Category Archives: College Football

Colorado State Should Quit Playing Colorado Anyway

Welcome to the 96th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I am unable to think of a clever or creative opening line. Let’s get into it…

The Rocky Mountain Showdown might only have a few games left in its storied history. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

I’ll start with Wednesday’s news out of Boulder that Colorado athletic director Rick George is not interested in continuing the Buffs’ yearly rivalry game with Colorado State once the current contract expires in 2020. George doesn’t like that the game is played in Denver. He would prefer a true home game in Boulder each year, which would bring in more revenue and better chance at a rare CU victory.

As far as the remaining games on the contract, George would like to bring those back to campuses, but indicated that CSU isn’t cooperating. (It’s clear that the CSU folks like the game played in Denver.)

Regarding the location of the game, I would be fine with it returning to the schools’ campuses. I’ve been to each of the last nine Rocky Mountain Showdowns– eight in Denver, one in Boulder– and it’s probably my favorite party of the year. I live in the greater Denver area, so having the game nearby is always nice. But the attendance and electricity just isn’t there anymore. The atmosphere on either campus would be much more charming and captivating. It would just feel right. (Imagine the Rams opening up their new stadium in two years by blowing out the Buffs in Fort Collins.) Of course, bringing the game back to campus provides lots of logistical complications. It sounds like George would want two games in Boulder for each game in FoCo; CSU would be nuts to agree to that.

Most folks on the Colorado State side of things reacted to all of this news by calling out CU as quitters who were tired of getting beat by their supposed little brother or saying the talk is a “cry for attention.” I think there are some hints of truth to this mindset, but CU is definitely looking at things mostly from a financial perspective. George wants a home game because home games mean more money.

The CU folks also note that Colorado doesn’t have a lot to gain from playing the Rams, saying when CU wins they don’t get much credit because that is the expectation. (Never mind that CSU was the best nonconference team on CU’s schedule last year by a mile.)

But for Rams fans, all of these conversations leave out what I think is the most important question:  What is Colorado State getting out of scheduling a game with CU each year? They get a fun rivalry game. They get a chance to rally their fan base. And they get an awful team on their schedule and a waste of a precious nonconference game.

I should preface this by saying it is tremendously unclear what either program will look like in 2021. Beyond that, it’s unclear what the college football landscape as a whole will look like in 2021. And I wouldn’t be surprised if both parties come to some sort of resolution within the next five years and keep the rivalry intact.

But as it stands now, removing the albatross that is the Colorado game from CSU’s schedule would benefit the Rams. If Mike Bobo can build on Jim McElwain’s momentum and keep elevating the CSU program the way lots of Rams fans are envisioning, it would be wise to simply leave CU behind.

Colorado State has its eyes on Mountain West championships and New Year’s Day bowl games. (Not to mention more-than-occasional glances on the potential move to a larger conference like the Big 12.) Playing one of the worst Power 5 teams in the country each season isn’t moving things in that direction. Last year, when CSU was in contention for a Fiesta Bowl berth before losing to Air Force, it was clear the CFP committee was completely unimpressed with the Rams’ win over the Buffs. That makes sense, because CU was terrible.

Colorado State needs to think bigger. If they “schedule up” and play a good team each year instead of CU, it would benefit the program, win or lose. Boise State, the program CSU is trying to track down, lost to Ole Miss and beat Connecticut last year. Ole Miss turned out to be a really good team; UConn turned out to be pretty bad. Nonconference scheduling is tricky, because you never know how good your opponents will be. But for the last decade, CSU has known what it’s getting when it schedules CU, and that’s a bad team from a major conference. This was fine for a lot of years when the Rams were an equally bad team from a smaller conference. But times have changed in Fort Collins, while the futility in Boulder has no end in sight.

I’ve grown up watching this rivalry, so not having it around would feel odd and wrong to me and my generation of Colorado sports fans. And again, enough could change in the next few years to make this whole conversation moot. But as of right now, it makes sense for CSU to happily let CU walk away.

I also wanted to write about how awful the Nuggets are, but instead I’ll just direct you to these four links.

Things are bad in Nuggetland.

And a quick update on CSU basketball, which is the only team on the Front Range with a chance to earn an at-large bid to the Big Dance.

Currently, ESPN has them as an 10-seed. CBS has them as a 9.

Basically, what all this means is that if CSU closes strong for the final seven games of their schedule (starting tonight at home to New Mexico, 9 pm, ESPNU) they should make their third NCAA tournament in four years. If they win the games I think they should win, they’ll finish the year either 26-5 or 25-6 and go either 13-5 or 12-6 in the Mountain West. Follow that up with a decent showing in the Mountain West tourney, and they would be pretty comfortable on Selection Sunday. One bad loss, though, and that changes in a hurry.

Off to the weekly departments…

Douche(s) of the week:

I’ve always respected Brian Williams’ career as a Journalist/TV-News-Reader-Guy. Then this week we learned that sometimes he just makes stuff up. Like this story, in particular:

Williams is truthful for zero of those thirty seconds. That’s appalling. Not only is he lying on the news, he’s diminishing the things our members of the military go through to try to make himself sound like some kind of badass. Here’s part of his explanation for the dispute from the New York Times.

