Category Archives: Broncos

Your Weekly Roundup From the Sports World and Internet

Welcome to the 93rd edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I have a really hot take regarding the Super Bowl matchup:  I DON’T LIKE EITHER OF THESE TEAMS!!! THIS WILL BE THE WORST SUPER BOWL EVER!! Let’s get into it…

The new head coach of the Denver Broncos, seen here mean-mugging the world.. (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun)

I’ll start with some quick thoughts on the Broncos’ hiring of Gary Kubiak as their head coach.

As we all know, there has never been a coaching hire that led the people in charge to do anything but shout from the rooftops about how wonderful and life-changing the news is. Every coaching hire is met with some degree of optimism and most are met with lots and lots and lots of optimism. (Recruiting classes in college are the same way.)

So with that in mind, I’m taking a very original approach to the Kubiak hire and saying I LIKE IT!

John Elway has proved to have a Not-Effing-Around mindset when it comes to winning a Super Bowl and Kubiak was undoubtedly his first choice to replace John Fox, who coached in the playoffs like he was thinking about the real estate market in Chicago more than the Colts’ defense.

Kubiak is a well-respected NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE lifer that generally gets the most out of his players, who all speak highly of him. He and Elway are BFFs who share similar mindsets when it comes to football and, presumably, lots of non-football stuff too. Kubiak will be more innovative and creative and hopefully less conservative than his predecessor.

The biggest initial question is how Kubiak’s under center, run first, bootleg, play-action offense will mesh with Manning’s style of offense, which is basically the opposite of all that. Indeed, this will be interesting to watch next fall, but it’s not something I’m overly concerned with. First, we don’t even know if Manning will be the Broncos’ quarterback next year (I’m still betting he will). Second, these guys should be able to adapt and find some sort of offense that suits them both. These are two of the best offensive minds in football. Just because they have traditionally different philosophies shouldn’t mean they can’t work together. And most importantly, you can’t make a coaching decision based on the needs of one player, particularly when that player is coming off an injury and is about to turn 39.

The Kubiak hire appears to set us up for Broncos A.M. (After Manning), which is an era that is coming at us quicker than most anticipated a few months ago.

So this move ought to be one that sets the Broncos up for success in the long-term. (Aren’t they all?) The short-term– meaning next season– is far more dependant on the health and skill set of the quarterback than the guy wearing the headset on the sideline.

Overall though, the Broncos introduced their new coach today. It’s a good hire. And even if it’s not, we might as well be optimistic. That’s what coaching hires are for. YAYYYY WE’RE ALL IN SUCH GOOD HANDS WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?! (I actually do feel that way.)

And hey that NFC Championship game was pretty interesting.

The sequence of events in the fourth quarter was just absurdly unlikely. It’s worth it to put aside your hate of the Seahawks for a minute just to appreciate how absolutely bonkers that game was.

An all-time collapse from the Packers. And credit to the Seahawks who didn’t quit when a lot of teams would have.

Here’s the beautiful fake field goal that got things started for the Seahawks. (Although, not really. They were still dead in the water after this.)

And here’s the onside kick that played a pretty major role in the Packers’ faceplant. Look at Jordy Nelson just hanging out waiting to catch that ball.

Amazing game.

This brings us to our…

Douches of the week:

Seahawks fans! (Again.)

I had a mini-rant about the Seahawks’ fans prior to their hosting the Broncos in the season’s third week. This week we get to laugh at all the 12th Bags who left the NFC Championship early, only try to run back into the stadium, only to be denied re-entry, only to try watch the game on the concourse TVs from outside the stadium.

Now, wait a minute… I thought Seattle had the best fans in football. The best home field advantage in football. The only fans in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE that can have a real impact on the game.

These folks left the NFC Championship game, probably after Russell Wilson’s fourth interception with about five minutes to go and the Seahawks down by 12.

That’s pretty much unacceptable. If it was any other game I wouldn’t have a huge problem with it. I hate traffic more than most and am more realistic about my team’s chances of victory than most. The conference championship, however, is literally the biggest game a football team can host in their own stadium. You leave that game with five minutes left when you’re down twelve points? DOUCHES!

And yes, it’s worth mentioning that the vast majority of fans stayed until the end. (Duh. No credit for that.) And yes, it’s worth mentioning that every team in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE would have a few fans leave early in the given scenario. But this is simply more proof that Seahawks fans are just like every other fan base in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. Why can’t we all just admit that?

There’s also this guy celebrating on the field after the game by pulling his pants down and drinking out of a pink plastic water bottle. I have no explanation for this.

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 18:  A Seattle Seahawks fan celebrates after the Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers  in the 2015 NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field on January 18, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (Tom Pennington-Getty Images)

Studs of the week:

We’re taking a sharp right turn away from the football world because we need to talk about what Colorado State did to Nevada on the basketball court Wednesday night. Nevada isn’t good, but isn’t an awful team either. Prior to playing CSU they beat a decent UNLV team on the road. The Rams beat the Wolfpack 98-42. NINETY-EIGHT TO FORTY-TWO. Obviously a beatdown like that will produce some crazy team statistics, but I just want to focus on some of the hilarious scores from this game.

The Rams started the game by jumping out to a 25-3 lead. They led 45-10 with three minutes left in the first half and 55-12 at half time. The trend continued in the second half. With 11 minutes left the Rams led 75-22. With 8 minutes left…

The Rams’ big lead of the game came just before the final, when they led by 58 points, 98-40.

Then on Saturday, CSU beat San Jose State by 29 points. San Jose State is absolutely awful by every metric, so this wasn’t much of an accomplishment. Still, raise your hand if you can remember the last time the Rams won two consecutive games by a total of 85 points.

The Rams are now 17-2 (!) and have an RPI of 36. If they continue to play well throughout their conference schedule, they should be the only team in Colorado headed to the NCAA tournament.

Big one at Moby on Saturday against San Diego State. 8 p.m. White out. See y’all there.

Vine of the week:

Looks like we’re keeping it in the Mountain West. Larry Nance Jr. keeps doing cool things for Wyoming.

Photo of the Week:

I spent about ten seconds taking this picture on my phone while I was walking into work on Friday morning, so I’m not patting myself on the back too much, but just look at that sunrise!

A couple (or single) link(s) worth sharing:

Just one story you need to get into this week. Kurt Busch testified under oath that his ex-girlfriend is a trained assassin. Even though it likely contains ridiculous amounts of lying under oath, this is the most amazing story, like, ever.

And finally, I saw “American Sniper” and “Boyhood” this weekend. They’re both excellent. Bradley Cooper will probably win Best Actor at the Oscars. But Boyhood will definitely win Best Picture. You need to carve out three hours and watch this movie. It’s unlike any movie that’s ever been made.

(I clearly didn’t have any funny sports videos for this spot this week.)

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. 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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The Broncos Flop and John Fox Is Gone

Welcome to the 92nd edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where the holidays are over, the Broncos’ season is over, the college football season is over, the weather is crappy, and March Madness is more than two months away. What a depressing intro! Let’s get into it…

It’s been real, Foxy. (Ron Chenoy, USA Today Sports)

John Fox’s last game with the Denver Broncos was a disaster. Playing at home against an inferior Colts team, the heavily favored Broncos were dismantled and lost convincingly, 24-13. They were lucky it was that close.

In the 2013 season, the Broncos appeared to be the best team in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. They made it to the Super Bowl fairly easily. Their performance in the Super Bowl was a disaster. They were outplayed, outcoached, and completely unprepared for sport’s biggest stage. They were blown out by the Seahawks 43-8.

In the 2012 season, the Broncos rolled into the playoffs as the AFC’s highest seed, again earning a first-round bye. They were heavy favorites at home. Again, they didn’t play well against an inferior team and saw yet another disastrous ending, blowing a late lead and losing to the Ravens in stunning, gut-wrenching double overtime.

For plenty of franchises in the sports world, the scenarios mentioned above would represent successful seasons. The Denver Broncos are not one of them. Not with John Elway running things.

We can talk all we want about Elway’s issues with the team’s preparation and mental toughness or the differing opinions on the changing offensive schemes, but the outcomes of those three games are the reason John Fox and John Elway told each other to get lost on Monday afternoon.

