It has nothing to do with the Denver Broncos' signing Latino quarterback Mark Sanchez this offseason, but there's no doubt the population of Colorado's capital city has undergone major changes in the past generation.
More than 30 percent of the city is Hispanic now, according to recent Pew research. Many of these are second- and third-generation Mexican-Americans.
Latino sports fans have traditionally been some of the most loyal and passionate in the scene, and while many Hispanics in Denver will no doubt wish Sanchez well, they will be primarily focused on the Broncos continuing their winning traditions. A Long Beach, California, native and third-generation Mexican-American, Sanchez will have to earn his opportunity to become the starter for the Broncos. The team has indicated he will get that chance to prove himself.
Sanchez, who went to Southern California, is looking for reboot in Denver after the success early in his NFL career (two consecutive AFC championship games with the New York Jets) stalled. The quarterback was traded to Philadelphia in 2014 and failed to win a game four appearances last season before being benched for the rest of the season. Sanchez might never have a better chance to prove himself than behind the protection of Denver's solid offensive line and perhaps the NFL's best defense.
The changing face of Denver's population is just another example of how Hispanics have quietly become a key part of communities all across America. Mexicans are the largest Hispanic origin group in 49 of the the 60 metropolitan areas with the largest Latino populations, including Denver.