“You are absolutely right and I was wrong,” he wrote, adding that he had in fact been on the helicopter behind the one that had been hit. Constant viewing of the video showing him inspecting the impact area, he said, “and the fog of memory over 12 years — made me conflate the two, and I apologize.”

Right. Conflated the two …Or you were just making crap up, bro.

His reporting on accounts during Hurricane Katrina have also been called into question. What a douche. At least it provided some fun for the internet masses with stuff like this:

Then there’s this big dumb idiot who goes around poking his opponents in their eyes. All three of these sure look intentional to me. This is not okay.

Stud of the week:

Some dude in Alaska took a 46-mile, 15-hour walk while it was 35 degrees below zero because… he just kinda felt like it.

He’s a hero in my book.

Vine of the week:

Check out this interaction between Chris Paul and Kevin Durant. Paul’s Clippers are getting blown out, but he stares at the Thunder bench after hitting a jumper anyway. Durant retorts with, “You’re down twenty now, homie. You’re down twenty now, homie.” Pretty awesome.

Tweet of the week:

Dickie V has just never quite got a complete grasp of Twitter, which makes him one of my favorite follows.

And finally, the latest SportsCenter commercial just came out a few hours ago. If you read my blog last week, you know I think it’s awesome.

Lots of people think the Halftime Sharks have jumped the… never mind. I’m here to tell you they’re still funny. THHHISS!!! is always funny.

Gawker

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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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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Your Football Weekend Roundup (Again)

Welcome to the 77th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where we’ve offically entered the last week of summer. That’s depressing. But it means lots of football in the coming weeks, which is not depressing. Let’s get into it…

Description of . Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos congratulates Demaryius Thomas (88) of the Denver Broncos after a touchdown in the second quarter. The Denver Broncos played the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado on September 14, 2014. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

(John Lebya/Denver Post)

I’ll start with a few quick takeaways from the Broncos win over the Chiefs. The Denver Broncos won again. And people are upset again. I am still not one of them. In the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! I am completely on board with the “win is a win” mentality.

Take a look around the league. Plenty of other good teams with Super Bowl expectations are not 2-0. The Patriots lost to the Dolphins. The Seahawks lost to a decent San Diego team. The 49ers choked away a big 2nd-half lead at home. The freaking Saints are 0-2. Bad losses happen in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!. If the Broncos had dropped either of these games we might have some– SOME– cause for concern. But they didn’t.

Being a Broncos fan is really fun these days. They look like the best team in the AFC and they’re 2-0 and everybody is still finding stuff to be unhappy about. That’s pretty awesome when you think about it.

I said this last week, but all the Broncos need to do is keep piling up the ‘dubyas. I realize I would get a lot more reaction and readership if I yelled at you that THE BRONCOS ARE IN TROUBLE AND LOOK LIKE CRAP AND WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE DEFENSE NO WAIT WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE OFFENSE THEY’VE BARELY EVEN BEATEN TWO TEAMS THAT WENT A COMBINED 22-10 LAST YEAR THAT’S HORRIBLE. But I’m just a little more levelheaded than that. This team is fine. My outlook is pretty boring. It’s also true.

Keep in mind that if the Broncos recover the onside kick against the Colts, which they should have, that doesn’t turn into a one-possession game. And of course, if the Broncos don’t repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot with silly 4th-quarter penalties and catch a bad-break on an Alex Smith tuck-rule replay, they also win Sunday’s game pretty comfortably.

Von Miller is coming off an ACL injury. That’s not a particularly easy thing to do. He’s going to get better as the season progresses and that will help the defense a great deal. Wes Welker will be back this week which will improve the offense, especially on third downs.

The Broncos are going to the playoffs. That’s when things get interesting. Because I just can’t get all that worked up about the regular season. Especially when the Broncos are scoring more points than their opponents.

Speaking of winning games, I can’t imagine the Broncos will do so Sunday in Seattle, during what should be a fun afternoon. A Broncos win would be a huge statement to the rest of the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!, but really I’m just looking to see if the Broncos can keep it close and stay competitive. A loss to the Seahawks in Seattle doesn’t break your season, but getting blown out… something like a score of… I don’t know… 43-8… You would have to think that would do some damage to the Broncos’ mental makeup over the course of this season.

But I think it will be an entertaining game. The Broncos lose a fairly close one. And I’ll be banging the “Everything-Is-Fine” drum in a week.

And hey did you see Peyton Manning being a real cry-baby jerk* when he was yelling at Orange Julius?

*Just kiddin’. This is what leaders (and all good, competitive quarterbacks) do. It’s part of sports. And sports are fun!

Off to the weekly departments…

Douche(s) of the week:

Seattle Seahawks fans are enourmous douche bags. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Seahawks fans are the absolute worst. There is no longer any doubt who is the most insufferable fan base in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!. It’s not the Raiders or Steelers or Patriots or even the Jaguars.

