Hallway dash: Nuggets writers square off in sprint rematch
Sports is full of great rematches. Time and public opinion will determine whether Hochman-Lopez makes the list.
Just a few months after our first fleet-footed showdown on the Nuggets practice court, Denver Post beat writer Benjamin Hochman and I decided to race again at the Pepsi Center. We chose the hallway outside the Nuggets locker room because that’s where Hochman was captured on film sprinting in pursuit of a player interview on Jan. 13.
The venue constituted a home-track advantage for Hochman, who lost first race by about a half-step. To help provide guidance and inspiration for both racers, we employed the assistance of Nuggets Supermascot Rocky and team strength and conditioning coach Steve Hess.
I had my own self-doubts. Benjamin’s deceptive speed caught me off-guard in our initial race. I was still confident in my ability, but I also had no idea how my legs would respond less than two months removed from my 40th birthday. They say it’s all downhill after 40, but would it feel like I was running uphill?
After Benjamin and I agreed on a starting point near the Pepsi Center loading dock, Rocky used a throwback Nuggets pennant to start the race in tandem with Hess. Remarkably, Rocky was also waiting for us at the finish line, where the winner crossed through a strip of yellow caution tape.
The tape should have read: “Beware: Aging sports writers huffing, puffing, struggling, gasping and eventually coming through.”