Walking the plank

End of an era, and the beginning of one

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The last word or shall I say, the last Plank will belong to me.

I could give an opinion about something that is controversial or is a hot topic in Routt County, but I would rather focus on the end of an era.

For some, change is a big thing that is considered bad. For others, it is welcomed.

Right now, I don't know where I fall in those two categories. I try to keep a deep sense of the past as the future unfolds.

A huge change that I am going to be a part of is coming really soon next week. The Steamboat Pilot will relinquish the mid-week role it has had and begin publishing on Sunday.

In addition to a new publication day, the Pilot will be different in other ways. For one thing, this staff-written column won't be written any more.

I thought long and hard about the newspaper's change, and the only thing I could come up with is Mile High Stadium.

What do a football stadium and a newspaper have in common?

Well, since 1885, the Pilot has been relied upon to report the news and happenings in Steamboat Springs and Routt County.

Like the Pilot, Mile High Stadium was for decades a constant place for football fans in Colorado and the rest of the Rocky Mountain region.

During the years the Broncos played at Mile High Stadium, the outcome of the games made local fans joyous, sad and even angry at times.

Through the years, the pages of the Steamboat Pilot have brought out similar emotions in readers.

How we handle change is what makes each of us unique.

I had the fortunate opportunity to attend the last game the Broncos will ever play at the old Mile High Stadium.

I will never forget the feeling I had when I walked into the stadium knowing it would be the last time ever.

The atmosphere was electric. Fans attended the game to celebrate. Denver started out slow against San Francisco, but by the third quarter, the game was in the bag.

All that was left was to soak up every second in a stadium that felt like a second home.

In the fourth quarter, I got chills as flashbulb after flashbulb lit up the stands all around the stadium. After the game was over, a video tribute on the scoreboard below the graceful white bronco, "Bucky," that has overlooked the stadium for many years, brought cheers from the fans.

The evening ended with fireworks. Those bittersweet memories will stick with me forever.

Next year, the Broncos will move into a new facility. Let's just hope the atmosphere from Mile High Stadium goes along with them.

Today's issue of the Pilot is the last one ever. Enjoy it.

I don't know what reaction I will have as I flip through this paper for the last time.

On Super Bowl Sunday, a new newspaper with a different format will be unleashed. Hopefully, the new newspaper will serve our readers as well as the Pilot did for so many years.

I'm looking forward to this upcoming fall, when I get the opportunity to read our Sunday newspaper and then watch the Denver Broncos play a football game in their new home.

What could be better?

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