  • Seahawks fans insist on calling themselves the 12th man, even though that is a blatant rip-off of Texas A&M, who has been using and embracing the term since 1922.
  • They’re more proud of having the so-called “loudest stadium in the league” than anything else in their lives (except maybe Seattle’s soccer team). I think all stadiums are pretty loud when the home team is good, you no-life losers. Get over yourselves and give it a rest.
  • Some of them wanted to erect a statue of Richard Sherman, which is a really stupid thing to want to do.
  • They were nowhere to be found just a few short years ago when the Seahawks were an average (or bad) team. This whole mantra is brand new. And in a few years after they have to pay Russell Wilson and the makeup of their roster has completely changed and they’re no longer Super Bowl champions, they’ll be nowhere to be found once more.

Oh, and Richard Sherman is also a huge douche and the most self-absorbed player in the league.

(Unrelated: Jonathan Paplebon is still a douche as well.)

Stud(s) of the week:

So RayRiceRogerGoddellAdrianPeterson and the entire National Football League! should probably have the previous, “douche” distinction because they’re all horrible. And yes, there seems to be a new story every day that makes me want to abandon all of professional football. But I won’t. And neither will you. And I’ve come to terms with that because it’s important to remember the people in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! who are not horrible. You know, the vast majority of people affiliated with or employed by the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! who are upstanding citizens and good people.

It’s okay to still watch and root for them.

Tweet of the week:

Pretty funny. You should follow Eric Stangel.

Vine(s) of the week:

This one might take you a while, but is pretty awesome once you see it. I’ve watched this a few dozen times and have no explanation as to why he is doing that.

(Update: This Vine has absolutely exploded in the past 12 hours or so– 13 million loops!– and the coach has since offered an explanation. They were pretty much just messing around, which is awesome.)

And I can’t tell if this guy is doing some really mean trash talk or is simply a very caring person.

No… No, he’s just being a dick. Pretty awesome. (Hat tip to Dunks for sending that one over.)

Some other stuff the internet had to offer from the past week:

This GIF just cracks me the hell up:

I absolutely love the mid-dance beer swig. Doesn’t miss a beat!

This is not how you’re supposed to do it:

Some really good pass defense here:

These two Miss America contestants have some interesting and potentially completely made up factoids about themselves:

A couple links worth sharing from the past week:

And finally, this guy knows exactly what to do when some douchey frat douches start acting like douches and beating the crap out of a fellow douche.

Facial expression just kills me.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See y’all 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 Football and Rocky Mountain Showdown Preview

Welcome to the 74th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’m gearing up for one of the biggest days of the year to kick off a four-day weekend. You best be calling in sick on Friday because we have much more important things to take care of. Get out your grill and cornhole boards and coolers and the pigskin. I’ll bring the beer and whiskey. Football is back. And it brings my absolute favorite party of the year. Let’s get into it…

Garrett Grayson Quarterback Garrett Grayson #18 of the Colorado State Rams scrambles with the ball against the Colorado Buffaloes in the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.

Garrett Grayson hopes to improve to 2-1 vs. Colorado on Friday.  (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Is this the year the Rams take the next step?

Most would agree that Colorado State is a program headed in the right direction as we enter Jim McElwain’s third season as head coach. In both football and basketball, CSU has removed itself from the lower tiers of the Mountain West Conference, but hasn’t been able to make the jump to the top-level. This year just may be the one that sees the Rams start beating the big boys and solidify themselves as a Mountain West contender. That said, a lot of last year’s talent is gone, so is a step back inevitable?

Any way you slice it, this is an important year for Colorado State football to determine just what they are as a program.

Before allowing me to discuss the Colorado Buffaloes and the Rocky Mountain Showdown, let’s (quickly) break down the Rams on the whole. Here’s how their 2013 went, with some very professional comments added by yours truly.

csu 13 sched with my thoughts

So in the first two weeks CSU had WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot losses to bad teams that they should have beaten. Then everything pretty much played out as you would expect, except for another bad loss to San Jose State on Homecoming weekend. That was followed by a blowout win as heavy underdogs in Laramie that completely changed the feel of the season. (Even if Wyo turned out to be pretty bad, most of us didn’t realize it at that point.)

But again, CSU couldn’t beat the top two teams in their division, not really coming close to taking down Boise State or Utah State.

Those two teams represent the two biggest (non-rivalry) games on the Rams’ schedule again this year.

screenshot via espn.com

screenshot via espn.com

So quickly looking at the 2014 slate I see a pretty damn easy schedule. I have one “maybe” (Colorado, because that game is always flukey), three “probably nots” (at Boise State, at Boston College, home to Utah State), and eight wins.

The “Next Step” I mentioned earlier would look like this for CSU:

  • Beat Colorado. More on that in a bit.
  • Beat the eight other bad teams on the schedule. The bottom of the Mountain West is crap. Wyoming is down (for now; I wouldn’t be surprised if Craig Bohl rights that ship quickly). San Jose State isn’t the formidable program it was under Mike MacIntyre. Chris Ault is gone at Nevada. And Hawaii, New Mexico and Air Force all figure to be absolutely terrible again. CSU should not lose to any of those teams. Good teams that contend for conference championships don’t have bad losses on their resume. Last year CSU was pretty good and they had three.
  • Find a way to take down Boise State or Utah State. These two teams are the heavy favorites to win the Mountain Division of the MWC. Beating a good Boise team on the road seems unlikely. Utah State, though, comes to Hughes on Homecoming Weekend. I think this is the biggest game on CSU’s schedule. This is exactly the kind of game the Rams have to start winning to change the way we all think about Colorado State football.