It had to be done.

John Fox coached the Broncos for four years, compiling a 46-18 regular season record. He went 38-10 post-Tebow. But those gaudy numbers will always ring hollow because of the way the team performed in the playoffs, where two home field faceplants sandwich an embarrassing Super Bowl appearance.

Let’s talk a little more about the most recent faceplant.

The Broncos started the game by forcing a three-and-out. Then they marched the down the field for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. It was all downhill from there. The Broncos did not find the end zone again. The Broncos’ next seven drives– against a very mediocre defense– ended like this:  Punt, Fumble, Punt, Punt, Field Goal, Punt, Punt. Remember that high-powered, intimidating, record-breaking offense with an unstopabble array of weapons? Me neither.

The Broncos’ offensive game plan on Sunday appeared to be:   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

When that idea failed, they simply had their quarterback, who couldn’t really throw, repeatedly chuck the ball down the field, hopefully in the general vicinity of a receiver. It worked zero times.

By the end of the afternoon, the Broncos looked tired. They looked unenthused. They looked anxious to call it a year and go home.

This game felt like the end of an era. On Monday, we learned it was, indeed, the end of the John Fox era. But there is a greater feeling of finality and change beyond the coaching staff not returning. This game felt like the last time the Broncos can be looked at as perennial Super Bowl contenders. Over the past three years, we’ve grown accustomed to the Broncos being one of a handful of favorites to win the Super Bowl. Before the season, we could look at the schedule and easily pick out twelve or thirteen games the Broncos should win. Those days are over. At least, they certainly appear to be.

Of course, much of the reason for this outlook is due to the play of Peyton Manning on Sunday and in the regular season’s last few weeks. He just wasn’t the same guy. Never was this more apparent than on Sunday when the Broncos’ offense repeatedly stalled after several poor throws from Manning.

Then Monday also brought the reports that Manning was playing on a torn/strained/tweaked/hurt/injured right quad. Is that why Manning didn’t play that well? Or is that just a convenient excuse? Did we all just witness the end of Manning’s incredible career?

These are all questions Elway and Manning will need to try to figure out, preferably sooner than later.

So aside from needing a new coaching staff, the Broncos don’t really know what they have coming back at quarterback. Even when Manning decides to make it official and play another season (I think he will), the Broncos still won’t know exactly what they have at quarterback for the next year or two. That’s not an ideal situation to be in.

In the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, a handful of teams feel really good about their quarterback, a handful of teams have a “pretty good” quarterback, and a bunch of teams have a crap quarterback. The past few years, the Broncos have been among the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE’s best teams because they’ve had a great quarterback. If Manning has devolved into a “pretty good” quarterback (or worse) the Broncos, as a team will also inevitably fall back to the pack, a place they haven’t been since the Tebow days of 2011.

John Elway has “won free agency” a few years in a row. And for the third year in a row, Elway, Fox, and Manning have failed to win on the field in the playoffs. Another year has come and gone and with it, another opportunity to win the Super Bowl.

I’m afraid that might have been the last one for a while.

Not a good way to end things, Peyt.  (@NickiJhabvala, Denver Post)

Off to the weekly departments…

Tweets of the week:

Ummm…

Roy Halladay’s picture is pretty hilarious:

Vines of the week:

Colorado State and Air Force threw down. It started with this headlock and girly punch to the back:

(Here’s the full video.)

Look at the Hawks’ bench celebrating before Korver even shoots it:

And I just keep laughing at Puddles’ dramatic entrance last night:

Photo of the Week:

Beautiful, unique picture from last night’s national championship.

(Simon Bruty, Sports Illustrated)

A couple links worth sharing (lots this week!):

Some other stuff the internet had to offer this week:

Just a nice, relaxing drive on the city bus.

I always knew public transportation wasn’t for me.

Kenny Mayne‘s tribute to Stuart Scott was touching:

And finally, the college football version of Jimmy Kimmell’s “Mean Tweets” segment is absolutely awesome.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. 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.

2014 Year In Review, Part Two

Welcome to– and another Happy New Year from– the 91st edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’m blogging for the first time in 2015. Let’s get into it…

It’s 2015 now, but I’m not ready to look ahead at the coming year or look back on the five days that have already passed. 2014 has come and gone and in doing so provided 52 weeks– and 52 posts– of sports and pop culture content. It’s time to reminisce on all that we took in last year so I went back and reviewed each of the last 52 posts and pulled out all of my favorite things.

So let’s look back at the year that was. Sports highlights, sports lowlights, news bloopers, funny videos, moving pictures… Here are some of my favorites. The best, the worst, the most memorable. We’re talking Vines, GIFs, videos, posts, pictures, tweets, moments and other stuff from 2014. (This post got so big, I split it up into two sections. Part One was posted last week.)

I present: Your Tuesdays With Mitch 2014 Year in Review (Part Two):

We pick this thing up in…

JULY:

The dog days of summer produced a lot of baseball and soccer talk across the country. And the early part of the month produced another all-time great Vine.

This one became so popular so fast, lots of people thought it was fake, causing the MLB to step in and confirm its validity. It was quite the controversy.

The World Cup finally came to end in mid-July when some country beat some other country. I couldn’t take it anymore and had to provide my thoughts on soccer, which evidently pissed some people off.

On an international scale, we suck at soccer. We always have and we always will. We suck because we don’t really give a damn. We never have and we never will.

People were excited about the World Cup not because they have a newfound love for soccer, but because of national pride (I am an advocate of U-S-A chants, after all), an excuse to weekday day drink, and the biggest factor, social media group think.

Social media was flooded with athletes and celebrities voicing their support on the job done by the #USMNT. For what? The team’s 1-2-1 performance? Or was it to help build their own brand, get a few ReTweets and Facebook likes and show that they’re in touch with pop culture and supportive of whatever you support?

This obviously goes far beyond famous athletes and other celebs. It became “the thing to do” for everybody. Countless Americans didn’t want to feel left out, so they posted a bunch of tweets, statuses, pictures and stupid memes about the #USMNT even though they literally couldn’t name one player on any team the day before the World Cup started.

Is soccer on the rise in the United States? I guess. Maybe. But if it is, it’s increasing from a tiny minority to a small minority. So congrats on that, soccer.

I regret nothing.

But hey, this Vine of goalie or keeper or whatever Tim Howard not giving out hugs is still stellar.

Even though the Rockies were really bad, watching their infield turn double plays was a treat all year. This was probably the best one, which I referred to at the time as “majestic artistry.”

By mid-July the wheels were completely falling off for the Rockies and owner Dick Monfort wasn’t handling things well. This led to what was probably the funniest thing I wrote all year, “In Defense of Dick Monfort.” That post received quite a bit of positive feedback, so thanks. Go read it again, you lazy bum.

The ESPY’S came and went at the end of the month. Stuart Scott’s speech was just the best.

(Note: I had most of this post completed prior to Scott’s passing on Sunday, so this video was already embedded. This speech is certainly more difficult to watch today than it was just a few days ago. But it’s also more moving and important to watch. He nailed it, man. I also encourage you to watch ESPN’s beautiful tribute and Rich Eisen’s perfect, live remembrance from Sunday.)

AUGUST:

Sad news came in the beginning of August when Pat Bowlen stepped down as owner of the Broncos to focus on his battle against Alzheimer’s. So, so damn sad.

I don’t read much Woody Paige anymore, but his column on Bowlen was a must-read.

August brought us the first sniffs of the college football season, starting most importantly, with THE RUNNING OF THE GUMPS. I enjoyed breaking down the Alabama hillbillies racing to worship Nick Saban. (Seriously I just cracked up over looking at the pictures/captions of those freaks one more time.)

And a trio of amazing news stories all came out around the same time, starting with my favorite news blooper of the year.

Followed by the best overall news story of the year, without a doubt.

Although this dude was not to be outdone.

The firing of Jack Graham came in early August and began a CSU-intensive few months for this blog. I kind of still can’t believe it happened. At the time, it seemed like this meant the on-campus stadium project had officially fallen through.

August 17th brought Todd Helton’s number retirement ceremony. It was perfect.

