Monthly Archives: October 2011

How Can Anyone Not Love Sports?

In the wake of the best postseason baseball game of my generation, I’m a little giddy. (Keep in mind Oct. 1, 2007 is considered a regular season game). Watching all the reaction from the night has led me to ask the simple question stated in the title of this post: How can anyone not love sports? I mean, think about it:  There are people in the world who were just walking around doing laundry and studying and sleeping and watching the Food Network during that game. Strange folks.

This is why I love sports:  Try telling me which video has the happier people…

This group of grown men:

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(Notice our joyful friend in the red hoody and the Yadier Molina helmet spike at the 11 second mark).

Or this little kid on Christmas (whose video has like 15 million views):

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Pretty close call. Tell me, other than sports, what can make hardened, gritty millionaires act like that kid?

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My Personal Tebow Dilemma

(The Denver Post / John Leyba)

I just can't seem to make up my mind about Tim Tebow. (The Denver Post / John Leyba)

The Tim Tebow debate rages on in Denver and across the country after the Broncos dramatic comeback win over the Dolphins on Sunday. Everybody has an opinion on the polarizing quarterback. I’m sure I have one too, I just don’t know what it is yet:

Me:  Did you see that comeback Tim Tebow and the Broncos made on Sunday? My goodness, that was unreal.

Other Me:  Did you really just say “My goodness?” But yeah that was really great. If you like watching two horrible teams play like they belong in the Big Sky Conference.

Me:  I won’t deny how hard the first 55 or so minutes of that game were to watch. Punts, missed field goals, more punts, dropped passes, fumbles, more punts. At one point I think the teams were a combined 0-438 on third down conversions; it was actually pretty comical to watch sometimes. But that finish was unbelievable! There’s something about that Tim Tebow fellow. I can’t wait to watch him every week.

Other Me: Tell me you’re joking. He played the Dolphins in a semi-home game. He had 24 yards passing through three quarters, including ZERO in the third quarter. He missed some throws so badly… Did you see when he had Demaryius Thomas wide open down the sideline and it looked like he was throwing it away?! The announcers were baffled. I was wondering if he was trying to hit somebody in the third row; I mean there were enough Broncos jerseys out there. Did you see when Eric Decker beat his man by 5 yards on a post and Tim threw it to the wrong hash marks?

Me: Yeah, I guess I did. But it’s not like he has much of a supporting cast. He missed some wide open receivers, but I also saw Matt Willis, Eddie Royal and Thomas drop passes that should have been caught. Christian Ponder has Adrian Peterson. Tim Tebow has Willis McGahee. Cam Newton and Andy Dalton have Steve Smith and A.J. Green making big plays. Tim Tebow has Eric Decker. All that said, did YOU see how the Broncos scored more points than the other team? I think that means they won.

Denver Post / Joe Amon

Tim Tebow was sacked seven times against the Dolphins Sunday. Seven Times. Against the Dolphins. (The Denver Post / Joe Amon)

Other Me: If Tebow plays like that for the remainder of the year, that will be the only win he’ll see this season.

Me: 2-14 would give us a pretty good chance at drafting Andrew Luck…

Other Me: Don’t change the subject. He didn’t look like a NFL quarterback out there, admit it! Maybe Merril Hoge was right.

Me:  Merril Hoge is an idiot. A typical ESPN blowhard. That stupid little twitter rant was all in the name of self-promotion. He’s just another talking head trying to make a name for himself instead of offering actual insight. Start to Google “Merril Hoge” and the computer assumes your going to look for “Merril Hoge Tim Tebow.” He knew what he was doing. Feeding off the media machine that Tebow is by upsetting his millions of super-loyal fans.

Other Me:  Woah, you were pretty fired up about that one.

Me:  Hoge and his enormous tie knot… they’re both idiots.

Other Me:  Well we’re in agreement there. Anyway, will you at least admit that Tebow’s mechanics need some serious work?

Me: Absolutely. But he has bigger issues than his throwing motion and footwork. I think his biggest problem is his brain. He can’t read defenses, predict blitzes or make quick check-downs when the first read isn’t there. I’m no NFL scout, but even I could tell he was bailing from the pocket and locking to scramble way too quickly.