So I’m looking for this team to finish the regular season 9-3. I’m tempted to say 10-2 because I think they are capable of beating Colorado and winning just one of the “probably nots” I mentioned above.

Nine wins would be an improvement over last year, but that 10th win would assuredly take the program to that elusive next level, especially if that leads to an 11th win after a bowl game. That would put Colorado State at 11-2. Did I just type that? I should probably stop now, because I’m starting to sound crazy as hell.

Until they prove they can avoid bad losses or beat good teams on the road, my official prediction is a 9-3 regular season, which would still be a hell of a good year.

On the field the Rams have some pieces they should feel very good about, but a few question marks too.

Quarterback Garrett Grayson is entering his senior year after a record-breaking junior year. He’s good. If he stays healthy, the CSU offense should run efficiently all year. I have a lot of faith in this kid. Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton should be the best in the conference. Grayson is right behind him.

Grayson will have plenty of weapons to choose from, as his whole receiving corps is returning. Rashard Higgins was the Rams’ leading receiver last year as a true freshman. I think he’s poised for an enormous season. Remember his name.

Crockett Gillmore is gone to the NFL, but Kivon Cartwright should step in at tight end and replace him on the All-Conference team.

So about those question marks… Obviously the Rams lose just about all of their production at running back with the departure of Kapri Bibbs, Donnell Alexander, and Chris Nwoke. Yesterday McElwain said he expects the Rams to go four or even five deep at running back. For me, Alabama transfer Dee Hart is the biggest wild card on the roster. I wrote about that a couple weeks ago. He could be a season-changer.

The offensive line lost four of five starters, including one of the best Rams ever in Weston Richburg. Ty Sambrailo is the only returning starter, and he should be an all-conference selection and appears to be another future-NFLer. That said, I’m not sure what to expect from this unit. It’s hard to imagine they’ll be as good as last year’s.

Defensively, the Rams struggled quite a bit in 2013. They were actually really good against the run but had a nasty little habit of giving up huge touchdown passes. Like… All the time. They lose the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year in Shaq Barrett, but I still think they should be improved overall defensively.

The linebacking corps will be a major strength for the Rams. The trio of Aaron Davis, Max Morgan and Cory James could be the best in the Mountain West and one of the better units in the nation. The secondary brings just about everybody back and should be better at not giving up 60-yard touchdowns seemingly every half. I don’t think the defensive line will be a strength.

So I think we’ll see more balance than last year’s team that scored a ton of points and gave up a lot of points. The offense will be high-powered again, but won’t be on the record-breaking level of last year. The defense should be improved.

Okay that’s enough of that. Let’s make fun of CU! (You should know I’m usually pretty objective on here, but with the Showdown three days away… screw it.)

Jon Embree

I don’t really have a good reason to post this, except that Jon Embree crying at his I-got-fired press conference was an absolutely hilarious moment for all involved that we should never forget. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

CU football sucks. Boulder sucks. CU students and fans suck.

People think Colorado football was much improved last year. That’s because they were! Way to go, guys! They went 4-8. Two of those wins came against Charleston Southern and Central Arkansas. That means they only beat two FBS teams. They went 1-8 in the Pac-12.

Seriously. All of that represented a dramatic improvement over their 2012 season when they went 1-11. Going 2-8 against actual, real-life Division One teams means that you probably can’t rank them 128th out of 128 teams like many did after their 2012 campaign. I miss you, Jon Embree.

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?

I know, I know… CSU was one of the 2 FBS wins CU had last year. Colorado was the better team that day, no doubt. But as I mentioned earlier, the flukey nature of Rocky Mountain Showdown can be the most frustrating thing about the game. By every advanced metric and the good, ol’ fashioned eyeball test, Colorado State had a much better team than Colorado when the 2014 season was all said and done.

So yes, Colorado State dropped a game to a bad team, but let’s not get that confused with CU having a better overall program.

They don’t.

And can CU fans quit pretending you don’t care about this game? This is the biggest game on Colorado’s schedule. That’s what happens when you have zero chance of going .500 in your conference every year. The move to the Pac-12 means you don’t have the opportunity to get blown out by Nebraska in that “rivalry” every year unless each team makes the Rose Bowl. (No, I couldn’t type that with a straight face.) Don’t act like you’re circling that Utah game on your calendar every year either. Nobody cares about that game.

Yes, a lot of great programs come to Boulder every year, but… Haven’t we already covered this? The CSU game is really the only one for the CU fan base to get excited about.

So let’s discuss this year’s Rocky Mountain Showdown…

In a shocking development, I think Colorado State will win. Making predictions for this game is kind of pointless because so much random, flukey crap seems to happen, but what the hell. I think CU will have trouble running the ball. Paul Richardson is in the NFL now so I don’t think he will twice be standing all alone casually strolling into the end zone like last year. Even with CSU’s question-mark of an offensive line I think Grayson will have enough time to throw to open receivers for two or three touchdowns. And I don’t know what to expect from Dee Hart.

