DENVER -- If, on the night of Oct. 1, I asked all of you which of the Denver professional sports franchises would be above .500 at the end of the month, what would you have answered?
You likely would have been wrong.
Multiple choice: (1) Denver Broncos, (2) Denver Nuggets, (3) Colorado Avalanche, (4) Colorado Rapids, (5) None.
You certainly wouldn't have marked (4) because the Rapids played miserably in 2017. A majority wouldn't realize that the season just ended with Denver’s MLS team losing 3-0 and finishing with a 9-19-6 record.
But, if you are among the few who care about the Rapids and chose (4), you would have been wrong.
Admit it. You probably would have thought (1). The Broncos were 3-1 after just defeating the Raiders that day, even if the victory wasn't impressive. Yet, two weeks earlier the Broncos had blown out the Cowboys, and they did fall in Buffalo. But the Broncos had a bye ahead, and then the Giants at home, which everybody assumed was better than a bye. Then the Broncos would be playing in Los Angeles against the Chargers, a team they’d already beaten. So, it was believed that the Broncos would go into Kansas City for the last game of the month with a 5-1 or, at the worst, a 4-2 record.
The Broncos have been horrendous since scoring 42 against the Cowboys. They’ve scored a total of 42 since in four games.
You could be wrong with (1).
The Broncos are 3-3 and can conclude the month with a record above .500, but the chances of this NFL team winning over the Chiefs on Monday night doesn't seem particularly strong.
How about (3)? After just barely missing out on the playoffs in 2016-17, the Nuggets had added veteran All-Star Paul Millsap in the off-season, and the youngsters would be improved. The Nuggets have been predicted to win in the mid-to-high 40s this season and perhaps settle in as a sixth or seventh seed.
And it looked as if they could get off to an excellent start with two of the first three at home, and a couple on the road that they should, or could, win.
The Nuggets are 1-4 after bowing to the Jazz and the Hornets on the road and the Wizards in Denver. The only team they prevailed over was sad-sack Sacramento. The Nugs looked awful in Charlotte and had a complete meltdown against the Wizards. The defense has picked up somewhat, but the offense has been timid and tentative, and turnovers have severely damaged the Nuggets. Mike Malone would be tearing out his hair if he had any. The two point guards have been inconsistent, and the bench has been non-existent too often.
Despite being on the road for three more games, the Nuggets do have an opportunity to get to .500 before November. The next game is at Atlanta, and the Hawks, without Millsap, are not better at this point than the Nuggets. Then the Nuggets travel to New York for back-to-back games against the Nets and the Knicks. Sounds like a sweep, except the Nets have been one of the surprise teams in the NBA. No surprise that the Knicks are terrible without Carmelo Anthony. But, given the Nuggets struggles, a 2-2 trip is about all they can hope for.
If you selected (3), and only a scattered few would, you might be right. Might.
The Avalanche is the only Denver team today with a winning record (5-4).
There were beliefs after last season’s collapse that the Avs might not even wind up ahead of the expansionists, the Las Vegas Gold Knights, when this season is concluded.
And they still may not be. The Avs play in Las Vegas Friday afternoon. Yes.
Get this: The Knights are 7-1, have won four consecutive games and only behind the Blues and the Kings in the Western Conference with 14 points.
The Avs return home for a Saturday night game with the Blackhawks, whose beginning of the season, 5-3-2, has been just about the same as Colorado’s.
Nevertheless, No. 4 on the multiple choice list is now No. 1.
It’s very possible, though, that before Nov. 1, that all five Denver pro franchises would be under .500 in October.
Don’t forget that the Rockies lost their last game of the regular season on Oct. 1 and their only postseason game.
The correct answer might have been: None of the above will be above .500.
"Wait 'Til Next Month"' has to be the rallying cry in Denver.