(Aaron Ontiveroz/Denver Post)

The Little League World Series came along and was as entertaining as always. We can’t forget this great speech from a coach who managed to keep everything in perspective.

A lot of you enjoyed my “Colorado State Football and Rocky Mountain Showdown Preview“. I spend a good amount of time just trash-talking CU, including discussing these numbers, which have only gotten dramatically worse after CU went winless in the Pac-12 in 2014.

Obviously, part of the reason for Colorado’s awful records and innumerable blowout losses is because they usually play a really tough schedule. This is all funny to me because one of the bragging points among Colorado fans is their conference. They’re in the Pac-12! That’s one of the best conferences in the nation! It’s prestigious! They play really good teams like Stanford and USC and Oregon! Good for them!

One interesting sidenote many CU fans seem to forget: Colorado is 4-23 against the Pac-12 in their three years in the conference. Wait guys, 4-23? That’s really bad. That’s a .148 winning percentage. But hey it’s a really prestigious conference! Who cares if they get blown out and embarrassed by all the good teams every week?

The pre-showdown CU hate is one of my favorite traditions every year!

SEPTEMBER:

September began with a recap of CSU’s fun victory over CU. The CSU student section was named Stud of the Week for their remarkable performance.

@NolanLees

Naturally, as the season wore on and CU was revealed to be a really bad team again, the win looked less and less important to Rams fans. Still fun though.

The first true “football weekend” started with a bang as the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! got underway. The Broncos beat the Colts in the first of many victories that would leave large portions of the fan base disappointed because it wasn’t dominant enough. The weekend also included what I still consider to be the greatest play in the history of the game:

Deadspin

This same week saw CSU lose to Boise State in a game that would greatly affect the remainder of their season regarding aspirations for a conference championship and a “New Year’s Bowl.”

The following week produced another Broncos’s win and, from the college world, this Vine, which has 23 million loops:

I love the pass defense here.

And this guy provided the best selfie-video of the year, from an LSU tailgate.

The Broncos lost to the Seahawks in their third week, which I said was “cool with me.” More importantly, that week provided us with a mascot wildcat intently listening to a postgame locker room speech. The speech is cool, but that mascot, on one knee, nodding in agreement is one of the funniest damn things from the entire year.

Colorado State Beats Boston College For A Huge, Wild Win” was one of the more fun write-ups I did this year. Here’s the lede:

Colorado State had no business beating Boston College as our Saturday mornings transitioned into Saturday afternoons. Not after CSU traveled farther east than the program had since 1959. Not after kicking off at 10:30 a.m. local time (an underrated factor in this game). Not after their senior quarterback threw two first-quarter interceptions. Not after falling behind 14-0 late in the second quarter. Not against an ACC team that beat the #9 team in the country on this field two weeks ago. Not with CSU’s senior quarterback beat up and grabbing his shoulder in pain after just about every play. Not when they were down three points facing a fourth-and-eleven with 1:05 left.

It also produced one of the better pictures of 2014.

Grayson to Lovett for the biggest play of Colorado State’s young season and a huge, dramatic win. (Stephan Savoia/AP

Indeed, the win over Boston College set the tone and made a statement in what would turn out to be a very special year for Colorado State.

On the last day of the MLB regular season, Jordan Zimmerman threw a no-hitter. Here’s the last play of the game from a unique vantage point.

OCTOBER:

October is always one of the best times of the year for sports. That was certainly the case this year with a great MLB Postseason, the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!, college football, the NHL and the NBA all in full swing (eventually).

The first week saw the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics in an incredible one-game playoff. They won it on this 12th-inning hit from Salvador Perez. This was probably the best game of 2014 in any sport.

The first Saturday in October saw four MLB postseason games and 11 of the top 19 college football teams lose. This might have been the best sports day of 2014.

Katy Perry was on ESPN College Gameday that morning, and after Ole Miss upset Alabama, she was out on the town celebrating:

One of those postseason games went 18 innings. It ended, at last, when Brandon Belt did this. (Notice the bat drop swag.)

By mid-October, the CSU Rams and the Denver Broncos were both rollin’. It seemed easy. Too f**kin’ easy. IT’S SO EASY! At least that’s what Julius Thomas thought.

And around this time, some huge news came off of a football field, when it was announced that Rockies co-GMs (or whatever they were) Dan O’Dowd and Bill Geivett both resigned. Jeff Bridich took over the role. My quick thoughts on the situation:

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.

If you’ve been keeping up with these posts, you know how I feel about this truly amazing Vine.

Still laughing at that thing.

Not to be outdone, Lou Holtz had this to say in another Top-5 Vine.

After those nutty couple of weeks, we turned to watch CSU beat Utah State on homecoming weekend in front of their first sellout crowd in over a decade. The Rams were rollin’ at 6-1 and the games were a blast.

That same weekend Peyton Manning broke the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! record for career passing touchdowns. (Man, there was a lot going on.) Of course Peyton and friends had to have some kind of silly (stupid) scripted celebration queued up.

@_MarcusD_

And the MLB Postseason marched on, too, with amazing game after amazing game. The Giants and Royals secured spots in the World Series. Here’s Joe Buck with my favorite play call of the year.

WE’RE STILL IN OCTOBER HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! The Broncos moved to 6-1 with a convincing win over the Chargers. CSU moved to 7-1 with a dominating win over Wyoming to keep The Boot. And the Madison Bumgarner train charged into the World Series without slowing down. By the time he was done, he had put together one of the all-time great Postseason performances in MLB history and perhaps the best individual performance by any athlete in my lifetime.

The other great individual performance from the World Series came from CHEVY GUY, who became an instant sensation after producing all-time high levels of discomfort for everyone watching. “You know, technology and stuff.” (Also keep your eye on Bud Selig at the 33 second mark.)

The Nuggets and Avs also started their seasons in October. Those have both been, umm… disappointing. And boring. And uneventful.

NOVEMBER:

The first weekend of November saw the Broncos go into New England and get their asses kicked by the Patriots. This GIF is a pretty fitting description of how the day’s events went.

@cjzero

The loss to the Patriots forced the Broncos to reevaluate lots of things as their season moved along.

A week later a boring game against the Raiders produced yet another Top-5 Vine.

This guy was an easy selection for Douche of the Week:

So was this bird and the people delighted at his horrifying antics:

Mid-November is when the University of Florida fired their head coach, prompting some national speculation about who might replace Will Muschamp. Jim McElwain’s name was mentioned often. I wrote:

There are always a lot of moving parts in these situations and much of my outlook is based on speculation, but as of right now, there are plenty of reasons to be confident McElwain will be back with Colorado State next year.

Hmmm…

Odell Beckhamn Jr. made the best catch any of us have ever seen.

Deadspin

In the month’s final week, Colorado State went to Air Force for both teams’ final regular season game. The Rams were looking to finish an 11-1 season and still had hope for a Fiesta Bowl apearance. The Falcons capped off their own great regular season (9-3) when they beat the Rams with a field goal on the game’s last play. At the time, it was a devastating loss for Rams fans.

(Andy Cross, Denver Post)

The Broncos beat the Chiefs the next night and Travis Kelce did this.

And Tom Brady was taken for a walk by his handler:

CJ Zero/ Cauldren

DECEMBER:

The beginning of the year’s final month started with some big news when Jim McElwain did, indeed, accept the Florida head coaching position and leave the Rams behind. This was another of my better (and most read) posts of the year.

Those three strange days are over now, having put an odd stamp on the end of the Jim McElwain era at Colorado State. It was a short era that should be remembered fondly. It should be remembered as the three years that brought Colorado State out the dredges of 3-9 seasons and into respectability.

The Rams are no longer an embarrassment. The Rams are a force in the Mountain West. The Rams are back on the college football map.

Jim McElwain put them there.

The McElwain news was quickly followed by bigger, more important news when the CSU Board of Governors approved the much talked about new, on-campus stadium. Somebody, somewhere thinks it will look like this, sooooo… that’s pretty sweet.

It’s slated to open for the 2017 season if all goes well.

The end of the year wasn’t that long ago so you should really remember this stuff.