But quarterback play decides this one and Grayson outplays Liufau.

My official pointless prediction that we will only revisit if it is correct: Rams 33, Buffs 27.

Off to a couple of the weekly departments…

Douche of the week:

You’d think anything and everything associated with CU would get the honors this week, but I need to scream at shake my fist at whoever made the decision to put this game on a Friday night. Who plays college football on a Friday night? Playing on a Friday night is not a good look for college football programs that want to be taken seriously. This Friday night is the opening weekend for high school football in the state, meaning thousands of football fans will be preoccupied and can’t even consider attending the game. So the attendance, which has already been struggling greatly, will be hindered further. Also, more people have to work on Fridays than on Saturdays or Sundays. That creates an obvious inconvenience for everybody.

The reason for this game being on a Friday was finding a desirable slot for national TV. But then, even after the move to Friday, the game still didn’t land on ESPN. I like Fox Sports One a lot (usually check in at least once a day), but I understand it’s watched by an audience like one-tenth the size of ESPN’s. So we move the game to a time slot that nobody associates with college football nationally and is a pain in the ass for everyone locally, because of a better TV deal even though nobody will be watching on TV because it’s not on ESPN? Got it.

(In addition, all Dish customers might have the RMS and other games blacked out due to a dispute between Dish and FS1.)

Also, the parking lots don’t even open until 3 p.m. THREE IN THE AFTERNOON! What the hell is that? I was planning on setting up our tailgate at 10 a.m.

Stud(s) of the week:

Jim McElwain and whoever is producing these online “episodes.” They’re surprisingly well done and serve as some pump-up fuel for Friday.

Hey here’s another very important video:

And finally, let’s all sing along with Fum:

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See y’all in the parking lots on Friday. And then in this space next week.

PLEASE NOTE: With the holiday weekend, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to churn one of these out by next Tuesday. I may take the route of my neighborhood trash guys and push it out a day. If you don’t see a post on Tuesday, there will be one Wednesday.

***

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What Might Jack Graham’s Firing Mean for CSU?

Welcome to the 72nd edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where we suddenly have a lot to discuss. Let’s get into it…

Jack Graham and Tony Frank have differences. They didn’t used to. But now they do. That’s not very cool. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

I received an email Friday afternoon that I wasn’t expecting. Q-Doba announced that their Queso Diablo is back for good! Pretty awesome news! Shortly thereafter I received another email I wasn’t expecting. It was a statement to various Colorado State fans from university president Tony Frank. Vague and nondescript, the statement blindsided me and thousands of other Rams fans. The first sentence of Frank’s statement said it all: “I have elected to terminate Jack Graham’s employment as athletic director.”

My reaction was something along the lines of, “Ummm… What?” This made no sense. Graham had hired three coaches. All three are considered successes. He raised the bar throughout the athletic department. He demanded excellence. He wasn’t about to accept mediocrity. In short, Jack Graham wasn’t f—ing around.

So what could it be then? Why would he be the victim of a sudden firing?

Well, there is that minor issue regarding the on-campus stadium.

It’s been clear to me since Day One that Graham was hired by Frank for one reason above all others:  Get us a damn stadium on campus. Figure out a way to make it happen. In Frank’s termination statement he said “In addition, this is in no way connected to the on-campus stadium project.” The response to that sentence was a unanimous eye roll and a “Surrrrree it isn’t, Tony.”

As I continued to analyze the news and try to put the pieces together, I found myself becoming increasingly disappointed and angry pissed off. By the time I started drinking beer with my friends I was what some might refer to as “distraught.” The sky is falling. It’s all over. CSU athletics are toast.

For someone who supports CSU athletics as much as I do, the thought of giving up on a new stadium and joining an FCS conference within five years is not a pleasant one. (The original title of this post was “Jack Graham Got Fired and Now We’re All Screwed”.)

How did I come to such an extreme reaction? To understand why I’m not crazy, we have to consider the recent vote by the NCAA board regarding the “Power Five” conferences. The vote will essentially will allow members of the five richest and most powerful conferences to make their own rules. Among other things, this will likely lead to the players in these conferences earning a stipend. Some people (including me) think these conferences will eventually break away from the NCAA and form their own “league.” If you’re not in one of those conferences, you will not be able to compete financially– and thus, athletically– with those schools. There will be a huge gap between the “Haves” and “Have-Nots.” CSU is not in one of those conferences. They will be a “Have-Not” or one of “The Leftovers.”

I do; however, think there will be more conference realignment in the next few years. The current members of the Power Five will not be the only schools included when many of these dramatic changes take place. Colorado State needed to make the necessary moves to join a power conference (or turn the Power Five into the Power Six with the Mountain West). This is a big reason a new stadium and a successful football program are imperative to the future of CSU athletics. Tony Frank and Jack Graham seemed to understand this. The renewed commitment to athletics was eye-opening for all of us.

