Monthly Archives: October 2014

Your Weekly Roundup From The Sports World And Internet

Welcome to the 83rd edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where tonight might be the most unique single day on the sports calender. When the NBA tips off its regular season tonight, all four major American sports will be in full swing. That will only last until the end of the World Series tonight or tomorrow, but still, it’s a good week to be a sports fan. Let’s get into it…

Von Miller celebrates a sack by forcing out a stubborn fart. (Jack Dempsey AP Photo)

I’ll mix it up this week and start with the Broncos, who moved to 6-1 with yet another convincing victory over a good team. I think it’s time we all acknowledge that the Broncos are the best team in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!. And right now, it doesn’t seem like anyone else is particularly close.

The Broncos have played seven games. They’ve played six teams with winning records. They’re only loss is in overtime in Seattle. Five of their six wins have come against teams that have legitimate playoff aspirations. The resume is pretty impressive.

That said, it may be wise to temper some of this enthusiasm. They’ve only played two road games, and neither has been overly impressive. (The loss in Seattle and the win over the Jets, who are not good at playing football.) The seemingly annual trip to Foxborough awaits on Sunday.

So I’m not thinking the Broncos are going to go 15-1.

But damn, they look awesome right now.

Not long ago, the Chargers were being talked about by some as the best team in the AFC. The Broncos had zero issues beating the Chargers Thursday night. Seriously, like… zero.

The emergence of Ronnie Hillman, be it from either his elevated play or a change in the game plan, makes it difficult to find any holes on the Broncos. They are a very, very complete team. Their defense has emerged as one of the best in the NFL. They shut down the run. They rush the passer. The secondary is filled with ball hawks. Chris Harris is generating some discussion as a top-five cornerback in all of football. Von Miller is one of the most impactful players in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!.

Oh, and they also have a decent offense.

So these are good times for Broncos fans.

Of course, I’m quick to remind you that looking like the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!‘s best team in October doesn’t mean a damn thing. The Broncos and their fans have nine more preseason games before we have something to get excited about.

But the ride to the playoffs sure seems like it will be pretty enjoyable.

It’s especially enjoyable when you’re watching Phillip Rivers freak the hell out like a real weirdo.

…Or watching Manning drop dimes like this. How pretty is this?

…Or watching Miller do… whatever the hell this is.

And with another big game and a whole lot of hype on the way Sunday, if you need a little help remembering why you should hate the Patriots, go ahead and read my post from January prior to the AFC Championship game.

I’m pretty over the whole Broncos/Patriots/Manning/Brady rivalry and I think it’s a little absurd that the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! schedules this game every damn year. But they do. And this year it represents an opportunity for the Broncos to effectively lock up the AFC with nine games to go. Coming out of the San Francisco/San Diego/at New England trio of games 3-0 would be one of the more impressive few weeks I can remember.

The fact that the Broncos are 3.5 point road favorites in Foxborough tells you quite a bit about where these two teams stand. I like the Broncos to win fairly comfortably.

Let’s shift gears to the other football team in Colorado that seems to have forgotten how to lose.

Hollywood with the Boot. (Via Colorado State University Facebook)

Colorado State pushed their little brothers around like a bully in the schoolyard during the Border War on Saturday night. They took Wyoming’s lunch money, stuffed them in a locker, and sent them home crying in front of their girlfriend. It was 24-3 at the half and 38-10 after three quarters. The Cowboys didn’t belong on the same field as the Rams.

The Colorado State offense is widely recognized as a potent and versatile attack. Several Rams have had breakout games that have garnered some national recognition, most notably Dee Hart and Rashard Higgins. But Saturday belonged to Garrett Grayson. He had himself a damn night.

Grayson’s performance against the Cowboys earned him the Mountain West’s offensive player of the week award. All he did was throw for 390 yards and five (!) touchdowns, completing 18 of 21 passes (!) without an interception. He started the game 13-13 with two touchdowns.  So yeah, Garrett Grayson was almost perfect on Saturday night. He has also broken several career Colorado State passing records over the past two weeks, including touchdown passes, passing yards and completions.

Two years ago, as we watched Grayson lead the Rams to a 4-8 record with decidedly average play as a sophomore, I never thought I’d write (or read) that last paragraph. His progression has been remarkable. His quarterback rating in three plus games as a true freshman was 108. His sophomore year it was 126.5. Last season it was 138.4. And this year he’s sitting at 167.8.

It’s worth mentioning that Grayson was redshirting his freshman season until Steve Fairchild pulled his redshirt and inserted him into a game when Pete Thomas hurt his knee. At the time some thought it looked like Fairchild was trying to showcase one of his recruits as a desperate attempt to save his job. That experience as a true freshman certainly helped Grayson develop into the quarterback he is today, but I can’t help but wonder what this team would look like in 2015 if Grayson was returning for another year. Burning a year of his eligibility for 3 starts as a freshman sure seems like a waste. Nothing we can do about now, I guess.