Colorado State played in the Las Vegas Bowl without a head coach and was blown out 45-10 by a good Utah team. Shortly thereafter, CSU announced the hiring of Georgia Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo, which appears– albeit before a single game– to be a very solid hire.

I thnk that’ll do it, folks. 2014 was a fun one around these parts. I really do appreciate the hundreds of thousands of devoted readers who check in here each week. Here’s to a successful 2015 with more of the same fun posts on Tuesday afternoons.

And again, if you missed it, here’s Part One from last week.

And finally, here’s the funniest year-end video I’ve seen to date. You should recognize some of these clips, as I’ve happily touched on a bunch of the stuff in here over the past 12 months (and in the past two posts. Careful, you might hear some bad words.

Happy Tuesday, everybody. Thanks for reading. 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.

2014 Year In Review, Part One

Welcome to– and a Happy New Year from– the 90th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’m blogging for the last time in 2014. Let’s get into it… .

Tomorrow is the last day of the year. 2014 has come and gone and in doing so provided 52 weeks– and 52 posts– of sports and pop culture content. It’s time to reminisce on all that we’ve taken in this year so I went back and reviewed each of the last 51 posts and pulled out all of my favorite things.

Let’s look back at the year that was. Sports highlights, sports lowlights, news bloopers, funny videos, moving pictures… Here are some of my favorites. The best, the worst, the most memorable. Vines, GIFs, videos, posts, pictures, tweets, moments and other stuff from 2014. (This post got so big, I split it up into two sections. Part Two will be out next week.)

I present:  Your Tuesdays With Mitch 2014 Year in Review (Part One):

 JANUARY:

The close of college football season is always an important staple of the year’s first month. The Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Oklahoma gave us one of the best videos of the year right off the bat.

Yeah… that’s gotta be the video of the year.

And the BCS National Championship wasn’t bad either.

The biggest thing from January ’round these parts was the AFC Championship game that saw the Broncos pound the Patriots.

Leading up to the game, I wrote this “Why We Should All Hate the Patriots” post that lots of you enjoyed. This could come in useful again in a couple weeks (although apparently some of the GIFs and pictures are no longer “active”).

The AFC Championship is when we learned that pretend horses ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DRUM!

SB Nation

This still cracks me up.

The Broncos won 26-16, but the game wasn’t as close as the score indicates. It was 23-3 with under ten minutes left in the fourth quarter.

@corkgaines

The Broncos were heading to the Super Bowl. They were favored. Optimism was high. Things were good.

FEBRUARY:

And then…

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

…The Super Bowl happened. 43-8. The Broncos were completely overmatched in every aspect of the game against an impressive Seahawks team. Has to be considered one of the worst days in Colorado sports history. Probably the worst sports day for anyone in or around my generation.

What a nightmare. I did, however write this post that lots of you enjoyed on “The Annoying People At Your Football Party.”

Next we have the I-kind-of-like-the-Broncos-but-really-I-just-want-to-get-wasted guy. “Dude, we gotta do shots for every Broncos’ touchdown!” on Sunday quickly faded into “Alright dude, we gotta do shots every time the Seahawks score or the Broncos turn it over or they show Richard Sherman on the sidelines or a Bronco gets tackled or they go to commercial!” Again, these guys are pretty standard for most sporting events. Comes with the territory. No big deal.

After the Super Bowl came the Olympics, but before that, let’s check in on Jacoby Jones attending a Pelicans game. This might be the best interview of the year.

Okay, back to the Olympics. The biggest early story was obviously Bob Costas’ freaking eyes, which both looked like they might fall out of his head at any moment.

via @sbnationgif

Ashley Wagner’s reaction to a judges’ scoring was all the rage for about 24 hours:

via Deadspin

After the Olympics, one of my favorite pictures of the year made its rounds. The first 2014 Heisman candidate:

This fairly mysterious picture popped up on Reddit in Late February.

MARCH:

In March we transitioned to basketball and hockey. I wondered if the Nuggets would be better off tanking their season away and laughed at Jan Vesley jab-stepping even though nobody was covering him.

Via The Big Lead

Spring training also started up, which provided this awesome picture from an Indians’ exhibition game.

Via @mlb

In mid-March, the Broncos released Champ Bailey, which just depressed the hell out of me. I wrote about that situation here. Even though some of the outlooks have become outdated after nine months, it’s probably one of the better pieces of writing I produced this year.

…(W)hen I look back at Champ’s days as a Bronco, I think I’ll remember the week-in, week-out excellence more than anything. Without hyperbole, I can say that for several years, Champ was, hands-down, the best football player on the field every single week.

I’ve never seen a cornerback that defended the run like Champ. He was the best cover corner in the game, but he was also the best tackler on the Broncos.

I remember Champ used to track the number of balls his receivers caught on him for a whole season. After an All-Pro year, Champ would lament that that number wasn’t zero. That’s a serious indication of greatness.

So here’s to Champ Bailey, who was just a pleasure to watch and root for over the course of ten seasons in Denver.

For my generation of Broncos fans, there will never be another Champ Bailey.

In the college basketball world, the Buffs were trying to win just enough games to get off the bubble and secure an NCAA tournament bid, while the Rams, Falcons and Cowboys floundered. Even though the Border War didn’t mean much, this dunk from Josh Adams was sick.

March also saw the One-Year anniversary of this blog, which I celebrated by half-assing a post because I was down and out with strep throat.

But the basketball season rolled on, leading to this really insightful tweet from the always insightful Magic Johnson:

Then came March Madness, which produced possibly the best sports weekend of the year (and one of my better posts). The antics of March Madness will never get old.

(via Deadspin)

via @sbnationgif

CU did, indeed build up a good enough resume to hear their name called on selection Sunday. They received an 8-seed and played against Pittsburgh. Things went poorly.

I felt the need to clarify that last tweet.

“In the game referenced in that last tweet, Michigan won by 30 and was the 8-seed. This means Colorado just had the WORST PERFORMANCE EVER from an 8-seed. Historically awfu! They had a good year, but damn, it did not end well.”

APRIL:

April meant baseball, which meant a long winter officially coming to an end. It was time to make ill-fated Rockies predictions and head out to the ball yard. I predicted the Rockies would go 85-77. Optimism was high. I was wrong.

Opening Day also provided perhaps my favorite sports media piece all year (definitely my favorite from the local media). Benjamin Hochman’s colorful account of the Opening Day festivities at Coors Field.

Early April also brought us the national championship that saw Connecticut beat Kentucky. Kentucky lost, but I love this picture of James Young’s amazing dunk.

Getty Images

The national championship also meant the close of the college basketball season, which of course meant “One Shining Moment” was coming to give you goosebumps.

The best early-season baseball GIF still makes me laugh, eight months later.

via Deadspin

Bubba Watson won the masters. His kid was not impressed.

The Big Lead

The Avalanche completed an incredible regular season turnaround and strutted into the playoffs with swagger and confidence. Here was my “recap” of Game One:

“You know what happened. Roy pulls the goalie with three minutes to go (!). Erik Johnson saves an empty net goal by doing this (!) with less than two minutes left.

HockeyGrrls

Then Stastny scores with 13 seconds (!) left. Then he scores again in overtime (!). It was awesome.

 

You also have to listen to Marc Moser’s homer radio call of the two Stastny goals. They’re epic.

Regardless of what happens in the rest of this season and series, Game One will be one of the best sports moments of the year in Colorado. To welcome playoff hockey back to Denver in that manner was truly unbelievable.”

Indeed it was.

This time of year also introduced us to Bartolo Colon batting, which became a favorite around these parts.

Adam Hunger, USA Today Sports.

I could still watch that Vine all day.

As April rolled on, the Avs series went seven games and produced the quote of the year from Patrick Roy when he said “”Now it’s our turn to — sorry for the words — put our balls on the table.”

The series was unbeliveably dramatic and entertaining. Here is the Game Five overtime winner from Nathan McKinnon.

Of course, the Avs lost Game Seven in overtime. It happened on a Tuesday night, so I apparently chose not to cover it seven days after the fact.

MAY:

As we said goodbye to the Avalanche, April flowed into May and the Rockies were playing really good baseball. Troy Tulowitzki had one of the best months any of us had ever seen. He was the best player in the game.