Now it seems like Frank pulled the plug on that whole operation, which brings us back to my Friday night distraught-ness. Here was my thought process:

  • No Jack Graham likely means no stadium. This is not necessarily an overreaction. Like I mentioned earlier, I believe the stadium was the number one reason Frank hired Graham in the first place. Getting rid of Graham could well mean abandoning that vision, regardless of the lip service Frank is giving the stadium now.
  • No stadium means no commitment to athletics. When I say commitment, I mean an all-in commitment. Do the damn thing… or don’t. Freaking go for it… or sit back and be content with mediocrity.
  • No commitment to athletics means no inclusion in a power conference.
  • No inclusion in a power conference means the end of athletics at CSU as we know them.

Seems like pretty sound reasoning to me. See ya later, Rams. We’re all screwed.

But then something happened Monday morning that just confused the hell out of me. Colorado State confirmed reports that three of the four revenue sports had agreed to contract extensions with their respective coaches. All of the deals were worked out by both Graham and Frank shortly before Graham’s firing. How weird is that?

The most notable news here comes from, of course, the football program. Jim McElwain, who everybody everywhere agrees is the right man for the job, signed an extension to keep him in Fort Collins through at least the 2018 season. The extension included a bump in pay to a $1.5 million salary, making him the highest paid coach in the Mountain West. More importantly, the new contract includes a buyout of $7.5 million, which is absurd. Indeed, if McElwain wants to leave Colorado State for another coaching job, he (or the school hiring him) would be forced to pay CSU 5-times his annual salary, though that number will slowly decrease.

That’s crazy. That can’t be understated. Every coach ever says the same garbage about their current situation being a “dream job” and a “destination.” Then they bounce as soon as they find a situation that is of greater benefit to their bank account. Tim Miles seemed to love CSU, didn’t he? He did until a bigger school in a bigger conference offered him more money.

Anyway, it would appear that the Rams don’t need to worry about McElwain stepping off of the CSU stone to a different program. At least not for another five or six seasons. McElwain must be genuine when he says he loves Fort Collins and Colorado State, because he’s not going anywhere.

BUT WHY IN THE HELL WOULD HE AGREE TO THAT IMMEDIATELY BEFORE GRAHAM GETS FIRED AND THE STADIUM PLAN DIES AND THE COMMITMENT TO ATHLETICS IS NO MORE?!

I have absolutely no idea. Maybe… Could it be… Is it possible… That the stadium proposal actually isn’t dead? There’s not a doubt in my mind that a crucial part of Graham’s original pitch to McElwain included selling him on the idea of a new stadium. Might that renewed commitment to athletics be alive and well?

Hell if I know. Giving the three of the most important people in your athletic department raises and contract extensions with significant buyouts sure seems like a commitment to me.

Obviously, regardless of what McElwain’s contract says, there remains the issue of raising sufficient private funds to support the stadium. In this interview with Susie Wargin, Graham admitted that the stadium matters were the reason for his firing, but insisted that reports of the shortfall in fundraising were greatly exaggerated:

“The principal difference that existed between the two of us were matters pertaining to the stadium. 110 million dollars was the public goal. Starting as late as 2012, the goal that was given to me was 75 million dollars and the goal was that we would find ways and sources to fund to cover the balance through 125 million dollars of debt and the reinvestment of 30 million dollars from Hughes… Representations that the capital campaigns or any part of the stadium project are not succeeding, I have to reject those completely. We were making phenomenal progress at every level. The design of the stadium, the capital campaign initiatives, we were there on the doorstep of success.”

Graham has maintained this everything-is-fine demeanor regarding fundraising throughout his tenure. We’re now left wondering if this was a little bit delusional. Apparently, Frank does not think everything is fine. But McElwain does? Or McElwain does not, but he’s cool to stick around anyway? Or Graham is honest and correct about the money and Frank removed him completely for other reasons?

Something doesn’t really add up.

Screaming that THE END IS NEAR! (which was my strategy) or that EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! is more fun than practicing patience and nuance, but maybe it’s best to let some dust settle before we jump to any conclusions. Because I have no idea what is going on.

Two and a half years ago Jack Graham blew through the CSU doors with a fat wallet, big ol’ brass balls and an audacious vision. Friday afternoon, he was kicked out of those same doors with nary a whimper. Nobody saw it coming. It would appear not many know the reason.

Maybe Tony Frank still has that same bold vision. Or maybe he’s pulling the plug on the whole athletics operation and we actually are completely screwed.

One thing that I am sure of:  This has been an awful lot to digest.

More information will surface in the coming weeks and months and when it does, we’ll better understand what is really going on.

And I’ll know whether or not we should all be distraught.

Okay… Let’s move on to a couple of the weekly departments:

Stud of the week:

I think you’ll be hearing quite a bit about Mo’Ne Davis in the coming week. She threw a complete game shutout to send her team to the Little League World Series. She is awesome.

Pretty nasty curveball here:

And here’s a cool write-up on Davis from Grantland.

Vine of the week:

Check out this catch:

A couple links worth sharing:

Some other stuff the internet had to offer from the past week:

We had a couple great news videos last week. We have two more equally awesome ones this week.

This is another of my favorites of all time. Obviously, the 25 second mark is what makes this so amazing, but the whole video is actually pretty great. James makes some good points.

Ahhh ahahahaha there’s literally a dude right there! Just passed out right next to the interview! Unbelievable in every way:

Just amazing.