Anyway, right now Garrett Grayson is completely in control of a complex offense. He’s locked the hell in and it’s fun to watch.

Of course, part of the reason for Grayson’s development has been an increase in the talent at skill positions around him, most obviously seen in receiver Rashard Higgins, who if he stays healthy, will almost certainly hold every CSU receiving record by the time he’s done in FoCo.

Every week, I’m expecting Hollywood to come back to earth a little bit, and every week he puts up crazy numbers. On Saturday he had five catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns. He now leads the nation in both touchdowns and receiving yards. He is just on a different level than anyone that is trying to cover him. Against Wyoming, both of his touchdowns came when he broke open simple bubble screens, which can be seen in this highlight video. It just doesn’t look fair right now.

Time for your weekly record update! Colorado State is now 7-1 in 2014. They’ve won six in a row. They’re 11-2 in their last 13 games going back to last season. 13-3 in their last 16; 14-4 in their last 18.

Things are good for Rams fans right now.

After the Rams beat Boston College, I mentioned the possibility of Colorado State finishing the regular season 11-1. It seemed a little crazy at the time. At this point it’s starting to seem a whole lot less crazy. Four games remain. Two on the road (San Jose State on Saturday, Air Force to close the regular season on November 28th) and two at home (Hawaii and New Mexico). None of those teams are any good. The Rams will be favored in each game. That said, conference road wins do not come easy so I’m not counting any chickens that are still in the egg (or however that phase goes).

But as the season rolls on, it’s time for fans to start shifting one eye towards where the Rams will end up in the postseason. Some attention has been given to CSU perhaps playing in a New Year’s Bowl against a traditional power. This remains a possibility, but I have to play Captain Bringdown for moment.

The highest ranked team from a non-power conference receives an automatic bid to either the Fiesta Bowl or the Chik-Fil-A Peach Bowl. This would be huge for the Rams. However, the way I look at it, for CSU to receive this spot: 1) The Rams would have to finish the regular season 11-1. 2) Marshall would have to lose. 3) East Carolina would have to lose. (Those are the two non-power conference teams currently ranked). 4) The Rams would have to win the Mountain West championship game, which means 5) Boise State, who has the tiebreaker over the Rams in the Mountain Division, would have to lose a regular season game. So a whole bunch of moving parts would have to shift in the Rams’ favor. Got all that?

Honestly because Boise State has the edge on CSU in conference, and because of the Mountain West’s bowl affiliations, the Rams could finish 11-1 and head back to Albuquerque to play in the New Mexico Bowl (again) vs. some middle-of-the-road C-USA team. That, my friends, would be a bit of a letdown.

But I’m getting ahead of myself I suppose. Let’s just hope the wins keep coming and worry about the rest later.

Off to the weekly departments…

Douche of the week:

I generally do not root for CU football. But as I watched the Buffs mount a comeback vs. #25 UCLA on Saturday afternoon, I came to an interesting realization.

Now, for the record, I won’t admit to rooting for the Colorado Buffaloes to win a football game. But perhaps I had a thought or two that a victory in Boulder wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

Being ranked is a big deal to me for some reason. It carries prestige. It’s gets people talking about a program. It puts the score of your team’s game on the default scoreboard page on ESPN.com. I mean, come on! What more does a guy want in life?!

Sure enough, on Sunday the national rankings were released and the Rams were the first team on the outside of the rankings. If you extend the rankings based on votes received, CSU is #26. The last team in the rankings? UCLA, who remained at #25. All CU had to do was upset UCLA in overtime and Colorado State would be ranked for the first time in more than a decade. Jerks.

In the big picture, this isn’t a huge deal. If CSU beats a pretty bad San Jose State team this weekend, they should sneak into both national polls.

Stud of the week/Tweets of the week:

What Madison Bumgarner has done this postseason has been incredible.

You get the idea.

I don’t really care about Bumgarner one way or the other and I definitely dislike the Giants and their fans, but glimpses of true greatness are rare. I hope y’all recognize what we’ve been watching from Bumgarner.

Vines of the week:

Football players are stubborn.

This dude lowers his shoulder and everything.

This PR guy from last night is a little too hard core:

Honestly, this looks like a lot of fun.

That last one also produced our…

Photo of the Week:

Photo courtesy, Matt Eisenberg

A couple links worth sharing:

And finally, the Nuggets begin their 2014 season tomorrow night. Your favorite blog is here with some hard-hitting analysis.

I’m with Wilson Chandler on this one.

But I do think the Nuggets have the chance to be a decent team. They have to stay healthy. They couldn’t do that last year and their season fell apart. Brian Shaw seems to be a good fit and I’m interested to see what he’ll be able to do with a year in Denver under his belt.

