best

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2018 Sportsperson of the Year: Kyle Freeland

December 7: Mile High Sports selected Rockies pitcher — and Colorado native — Kyle Freeland as their Sportsperson of the Year following his breakout campaign and gutty, gritty postseason performance against the Cubs. (@Dottewill, @MediabyAP & @sdrotar)

2018 Sportsperson of the Year: Kyle Freeland
2018 Sportsperson of the Year: Kyle Freeland

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Lost Cause: Sunday’s Broncos loss was earned when Elway chose Joseph over Shanahan

December 10: When — and how — the Broncos fell to the 49ers, it was easy to believe that if John Elway would have hired the coach on the other sideline, the result would have been very different. (@Dottewill)

Lost Cause: Sunday’s Broncos loss was earned when Elway chose Joseph over Shanahan
Lost Cause: Sunday’s Broncos loss was earned when Elway chose Joseph over Shanahan

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How Mike Shanahan and John Elway agreed on a deal, before Joe Ellis vetoed the decision

December 17: Woody Paige dropped a bombshell with his report on how John Elway nearly tried to hire Mike Shanahan to replace Vance Joseph last winter. Les Shapiro and Eric Goodman dug deeper into how — and why — it all happened. (@JustinTMichael, feat. @EricGoodman & @LesShapiro)

How Mike Shanahan and John Elway agreed on a deal, before Joe Ellis vetoed the decision
How Mike Shanahan and John Elway agreed on a deal, before Joe Ellis vetoed the decision

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Thanks for reading — we’ll see you on the other side!

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