Tag Archives: Colorado State Rams

March Is Coming; What You Need To Know About Colorado State Basketball

Welcome to the 98th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where the dog days of winter are slowly dragging on. Does winter have dog days? Is that a thing? Whatever. Let’s get into it…

J.J. Avila has been Colorado State’s most consistent player all year long. (Erin Hull, Coloradoan)

It’s late February, which means not much is going on in the sports world. And while we may be stuck in one of the slower times on the sports calendar, it’s also the best time to jump in on the national college basketball scene. While there is nothing better than March Madness, college basketball at the end of February is pretty damn good too. We are in the middle of crunch time. The nation’s top teams are fighting for NCAA Tournament seeding and conference championships. Bubble teams are fighting just to be included in the Big Dance.

In Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region, only one team has a shot to receive an at-large bid to the tourney. And that team is the Colorado State Rams, who should be going dancing for the third time in four years. So let’s break down what you need to know about CSU with Selection Sunday just 19 days away.

The Rams began their season with the best start in program history. After finishing their non conference slate undefeated, they won their first Mountain West game to make them 14-0. They’re currently 23-5 (10-5 in the Mountain West) with three games remaining on the regular season schedule. The last few games are all winnable. After hosting San Jose State (terrible) tomorrow night, the Rams travel to Nevada (bad) and Utah State (decent). The Utah State game will be tough (it’s Stew Morrill’s last game before retirement), but a 26-5 record is within reach. That would be the most wins in program history and make CSU all but a lock for the tournament. Indeed, Larry Eustachy is getting the most out of his talent… again.

Colorado State’s roster is full of transfers, led by two seniors in Daniel Bejerano and J.J. Avila. Bejerano is a 6’5″ guard who transferred from Arizona after his freshman year four years ago, making him the last connection the Rams have to the Tim Miles era. He’s about as athletic a shooting guard as you’ll see in the Mountain West and one of the better rebounding guards in recent memory. Bejerano is probably the most talented player on the Rams, but is too often an inconsistent shooter. Eustachy is cool with that and gives Bejerano an eternal green light from behind the arc. (Bejerano has the most three point attempts on the team and is shooting a decent 37.6 percent from deep.)

Daniel Bejerano’s sometimes streaky play is key as the Rams head to the postseason. Erin Hull, Coloradoan

The way I see it, Bejerano will be the key to success for the Rams in the Mountain West tournament and the Big Dance. When he is making his threes and controlling the offense, CSU becomes very difficult to beat and can look dominant. When he’s not– as has often been the case in conference road games– the Rams’ offense can completely stall and be painful to watch.

Avila is a burly 6’8″ 250 pound forward who looks a little bit like Mr. Incredible. Avila transferred from the Naval Academy after his sophomore year. Though Bejerano is more athletically gifted, Avila has been the Rams’ best player this year. When Avila gets the ball in the low block, it’s fun as hell to watch him go to work. He utilizes crafty footwork, angles, pump fakes, spins and a three-inch vertical leap to make weird-ass shots on a regular basis. Avila does it all. His averages on the year (rounded): 17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, while shooting 55 percent from the floor. His consistent play all season is the biggest reason the Rams are 23-5.

The Rams lead the Mountain West in scoring at  73 points per game, which is a bunch in the current college basketball environment. Looking at KenPom’s* advanced statistics, the Rams have one of the nation’s better offenses (46th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency) paired with a below average defense (147th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency). They play at an above average pace (51st in Adjusted Tempo), which makes for more pleasant viewing than a lot of good team’s in today’s college basketball world.

*I think the top-heavy Mountain West and general awfulness of the lower-tier teams has jerked with kenpom’s numbers a bit this season. His formula has the Rams ranked 68th overall, quite a bit lower than several other metrics.

Most bracket predictions have CSU somewhere around a 10-seed right now. But of course, those predictions are fluent and change on a regular basis. So how will the rest of this season play out for Colorado State? Probably better than this worst case scenario, and worse than this best case scenario.

Worst Case (Realistic) Scenario: The Rams beat San Jose State comfortably tomorrow night because San Jose State is one of the worst teams I’ve ever seen, but stumble and lose in Reno to a bad Nevada team. They follow that up with a loss at Utah State and finish the year 24-7 and in fifth place in the Mountain West. They win one game in the Mountain West tournament but lose in the second round. Selection Sunday comes and goes without the Rams’ name being called. The excitement and promise from earlier in the year turns out to be completely for naught. The Rams are a fairly high seed in the N.I.T., but nobody cares.