But they have to stay healthy. That’s really all the analysis you need.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. Enjoy game six tonight and hopefully game seven tomorrow. See ya next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @TuesWithMitch.

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Weekly Roundup! Colorado State! Broncos! Baseball!

Welcome to the 82nd edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where last-second field goals and record breaking touchdowns are commonplace. Big post this week. Let’s get into it…

Hollywood just making plays on the reg. (Andy Cross, Denver Post)

I’ll start– again– with some thoughts on the Colorado State Rams. I keep planning on focusing on something else in these posts, but they just keep winning in dramatic fashion. They leave me no choice.

This one started with a bang. On the first play from scrimmage Rashard Higgins took a short pass and turned it into a 69-yard gain. CSU would score three plays later. The sellout (no, really!) crowd at Hughes was rockin’.

A couple series later, Utah State answered with a 59 yard touchdown run from Joe Hill.

From that point until the fourth quarter the game was… actually pretty boring. Lots of punts. Lots of penalties. A couple field goals. A couple injuries. A missed field goal. That was pretty much it.

In fact, the second and third quarters saw a combined total of three points.

So credit goes to both defenses for stepping up. Even though there wasn’t a lot of flash, the game was intense throughout.

Things became particularly intense when the fourth quarter started. Let’s break that down a bit.

The final frame began with Utah State at the CSU 22 and driving with a little bit of momentum. But CSU held them to a field goal. 13-10 Aggies.

Colorado State then moved the ball, but the drive stalled and Jared Roberts missed a 47-yard field goal that seemed like it could be a back-breaker. But the CSU defense forced a quick three-and-out and the Rams took over down by three with nine minutes left.

The Rams moved the ball and chewed a lot of clock, which set up a huge third and five at the Aggie 30 with about two minutes remaining. McElwain surprised me with a conservative play call on what could have been the Rams’ final drive. A Jason Oden run up the middle went for no gain. When I saw the running play I thought maybe McElwain was in “four down territory” mode. And perhaps he would have gone for the first down if the prior play had led to a fourth and short. Instead, on fourth and five he trusted his kicker to make one from 46. It worked. Tie game. 1:40 left.

That moment was pretty damn dramatic. The final 1:40 wasn’t too bad either.

Utah State took over at the 26 and Hughes came alive like I’ve never seen before. It was a pretty cool moment for me personally to take a step back and glance around the stadium and listen to that sellout crowd roar in the game’s biggest moment. The students, who often leave to go increase their B.A.C. sometime in the third quarter, were still loud as hell and focused. Pretty good stuff.

After one first down, the Rams’ D stepped up again and forced another punt from the Aggies.

CSU took over on the twelve. Most of us assumed they would play for overtime, which is what they did initially. Handoff to Hart for a couple yards. Let the clock run. Handoff to Hart… Except this one went for 17 yards and a clock-stopping first down.

Well shoot, now you might as well take a shot right?

(You’re welcome for that very technologically advanced and professional multimedia presentation I created by holding my phone in front of my TV. Via CBS Sports.)

So that pretty, majestic, dramatic, stalwart 46-yard bomb to Higgins blew the roof off Hughes and set up a last-second 46-yard field goal from Roberts, who COMPLETELY REDEEMED HIMSELF after his miss earlier in the fourth quarter.

Victory.

Colorado State is 6-1.

I think I’ve said this before, but this was a big win for CSU.

Utah State is another good team and they came to play. Yes, CSU caught a break when quarterback Darrell Garrettson went down for the Aggies. But honestly, the USU offense wasn’t doing much with him in there either.

It was not the prettiest of wins. The Rams’ offensive line line was completely outplayed by Utah State’s strong front seven, which recorded three sacks in the first half and five more in the second. Colorado State had to overcome a whole crapload of big penalties, too (11 for 116 yards). But they did.

So the bottom line from Saturday is that Colorado State won yet another game they could have easily lost against a quality opponent.

Hey let’s update these numbers, which I enjoy doing every week (apparently). Colorado State is now 10-2 in their last 12 games going back to last season. 12-3 in their last 15; 13-4 in their last 17.

Before the season, I said Colorado State’s schedule had one “maybe” game, three “probably not” games, and 9 “should win” games. CSU won the “maybe” (Colorado) and went 2-1 in the “probably nots” (Wins over Boston College and Utah State). It’s been an impressive seven weeks.

The Rams will be favored in every game for the remainder of the regular season. If they can take care of business against lesser teams, this could turn into a very special year.

And while we’re at it, go ahead and jump to the 1:56 mark of this video to bypass a bunch of screaming hooligans who rushed the field and some interesting(?) locker room dancing and enjoy some awesome locker room Fight Song-ing.

Off to the weekly departments…

Stud of the week:

I’ll use this space to share some thoughts on the Broncos, because their quarterback is kind of a stud. Did you know that Peyton Manning broke that record for touchdown passes or whatever? He totally did.

