I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.

– Mia Hamm

A dear friend of mine with a very sweet set of pipes has his fingerprints on parts of the first major championship that Denver and Colorado ever enjoyed. Sean Moth is now the voice of Louisville Cardinal baseball, and has done PA work for each of their major sports, with work that’s gone on nearly every major outlet in the world over his decades of time being one of the best in the biz at what he does.

But before Mr. Moth took his estimable talents to Kentucky, he was the PA voice of the Colorado Avalanche, beginning in their first season. The year the Avs made Denver a four-sport town was the year Colorado finally enjoyed it’s first major-sport Championship. I asked Sean what he remembered of the moment, and the pride the city and state took in finally being a champion.

“It was such a blur,” said Moth. “Completely surreal. But the pride you could feel and see in others, finally capturing a title, was palpable. It was so fitting that the first team in the state with a championship came with the title “Colorado”, because you saw it transform the entire place. It was particularly special for me and those who grew up Colorado Rockies (hockey) fans, as their move to New Jersey had been so heartbreaking. Such a special moment. They were so proud of being the first title in town, they put it on the rings.”

It wasn’t long after that the town sweethearts joined in the fray, with the Denver Broncos winning back-to-back titles while the Avs added another a few years later. Suddenly, titles were suddenly coming to Denver in bunches… At least for a hot second. And then things dried back up in “title town” just as quickly as they’d come. Aside from championships from the Rapids and another from the Broncos in the last dozen years, trophies have pretty well dried up in the high desert.

Not that Denver was actually calling itself Title Town anyway. If you count the titles the Avs, Broncos, and Rapids have brought to town thus far (come on, Rockies and Nuggets), you’d net a whopping six. There are teams that have brought far more titles to their towns solo than Denver can claim in total. The Yankees (27), Canadiens (24), Celtics (17), and Lakers (17) have all been massive contributors.

Though to be fair, only 12 of the Lakers championships have happened in Los Angeles. The five they hung up in Minneapolis are the lion’s share of the towns seven rings (the Twins have the other two).

So many places have those titles to hang their hats on when you count those five major sports, with some expected and unexpected places doing great things along the way. Did you know…

Teams associated with New York City have won more championships in those sports than any other, and by a fairly wide margin. NYC’s 62 championships across those five sports eclipse the second- and third- place challengers – Boston (40) and Chicago and Los Angeles (each with 32).

While the Yankees 27 rings are a huge part of New York’s 62, they’ve won multiple titles in every sport: basketball (4), football (9), hockey (8), and soccer (6).

Montreal has had no other professional teams win a championship aside from the Canadiens hockey glory, and they still are in fifth-place all-time for city championships.

While the city of Houston has only nine major championships – tied for fifteenth place with Dallas and Baltimore – they still have managed to win at least one ring in each of the five majors.

Denver actually has the lowest total of any town still sporting all five sports.

Oof.

No one is counting their chickens before they are hatched here. The Colorado Avalanche could very well be Stanley Cup Champions by the end of the evening. Or by the end of Sunday evening. Or even by the end of Tuesday evening. Please at least by the end of that last one, hockey gods and Avs stars. Please.

A title means something to a town. It’s a badge that can make a place a little better and brighter for a little while as a source of civic pride. It can even set a record for “most fans in a bar somehow standing above their seats”

We’re ready to get back to the top of the mountain here at altitude, Avalanche. Bring another title to our town.

(P.S. if Denver does win another title? It gets them out of a tie with… Tampa Bay)

Author

Mike Olson is a weekly columnist for DNVR. The Colorado State University alum was born and raised in Fort Collins and has been writing about Denver sports for the last decade-plus. After over a decade away, he is thrilled to be back in and around Colorado. No place like home.

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