Best Case (Realistic) Scenario:  The Rams win their final three regular season games to finish 26-5. With some help from Boise State and Wyoming they finish second in the Mountain West standings. Behind another impressive three-point shooting performance, they beat San Diego State in the Mountain West tournament championship, moving them to 29-5. On Selection Sunday they learn the committee has rewarded them with a 6-seed. In the Big Dance they beat an 11-seed (think Purdue or UCLA) and then upset a 3-seed (think North Carolina or Utah in Las Vegas Bowl revenge) to reach the Sweet 16 and move them to 31-5. The magic comes to an end during the tournament’s second weekend when the Rams finally go down to a more athletic and more talented 2-seed.

I don’t know what the future holds for the Rams, but I do know the college basketball bandwagon has plenty of room and it’s officially time for you to jump on. Around these parts, the team in Fort Collins is reason enough to hop on board.

Off to the weekly departments…

Stud of the week:

NBC

“Parks and Recreation”, one of the great comedies of all time, comes to an end tonight after seven seasons. “Parks and Rec” never really caught on for mainstream audiences like “The Office” did, but is probably a better show in its totality. Some people think the reason “Parks and Rec” never blew up is the first season wasn’t as good as the next six. I think the show was simply too different (smart) to appeal to broad (dumb) audiences like “Two and Half Men” or “The Big Bang Theory”, but not raunchy or obscure enough to find a niche like “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.”

I’ve never seen another show that could be so sweet, genuine, warm, fuzzy, cute, and sincere at the same time as being uproariously funny, bizarre, quick, smart, absurd, and hilarious. Here’s my guy Alan Sepinwall:

In the end, it is one of the best comedies TV has ever seen, and one that stands out from so much of the great shows of this new Golden Age of Television because its default emotion was joy when so many of this era’s great shows are defined by darkness, and its default philosophy was one of optimism at a time when even the best comedies today tend towards ironic detachment.

He goes on…

So let me put it this way: there is a stretch of 42 episodes spanning seasons 2, 3 and 4 without a bad one among them. Every sitcom, even the best, churns out a misfire now and then; for two-odd years, every “Parks” episode was at a minimum very good, and at a maximum a classic of the form, mixing slapstick, social satire and simple character-based comedy.

The show’s cast was unbelievably deep for a broadcast network comedy. Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, and Aubrey Plaza are all much bigger stars than they were six years ago (with the exception of Lowe, probably). And all Offerman did was create one of the greatest TV characters of all-time in Ron Swanson:

Anyway I’ll stop talking about TV now, but I look forward to the finale tonight. I’ve never been so confident in a show to stick the landing.

(If you haven’t watched, the first six seasons are on Netflix.)

Douche(s) of the week:

Boyhood didn’t win Best Picture. What the hell, people? Smdh.

Vine(s) of the week:

There were some crazy dunks in the basketball world this week. We’ll start this section by continuing the CSU basketball theme. Here is former Ram Jon Octeus, who was with CSU for the last couple years before trying to transfer to UCLA, not getting in, and landing at Purdue.

I never saw that from J.O. in a Rams’ uniform. On a side note, CSU is without a reliable true point guard. They could have really used Octeus’ long, active defense this year.

The other college dunk of the week came from Jarell Martin of LSU, who went between the legs IN A GAME! IN COLLEGE!

I’ve seen some crazy-ass dunks from JR Smith from his time in Denver, but this one might have dropped my jaw more than any other.

This doesn’t have its own section, but here’s a video of a 92-year-old man driving around a Piggly Wiggly parking lot in Wisconsin. It’s pretty funny if you know that no one was hurt and you can avoid getting into a debate about the elderly’s right to drive and society’s role in accommodating the elderly and confronting your own fear of one day growing old.

The driver was not cited.

Here’s a disgustingly terrifying video of a land octopus, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t a real thing until a few days ago.

And finally, check out this ending to a middle school basketball game. (White team is up by one.)

A jump ball as time expires results in the end of the game. Just when you thought you’ve seen it  all…

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See ya next week (for the 99th Tuesday in a row).