Manning breaking the record was a special moment for the Broncos and their fans, even if Manning did throw 399 of his touchdowns in a Colts uniform. Simply put, I am constantly in a state of awe at what Manning has done in the two and a half years he’s been in Denver. It has to be the most remarkable story of my generation, right? Coming back from those surgeries and being released by Indianopolis and missing an entire season to achieve all of this is just unbelievable. All he needs is a Super Bowl (or two) to cement his story as one of the all-time best in sports history.

And while I’m on the topic here are some non-Manning-record Broncos thoughts:

  • They currently look like the best team in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! by a wide margin. Vegas agrees, listing them as heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl at 3-1.
  • They just pounded a pretty darn good 49ers team, albeit one that is depleted by injuries. Sunday night was the biggest statement the Broncos have made all year.
  • We might be entering the part of the season when the Broncos just beat the crap out of whoever they play and we’re all bored by halftime. It is not okay to complain about this.
  • That said, they lost a Thursday night home game to San Diego last year. They play San Diego at home on Thursday night. Thursday night football is stupid and this game concerns me.
  • Against the 49ers the Broncos used the pass to set up an effective run game instead of trying to set up the run from the outset. This is how it should work every week.
  • When Von Miller steps on the field, he is the best football player out there. A healthy and active Miller is a huge game-changer.
  • The sweetest play of the night might not have involved Peyton Manning. It may have been this fake spin move sack from DeMarcus Ware.

And as a quick aside, if you didn’t assume this was scripted and planned out (which it was) from the moment you saw it, you’re far less cynical than me. This was classic, goofy, aren’t-we-cute? Peyton.

Tweet of the week:

The lady who received Brett Favre’s now infamous picture message had some advice for Peyton on Sunday night.

Well played, even though I hate the term “prolly”.

Douche of the week:

I’ll use this space to talk about some baseball because I hate the Giants so damn much. Travis Ishikawa is a douche for doing this.

Although… I also hate the Cardinals so he’s kind of a stud too.

A quick thought on Joe Buck’s call there… It was perfect. He knew the ball was gone and jumped in immediately. Perfect timing. “The Giants win the pennant!” has historical significance. He quickly made the call with exuberance followed by silence from the whole booth for 46 seconds. Perfect. If you don’t like Joe Buck calling a baseball game, you’re trying too hard to find something to complain about.

Anyway, I can’t believe the Giants are in the World Series again. I’m convinced they’re just not that talented. It does not add up. Their starting pitching isn’t even that good this year outside of the postseason version of Madison Bumgarner. But I suppose there is something to be said for a team that finds ways to win. Even if those wins come on wild pitches, errors on bunts, and routine fielders choices.

Over in the ALCS, the 2007 Rockies 2014 Royals swept the Orioles and haven’t lost a postseason game yet. They’re the first team in history to start a Postseason 8-0. Though, to be clear, that statement is a bit of a misnomer. The ’07 Rockies did the exact same thing, but their Wild Card play-in game was considered game 163 of the regular season and not a Postseason game. Same exact thing though.

Also, this is a thing that happened.

@cjzero

@cjzero

Here was the awesome scene in Kansas City on Wednesday afternoon:

The MLB Postseason has been awesome– even with all of the short series–  and I’m geeked for the Fall Classic, which starts tonight on Fox.

I’ll pick the talentless and hatable Giants to win it all for the third time in five years. I have no idea how San Fransisco will score late runs off the Royals’ bullpen and that outfield defense (Gordon and Cain are simply a treat to watch out there), but they will probably find a way on some flukey garbage nonsense. Giants in six. Hope I’m wrong.

Vines of the week:

More good stuff this week, but I have to warn you, nothing as funny as that Longhorn punch from last week, which I still haven’t stopped laughing at.

…But Lou Holtz saying this sentence is pretty darn close:

I’m not the Mike! This is just awesome audio.

I’ve never heard a ref say this.

Here’s Tubby Smith falling on a mortorcycle.

Smooth, Tubbs.

Madison Bumgarner Wasting Beer, Volume III

We’re up to 66 oz. of waste this week.

A couple other cool things:

The Ohio State marching band is amazing. Keep an eye out for the pin ball session.

@Landgrant33 / SB Nation

I am told those are people moving around out there, presumably playing instruments.

This lady is just too damn much:

A couple links worth sharing:

And finally, Katie Nolan is on the same page as me when it comes to Madison Bumgarner’s celbratory antics. This video is great, but I’m really just putting this in here because Nolan is one of my favorite people on the internet. She’s a star in the making. And… you know… I think we’d probably get along.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. Enjoy the Fall Classic. See ya next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @TuesWithMitch.