The NBA Playoffs produced one of the great Vines of all-time, when Damian Lillard hit a walk-off three-pointer.

And I wrote one of my most-viewed and best-received post of the year: “How to Sneak In To Better Seats At Coors Field“.

  1. Don’t be too afraid to get caught and have a back up plan. If I get asked for a ticket when trying to enter a section, I generally say something along the lines of Oh yeah my buddy/mom/dad/whoever has mine they should be coming over soon. Then I stand there with a quizical look on my face scanning the fans for my pretend companion before slowly drifting back into the concourse crowd like Shoeless Joe in a cornfield. The usher leaves the park that night gazing at the moon and wondering if I even existed at all. Now, if I’m already seated and an usher comes to give me the boot I usuallly hand him or her my $4 Rockpile ticket with confidence and annoyance as if to say Yeah old man, I know what I’m doing. Here’s my ticket. I usually get quite a kick out of the usher shaking his head, turning and pointing across the stadium at the Rockpile. What? You mean this four dollar ticket doesn’t grant me access to this 2nd row aisle seat? Oh. I’m sorry. Honest mistake.

This real-life version of Andy from “Parks and Recreation” made an appearance.

Wes Welker passed out 100 dollar bills at the Kentucky Derby.

For The Win

With the benefit of hindsight, we are left to wonder if Wes had consumed anything that might have made handing out money a little more fun that it should be.

The progression of baseball season provided us with a new Bad British Commentary video, which was welcome news.

This kid was one of our Studs of the Week:

So was HERO CAT! REMEMBER HERO CAT?!

And I really enjoyed watching an old fat dude smell his armpit and share it with his companion.

JUNE:

By June, the Rockies were falling apart after a 2-7 East Coast road trip. I was still a little bit optimistic at the beginning of June, because I’m an idiot.

The NBA Playoffs were slowly creeping along, and Lance Stephenson provided us with their most memorable moment when he blew in LeBron’s ear.

via @cjzero

Mid-June also means the Spelling Bee freakshows come out to ESPN, which always makes me long for the days when I had summer vacations with nothing to do but laugh at home-schooled weirdos.

As June moved forward, I came to the sad realization that the Rockies, indeed, sucked. This quote from my June 10th post explains the state of affairs at the time…

At some point the injuries became too much to handle, specifically when Nolan Arenado went down. That dramatically changed the entire makeup of the Rockies, both offensively and defensively. And the horrible news just keeps coming. Yesterday three more injury related headlines were announced. Eddie Butler would hit the DL after just one start. Michael Cuddyer would hit the DL (again) and it sounds like he’ll be out for a long while. And Carlos Gonzalez would need surgery on that damn finger. So let’s take a look at the status of eight very important Rockies:

  • Tyler Chatwood 60-Day DL
  • Brett Anderson 60-Day DL
  • Jordan Lyles 15-Day DL
  • Eddie Butler 15-Day DL
  • Boone Logan15-Day DL
  • Nolan Arenado 15-Day DL
  • Michael Cuddyer 15-Day DL
  • Carlos Gonzalez 15-Day DL

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s hard to win without any players.

That pretty much summed it up for the Rox. By mid-June, half of their team was on the DL and their season was over.

The Spurs and Heat played in the NBA Finals. LeBron James set the internet ablaze with irrationality and hot takes when he was carried off the floor because of leg cramps.

@cjzero

Of course, the Spurs would go on to win the series in a relatively easy five games.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Yoenis Cespedes made the throw of the year.

The L.A. Kings won the Stanley Cup. Naturally, the most important part of the series for me was a lady falling on her face behind a news broadcast.

Deadspin

By late June, the Rockies awfulness reached a remarkable crescendo with this amazing play:

The World Cup came and that was big news for a lot of people. It included a cannibal guy!

That wraps up June, which wraps up the first half of 2014.

Keep an eye out next week for Part Two.

HAPPY NEW YEAR. And happy Tuesday.  Again, thanks for reading these each week. Here’s to a successful 2015 with more of the same fun posts. See ya next week.

***

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Colorado State Goes Down, Finishes Regular Season 10-2

Welcome to the 87th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where the holiday weekend is responsible for a shortened post. I consumed irresponsibly high levels of food and drink over the course of the last week, which among other things, has led to a very long Monday. (I generally put these things together on Monday nights.) Let’s get into it…

(Andy Cross, Denver Post)

The Colorado State Rams were upset by the Air Force Falcons on Friday afternoon. Last second field goal. 27-24. 10-2. No Mountain West Championship for what might be the best CSU team in 20 years.

The following night Boise State trounced Utah State, which meant the Rams’ loss didn’t actually mean much. Even if CSU had won, they would have remained unable to play for the Mountain West Championship or an “Access Bowl”. A the time, though… At the time, this one was devastating.

The most dedicated of sports fans can be a peculiar group. Oftentimes we devote time, money, energy and passion to a cause that regularly leaves us disappointed, angry, or hurt. Why? Why do we put ourselves through all of that?

We do all that stuff with the hope that sometime, one unexpected season somewhere in the future, it will all be worth it. It just takes one. One year when some strange combination of talent, good fortune, and magic all comes together. For three months in 2014, CSU fans thought this year was that year.

A conference championship? The FREAKING FIESTA BOWL? For CSU? In 2014?

Nope. Nope. Nope. And, nope.

It is, however, important to remember that a loss in the regular season finale does not diminish what Colorado State accomplished this season. It’s natural to find disappointment when lamenting what could have been, but don’t let that get twisted with what already was.

To an extent, this was that special season Rams fans have been waiting for.

Colorado State just finished the regular season 10-2. Think about that. Seriously, stop, reread that sentence, and think about that. In 2011 CSU went 3-9. In 2010 CSU went 3-9. In 2009 CSU went 3-9. They finished a 9-27 stretch just three years ago.

They just went 10-2 with the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year and the Mountain West Coach of the Year.

This was a special, special year for the Colorado State Rams and their most loyal fans who have endured too many long seasons.

And we still have one more game to enjoy. Probably December 20th in Las Vegas. Possibly against Stanford.

Slight subject change… I wrote a little bit about the chances of Jim McElwain accepting the head coaching job at Florida two weeks ago. Sunday night, Pat Forde and Yahoo! Sports reported McElwain as “A leading candidate”, which generated a lot of buzz.

There wasn’t a whole lot of meat in the report. We all had a pretty strong hunch that they would be interested in McElwain. Now according to Yahoo’s sources, we know they are. That doesn’t necessarily address his $7.5 million buyout or the fact that McElwain may simply not want that job (I mentioned why in that post from two weeks back).

Terry Frei at the Post has been on top of all this talk and he’s been railing pretty hard on the media reports that don’t seem to care about such a huge buyout.

Bottom line for me: (I wrote something in this space last night, changed it this morning, and deleted it just now. Things are hitting the fan at a rapid rate today. Moving too fast for me… But it’s starting to look like the Rams might need a new head coach soon.)

If you’re still upset about the way the weekend (and now early week) turned out, this Fox Sports Live piece on CSU Ram Zack Golditch’s amazing story of survival will quickly put things in perspective:

Amazing, indeed.

In regards to the Broncos

I’ve been saying all along* that Virgil Green and Paul Cornick are the keys to this whole season. Been screaming it from the rooftops! WHY DID YOU ALL IGNORE ME?!

*No I haven’t.

Just a couple weeks ago the Broncos looked like a team that might not even make the playoffs. Now they look like they have a chance to beat New England in Foxburough. It’s a good thing nobody ever overreacts when talking about the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!.

But that really was an impressive win on Sunday night. If the Broncos could have had much success in the red zone (Julius Thomas, anyone?) that would have been an absolute blowout.

They even ran a fake punt! That is not a common occurrence!

The game’s most interesting moment had to be Travis Kelce throwing out the ol’ I-disagree-with-you-wanking-motion on national television:

A bunch of other stuff from around the internets:

The best thing from Sunday was undoubtedly Tom Brady being taken for a walk by his handler. This way, Tommy! Come on, boy! Gooooood boooyyyy!