***

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 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.

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.

***

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.

Reaction to Colorado State’s Hiring of Mike Bobo (And the Las Vegas Bowl)

Welcome to– and a very merry Christmas from– the 90th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where the Christmas spirit flows as freely as the adult beverages. Let’s get into it… .

Mike Bobo is the new head coach of the Colorado State Rams. (Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports)

Colorado State on Monday night announced the hiring of a new head football coach to replace Jim McElwain. Mike Bobo is the new man leading the Rams in Fort Collins.

Two weeks ago, I made my case for Dave Baldwin to be promoted as the Rams’ head coach. In that post, I also mentioned that if the hiring committee can recruit an up-and-coming coordinator like Scott Frost that would certainly be looking into. I didn’t mention Mike Bobo, but he fits that mold.

This appears to be a very solid hire from Tony Frank and his search firm. Bobo’s biography on the UGA athletics website can be found here, but here are a couple highlights:

“He’s directed an offense that has led Georgia to two consecutive record-setting seasons on offense: Total Yards in a Season (6,547 in 2012 and 6,294 in 2013); Average Yards Per Game (484.2 in `13 and 467.64 in `12); and Most TD’s in a Season (72 in 2012 and 58 in `13).”

“Bobo has coached several star QB’s at UGA including Aaron Murray (2010-13) who set 27 Georgia records, four SEC marks and finished with 13,562 yards of total offense, 13,166 yards passing, 121 touchdown passes and 921 completions. He became the first player in SEC history to have at least 3,000 yards passing in four consecutive seasons. Bobo has also coached Matthew Stafford, the first pick of the 2009 NFL draft (Lions), and the winningest quarterback in NCAA Division 1-A history at the time–David Greene–who won 42 games as a starter and set the Bulldog and SEC records for Career Passing Yards (11,528).”

You get the idea. Essentially, he played quarterback at Georgia and has been there (almost) his entire coaching career. He started as the quarterbacks coach in 2001 and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2007. In that position he’s coached prolific, record-breaking, offenses and NFL superstars.

Naturally, this hire is very, very reminiscent to the Rams’ previous move. Three years ago they hired an SEC offensive coordinator to his first head coaching job. That move worked out pretty well so, yeah, it makes sense to go the same route.

Of course, we all saw the drawback to hiring an up-and-comer to his first job just a few weeks ago, when McElwain moved on to a larger, more prolific program after a few successful years. I’m sure in the coming months and years Bobo will have plenty to say about feeling at home and wanting to build CSU for many years to come, but trust me– TRUST ME– he is looking at this job as a stepping-stone. Just like McElwain did. This is, perhaps, a little cynical, but it’s also realistic. These days, coaches either fail and are fired, or they are successful and move on. There is very little middle ground, especially at a place like CSU.

If Bobo is coaching CSU in five years, I’ll be pretty surprised. Unless Bobo really, really continues to elevate the program into the national championship discussion or the the shifting nature of college athletics results in Colorado State somehow entering a Power 5 conference, Bobo will be drawn to more prestige and more money. That’s just the nature of college athletics.

And that’s okay.

Right now, all CSU needs to do is keep winning games, scheduling aggressively, and elevating the program. The rest will take care of itself.

I’m glad CSU stayed away from the NFL. I’m glad they weren’t drawn to candidates simply because of CSU ties. It’s clear they were looking for the best possible candidate for the position, regardless of their background and without long term concerns about staying with the program for many years to come. That’s the best approach.

We’re on Day One of the Mike Bobo era, but I think the Rams have a head coach that can keep things pointed in the right direction and win a lot more games than he loses.

And that’s really all there is to it.