Colorado State Beats Nevada; Utah State Up Next

Welcome to the 81st edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’m still overloading on sports. We have a lot to cover. Let’s get into it…

Jim McElwain and the Rams just keep winning. (Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports)

Let us begin with some thoughts on Colorado State’s important win over Nevada.

The Rams were absolutely dominant through most of the first three quarters while building up a 31-3 lead. Garrett Grayson threw three touchdowns without any turnovers. Rashard Higgins did what Rashard Higgins does. The sophomore went off for almost 200 yards receiving with two touchdowns. He looks like the best offensive player in the Mountain West.

And the defense played strong and physical– particularly the secondary– while shutting down a potent Wolfpack offense.

Nevada, of course, made things very, very interesting and uncomfortable for CSU fans in the fourth quarter. After Dee Hart scored to give the Rams a 28 point lead, Nevada came back with three unanswered touchdowns to make it a seven point game. The Wolfpack had the ball late and a game-tying touchdown appeared imminent until DeAndre Ellington sealed the win for the Rams with an interception in the end zone.

This was another big win for CSU.

Yes, they almost choked away that 31-3 lead, but it’s important to remember that Nevada is actually a pretty good team. Pretty good teams are rarely blown out by four touchdowns at home. Nevada had a decent little resume heading into this one. They nearly beat #16 Arizona in Tucson, they easily beat Washington State in Reno, and they almost beat the same Boise State team that handled CSU with ease.

So while that comeback/chokejob wasn’t pretty (or particularly fun), it’s not like the Rams were falling apart against Tulsa or UC Davis. Cody Fajardo is a baller and he was bound to make some things happen at some point.

An injury-avoiding conference road win is never, ever, ever, ever a bad thing. So I came away from this one with nothing but positive thoughts. (I also had a good time with a lot of you on Twitter, as I threw out some fairly absurd and possibly not sober Tweets throughout the game. That was fun.) Anyway…

At the halfway post of the 2014 season, the Colorado State Rams are 5-1.

DeAndre Ellington with the game-sealing interception in what turned out to be another dramatic win for Colorado State. (Jeff Mulvhill Jr. For the Reporter Herald)

So we can now make that 9-2 in their last 11 games going back to last season. (Or 11-3 in their last 14 or 12-4 in their last 16. Go ahead and focus on whichever one you find most impressive.)

Of course, big wins like this and Boston College can turn out to be far less important if the Rams are unable to build on them as the season progresses. That brings us to this week’s Homecoming matchup under the ‘A’ vs. Utah State. In my CSU season preview I identified this as the most important game on the Rams’ schedule. That remains true, and one could certainly make the argument that there is actually even more on the line than I envisioned in late August. Because I certainly didn’t expect this team to be 5-1.

Utah State entered the year as most people’s co-favorites to win the Mountain West alongside Boise State. They shutout the Rams in Logan last year and won the Mountain Division. This year, they’ve played a more difficult schedule than the Rams and are 4-2. Chuckie Keeton, who generated a little bit of preseason Heisman buzz is out for the year after another devastating knee injury. After slipping up at Arkansas State (that’s still a head-scratcher), they went on the road and beat #18 BYU and followed that up with an easy home win over Air Force. Those two wins came sans Keeton.

So yeah, this is a big game.

Which means you should really get your ass to Fort Collins on Saturday and support this team. It’s a damn good time to be a Colorado State fan. We haven’t been able to say that much in the past decade so take advantage of it, people. Not only is this team pretty good, but they’re entertaining. Even if you don’t like or understand football just sit there and watch #82 because he’s probably about to do something awesome.

Attendance has been a problem for Colorado State athletics. That’s no secret. Legitimate reasons for lower turnouts are plentiful. But, at some point, that needs to change. Winning changes everything. At least it’s supposed to.

Colorado State fans are a guarded bunch. We’re not particularly anxious to get our hopes up over a football team. In recent years, we’ve seen quite the combination of unmet expectations, heartache, let downs, and just an overall crappy product. I understand all of this as well as anyone.

And I’m not sitting here trying to tell you that Colorado State is one of the best teams in the country. But, folks, they’re 5-1. That’s good! The season is half over and their winning percentage is .833. They’re coming off a 2013 bowl victory. They’re undoubtedly the best college football team in the state of Colorado. They received votes in both national polls and a win on Saturday just might mean cracking the top-25 for the first time since prior to the 2003 season. They have serious Mountain West Championship aspirations.

And they play a very good Utah State team on Saturday in a game that could go a long way in determining who wins the Mountain West. The forecast says sunny and low-70s. Kickoff is at 5 pm. It’s nationally televised (kinda). The Rams are about 5 point favorites. It’s Homecoming weekend. What’s not to like?

Yeah, I’ll see y’all on Saturday.

