2009 was a crazy year in Colorado Sports. A some made us a bit misty-eyed as we remembered the good times. Others made us stop in our tracks and say "wow!".... Here are the top sports stories of 2009 as ranked by the KKTV Sports Department. Feel free to post your thoughts or rank your own top ten below!
10 HAWKINS KEEPS HIS JOB
For much of the 2009 season, Dan Hawkins found himself on the hot seat at the University of Colorado. But despite a quarterback controversy (involving his own offspring), losses to rivals CSU and Nebraska, and his top recruit leaving the program, Hawkins kept his job.
9 SKY SOX PERFECT GAME
Brandon Hynick makes Sky Sox history by tossing a perfect game. Hynick was later traded to the White Sox in a deal that brought Jose Contreras to the Rockies.
8. AFA MAKES ANOTHER BOWL GAME
Air Force heads back to the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth Texas for a rematch with Houston. Despite losing their starting quarterback to injury for parts of the season, the Falcons still managed to win 7 games.
7. SAKIC RETIRES
The greatest player in Avalanche history calls it quits. Super Joe Sakic helped lead the Avs to two Stanley Cup Championships in his career.
6.. HS HOOPS STATE TITLES
It was a great season for high school basketball in Southern Colorado. Four local teams played in a championship game. Sierra beat Pueblo South in the 4A Championship, Colorado Springs School won the 2A title and Peyton fell short in the 3A championship game.
5. NUGGETS MAKE WEST. CONF. FINALS
The Nuggets finally enjoyed some playoff success advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in over two decades.
4. AFA HOCKEY MAKES ELITE EIGHT
A team that use to be reserved for college hockey's doormat, nearly makes the Frozen Four. The Falcons hammered Michigan in the Sweet 16, then took Vermont to the edge before finally losing on a "phantom" goal.
3. HURDLE FIRED...ROCKIES ROLL
The Colorado Rockies survive a rough start and the firing of their manager to make the playoffs for the third time in franchise history. Jim Tracy is named NL Manager of the Year.
2. JAY CUTLER TRADED
Jay Cutler, unhappy with Josh McDaniels, demands a trade from Denver. After weeks of a soap opera-like drama, the franchise quarterback gets his wish and lands in Chicago. The Broncos stock up on draft picks in the trade and Kyle Orton.
1. SHANAHAN FIRED...MCDANIELS HIRED
The Mastermind's tenure in Denver comes to an end. After losing a three-game lead with three games to play, the Broncos miss the playoffs and say goodbye to the greatest coach in Denver sports history. Hired in his place... a 32-year-old phenom who leads the Broncos to a 6-0 start exceeding fans expectations