The announcement and subsequent press conference signaled the end of a very tumultuous few weeks in the Colorado State football world. Check out this crazy timeline:

  • November 28th: The Rams still have hopes of going to the Fiesta Bowl heading into their last regular season game against Air Force in Colorado Springs. They lose a heart-breaker on a last-second field goal.
  • November 29th: Boise State blows out Utah State and wins the Mountain Division, meaning the Rams’ loss to Air Force actually didn’t mean much.
  • December 2nd: Quarterback Garett Grayson is named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year. Coach Jim McElwain is named Mountain West Coach of the Year.
  • (Later on) December 2nd: News breaks that Florida is flying to Fort Collins to (very publicly) recruit Jim McElwain as their new head coach. There are media tracking private planes and waiting at airports and staking out McElwain’s house. It is weird. No actual news is ever released.
  • December 4th: Two days of public speculations and various media reports and private negotiations about buyouts and contracts come to an end when Florida introduces McElwain as their new head coach, leaving the CSU football community pretty damn crushed.
  • December 5th: One day after the huge news regarding McElwain becomes official, the CSU Board of Governors makes much bigger news when it officially approves an on-campus stadium. Again, this news is bigger than any coaching decision.
  • December 7th: The Rams learn their bowl game fate:  A December 20th matchup vs. Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl.
  • December 20th: After a couple of quiet weeks, the Rams finally play in the Las Vegas Bowl vs. Utah with interim head coach Dave Baldwin at the helm. It does not go well. At all. The Rams are blown out 45-10. (More on that later.)
  • December 22nd: News breaks that Colorado State will hire Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo as their new head coach.
  • December 23rd: (that’s today!): Mike Bobo is officially introduced as CSU’s new head coach and speaks extensively during a 45-minute press conference.

Pass the Pepto Bismal, that’s a lot to digest in a short amount of time.

So about that Las Vegas Bowl…

Garrett Grayson’s days as a CSU quarterback are done after a disappointing finish in the Las Vegas Bowl. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

I don’t really know where to start on this one. The Rams were out-talented, out-coached, out-efforted, out-focused. Out-everythinged. 45-10. Season over.

Last week, I said it would be interesting to see how focused and cohesive CSU would be in this game after the difficult few weeks that led up to it. As the second half of the season’s last game slowly dragged on, it became clear that the Rams’ coach bailing on them definitely made an impact.

Jim McElwain’s departure may sound like a built-in excuse to throw out there after getting your ass kicked, but is there any doubt in your mind the Rams would have had a better showing if none of the McElwain stuff ever happens? There’s not in mine.

It was a very disappointing end for an important class of seniors who deserved a better send-off. But it’s important to remember that this was still a special year. And on the whole, the season accomplished what it needed to.

The program moved forward, and along the way gained national rankings and notoriety and prestige that hasn’t been associated with the Colorado State Rams in a long time.

The Las Vegas Bowl was pretty much a disaster, but the 2014 season was a huge success.

And a few short words about Jim McElwain being interviewed by Musberger and Palmer during the game…

Initially, I was pretty jolted by how odd the concept of that is. Like, Wait, did they just say they’re going to speak with Jim McElwain after the break? That can’t be right.

And yes, it is a pretty damn strange concept, but overall the interview didn’t harbor any ill-will from my point of view. He’s talking in coach-speak… You can tell he cares about his former players…

But then Musburger asked him about Florida. That’s when it got disappointing and… gross. Here’s a coach in full PR-mode, on national television selling the Florida program while the players and assistants he just ditched are playing (and losing) in the most important game for the program in many years.

It kind of reminded me of the Rockies vs. Red Sox World Series in 2007 when Alex Rodriguez announced his new contract in the middle of Game Four as a blatant attempt to draw attention to himself and take away from, you know, THE FREAKING WORLD SERIES.

If McElwain really wanted to be interviewed as some sort of tribute to his former players, it probably wouldn’t have been difficult to make NO FLORIDA QUESTIONS a condition of the interview. Or when asked about Florida, he could have said something along the lines of I’m excited about my new opportunity but right now let’s keep the focus on these guys at CSU. I’m just so proud of all we’ve accomplished.

Instead, McElwain got one last little boost out of the CSU program for his personal career while taking away from his players.

So, I don’t know… it’s not like I HATE JIM MCELWAIN now. But, bro, that wasn’t very cool.

And with that, it’s time to turn the page…

And talk about this CSU men’s basketball team. They finally entered the national rankings this week and have a chance to make it through their noncoference schedule undefeated with a win at New Mexico State on Saturday. (That game is far from a gimmie.)

They moved to 12-0 on Monday night with a win over Charleston Southern, which included this sweet little dish from Bejerano to Kidd…

Okay, I definitely wanted to talk more about CSU basketball, but for about the third week in a row, don’t have the time. (Please reference the above timeline for reasoning.)