The Cauldron / CJ Zero

This series of blocks from Mike Evans is pretty amazing:

Quick breakdown: Evans pushes Newman off balance. Newman responds with an ill-advised angry little jump like he was trying to get up in Evans’ face. That made the “body slam” part pretty easy. Great Vine.

Remember Kyle Orton? Here he is just casually throwing in a mid-game dip on the sidelines.

Not surprising, still creepy. Alabama people are weird.

I’ve watched this Vine more than I’d like to admit.

HAHAHA That ball hits that guy in the head HAHAHA!

And finally,

I’m going to bed.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See ya next week.

***

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Recapping Everything About The 10-1 Colorado State Rams

Welcome to the 86th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’m interrupting my vacation to come through with what actually turned into a pretty good-sized post. Happy Thanksgiving week. Let’s get into it…

Dee Hart cruises over the goal line for one of his six touchdowns on Saturday. Scoring six touchdowns is probably pretty cool. Andy Cross, Denver Post

I’ll start with some quick thoughts on Colorado State football after the 58-20 route of New Mexico that improved the Rams to 10-1. The CSU Rams are 10-1. That’s amazing.

The story of this game was Nick Stevens’ fourth-quarter performance. The back-up quarterback completed three of seven passes for 17 yards in garbage time to close out the game.

Oh, and Dee Hart had a decent afternoon, too. He rushed for 230 yards and five touchdowns. He had 42 more yards and another touchdown receiving. My math tells me that’s 272 yards from scrimmage and six total touchdowns.

Yes, New Mexico’s defense sucks, but that was one of the most impressive single offensive performances I’ve ever seen.

Hollywood Higgins kept doing his thing as well, with 10 catches for 167 yards and two touchdowns. He now leads the nation in receiving yards, receiving yards per game, and touchdowns. His incredible year continues

And Garrett Grayson, on Senior Day, in what could be his last game ever at Hughes, completed 23 of 29 passes for 389 yards and three touchdowns. If it turns out to be his last home game, (hope not) it was a fitting end for the most prolific passer in the history of Colorado State football.

Here’s a pretty cool Vine from CSU of Hart’s first TD of the day. WEEEEEEE!

After the big, dramatic Boston College win, I wrote this about the Rams’ remaining schedule (a screenshot from this September 30th post):

csu 11-1

Hey look I found a typo!

Now, two months later, the Rams are 10-1. All that stands between them and that 11-1 record is a win at Air Force on Friday. Earlier in the year I was under the impression that Air Force wasn’t very good. I’ve changed my mind after watching them go 8-3, including going 5-0 in Colorado Springs. Troy Calhoun is a hell of a coach and has led a very impressive turnaround after last year’s 2-10 campaign.

This game scares me quite a bit even though the Rams are favored by seven in Vegas. Air Force didn’t look all that good on the road against a mediocre San Diego State team on Friday night in their first game without leading rusher Jacobi Owens, who is out for the season. But Air Force is still 5-0 at home. They will be jacked up for this game. The Rams have a short week with the Friday kickoff. The Falcons, who played SDSU on Friday night, do not.

So there’s some cause for concern, but there is also a big reason for Rams fans to be confident. His name is Jim McElwain. McElwain and his staff have had his players prepared for every game this year.

The Rams’ defense will be tested again against an option offense. They certainly held their own against New Mexico, limiting them to 301 yards rushing, though much of that was in garbage time. (For reference, the Lobos rushed for 505 yards against a good Boise State team.) Having the best linebacking corps in the Mountain West can sure help defend the option.

Air Force’s home field advantage could be mitigated some by playing a team that also is comfortable at altitude. A whole lot of green in the stands wouldn’t hurt either. See y’all on Friday.

In the rankings, the Rams jumped up to #21 in both the Coaches poll and the AP poll. They should be ranked by the College Football Playoff committee later this evening, but the committee has shown complete disregard for any non-Power 5 teams, so who knows. I’m not actually sure if the committee is aware that there are dozens of other teams in other conferences at this point.

Okay, time for your weekly record update thing even though by now I think we all get the point and this is getting redundant I don’t care I’m going to keep doing it anyway! Colorado State is now 10-1 in 2014. They’ve won nine in a row. They’re 14-2 in their last 16 games going back to last season. 16-3 in their last 19; 17-4 in their last 21. Those are some crazy-ass numbers, folks.

Of course the other game of almost equal importance this weekend goes down a day and a half after the Rams play Air Force when Utah State heads into Boise. By now you know that a Boise loss coupled with an CSU win would give the Rams the Mountain Division title and the opportunity to host the Mountain West Championship at Hughes on December 6th.

Utah State is pretty good. They’re the only team to come into Hughes this year and not get blown-T-F-out. But Boise is favored by nine in Vegas, largely because Boise is 90-4 at home since 2000, which is decent. Utah State has the best defense in the Mountain West and should be able to slow down the Broncos’ offense. The question will be whether or not the Aggies can muster any points on offense.

Should be a pretty good game. ESPN 2; Saturday; 8:15. Go Aggies.

It would be some unspeakably bad luck for CSU to go 11-1, enter the national rankings and gain some national notoriety after years of futility and not even play in a major bowl game, let alone win the conference, let alone participate in the conference championship game. Guess we’ll see what happens.

The Coloradoan’s Kelly Lyell did a good job laying out the Rams’ different bowl scenarios. There are plenty of moving parts, but I’m reading it with these being the three most likely possibilities.

  • Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, AZ., December 31st against a big name, top-15 school. This only happens if everything breaks in the Rams’ favor. A win over Air Force. Utah State beats Boise State. Rams win the Mountain West Championship game. Committee has the Rams ranked ahead of Marshall. This is the ideal scenario, but there’s a pretty good team up north on a stupid blue field that provides a large obstacle.
  • Las Vegas Bowl, in… uhh… Las Vegas, December 20th against a decent Pac-12 team. If Boise beats Utah State and wins the Mountain West, they’ll be picked by the committee as the highest ranked Group of Five team and would head to the Fiesta Bowl. The Las Vegas Bowl, which is scheduled to host the Mountain West champion, could then pick any Mountain West team to take their spot. One would have to imagine they would choose CSU. So at this point, I think the Vegas Bowl seems like the most likely.
  • Poinsettia Bowl, San Diego, December 23 against Navy. Navy should become bowl eligible in either of the next two weeks. When they do, they’ll be playing in this game against a Mountain West team. If Las Vegas doesn’t pick the Rams, the Poinsettia Bowl will.

Again, that’s a lot of speculation on my part, but I’d circle those three dates on your calender.

In other very, very, very important news, it sounds like the new on-campus stadium is pretty much a lock with an announcement coming soon.

I was planning on talking about the Broncos next, but I ended up writing more on CSU than I thought I would. This was supposed to be a shortened holiday post!

But I’ll just say I thought the Broncos played pretty well against a good team. They got the ‘W’ and that’s all that matters. That was the #2 overall defense in the NFL and the Broncos scored 39 points, even though it felt like they struggled quite a bit.

The offensive line played really, really well a week after playing really, really poorly. So that was an important development. The Broncos were stubbornly committed to the running game and they had success with it, which greatly changes the dynamic of the offense.

The defense was excellent if you ignore two long, easy touchdowns drives from Miami. Can you do that? No? Okay, so that was a bit of a mixed bag.

Special teams pretty much sucked again. That chip-shot missed field goal immediately followed by a fumble from the no-name punt returner dude just about cost the Broncos the game.

But they overcame their mistakes and won a game against a pretty good team.

So we don’t have to push the panic button yet.

Also this gif of Ramirez and DT reacting to McManus’ chip shot field goal is awesome.

They react just like us! Cool!

Hey look, the Broncos just signed Connor Barth and waived McManus. Had to do it.

Off to the weekly departments…

Stud of the week:

Let’s talk about Odell Beckham Jr. Obviously, you’ve already seen this. (I could watch it like 50 times in a row.)

But let’s put some perspective on who we’re dealing with here. Because what this dude can do is absolutely amazing.

Here is Beckham warming up before Sunday night’s game. NBC showed this almost immediately before his incredible catch, which worked out pretty perfectly.