Then, of course there was this guy, who was equally hilarious, but in a very different way:

This also made me laugh harder than I’d like to admit:

Jason Sudeikis is probably the most underrated comic actor in America:

And finally, there’s this:

Personally, I think they could put forth a little more effort with these. This one feels forced and not that funny.

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

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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.

The Broncos Should Beat The Chargers; The Flying ‘Bama Ninja; Other Stuff

Welcome to the 42nd edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where we’re mourning the loss of college football for  a few months. At least we sent it out in style. Lots to get to this week…

Broncos fans will hate Phillip Rivers a whole lot more if he comes in to Denver and ends the Broncos season. (via bleacherreport.com)

The Broncos’ season starts now. The four pre-preseason games and 16 preseason games have taken us to opening day, Sunday, January 12th at 2:40 p.m. against the San Diego Chargers. Here we go.

The Broncos have the best record in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! and are playing at home against a third place team. They are double digit favorites. So why are so many fans so damn worried about this game?

Because we’ve seen this all before, and it didn’t go well.

The Broncos can not afford to take Chargers lightly. San Diego is the “hot team” in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! right now. They have won five in a row, including the win over the Broncos in Denver in week 15 (as double digit underdogs). They were seven point underdogs last week on the road in Cincinnati and won with ease. They’re scary.

There are plenty of similarities between this scenario and the one we saw last year. The 13-3 record. The one-seed. The Super Bowl favorites.

But when looking at last year’s Ravens compared to this year’s Chargers, there are plenty of differences. While the Chargers are the “hot team” this year, the Ravens lost four of five games heading into the playoffs last year. This year, the Chargers impressively beat the Broncos in Denver in week 15. Last year, the Broncos went in to Baltimore in week 15 and pounded the Ravens 34-17.

The Broncos should win this game. They should win it fairly easily. But what should happen, doesn’t always happen. The NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! playoffs seem almost impossible to predict. Three road teams and three underdogs won last weekend.

The Chargers game plan will be to control the football and keep Peyton Manning on the sideline.

In the Broncos’ win over the Chargers in week 10, San Diego won the Time of Possession battle 38 minutes to 22 minutes. This didn’t matter because the Broncos scored quickly on most of their drives and went up 28-6 in the third quarter. In week 15 the Chargers had the same game plan but it yielded a much different result. The Chargers held the ball for 39 minutes and controlled the game from start to finish.

In last week’s win over Cincinnati, Phillip Rivers attempted only 16 passes, which is kind of absurd in today’s NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!. They ran the ball 44 times.

A couple factors make this game plan favorable for the Broncos.

First, Von Miller is more effective as a pass rusher than a run stopper. He is out for the year. So if the Chargers don’t throw ball much, it actually helps negate the loss of one of the Broncos’ best players. (If the Broncos and Patriots play in the AFC Championship, Miller’s absence will be much more noticeable.)

Second, Wes Welker is back. The control-the-ball game plan worked for the Chargers in week 15 because the Broncos struggled on third downs, converting only 2 of 9. Wes Welker didn’t play that week. As Manning’s go-to guy on third down, Welker should help keep the Broncos offense on the field this week.

So I suppose I’ll take the Broncos 34-23. But if I were in Vegas, I would keep my money in pocket. I don’t think anybody really knows what is going to happen in these games.

That’s part of the fun.

Douche of the week: Okay, this week’s douche should probably get her own post. Here is video number one, the original, which by my count generated almost 2 million views in one day.

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Of course, the internet has some fun with this kind of thing. Several other videos popped up with different soundtracks, but this one was by far my favorite.

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Please note the kid in the white shirt saying “kiss” right on cue with the song. Also the line “Don’t you ever say I just walked away” takes place when the crazy lady is refusing to “just walk away.” I bet I’ve watched that 50 times and laughed out loud each time. Wonderful, glorious stuff.

The most interesting aspect of this whole thing to me is the changing landscape of viral videos and the internet. The increase in cell phone videos and quality of these videos has led to the understanding (or lack thereof) that if you go nuts or act like a weirdo in public, it will probably be caught on video. This is nothing particularly new.

But with advances in social media (my dad posted this on Facebook for crying out loud) and various blogs and sports sites, videos like this don’t just become viral videos. They become their own stories.

In the day that this was posted, both the victim (I guess he’s the victim. He’s the dude that got kicked 50 times in the back) and the crazy lady were identified. The day after the whole thing happened!

Here’s the link to the guy’s side of the story in which he says, “When she kicked me, it left giant boot marks on my shirt. I’m not sure if the guy restraining her was her husband or not—they weren’t sitting right next to each other—but she was kicked out of the game and her two daughters were crying.”

And here’s the crazy redneck trashy mom’s side of the story. She was concerned that she upset Nick Saban. Also, she wasn’t drunk. Can’t make this stuff up. “I’m embarrassed. I love The Tide and I apologize to all the players and to Coach Saban and to the entire fan base. I’m sorry. Coach Saban’s going to say ‘those crazy fans don’t know how to act.’ And I wasn’t intoxicated either. I want people to know that. I’d had a couple of drinks, but I was not intoxicated.”