The late CSU game on Saturday night led to a really quick turnaround before…

The Broncos played in New York for one of their two early games of 2014. I wanted to discuss this game a little bit here, but apparently don’t have the time. So I’ll just say what I always say in this space. Everything is fine. All is well. Winning by 14 points on the road in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! is cool with me.

Sure, the Jets suck. But this one could have been a sneaky trap game and the Broncos took care of business. Nothin’ wrong with that. Pretty simple really.

In fact, Julius Thomas thinks “It’s so easy.”

And to complete a great week for football in Colorado, let’s not forget CU. They did their part by not playing. Good job, guys!

Even with all of the football happenings, the biggest Colorado sports news of the week came from the front office of the Colorado Rockies when General Manger People Dan O’vett and Bill GeiDowd both resigned on Wednesday morning.

It’s been real, Dan. (photo via Denver Post)

This happened six days ago, so my thoughts aren’t exactly timely. (That’ll happen when you post on a weekly basis). Here are a couple anyway:

The Rockies organization is a mess. Change is good. At this point any front office change has to be considered a good thing. That said, the real problem is the guy who owns the team and he isn’t going anywhere. And because of Monfort’s stubborn loyalty towards O’Dowd, resigning is the only way O’Dowd was ever going to leave.

Naturally, Monfort immediately filled the position with an internal candidate. Very, very “Rockies” of him. Jeff Bridich seems like a bright young executive and for all we know, he could be the perfect replacement. But it would have been nice for Monfort to at least poke around the baseball world outside of his own organization.

So I think Rockies fans should proceed with some cautious optimism. I can’t get overly excited, but this is progress. And progress is good.

Instead of the weekly departments, I just have a bunch of Vines…

Vines are taking over the sports highlight/sports humor world these days. We’ll start with my absolute favorite Vine in months. So much going on here:

I know I say this kind of thing a lot, but that Vine had me in tears for a solid five minutes. So much going on. The reaction from numero 42 just slays me. It’s part What the hell did I do? and part Did I just get punched in the face?. Also notice Charlie Strong coming in and saying Wooaaahhhh as a reminder that if you’re that punching unsuspecting teammates right in the face mask, you should probably take it down a notch.

This one is a distant second, but also had me laughing pretty hard. Don’t know what the hell is going on, but look at this guy’s sweet dance!

Also, here’s a “Man Getting Hit By Football.”

Not funny but awfully innovative and cool:

Madison Bumgarner added a beer to his celebration when the Giants advanced to the NLCS.

I think he wasted 55 ounces this time.

And finally, I’ll just leave you with this guy doing this:

@cjzero

I could watch that all day. Damn, you know it’s a busy week when I can’t even find time to comment on the MLB Postseason. Every game is incredible. This postseason is making a run to be considered the best event in all of sports

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See you at Hughes on Saturday. Then again right here next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @TuesWithMitch.

football in the groin.

Recapping An Incredible Week In The Sports World

Welcome to the 80th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’m still trying to comprehend all of the sports I consumed over the last seven days. Let’s get into it…

Demaryius Thomas’ record-setting performance was just one part of an amazing week of sports. And now he smells like beer, lady. (via @Broncos)

I started last week‘s post by mentioning that we were officially entering one of the best times on the sports calendar. Those words would prove prophetic. The past seven days have just been unreal for a guy or gal who likes football and baseball. Who knows, there might have even been some soccer on, too! Let’s recap a few of the finer moments from around the sports world since last we spoke in the form of words, Vines, Tweets, GIFs, pictures, videos and whatever else exists these days.

TUESDAY

No football is played on Tuesday nights because the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! clearly doesn’t understand good business. Playing games on one-day’s rest would lead to a beautiful product with a high level of play and low injury rate. SMH. No worries though! The MLB Postseason kicked off on this night with a one-game playoff between the Oakland A’s and the Kansas City Royals. The game marked the end of Royals’ 29-year postseason drought, the longest in major professional sports.

It only turned into one of the greatest baseball games ever played.

The Royals were down four runs in the sixth inning with Jon Lester on the bump. And Lester was just cruising. But they somehow chipped away. Scored three in the eighth. One in the ninth. To extra innings we go.

One of my favorite aspects of this game was Royals’ reliever Brandon Finnegan, who was drafted THIS JUNE! He’s 21. He came into the most tense atmosphere one can imagine and dominated for a couple innings.

He was pumped:

But the Royals’ magic appeared to run out when Oakland scored in the top of the 12th.

On the contrary, their magic was far from over. Eric Hosmer hit triple that looked like it might be a game-tying homer. Christian Colon singled him in on a ball that went about ten yards. Colon stole second, the Royals’ seventh steal of the game. 14 position players played for the Royals, and HALF OF THEM stole a base. Seven steals!

