Most-read Mark Kiszla columns of 2020, from Nuggets’ playoff run to Broncos’ woes

Here’s a look back at The Denver Post’s top 10 most popular Mark Kiszla columns of 2020, as determined by our readers.

10. Paul Millsap is $30 million of dead weight. Nuggets need to bench him to avoid getting bounced from NBA playoffs by Utah.

Published Aug. 19, 2020. “The first person requiring deep reflection is (coach Michael) Malone. He’s paid to make tough decisions. It’s time to bench veteran forward Paul Millsap, who has been $30 million of dead weight since Denver arrived in Florida more than a month ago.

“Insert Jerami Grant in the starting lineup.”

9. After bitter playoff exit, why Nathan MacKinnon is wrong to think Avs can stand pat and win Stanley Cup

Published Sept. 4, 2020. “The world’s best hockey player watched teammates surrender the lead three times before losing 5-4 in overtime against Dallas. Force-fed another bitter Game 7 pill to choke down, Kid MacK sat stone cold, processing the loss, his eyes raging with 1,000 what-ifs and 1,000 regrets that lingered after the sudden death of a championship dream.”

8. CU Buffs and Cornhuskers should be playing football, instead of being stuck in conferences where they don’t belong

Published Oct. 29, 2020. “Colorado has never belonged in the Pac-12 Conference. Nebraska has never really felt at home in the Big Ten.

“All the Buffs and Huskers want to do is go out and play football. For bragging rights instead of money. Like CU and Nebraska used to, back in the glory days of Bill McCartney and Tom Osborne.”

7. How on earth did Nuggets rally to beat Clippers? Thank Charles Barkley. And Paul Millsap.

Published Sept. 11, 2020. “Why do these incorrigible Nuggets refuse to listen?

“Kawhi Leonard, the scariest Cyborg in the basketball universe, gave them a get-lost glare. And TV analyst Charles Barkley kindly packed coach Michael Malone’s undies in a suitcase for a trip back to Colorado. But the worst team remaining in the NBA playoffs stubbornly refused to leave the Disney bubble, beating the mighty L.A. Clippers 111-105.”

6. Broncos need new QB, new coach, new general manager. But what bad team misses most is late Mr. B holding these losers accountable.

Published Sept. 27, 2020. “The Broncos need a change at quarterback. They need a change at head coach. They need a change of philosophy, even if that means saying goodbye to football operations director and Colorado sports icon John Elway.

“But most of all, the Broncos need a franchise owner to hold somebody … anybody … everybody accountable for this mess.”

5. Why, like 98% of NFL players, Phillip Lindsay is likely headed for unhappy ending with Broncos

Published March 31, 2020. “As much as it pains me to say it, running back Phillip Lindsay already has one foot out the door. Not that he wants to leave Denver. But 98% of the time, goodbyes in pro football are cruel, because sentiment only gets in the way of rebuilding a franchise to championship contention.”

4. Call off the game. If football is a brotherhood, Broncos should refuse to play Sunday in New England.

Published Oct. 8, 2020. “If football is a brotherhood, the Patriots’ brothers here in Denver should refuse to get on the team plane to New England. This is where everyone from franchise president Joe Ellis to John Elway should make it clear to the league that the Broncos won’t participate in a farce.

“And a game Sunday between these two football teams would be a farce.”

3. Arrest of Melvin Gordon gives Broncos excuse to do right by Phillip Lindsay and make him No. 1 running back

Published Oct. 14, 2020. “OK, class. Here’s a case study, in which we will learn: What do the Broncos really value most? Is it the hard work and loyalty of Lindsay? Or that nothing should get in the way of beating the Patriots?

“Gordon was stopped overnight Tuesday in downtown Denver by police that clocked him driving 71 mph in a 35 mph zone, according to court documents. The veteran player John Elway is paying millions of dollars was then cited for suspicion of driving under the influence.”

2. If Broncos can’t find way to get Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, it’s time for John Elway to take his ball and go home

Published Dec. 19, 2020. “Hey, John Elway: The Broncos stink, stank, stunk. You need a Hail Mary to save a team without a prayer or a franchise quarterback.

“Bring Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence to the Rocky Mountains. Don’t tell us it’s impossible. With Elway, there’s No Plan B. Right?”

1. After bad loss to Atlanta, Drew Lock lets frustration get best of him for first time as Broncos quarterback

Published Nov. 8, 2020. “His postgame interview was a soliloquy on the lonely suffering unique in the NFL to a quarterback with the weight of a franchise on his shoulders. After this defeat, this was a Lock we had not previously seen. The irritation was unmistakable.”

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