$0.02: Still missing Mile High, but not as much now | SummitDaily.com

$0.02: Still missing Mile High, but not as much now

DEVON O'NEILsummit daily news

Devon O'Neil

Imagine if your workplace was so loud, you couldn’t hear the guy next to you shouting in your face. Imagine if you loved that.There are quite a few arenas and stadiums in pro and college sports where your neighbor’s shout is silent, but none was ever so unique as Mile High Stadium. Since the Broncos’ move to Invesco Field (“Invesco at Mile High,” they say, so as to artificially preserve some of the original’s charm) in 2001, the team has yearned for the noise of its rocking old home.The players themselves say it’s still not quite the same, but with an 8-0 home season under their belt, this year’s group has probably heard more thunder than any since the move.Winning a first-round bye was nice for the Broncos, who clinched the No. 2 seed in the AFC with their convincing Christmas Eve victory over Oakland’s faded Silver and Black. But the bigger picture here is this: Denver is now just a win and an upset away from having the conference’s road to the Super Bowl run through Invesco.

If the Colts can’t take care of whichever hungry, rolling team visits the RCA Dome two and a half weeks from now – and if Denver beats its second-round opponent – the AFC Championship Game will be held a mile above sea level.You can bet that with a Super Bowl berth on the line, the Invesco advantage never will have been nearer to that which Mile High provided. …If I were Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, I’d be praying that Pittsburgh beats Detroit this weekend. Because there is little more nerveracking for an NFL defense right now than facing Kansas City wrecking ball Larry Johnson two weeks in a row. Of course, if the Bengals beat the Chiefs in their regular-season finale on Sunday, they’ll eliminate K.C. and solve the problem themselves. …

Johnny Damon, the biggest idiot of them all, to the stern-faced, clean-cut Yankees? Brian Cashman just keeps doing his job well. …This is how you keep your sport drug-free: Catch a doper once, suspend him. Catch a doper twice, ban him for life – or, in the case of recently punished Argentine tennis player Mariano Puerta, ban him for eight years and watch his career end right then.The International Tennis Federation does it right, just like the World Anti-Doping Agency, among others. It’s not that tennis players don’t feel they would gain from using illegal substances. For the most part, they’re simply too scared to.I honestly don’t know why, if the ultimate goal truly is to eliminate drug use entirely, Major League Baseball and the NFL don’t do it that way, too. …

In parting, The Associated Press released its “sports story of the year” voting Tuesday. The White Sox winning the World Series – their first title since 1917 – topped the list. No surprise there. It was surprising, however, to see that Bode Miller winning America’s first overall World Cup title in 22 years failed to warrant a mention. The feat didn’t get a single vote, in fact.The snub was made all the more disturbing when I read that Jose Canseco’s tell-alll steroids book, “Juiced,” and Terrell Owens’ suspension getting upheld, both not only finished in the top 15, but earned multiple first-place votes.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13630, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.