Then Salvador Perez came up. He was 0-5 coming into this at-bat, when he sent the Royals to the ALDS:

Jeff Passan made that Vine. The opening paragraph from his piece the next morning was all goosebumps if you’ve ever been a fan of a downtrodden team.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – There is always a payoff. That’s why we’re addicted to sports. No matter how ugly it gets, how miserable the team, how long the skid, how abhorrent the owner, how dreadful the management, how unlikeable the players, the payoff exists, somewhere in the future, at some random juncture, like on a Tuesday in the middle of America at a baseball stadium that for 29 years waited and waited and waited for such a night.

What a game.

WEDNESDAY

Still no football. What the hell, NFL?! The players haven’t even played since Sunday. That’s two whole days of resting. SMH. No worries though! There was another one-game playoff in the baseball world. This one was between the very hatable San Fransisco Giants and the easy-to-root-for Pittsburgh Pirates.

It was a bit of a letdown after Tuesday’s show, but I won’t complain about watching an elite pitcher throw a complete game shutout on the road against a good offense. Madison Bumgarner was incredible in an 8-0 Giants win.

Bumgarner is usually pretty mellow, but after the game he gave into some locker room peer pressure.

Jason Miller/Getty Images

I prefer the picture, but here’s the Vine of Mad Bum wasting about 44 ounces of beer:

There was also this incredible moment of a baffled security guard and an old lady in the Giants’ dugout:

THURSDAY

Thursday was the first of five straight days with both football and postseason baseball.

We started with the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles to begin the ALDS. This was a one-run game until the ninth inning when the Orioles busted it open with eight runs to win 12-3. The Baltimore crowd was almost as good as the Kansas City crowd from Tuesday.

As that game was in its final stages, the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! started their fifth week. The Packers blew out some crappy team. I literally can’t remember who they beat right now (legitimate sports overload, guys). I could look it up in like 10 seconds, but who really cares? Thursday Night Football is pretty stupid. At least this one gave me an early lead in my fantasy league.

But we had more baseball! The Royals, coming off that ridiculous win on Tuesday, had to go on the road and face the team with the best record in baseball in the Los Angeles Angels. Each team scored a run in the third. Each team scored a run in the fifth. And that was it through nine innings. And ten innings. Tension was high. Then Mike Moustakas hit a homer in the 11th. Greg Holland quickly locked down the bottom half of the inning and the game.

The Royals, in their first two postseason games in 29 years, played 23 innings and won each by one run. Amazing.

But that’s not all.

We also had some college football with unranked Arizona heading to Eugene to play #2 Oregon. This turned out to be a very entertaining game. We even had Heisman candidate quarterbacks running over defensive backs while catching 26-yard touchdowns from running backs.

GIF: Ducks with some trickeration

via @cjzero

Naturally, the Thursday night showcase game was an omen for the weekend to come. Arizona came into Eugene and took down the #2 team in the country in their own crib. This game ended a little after midnight because sleep is overrated because SPORTS!

FRIDAY

This day saw all four MLB Postseason series in action. The first game started at 10:07 a.m while I was still groggy-eyed at the office. The last game ended some 13 hours later after about ten beers while I was at my third bar (I think). Three of the four games were decided by one run. The other was decided in the 11th inning. Just an amazing day of baseball.

Baltimore and Detroit started us off. Baltimore was down three heading into the bottom of the eighth. They scored four in the frame and won 7-6.

San Fransisco beat Washington in another one-run game that saw Bryce Harper hit a ball that appeared to go 800 feet or so:

Friday’s main course was a matchup of Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright. Naturally the two best pitchers in the National League combined to give up 14 runs. The Dodgers entered the inning down 5 and dropped an 8 spot on Kershaw, who had the best regular season since Pedro Martinez in the late 90s. Fort Collins native Marco Gonzales, a rookie on the Cards, got the win in his first postseason action.

Yet, the best game again involved the Royals, which was fine with the Kansas City Police Department:

A well-pitched game from both teams led to extra innings again. And it led to Eric Hosmer heroics again. His 11th-inning bomb gave the Royals a 2-0 series lead over a 98-win Angels team.

So make that 34 innings in three postseason games for Kansas City. All extra-inning, one-run wins. Simply astounding stuff.

We also got a great Vine of what happens when you give thundersticks to a couple kids rooting for opposite teams.

So sometime after 11 p.m., Friday’s madness comes to an end. Time to take a breath, because the next day was…

SATURDAY

This was the nuttiest single sports day of the year, or is at least tied with the first two days of the NCAA tournament back in March.

