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Colorado Crush
Colorado Crush svg
Conference American
Division Central
Year founded 2003
Home arena Pepsi Center
City, State Denver, Colorado
Head Coach vacant
ArenaBowl championships 2005
Conference titles 2005
Division titles 2006
Wild Card berths 2004, 2007, 2008
Owner(s) John Elway, Pat Bowlen, Stan Kroenke (until 2009)
Current status Inactive
Current uniform
275px

Colorado Crush were an Arena Football League team that began play as a 2003 expansion team. The Crush played in the Central Division of the American Conference until the Arena Football League suspended operations in 2009. They were last coached by Mike Dailey and owned by a coalition of Denver sports figures led by John Elway.

Negotiations with a Denver ownership group (known not to be the Elway group) are underway for a 2012 AFL expansion franchise in Denver, but it is unclear whether or not it will use the Crush branding or that of the Denver Dynamite, an earlier AFL team. Like the Dallas Desperados, the Crush's branding is partially based on NFL teams (the Denver Broncos and St. Louis Rams, though to a much lesser degree), which could give Pat Bowlen and/or Stan Kroenke a potential veto over any usage of the Colorado Crush branding.

HistoryEdit

The team was based in Denver, Colorado and played at Pepsi Center. At the time, the arena also served as the home to the National Lacrosse League's Colorado Mammoth, the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche and the National Basketball Association's Denver Nuggets. The principal owner of the franchise was Denver Broncos legend and Hall of Famer John Elway (Co-Owner and Chief Executive Officer), with Stan Kroenke, owner of the Avalanche, the Nuggets, the Rapids, Pepsi Center, & the Altitude Sports network and the majority Broncos owner Pat Bowlen as a minority owner. The Crush competed in the Central Division of the American Conference. After a bad inaugural season in 2003, in which they finished 2-14, the Crush rebounded to go 11-5 and make the playoffs in their second year. On June 12, 2005 they won ArenaBowl XIX (19) in Las Vegas' Thomas & Mack Center over the Georgia Force 51-48, in only their third year of existence.

In their fourth year, the Crush ended up 11-5, with the American Conference Central title for the second year in a row. In the Divisional Round however, the Crush lost in an upset to the fifth-seeded (and eventual ArenaBowl champion) Chicago Rush 63-46.

The team's mascot was an anthropomorphic bull named "Crusher."[1]

HighlightsEdit

  • On Sunday, June 12, 2005, the Crush hosted the American Conference Championship game against their division rival, the Chicago Rush. Colorado had the lead late in the game 43-40 and Defensive Back Rashad Floyd managed to intercept a touchdown pass from Quarterback Matt D'Orazio, but it turns out that he was called for holding. Chicago would tie the game with kicker Keith Gispert's 17-yard field goal. In overtime, the Crush would get the win with Quarterback John Dutton completing a 22-yard touchdown pass to WR/LB Antowone 'Andy' McCullough, sending them to ArenaBowl XIX (where they would eventually win). On the AFL's 20 Greatest Highlights Countdown, this game is at #20.[2]
  • On Friday, February 6, 2004, in a Week 1 contest against the Las Vegas Gladiators, the Crush were still looking for their first home win in franchise history. In the final 12 seconds of the game, the Crush would have Quarterback John Dutton complete a seven-yard touchdown pass to Wide Receiver Damian Harrell (with a failed two-point conversion), recover an onside kick, and have Dutton complete a 33-yard pass to Harrell. With 12 points in 12 seconds, Colorado would win 43-42 and get their first-ever win at home. On the AFL's 20 Greatest Highlights Countdown, this is at #15.[3]
  • On Saturday, February 5, 2005, in a Week 2 home game against their division rival, the Grand Rapids Rampage, Quarterback John Dutton would throw a franchise-best eight touchdowns in a 72-56 win, yet this was overshadowed by Rampage Quarterback Michael Bishop becoming the very first player in AFL history to run for 100 yards in a single game. On the AFL's 20 Greatest Highlights Countdown, this is at #12.[4]

CoachesEdit


Head coach Tenure Regular season
record (W-L)
Post season
record (W-L)
Most recent coaching staff Notes
Bob Beers 2003 2-14 0-0
Mike Dailey 2004 - 2008 46-34[5] 6-3[5] DC: Tommy Johnson (2009)[6]
OC: Chris MacKeown (2009)[7]
DL: Tony Federico (2003–2008)
ST Coordinator / WR coach: Matt Gardner (2004–2008)

Season-by-seasonEdit

Past PlayersEdit

TriviaEdit

The team's main color and name are in reference to the Denver Broncos 1970s defensive squad (the "Orange Crush").

Denver was host to one of the four charter teams, the Denver Dynamite, which won the first-ever ArenaBowl in 1987.

Van Montgomery from the TV show Reba plays for the Crush at the end of his football career.

NotesEdit

External linksEdit

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