(I also encourage you to check out those catches in super slow-mo here. It’s hypnotizing.)

And here’s a different, perhaps even more amazing, warm-up routine from three weeks ago.

And here he is at LSU catching a FREAKING TOUCHBACK– without looking– with one hand like it’s a ping pong ball.

Yeah. He’s cool.

A bunch of other stuff from around the internets:

This Vine is the most Raiders Vine ever. Two dudes celebrating like 15 yards in the offensive backfield while a play is about to start. Love it.

Coaches are in good moods after they play CU.

Mississippi State weirdo gave me a good chuckle.

Jameis Winston pushing a ref is awesome because it’s Jameis Winston. And he’s pushing a referee. That’s really pretty amazing when you think about it.

Wyoming basketball might be pretty damn good this year. Here’s their best player, Larry Nance Jr., throwing down in an upset over CU.

Jimmy Fallon mentioned former CSU Ram Weston Richburg in his “Most Likely To” segment:

A couple links worth sharing:

And finally, JaVale McGee would like to wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving. I love him.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. Have a tremendous Thanksgiving. Go Utah State. 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.

What Is Wrong With The Broncos? …Is Jim McElwain On The Move?

Welcome to the 85th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where the orange and blue sky might be falling. I wrote a lot of words this week. Let’s get into it…

Sunday was not a good day. (AAron Ontiveroz, Denver Post)

At some point late in the fourth quarter of the Broncos’ disheartening and discouraging loss to the Rams on Sunday, I provided the group of family and friends with which I was watching a distinct summary of both the day’s events and the broader implications concerning the big picture of the Broncos’ 2014 season. With the outcome having already been decided, I sullenly slumped forward, plopped my chin on my  palm and proclaimed the following:

“Well…

…(long pause)…

…(sophisticated stroking of chin hair)…

…(vacant stare)…

Shit.”

I think that pretty much sums things up, but let’s dive in to this mess.

The Broncos have just gotten their asses kicked for the second time in three weeks. And this one was pretty much a disaster. They lost 22-7 to the St. Louis Rams. They lost by 15 points. To the St. Louis Rams. They scored 7 points. Against the St. Louis Rams. THE ST. LOUIS RAMS!

Krusty The Clown watched the game. He has the same question as lots of Broncos fans.

Good question, Herschel. What DID we just watch?

We saw dropped passes and bad tackling. We saw bad throws from an MVP quarterback. We saw garbage offensive line play. We saw a kneel down. We saw injuries. We did NOT see any field goal attempts.

Now, there’s no sense in playing the blame game, unless you’re writing a blog about the Broncos after the Broncos got their asses kicked by the St. Louis Rams. Then there’s a ton of sense in playing the blame game. Let’s point some fingers!

THIS IS ALL THE OFFENSE’S FAULT!

For the first time in a few years, the offense was without a doubt the main issue in a Broncos’ loss.

Peyton Manning does not look sharp right now and is undoubtedly playing the worst football of his three seasons in Denver. He seems uncomfortable in the pocket. He seems hesitant or unwilling to throw the ball down the field. He’s hanging his receivers out to dry. He’s throwing picks. It’s all kind of odd to watch.

*Sidenote:  I do not care about Manning’s “bad” body language. He’s been doing that his whole career. His career has been pretty good. He gets pissed off when things don’t go well. So what? Peyton Manning is afforded certain luxuries such as this.

The running game has, for the most part, not been much of a factor throughout the year. On Sunday that nonfactor-ness went to a whole ‘nother level.  The Broncos ran the ball ten times. Manning threw 54 passes. TEN! FIFTY-FOUR! That’s amazing. To an extent, I am of the belief that a team with Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders does not need to lean too heavily on the run. That’s not necessarily a point of emphasis based on the personnel that has been assembled here.

But regardless of your offensive makeup, you can’t throw the ball FORTY-FOUR more times than you run it. That is absurd.

Yes, the offense took a hit when two of the passing game’s most important and prominent weapons left with injuries in the first half, but shouldn’t that mean you run the ball– or try to run the ball– MORE?

We can talk about the lack of a running game. We can talk about the two big injuries. We can talk about the struggles of Manning. (Struggles is a very, very relative term here.) But there’s another problem that outweighs all of those.

This offensive line is crap right now. The Broncos have a guard playing tackle, a center playing guard, a new guy playing center, and an all-pro playing like crap. That’s not exactly a recipe for success. Right now the lack of a running game comes back to the offensive line play. The (relative) struggles of Manning comes back to the offensive line play. St. Louis has an above average defense, particularly in the front seven. And they just owned the Broncos up front.

It was ugly.

The Denver Broncos and their immensely talented, record-setting, intimidating offense scored seven points on Sunday. That’s a problem.

THIS IS ALL THE DEFENSE’S FAULT!

Don’t get me wrong, I am identifying the Broncos’ offense as Reason Number One they were dominated on Sunday, but we can throw plenty more blame around.

The defense gets some credit for holding St. Louis to just one touchdown and forcing five field goals. I guess. They only gave up 22 points. The way this team is constructed that’s supposed to be good enough, right? I guess.

But they really weren’t all that impressive when you consider the opponent. Shaun Hill was making his first start in over two months. He’s a backup’s backup. Tre Mason is a fine young rookie running back, but he’s been up and down since taking over as a starter. Kenny Britt is Kenny Britt. He’s not exactly curling the toes of wide receiver coaches across the league. What I’m trying to say is THE RAMS’ OFFENSE SUCKS.

Yet the Broncos defense again had trouble getting stops on 3rd-and-longs. They forced zero turnovers. They sacked Hill just three times.

It would have been nice for this new, revamped defense to step up and shut the Rams’ crappy offense down on a day when Manning and Co. were not at their finest. We’ve heard plenty of talk about the Broncos needing to learn to win a low scoring game. A game that sees both teams score in the teens or low-20s. Evidently this defense isn’t ready for that.

Yes, some of this comes back to the offense. The two interceptions, the bad field position after failed fourth-down attempts, and the lack of a running game didn’t do the D* any favors, but I’m not exactly giving the defense a thumbs up.

*How many times did CBS show that middle-aged dork with the cutout of the D and the fence during the broadcast? Like, ten? It amazes me that someone would bring that to a game in 2014.

THIS IS ALL THE SPECIAL TEAMS’S’S’S’ FAULT!

Tuesdays With Mitch is here with some breaking news. Good teams in THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! have kickers. All of them. Right now, the Broncos do not appear to have a kicker after they thrice turned down long field goal attempts and instead elected to go for it on fourth down or punt. Those game situations are as follows, and keep in mind THEY’RE PLAYING IN A FREAKING DOME!

  • 3-0 Rams. 1:22 left in the first quarter. 4th-and-5 from the 37. The Broncos decline a would-be 54-yarder and fail to convert. …A made field goal would have simply tied the game in the first quarter. That’s obviously not important at all.
  • 13-7 Rams. Opening drive of the third quarter. 4th-and-10 from the 38. The Broncos decline a would-be 55-yarder and punt. …Leaving three more (potential) points on the board in a close game.
  • 19-7 Rams. 9:37 left in the fourth quarter. 4th-and-4 from the 28. The Broncos decline a would be 45-yarder and Manning is sacked for a loss of 12. …At this point it’s a two possession game with under ten minutes remaining. The game would have stayed two possessions with a made field goal, so many would argue that going for it is the right call here regardless of whether or not a kicker wearing a Broncos jersey exists somewhere in the world. HOWEVAH, if the Broncos had kicked a couple of those long field goals earlier, another field goal here might have made sense.

This is not college football, where #collegekickers are notoriously shaky and erratic. This is THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! Kickers in THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! need to be able to make, or at least attempt, 50-plus yard field goals. In fact, I’m fairly certain they’re paid a handsome salary to do just that. So I’m not putting these decisions on the coaching staff. If they don’t trust Brandon McManus, so be it. But something needs to be done about this. You can not have a guy on your roster that you don’t trust attempting field goals when a very, very large portion of his job description involves attempting field goals.

Aside from having a kicker who is not allowed to kick field goals, the Broncos special teams units have been awfully pedestrian all year. They have zero kickoff return threats. They have zero punt return threats.