Hey let’s hit the weekly departments…

Douche of the week:

Last year around this time, I said, “There are no douches on Christmas.” But…

I’m wondering if disgusting sucker punches are a violation of the infamous BYU Honor Code. Full video of the amazing brawl is here.

In Number 12’s defense, he did take a nasty helmet-to-eye-socket headbutt prior to his sucker punch, which explains the ping pong ball you can see wedged below his left eye and the bloody face. That was delivered by 36 on Memphis, though. And he tried to lay out  #40. I guess you’re not overly concerned with identifying the correct party after catching the crown of a helmet with your cheek.

The biggest bummer about this brawl is it’s all anyone will remember about what will probably be the best game of the bowl season. A 55-48 double overtime Memphis win. Absolute thriller.

Tweet(s) of the week:

My favorite part of Sunday’s NFL action was Kenny Albert’s sweater. Look closely. At the carrots. And the frown.

A broadcaster wore that thing on national television!

Apparently, the Kansas City police department had something called a KC Tweetalong (or #kctweetalong) where they just told the world what was going on over the course of their day. This little compilation of tweets (start at the bottom) is pretty amazing.

When I read “him/her” I just about died. What a strange world we live in.

And this letter to the editor is an all-timer.

Vine of the week:

Rocky v. Howard:

Pretty corny, but kinda funny. Rocky’s flopping is already on the NBA level. Mascots are not my deal, but Rocky has always been better than most. (Except for that one time when he passed out and it looked like he was being hanged.)

Some other stuff from around the internets:

I guess I don’t have much time to discuss the Broncos’ loss on Monday. But here is the coolest and most amazing moment:

Katie Nolan, one of my favorite sports internet people, had me cracking up with this one:

Hey you people like dogs and stuff! Look at this weirdo:

A couple links worth sharing:

And finally, if you haven’t seen this Apple commercial yet, watch it now. Pretty moving stuff.

Happy holidays, indeed.

Merry Christmas, everyone. I really appreciate those of you who check in on these posts each week. I hope they entertain you on Tuesday nights or kill some time at work on Wednesdays. Hopefully you have some time off from work this holiday season and can spend it enjoying the presence of your families and close friends. Take in the food, the drink, the music, the lights, and the magic of the Christmas season with people who are important to you.

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.

Las Vegas Bowl Preview

Welcome to the 89th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where the bowl season will soon be upon us. Short post this week; I’ve been busy. (And hey thanks for the positive feedback on last week’s post.) Let’s get into it…

Garrett Grayson - Colorado v Colorado State

Garrett Grayson’s remarkable career will come to an end on Saturday. (Doug Pensinger, Getty Images)

The Colorado State Rams have a chance to finish one of the better seasons in school history on a positive note Saturday afternoon in the Las Vegas Bowl. Standing in their way is an old WAC and Mountain West rival in the Utah Utes. Brent Musberger and Jesse Palmer will be on the call for ABC, 1:30 Colorado time.

So let’s start with a quick breakdown of the Utes. Here’s their 2014 schedule:

(screenshot via espn.com)

(screenshot via espn.com)

So Utah went 8-4 on the year and 5-4 in Pac-12 play. Their best win is probably on the road against UCLA, who is currently ranked 14th by the CFP committee. They have a bad loss at home to a Washington State team that won only one other conference game. Other than that, their schedule played out about like you’d expect, though two of their conference wins came in double overtime. Utah is currently ranked 22nd by the committee.

Utah leans on the run more than the pass and their best player is probably junior running back Devontae Booker, who averaged 5.1 yards per carry on his way to 1,350 rushing yards on the season. Booker was named Pac-12 First Team All-Conference.

Their defense gives up 26.2 points per game and is led by defensive end Nate Orchard who recorded 16.5 (!) sacks on his way to a First Team Pac-12 selection.

Overall, based on what I’ve seen from Utah this year (only a few games) and looking at the numbers, Utah looks like a very balanced team. Not great offensively. Not great defensively. But no real weak spots. They’re a pretty good team, but won’t be mistaken for a championship contender anytime soon.

Utah is favored by about 4.5 points in Vegas. Colorado State could certainly beat them.

Obviously, much of the speculation for this game revolves around the Rams’ lack of a head coach. Dave Baldwin will fill in nicely (I made my case for him last week), but playing without Jim McElwain for the first time all season in the biggest game of the year isn’t ideal. It will be interesting to see how focused and cohesive CSU is after such a tumultuous couple of weeks.