The college football weekend was complete chaos. We saw losses from the teams ranked:

  • Second.  #2 Oregon 24, Arizona 31
  • Third.  #3 Alabama 17, #11 Ole Miss 23
  • Fourth.  #4 Oklahoma 33, #25 TCU 37
  • Sixth.  #6 Texas A&M 31, #12 Mississippi State 48
  • Eighth.  #8 UCLA 28, Utah 30
  • Fourteenth.  #14 Stanford 14, #9 Notre Dame 17
  • Fifteenth.  #15 LSU, 7, #5 Auburn 41
  • Sixteenth.  #16 USC 34, Arizona State 38
  • Seventeenth.  #17 Wisconsin 14, Northwestern 20.
  • Eighteenth.  #18 BYU 20, Utah State 35
  • Nineteenth. #19 Nebraska 22, #10 Michigan State 27

Now, not every one of those games are upsets. But still, five top-18 teams lost to unranked opponents. That’s a pretty wild day!

The biggest of these wins was probably Ole Miss taking down Alabama. They like to party in Oxford and wins of this nature don’t come around very often, so the people in town were fairly excited. They tore down the goalposts and took them for quite the tour around town and campus, chronicled here. One of the uprights found a final resting place in some dude’s apartment.

Also happening in Oxford: Katy Perry, who was a guest on ESPN’s College Gameday that morning, doing this:

I also encourage you to read more on the scene from Oxford in this excellent piece.

The ending to the Arizona State – USC game was also pretty decent:

And oh yeah, on the local scene, Rashard Higgins had four receiving touchdowns in an easy Colorado State win over Tulsa on an absolutely gorgeous Colorado afternoon. Decent.

 

Not much analysis needed here. The Rams’ are still rollin’. Make that 10-3 in their last 13. Traveling to Nevada on Saturday night is a big one. CSU opened as 1-point favorites.

Hey baseball happened too!

Just two more postseason games decided by one run is all. And hey, one of them lasted 18 innings.

Wait, what? 18 innings? In a postseason game? Yeah, that’s a record. The Giants and Nationals just kept playing and not scoring until Brandon Belt did this:

Check out this bat drop! I had no idea Brandon Belt had that level of swag. Again:

Once that game ended after six hours, it was time to flip over to the other NLDS game, a well-played game that saw the Dodgers even the series with the Cardinals by scoring a dramatic (surprise) 8th-inning go-ahead run.

So that’s it for the day, right? That game ended sometime after 11 p.m.

Nope. Boise State and Nevada were still going back and forth in an important Mountain West battle. Boise was able to hang on in Reno to win an entertaining 51-46 game. (CSU probably wouldn’t have minded if the Wolfpack pulled off the upset.) What a day.

What? There was one more game still going on?

Well look at that! Washington State and California were exchanging after-midnight touchdowns. Connor Halladay set an all-time NCAA record with 734 yards passing. SEVEN HUNDRED THIRTY-FOUR YARDS PASSING. He lost. His kicker missed a 19-yard field goal as time expired. 60-59. Hope you took the over. That was an unbelievable finish to an unbelievable Saturday.

SUNDAY

Ten hours after that last college football game ended, a full slate of NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! games kicked off.

Locally, Sunday was all about the Broncos game. And naturally, there was plenty to talk about.

Peyton Manning threw his 500th touchdown pass. Demaryius Thomas set the Broncos all-time single-game receiving record. The Broncos won comfortably. They still look like the best team in the AFC. I have essentially no concerns about this team as the long preseason rolls on. (Okay, maybe the running game a little bit.)

While the Broncos were playing, the Orioles completed the sweep of the Tigers in– guess what?– a one-run game.

And then Sunday night the Royals completed their three-game sweep of the heavily favored Angels with a rare comfortable win. The scene in Kansas City was awesome again.

Salvador Perez partying on the dugout with fans. And a broom.(John Sleezer, KC Star)

It just never stops, man.

MONDAY

Monday was just your average, really mellow day of two tightly contested postseason games. Bumgarner slipped up at home and the Nationals stayed alive. Cardinals’ mid-season acquisition John Lackey shutdown the Dodgers to take a 2-1 lead in that series.

And oh yeah, there was a Monday Night Football game that saw Russell Wilson have some sort of career night that led (in part) to my fantasy team losing after holding a 72-point lead heading into Sunday night’s game. Freaking brutal.

Those seven days made for a dizzying amount of sports consumption. If one could overdose on enjoying sports, I would have been a goner sometime Saturday night. What a week, man.

I would say I could use a break… But there’s two more postseason games tonight.

A couple links worth sharing from the past week:

  • Just one: Absolutely incredible, rare, recently discovered footage from the 1924 World Series. Complete with old-timey windups, an unnecessary dive into first base, and 40,000 fans storming the field in Washington DC. From 90 years ago! One of the coolest videos I’ve ever seen.

(All that other stuff is taking the place of the other weeekly departments.)

And finally, Here’s the latest episode of “The Grind.” It’s the best one yet, with some really cool footage from the Boston College upset. After hearing McElwain yell “Go Take It!” at halftime and the boys sing the fight song postgame, I found myself frantically searching for some pads to throw on.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. And a big, special thank you goes out to sports for their continued existence. See y’all next week.

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