The flying ninja was identified in part because she posted something on Facebook (always a smart move) and some readers of a blog about the SEC saw it and emailed the information in to the website. And can you believe this Mother Of The Year candidate didn’t actually attend the University of Alabama?! That one’s a real shocker.

Just five or six years ago this nut job could have done this and it wouldn’t have been recorded. The lady would have been kicked out and the episode would be over. Or more recently, it would have been caught in a grainy twenty second clip and uploaded on the internet and not many people would have seen it. The victim’s account wouldn’t have been published online. The ninja certainly wouldn’t have been identified.

These days, it was caught on a phone in high definition, filmed horizontally (a crucial factor in this story), nicely edited, uploaded to YouTube, shared on every blog and Facebook post and tweet imaginable, and turned into what is probably the defining moment in her entire life. A moment that will follow her forever.

God bless the internet.

Stud of the week:

This week’s stud is the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! I can oftentimes poke fun at our country’s obsession with the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! and it certainly has its faults (blackout rules, the concussion crisis, denying the concussion crisis, etc.) but weekends like the one we just witnessed make it clear why the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! is king.

We started on Saturday afternoon with a matchup between the Chiefs and Colts. It turned out to be a 45-44 thriller. Shortly thereafter, the Saints and Eagles kicked off on a cold Saturday night in Philadelphia. The result was a 26-24 thriller. About 13 hours after that game ended, the Chargers and Bengals kicked off in Cinci. The seven point underdogs won by 17. Then, on Sunday afternoon, the 49ers and Packers played in freezing conditions. The result was a 23-20 thriller.

The NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! is indeed king. And sometimes it is very clear why.

Tweet of the week:

Steve Gleason was live tweeting the Saints – Eagles game with his eyes. Gleason has been diagnosed with ALS and is now limited to a motorized wheelchair. Technology allows him to type with his eyes, which unbelievable and awesome. His inspirational work can be seen on his website here. Anyway, he tweeted out this gem Saturday night:

Tweet of (last) week:

bibbs tweet

I didn’t get to this in last week’s holiday post, but Kapri Bibbs surprised a whole bunch of people when he announced he would forgo his last two seasons of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft.

Bibbs kind of came out of nowhere this season to turn into one of the nation’s most underrated players and breakout stars. He rushed for more than 1,700 yards and 31 touchdowns. The only other players in the history of college football in the 30 touchdown club are Monte Ball and Barry Sanders.

Anyway a lot of CSU fans were quick to voice their displeasure with Bibbs’ decision. Most felt he would have benefited from another year in the college ranks. I think a lot of this outlook is based on hurt feelings and selfishness. Nobody knows if Bibbs is making the right decision right now, but I do know that Bibbs did what he had to do and earned his shot at a big pay day. Maybe Bibbs would have benefited from another season at CSU, or maybe he would have gotten hurt never made a dollar off his talent and hard work. It’s important to remember that running backs are forced to have a different outlook than other positions. In the NFL, running backs have a very short shelf life and an increased risk of injury.

Obviously this a big blow for the 2014 Rams who will know lean more heavily on Donnell Alexander. On the other hand, having players (especially at skill positions) drafted, raises the national profile of Colorado State a little bit in the long term, big picture.

Another interesting side note with this:  Four Colorado State Rams have a legitimate shot at getting drafted this year. Bibbs joins linebacker Shaquil Barrett, tight end Crockett Gillmore and center Weston Richburg as guys who should play on Sundays. This draft would mark the first time four CSU players were taken since 1996, according to the website drafthistory.com.

In other CSU news, multiple outlets are mentioning head coach Jim McElwain as a candidate for the open position at Louisville. McElwain served as offensive coordinator there for three years under John L. Smith. Let’s just say that would be a big blow to Rams fans. One thing to keep in mind, McElwain’s contract is structured with large buyout clauses should he leave early. If Louisville were to pry him away this season, they would have to pay CSU $3 million. Jack Graham is confident McElwain will stay.

What to watch the next seven days:

  • I think some NFL games will be played this weekend.
  • Tuesday nights are good for college basketball. #7 Baylor plays at #9 Iowa State tonight on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. Then #5 Michigan State hosts #3 Ohio State at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
  • The Nuggets have turned into a train wreck, but they host Oklahoma City on Thursday night on TNT. Train wrecks can be fun to watch sometimes.
  • It’s worth watching Colorado basketball these days. They’re good. They play twice on the road this week, at Washington State on Wednesday and at Washington on Sunday. They should win both.

Check out how close the Packers were to blocking the 49ers game winning field goal Sunday night. The ball literally went between this dudes arms!

via @bubbaprog

And CBS Sports tweeted out this still shot:

via @cbssports / (USATSI)

Here’s one of the biggest hits of the weekend:

via @xmasape

Unsuspecting old chubby guys are not as agile and coordinated as the players on the field.

John Kuhn didn’t quite make it:

kuhn leap

Fox Sports One put together this cool year-end video:

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Here’s a non sports video for all my readers who are country music fans:

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And finally, this video from Proctor and Gamble about moms is pretty touching and awesome:

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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 @MitchDHahn.