They should be able to score some points against Utah’s defense, who will have trouble covering Rashard Higgins because everybody has trouble covering Rashard Higgins. Containing Booker will be key. I think the Rams will have a chip on their shoulder and will be wanting to prove themselves. I think Utah will be nonplussed and unenthused at their bowl game and matchup after having set their sights on bigger fish for much of the year.

So if you force me to make a prediction, I’ll say CSU wins a very close one. It can’t be as crazy as last year’s New Mexico Bowl, but it could go down to the wire. 34-33 Rams. I have very little confidence in that pick. (I pretty much nailed my New Mexico Bowl prediction last season and this recap is a pretty fun read one year later.)

If CSU does pull off the minor upset, it will be interesting to see if they finish the year nationally ranked in any of the three polls. They’re currently in the “others receiving votes” category in the AP and Coaches polls.

Win or lose, this game represents the final 60 minutes for an important class of Colorado State seniors. Last week, I said that Jim McElwain put the Rams back on the college football map. That’s true, but this class of seniors also played a fairly important role.

Charles Lovett, Bernard Blake, Aaron Davis, Max Morgan, Jared Roberts, Mason Myers, and Ty Sambrailo highlight a group that was there for the end of the Steve Fairchild era. Over the course of their careers, they turned the program around.

The most notable senior is, of course, quarterback Garrett Grayson, who is looking for one last win before he moves on to a possible career in the NFL.

Grayson’s progress and growth were fun to watch over the course of the last four years. He was good last year and awesome this year. I’ve mentioned these numbers before, but they bear repeating:

  • Grayson’s quarterback rating in four games (three starts) as a freshman:  108
  • In six games as a sophomore:  126.5
  • In 13 games as a junior:  138.4
  • In 12 games (so far) as a senior:  171.3

Grayson was also what you look for in a “face of the franchise” type quarterback. Well spoken. Good-lookin’ kid. Carries himself well off the field. Good leader.

So here’s hoping Grayson, Sambrailo, Morgan and Davis lead the Rams to one more victory against Utah on Saturday. Colorado State can still finish 2014 with an 11-2 record. This season– and each of those careers — was too awesome to come to an end with two straight losses sandwiched around the exit of Jim McElwain.

In other, non-bowl game news, a non-senior made some headlines this week when Rashard Higgins was named First Team All-American by the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated, Walter Camp, ESPN and USA Today. Higgins came to CSU out of high school as a two-star recruit on Rivals. Now, as a true sophomore– A TRUE SOPHOMORE!– he’s a first team All-American. That’s amazing.

In my CSU season preview I said, “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.”

I guess First-Team All American qualifies as an “enormous season”.

I also wanted to talk a lot of CSU basketball here, but don’t have time. I’ll just say that win in Boulder on Wednesday night was very impressive. Closing out good teams on the road ain’t easy, but the Rams passed their first real test as visitors. Larry Eustachy’s band of transfers look like legitimate Mountain West contenders. They should be ranked this week, but they’re settling for “others receiving votes” again.

I don’t have any of the weekly departments this week, but I did enjoy this Vine:

A couple links worth sharing:

And finally, here’s a touching, sad moment from John Wall.

Happy Tuesday everybody. If you’re heading out to Vegas, put 20 on red for me. 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.

Thoughts On The Broncos and Patriots (And CSU)

Welcome to the 83rd edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I am completely indifferent to Daylight Savings Time and don’t care about how you feel about the time change. Let’s get into it…

quarter. (Steven Senne/AP)

This is a pretty accurate representation of Sunday afternoon. (Steven Senne/AP)

I think it’s time we all acknowledge that the Broncos are the best team in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!. And right now, it doesn’t seem like anyone else is particularly close.

-Mitch Hahn, Tuesdays With Mitch, October 28th 2014

So… about that. Did you guys know that certain portions of my post last week were written as satire? Totally joking! Got y’all good.

Sunday’s beatdown in New England made it pretty clear that the Broncos are not standing alone as the best team in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!. The best team in the league might be the Patriots. Or someone else. I guess it could still be the Broncos. But the Patriots were definitely the best team on the field on Sunday.

