On April 10, 2012, the Central Hockey League announced the Denver Cutthroats as the league's newest member. A little more than six months later, on October 19, the team played its first game ever—a 4–3 overtime loss to the Missouri Mavericks. Despite the outcome, the game marked the return of hockey to Denver Coliseum, which hadn't been skated professionally since the IHL's Denver Rangers' 1988-89 season. As an affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, the Cutthroats—a name chosen in honor of Denver's state fish, the Greenback cutthroat trout— immediately developed a connection with local hockey fans. Fans get to share their support directly with The Stream, a place right outside the home team's locker room covered with inspirational messages and lasagna recipes inscribed on paper fish by the Cutthroat faithful.
Derby was reborn in the early 2000s as a ferociously fun sport. Nearly all modern leagues are composed of female, DIY-spirited bands of punky costumed, vicious-monikered rascals who shove each other on traditional quad roller skates. The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, Denver's original all-women flat-track roller derby league, is operated by the more than 40 skaters who makeup its six teams: home teams Red Ridin' Hoods, Sugar Kill Gang, Dooms Daisies, Kill Scouts, and traveling teams, Fight Club and the Contenders. These fearless athletes leave bouts with sprained shoulders, bruises, and hematomas, which is nothing compared to the competitors' pain (the ladies took home second place in the 2009 Women’s Flat Track Derby Association regional tournament and fourth in the national tournament).
In July 2013, Scott and Heidi Moore achieved the title of godan, or fifth-degree black belt. Since they have over 50 years of experience combined and have acted as coaches and participants in countless competitions (including the Olympic trials and Paralympics), the belts were well-earned. At Denver Judo, they and a team of first-, second-, and third-degree black belts teach the art of judo to practitioners of all ages and abilities, including those who are blind or otherwise visually impaired. The martial art focuses on throws and grappling as opposed to punches and kicks.
The National Western Stock Show, a Denver tradition since 1906, seeks to preserve the Western lifestyle through education and competition. The world's largest cattle show exhibits sturdy stock from 20 breeds both exotic and standard, competing for the attention of manic cow collectors. Talented varieties of dogs and rabbits charm audiences as they parade around the arena, and the PRCA rodeo introduces guests to a cast of cowboys and the broncos who buck them, as well as timed roping, wrestling, barrel racing, and barrel wrestling events. In addition to live action events, there's the Coors Western art exhibit and sale, showing off Western-flavored painting, photography, and sculpture, and the Ames Activity Pavilion, which entertains children who fear painting, photography, and sculpture. Ticket purchasers can also attend a titanic trade show and eye-popping equestrian exhibitions.
In October 1995, the Colorado Rapids were introduced as one of Major League Soccer’s 10 charter teams. As one of the league's longest tenured members, the organization has brought a number of landmark moments to Denver, highlighted by a MLS Cup victory in 2010. Three years before their championship campaign, the Rapids became the centerpiece of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park—a sprawling complex that features a total of 24 fully lit sports fields. During Rapids matches, fans get swept up in the park’s lively atmosphere driven by Centennial 38, the team's official supporters group. In their designated “Supporter’s Terrace”, C38 members lead raucous cheers and wave massive flags to inspire their side.