The more you think about it, the Broncos do not appear to be a complete football team.

…I also have McManus in both of my fantasy leagues, you jerks.

So looking ahead…

The Broncos come back home for their first game at Mile High in exactly a month on Sunday. Things don’t appear to be getting easier. The 6-4 Dolphins come to town with the 2nd highest rated total defense and 2nd highest rated passing defense in THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!. Miami played on Thursday night last week, so they will have a few extra days rest.

After that, the Broncos take their annual trip to Arrowhead to play the 7-3 Chiefs, who will also be coming off a Thursday game with a few extra days to rest and prepare. So yeah, the Broncos and Chiefs will be playing in Arrowhead in week 13 with first place on the line. I didn’t see that coming.

Oh, and the Patriots look like a damn powerhouse after beating the Colts handily in Indianapolis. For Denver to catch New England, the Broncos need to win out and the Patriots need to lose twice in their final six games.

Much of my focus in this space throughout the season has been on securing the top seed in the AFC. This is all one long preseason, I said. Enjoy the ride until the real games start in January, I said. That’s no longer the outlook. Right now the focus needs to be trying to win the division by trying to win some football games by trying to not suck on offense, defense, and special teams.

Because excluding a two-quarter stretch (roughly) against a team that hasn’t won a game in a calendar year, the Broncos have looked pretty crappy three weeks in a row.

You know me, I’m much more levelheaded than most sports blowhards you’ll hear or read. I actually misplaced my Broncos Panic Button a couple years ago and have never bothered to look for it. But after watching the Broncos on Sunday afternoon I think I’m going to need to locate that thing. Because if the Broncos have a similar performance in this week’s game against the Dolphins, I’ll be mashing down the Broncos Panic Button and heading for the hills until… Rockies season? Oh Dear Lord.

Description of . Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders #10 of the Denver Broncos sits in disbelief after he can't hold on to the ball on a 4th down pass as the broncos turn the ball over on downs  vs the St. Louis Rams in the Edward Jones Dome November 16, 2014 St. Louis, MO (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post)

Before Emmanuel Sanders got hurt, Emmanual Sanders got sad. 😦 is right, Emmanuel. (Joe Amon, Denver Post)

One quick thought on the Broncos potentially signing Hall of Fame MeatHead/DoucheBag/ScumBag/Racist/Sexist/Homophobe Richie Incognito:

This is something I find myself torn on. Not because I wonder whether Incognito would be able to play well after his time away from the game. I think he would help this team’s patchwork offensive line immediately. Not because I’m concerned with the chemistry in the locker room. I think the Broncos have a veteran locker room that wouldn’t put up with his nonsense and I think even Incognito would be able to stay in his lane for the season’s final couple months. And no, I don’t really care about the media distraction it would bring (though that would be the biggest annoyance).

I’m struggling with this thought because as a fan, Incognito is one of the last people on this planet I would ever want to root for. He is a terrible dude. I’m not naive enough to think all Broncos players are saints. Assuredly, they are not. But I do have a hard time believing that anyone in the Broncos’ locker room, the entire NFL, the entire world is as big of a douche as Incognito.

So this is the question I find myself asking:  Would it be worth it to root for someone I find to be hilariously stupid and mind-numbingly repulsive if it substantially increases the Broncos’ chances of winning the Super Bowl?

I’m not entirely sure how to answer that.

Off to the weekly departments…

Stud of the week:

Let’s talk about Jim McElwain. He’s pretty awesome. First though, let’s recap the CSU Rams’ eventful bye week.

First, Boise State took on San Diego State in a game that could have had huge (HUGE!)implications for CSU. Things got off to a pretty great start, with the Aztecs jumping out to a 20-0 lead in Boise. I was feeling prett-ay darn good about things. But San Diego State isn’t all that good this year and Boise State is. So the Broncos came roaring back and won 39-28, delaying the Rams’ Mountain West championship hopes at least one more week.

Boise State plays in Laramie this week at 8:15. The Broncos are 14-point favorites. CSU fans are all die-hard Wyoming fans until further notice.

On Sunday some good news was released in the form of the national polls. CSU was bumped up two spots to #23 in the coaches poll. They moved up one spot to #22 in the AP poll. The committee’s rankings will be released in a couple hours and I think CSU has a somewhat reasonable chance to sneak in there after multiple teams ahead of them lost on Saturday.

Jim McElwain’s name has been linked to the open head coaching position at Florida. (Lance Iversen/USA TODAY Sports )

Okay back to Jim McElwain… Other college football news surfaced on Sunday, when Florida announced the firing (or resignation, whatever) of Will Muschamp. Of course, this immediately sparked speculation as to who will replace Muschamp as head coach in Gainesville. Jim McElwain is on just about every list of potential candidates.

Bovada even has odds on who the next coach will be. McElwain opened as the second most likely “candidate”, but has moved to third as I write this. This is obviously kind of silly, but it’s also a bit concerning, as oddsmakers are generally extremely well-informed.

I would be very surprised if McElwain took the Florida job. It’s a possibility, but I would be very surprised.

The first thing we need to consider is the buyout in McElwain’s current contract, which is an unheard of $7.5 million. Yes, Florida is a big time school with a big time budget and big time donors, but SEVEN AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS, in a lump sum, one-time payment, is a lot of money, even for them.

I think people’s’ eyes can glaze over when we start discussing millions of dollars in big time athletics. For reference, Will Muschamp’s 2013 salary is about $2.7 million. So McElwain’s buyout alone is almost THREE TIMES what Florida is paying Muschamp each year. That’s not chump change.

Also, it sounds like Florida is going to aim higher than a head coach at a Mountain West school. Florida is considered a top-five or so job in the country and they will probably have their initial sights set on a head coach from a Power 5 school like Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State) or Dan Mullen (Mississippi State).

So my guess is Florida would have to swing and miss on a couple of their first choices, then they would have to REAALLLY, REAAALLLYYY want Jim McElwain to the point where coming up with multiple briefcases filled with cash isn’t an issue.

And that’s only half of the equation.

McElwain has to want Florida, too. McElwain is comfortable in Fort Collins. He is the highest paid coach in the Mountain West (although obviously a job like Florida would provide a big raise). Maybe McElwain will pull a Sonny and be cool staying in Fort Collins for a long time (fingers crossed). But assuming that’s not the case, McElwain doesn’t have to jump at the first job opening that comes his way. He has the luxury to sit back and wait for what he considers the perfect situation.

If McElwain doesn’t want the task of completely rebuilding a powerhouse, he can simply wait for a good situation at a school he considers an upgrade. Chris Petersen did this when he stayed at Boise State for eight years before finally leaving for Washington after last season. Petersen’s name was mentioned in every big school’s coaching vacancy for years. He waited until he saw a school that fit his profile and was left in good shape by the previous coach.

Florida needs a new coach. Michigan will soon be needing a new coach. Nebraska may (maybe not) soon be needing a new coach. McElwain’s name will be associated with every job opening in the country.

There are always a lot of moving parts in these situations and much of my outlook is based on speculation, but as of right now, there are plenty of reasons to be confident McElwain will be back with Colorado State next year.

Douche of the week:

This guy needs to reevaluate everything in his life and I mean that sincerely.

Douche is even a douche when he’s interviewed after the whole thing went down.

A few other things:

The Nuggets beat the Cavs last night in a game that will surely represent the moment that their entire season turned around. Until all that actually happens, this free throw sums up their season.

Never change, JaVale. That’s from Sunday’s loss to New York. The Nuggets scored eight points on 1-16 shooting in the second quarter.

This dude did not like Mr. Referee touching his bottom.

Mr. Referee looks kind of terrified.

This is the greatest punt ever. Right back in his own grill.

I stumbled across this GIF from a recent boxing match this week. It is the coolest thing I saw all week. Incredible.

Deadspin / @bubbaprog

And,


A
couple links worth sharing:

And finally, here’s Daniel Tosh tearing up ESPN. Really good stuff:

Pretty solid from Tosh, but he loses some credibility when he includes Mike and Mike in his “you guys are cool” disclaimer at the end.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See ya next week.

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