And because of that, the Broncos’ regular season just became much more interesting. I’m always using this space to stress that the Broncos are in the middle of a 17 week preseason and none of these games really matter until the playoffs begin. I still feel that way to an extent, but right now it sure looks like getting the one-seed in the AFC is crucial.

Because the Broncos do not look like a team that can beat the Patriots in Foxborough.

So after nine weeks of the NFL season, the Broncos are 6-2. The Patriots are 7-2.

Here is the Broncos’ remaining schedule:

screenshot via ESPN.com

screenshot via ESPN.com

And here is the Patriots’ remaining schedule:

screenshot via ESPN.com

screenshot via ESPN.com

The Broncos have five road games and three home games. The Patriots have four road games and three home games (and a bye). Both teams go to San Diego. Both teams host Buffalo. Both teams have what appear to be tough road games.

So you can examine each game on each team’s schedule and try to predict each outcome, but that’s pretty pointless. The bottom line with all of this is that both teams have a whole lot of football to play and a lot of different scenarios can play out. It’s reasonable to foresee either team having home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Naturally after Sunday’s debacle, the thought process around town is that THE SKY IS FALLING and THE BRONCOS SUCK AGAIN. But as disheartening as Sunday afternoon was, I’m always careful not to invest too much into one game. Especially when that game takes place in early November in week nine.

I wrote last week that the Broncos were probably not going to go 15-1. I was right about that. And while playing in New England gave the Broncos an opportunity to make a statement and gain a solid grip on the AFC, it is just one loss. Really! It is! I checked the standings and everything.

The Broncos are still the Super Bowl favorites in Vegas. That kind of surprised me, but Vegas knows more than everyone and they’re not overreacting.

After watching the second quarter on Sunday it’s safe to say the Broncos had no shot beating New England. But– and stick with me here– if the Broncos don’t give up a fairly flukey punt return for a touchdown, and if their kicker kicks the ball six inches to the left and if Wes Welker catches this pass instead of gifting it to the other team, we’re watching a very different football game.

@cjzero

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons for Broncos fans to be concerned. The pass rush wasn’t there. The defense couldn’t get off the field on third and long. The running game couldn’t establish itself. Julius Thomas is essentially a non-factor these days (two targets, two catches, one TD). Wes Welker is essentially a non-factor these days (94 total yards receiving the last four weeks). They don’t seem to have a right tackle. They don’t seem to have a kicker.

And I have no idea how to stop Rob Gronkowski. Look at this freak! He changes everything about the Patriots’ offense dramatically.

@cjzero

So I’m not Mr. Everything-Is-Fine again this week. Especially when I watch those two GIFs. But I’m not ready to crown the Patriots either. And I still think the Broncos have a pretty good shot at hosting each round of the playoffs.

And if they do that, their chances of returning to the Super Bowl are pretty darn good.

Subject change…

Garett Grayson (AP photo)

Garrett Grayson played through a groin injury to lead the Rams to another road win. (AP photo)

Colorado State won again. They won on the road. They won despite battling some injuries. They won despite giving up some big plays. The Rams just know how to win.

We have apparently reached the point in the rise of Colorado State football when fans can say, “Yeah they won the game BUUUUTTT it was closer than it should have been. They actually kind of struggled.”

I suppose this mindset is a good thing because it indicates how much expectations have risen, but you won’t find me complaining about anything after this one. Like I said a couple weeks ago, a road win in conference that comes without any major injuries is never, ever, ever a bad thing.

Speaking of injuries, for a while it looked like the Rams might have suffered two substantial ones. Garrett Grayson was hobbling around with a hurt groin seemingly all game. Rashard Higgins left the game with a shoulder injury. Neither injury is believed to be too serious, though Higgins may sit out Saturday vs. Hawaii.

But I have to give more props to Grayson for coming through with another ballsy performance. He could hardly move out there and had to ride the stationary bike to stay loose when he wasn’t on the field. And the stationary bike sucks. Screw that. But even with all the visible pain and unnecessary cardio, you could tell he wasn’t about to come out of that game. He seems to be a pretty tough dude. Keep in mind he’s also been battling a hurt throwing shoulder for much of the year.

Grayson finished with 290 yards passing and touchdown to Higgins, who still leads the nation in receiving yards and touchdowns after his 8 catch, 143 yard, 1 TD performance. Dee Hart had the best night of the bunch with 104 yards rushing and four touchdowns.

