Sport: Power Play

Colorado lands the Pats'coach

What do you do if you hunger year after year for the championship of football's tough Big Eight conference, which includes perennial powerhouses like Oklahoma and Nebraska? For the Flatirons, the University of Colorado's well-heeled booster club, the answer was to call a power play: go after a pro football coach. And not just any coach, but Chuck Fairbanks, 45, who in three seasons had turned the New England Patriots from the bumblers of the N.F.L. into a play-off team.

One trouble about hiring Fairbanks was that he happened to have four years left on his Patriots contract. But...

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