Colo. sports thru Texas eyes

As one of the many transplants who have moved from Texas to Colorado, I’ve picked up on several interesting differences between the sports scenes in Houston and Denver. Denver is one of the most unique sports cities in the country with an eclectic mix of competition for fans to take in.

Obviously there are the big four with the Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets and the Avalanche, but there is so much more. From Major League and Arena soccer to Arena and Australian Rules Football. There are even two professional lacrosse teams in town, not to mention the array of high school and college sports.

In Texas it is no secret that football is king, from high school all the way to the NFL. But while support for the Texans has continued to grow through the years, Houston is light years behind Denver when it comes to supporting an NFL franchise.

High School football is another matter. While it has increased in popularity in Denver, the entire state of Texas is infatuated with that level of football, and the majority of the State champions at the top levels over the last decade have come from the Houston area.

Prep baseball in Houston is far superior to that in Denver, with a laundry list of top MLB players originating from Houston. Meanwhile the biggest MLB player from the Denver area at the moment would probably be Brad Lidge.

Of course that’s not a surprise considering the climate here and how difficult it is to play baseball in cold weather. Anyone who has ever caught a 90 MPH fastball in sub-50 degree temperatures or hit a ball off the end of the bat would agree.

I guess the most obvious difference between the two cities when it comes to sports is the variety. While Houston has the Rockets and the Houston Dynamo, which has won the MLS championship, it is dominated by football and baseball from the professional ranks down to high school.

Denver provides more options which sports fans clearly enjoy, and while the Broncos obviously reign supreme, fans relish the opportunity to take in the plethora of athletic competition the city provides.

Austin Corder has covered sports for the Amarillo Globe and San Antonio Express as well as his hometown Houston Chronicle. He now lives in Genessee, equidistant between Invesco Field and the ski areas.