Other Me:  You’re starting to make my argument for me…

Me: Not necessarily. I think the cerebral aspect of football is something that can progress with experience. Give him eleven games, and if he looks as silly as he did for the first three quarters Sunday, I’ll shut up. Experience is golden. Even some of his awful throws could have been the result of being a little too revved up. He was ready to prove a whole lot of people wrong and he may have been wound a little too tight, although that obviously paid off in the end.

Other Me: You’re not starting to bring up that “it factor” everyone loves to talk about are you? I’m getting so tired of that.

Me:  Hell yes I’m bringing that up. That “it factor” that you’re so tired of just won the Broncos a game. That “it factor” is not overrated. I don’t know how you can discount the final minutes of that game.

Other Me:  Because I watched the first 55 minutes! We’re just going around in circles here.

Me: Fine. Here’s my bottom line: Give him some time to get the feel of the NFL and give him some better offensive weapons to work with and he can lead a winning team. You can agree with that right?

Other Me: Not really. I mean, did you see the first 55 minutes of that game?!

Me:  They won the game!

Other Me: This conversation is over.

It’s Time to Fire Fairchild

It's time for Fairchild to go?

The time has come for the Colorado State Rams to move on and fire Steve Fairchild. (Photo Courtesy of Helen Richardson, Denver Post)

A college football coach at a somewhat major program can’t lose to a terrible San Jose State team on homecoming weekend in his fourth year as head coach, coming off back to back 3-9 seasons, after a supposed-to-be-big road win, and expect to keep his job. He just can’t.

Yet that is the position Steve Fairchild finds himself in after Saturday’s embarrassing and pathetic loss at Hughes Stadium. San Jose State– I guess they’re called the Spartans or Aztecs or something– jumped out to a 24-7 lead with 5:43 left in the first half.

The Spartans had lost 16 straight games on the road before taking down the Rams.

Given the lack of homefield advantage at Hughes stadium, maybe Colorado State’s new athletic slogan should be:  CSU Rams: If you can’t win on the road, come win in Fort Collins.

Steve Fairchild

With nothing to build on, and no success coming. Fairchild's days should be numbered. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

It didn’t help that Fairchild chose to go for it on fourth-and-two early in the second quarter down by three points inside the SJSU redzone. The innovative offensive mind chose to run the ball up the middle. The play was stuffed and the Rams gave the ball back to the Spartans instead of tying the game with a chippy field goal (even for Ben DeLine). The questionable call certainly changed the dynamic of a game that stinks worse than the kids hanging around outside the Aggie on a Saturday night.

Losing Mychal Sisson for the season grants Fairchild a mulligan in certain games. San Jose State on homecoming weekend is not one of them.

The lackluster start of this game is the most bothersome aspect of Fairchild’s teams. Sometimes they just don’t bother to show up. Paul Kowalczyk cannot continue to overlook tremendously disheartening losses like this one and last year’s indelible performances against Wyoming and Brigham Young. Losing nine in a row to end 2009 wasn’t much fun either. Fairchild indisputably struggles to motivate his team on a week-to-week basis, something that should come naturally to any qualified coach.

The San Jose State loss nullifies any progress made with the Utah State win and then some. I thought that win was a season-changer, now it looks like a lucky fluke.

Yes, it takes time to rebuild a program. Four years is a long time.

As someone not associated with the program in any way I might be out of line asking this, but doesn’t it seem like Fairchild’s players don’t seem to like playing for the guy?

What do Colorado State fans have to build on from Fairchild’s tenure? What have we seen that provides the encouragement that a turnaround is imminent? He took Sonny Lubick’s players to a 7-6 record and a win in the Bozo Bowl in 2008. That’s it. From that point on, things have been a disaster.

I would love for the Rams to finish the season strong with a couple big upsets along the way and force me to eat my words.

Fairchild wrote the forward to John Hirn’s in-depth book Aggies to Rams. In it, I learned that Fairchild’s mom was buried in a CSU sweatshirt. He was married across the street from the practice field on Shields St. When it was time for his daughter to go to college, he sent her to CSU. Everything seemed perfect upon his hiring.

Fairchild is a proud Ram. A loyal alumni who wants the best for Colorado State University and Fort Collins in general. His hard-ass attitude and stern demeanor were refreshing for a while. I’d be thrilled if Fairchild is the man that returns this program to glory. If he does see success, he, like his predecessor, won’t use Colroado State as a stepping stone to a larger program. Unfortunately that won’t be a problem.

Because after 3 1/2 years, haven’t we all seen enough?