Axios Denver

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๐Ÿคฉ TGIF! We did it.

  • Today's weather: Breezy with highs near 69 and showers likely after noon. More rain and chilly temps forecast this weekend.

๐Ÿ€ Situational awareness: The Denver Nuggets have taken a 3-0 lead in their first-round NBA playoffs series after beating the Lakers 112-105 in Los Angeles last night. Tipoff for Game 4 is 6:30pm tomorrow.

  • Tonight, the Colorado Avalanche face the Winnipeg Jets at 8pm for Game 3 in the first round of the NHL playoff series, which is tied 1-1.

Today's newsletter is 896 words โ€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Buffs return to Folsom amid turnover

Colorado head coach Deion Sanders watches drills prior to a game against Arizona at Folsom Field in Boulder. Photo: Erick W. Rasco/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Colorado head coach Deion Sanders says he's developing a championship-caliber team in Boulder โ€” a bold claim for a squad recovering from a 4-8 season.

Why it matters: It's the exact braggadocio Sanders introduced to the Buffaloes when he arrived two years ago, fueling lots of attention but few wins in his first season in college football's premier division.

What they're saying: "This team is good," Sanders told us during a recent stop in Denver.

  • "I like what I see โ€” wouldn't the coach be a fool if he don't like what he see?"

Reality check: CU won't be seen as a legitimate contender by anyone outside Folsom Field.

  • A return to the Big 12 Conference โ€” with arguably fewer powerhouse programs than the Buffs' previous league, the Pac-12 โ€” still doesn't bode well for a team that mustered just one conference win last season.

State of play: The Buffs host the annual spring game tomorrow at 1pm at Folsom Field.

The big picture: The team faces Ralphie-sized questions about its future under Coach Prime, with none more important than whether this squad has made meaningful strides after a dreadful season.

By the numbers: At least 19 players are leaving the program โ€” an ironic twist for Sanders, who earned a reputation last year for exploiting the transfer portal by luring dozens of players from other colleges to CU.

Share with a Buffs fan

2. ๐Ÿ† Sudsy success at World Beer Cup

Photo: Courtesy of Brewers Association

Colorado breweries brought home nearly two dozen awards this week at the World Beer Cup hosted by the Boulder-based Brewers Association.

Why it matters: The global contest, dubbed the "Olympics of Beer," is the largest of its kind and considered one of the world's most prestigious beer competitions.

The big picture: Colorado breweries collected 21 awards, including nine gold medals ranging from lagers to Belgian styles.

  • The competition featured 9,300 beers from 60 countries.

Zoom in: These Colorado breweries saw the hoppiest endings.

Gold medal winners:

  • River North in Denver: Nightmare Fuel (coffee stout or porter)
  • Bull & Bush in Denver: Kauai Pie (dessert stout or pastry)
  • Station 26 in Denver: Swift Half (session or Belgian-style table beer)
  • Prost in Northglenn: Leichtbier (international light lager)
  • Cerveceria Colorado in Denver: Venga! (international-style pilsner)
  • Old 121 in Lakewood: ESB (extra special bitter)
  • 12Degree in Louisville: Treachery (Belgian-style strong blonde ale)
  • Banded Oak in Denver: French Lager Biรจr Ambrรฉe (Belgian-style strong specialty ale)
  • Bent Barley in Aurora: Dry Irish Stout (classic Irish-style dry stout)

More winners

3. ๐Ÿพ Canines at the Capitol

Colorado has several new laws related to pets, including one that allows for veterinary telehealth appointments. Photo: Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado's legislative session went to the dogs.

State of play: Three major new bills related to pets and veterinary care are now law โ€” and a fourth is on its way.

Why it matters: The collective effect is a litany of new regulations designed to better inform pet owners and crack down on rogue operators.

The latest: A measure to require pet care and boarding facilities to notify all clients about an infectious disease outbreak, such as respiratory illnesses, canine leptospirosis or feline leukemia virus, is poised to go to the governor's desk as early as today.

Catch up quick: Gov. Jared Polis, who often carries his dog Gia at political events, signed three bills in recent weeks to stiffen the rules on sterilizing pets brought into Colorado and expand the scope of practice for technicians at veterinary clinics.

The pet bills that failed

4. Mile Highlights: UMS releases lineup

The Underground Music Showcase returns this summer. Photo: Kent Nishimura/The Denver Post via Getty Images

๐ŸŽธ The three-day Underground Music Showcase on South Broadway this summer will be headlined by indie rock band Beach Fossils, rapper Tkay Maidza and punk rock band Amyl and the Sniffers. (Denverite)

๐Ÿšจ 198 antisemitic incidents were recorded in Colorado last year, a jump of nearly 180% since 2022. (Colorado Sun)

๐Ÿ“ข Students staged a demonstration at the Auraria Campus yesterday in protest of the Israel-Hamas war as part of a growing movement at universities nationwide. (Denverite)

๐Ÿ€ A Denver Nuggets superfan recently banned from attending games at Ball Arena for alleged poor behavior, including grabbing a referee, is suing the team's holding company, claiming breach of contract over her 32-year-running season ticket purchase. (CBS)

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Chef Dana Rodriguez, who helms Casa Bonita's kitchen, abruptly closed and is selling her LoHi Mexican restaurant Cantina Loca due to slumping sales and rising food and labor costs. (BusinessDen ๐Ÿ”‘)

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5. Broncos draft Oregon quarterback Bo Nix

Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix. Photo: Brandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos took Oregon quarterback Bo Nix during the NFL Draft last night, securing another pocket passer for a franchise desperately needing one.

The big picture: Nix was picked 12th overall and marks the team's first selection in this year's draft.

  • The 24-year-old joins former New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, who was traded to Denver earlier this week, and Jarrett Stidham, who started the Broncos' final two games last season.

What they're saying: "I was very excited, almost speechless when I got that call," Nix told Denver reporters after learning the news. "Very happy to be a Bronco."

Zoom in: Nix โ€” who stands 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 214 pounds โ€” is among the most experienced quarterbacks in a class that saw five other QBs drafted in the first round.

The intrigue: Denver Mayor Mike Johnston was spotted in Detroit on national television while celebrating the Broncos' announcement.

  • Johnston was there "exploring a potential bid to host a future NFL draft," his spokesperson Jordan Fuja told the Denver Gazette.

What's next

Our picks:

๐Ÿ˜Ž John is living it up in NOLA.

๐Ÿ›๏ธ Alayna is shopping for some "new" vintage pieces at ThriftCon this weekend at the National Western Complex.

๐Ÿฟ Esteban is excited to see "Civil War" tonight.

Thanks to our editor Hadley Malcolm and copy editor Bill Kole.