The Spartans were able to make things interesting. They even pulled within one score in the final minutes and were driving with a chance to tie before the Rams came up with a fourth down stop to seal the game. But I think that’s a little deceiving. The Rams had a 14-point lead and came up with an interception that looked like it was going to put them up by 21 with five minutes left untill Trent Matthews fumbled on his 25-yard return. San Jose State would later score on that drive. Then there’s the onside kick San Jose State recovered with just over two minutes left. Onside kicks are always complete flukes and I will never be convinced otherwise. And it helps when the refs don’t let players catch balls while they’re clearly running out of bounds.

The Rams took care of business against a mediocre team on the road in a game that I was actually pretty concerned about. And that’s really all that matters.

Time for your weekly record update! Colorado State is now 8-1 in 2014. They’ve won seven in a row. They’re 12-2 in their last 14 games going back to last season. 14-3 in their last 17; 15-4 in their last 19.

Looking ahead on the schedule, for the Rams to finish 11-1 they just need to beat two awful teams at home– they’re favored by 18.5 against Hawaii on Saturday and I expect a similar line vs. New Mexico in a couple weeks– before heading down the road to Air Force. Air Force has improved quite a bit over last year’s 2-10 team so I’m not taking that one for granted.

Last week I laid out some different bowl scenarios for the Rams. A quick update on those: East Carolina lost on Saturday, which dropped them from the national rankings. So the only things keeping CSU from a New Year’s Bowl are three regular season wins of their own, a Boise State loss, and a Rams’ win at home in the Mountain West Championship game. (If this scenario plays out, I can’t see Marshall being ranked higher than CSU, even if they’re undefeated.)

That Boise State loss though… still doesn’t seem overly likely. Their remaining schedule:

screenshot via ESPN.com

screenshot via ESPN.com

Maybe the ‘Pokes will do CSU a favor in Laramie. Maybe Utah State can go into Boise and get the job done. All the Rams can do is keep winning and see what happens.

Off to the weekly departments…

Douche of the week:

One last thing on the Coloroado State Rams: Being 8-1 in the Mountain West with your only loss coming in Boise in week 2 and not cracking the national rankings is a complete load of shit. That is all.

Stud of the week:

The story of Lauren Hill is one of the most moving stories of the year. She played in her first college basketball game on Sunday. If you’re unfamiliar with her story, start with these few paragraphs I pulled from this Yahoo! Sports article, describing Hill scoring the first basket of the college basketball season.

It was the simplest of plays, yet so much had to go right for it go off without a hitch.

Hill, the Mount St. Joseph College forward with an inoperable brain tumor, first had to live long enough to play in Sunday’s game against Hiram College, no small feat since doctors have told her they expect her not to make it through December. The 19-year-old freshman also had to summon the strength to make it up and down the floor despite the constant headaches and bouts of dizziness and nausea that have plagued her more frequently in recent weeks.

And as if that weren’t enough, there was the little matter of Hill having to attempt the layup with her off hand because the right side of her body is too weak for her hoist it to the rim with her dominant arm. Hill has practiced shooting with her left hand for weeks, but she still missed just as many layups as she made in practice the past two weeks — and that was without a sellout crowd of 10,000 fans standing in her honor and tens of thousands more watching at home from their sofas on national TV.

And this SportsCenter Featured from Tom Rinaldi and ESPN might make things a little dusty.

(If YouTube takes that video down, head here to watch.)

Hill was named the conference player of the week on Monday.

Good, sad, happy, touching, powerful, moving stuff.

And a bunch of other stuff:

I actually really like this play. If you can nail the timing things could go well. If not, this happens:

And here’s a GIF with a different angle.

I never want to meet this creepy guy. Or his eyebrows.

I’m not sure why the Dolphins are giving their coach an ice water bath in week nine and neither is this ref.

The Army band had some fun with Halloween:

A couple links worth sharing:

And finally, this completely incompetent Chevrolet employee absolutely stole the show on Wednesday night after game seven of the World Series. Yes, I’m late to the party on this again this week. (The MLB Postseason schedule did not align favorably with weekly posts on Tuesday.) But this is too good to leave out. An all-time cringe-inducer here.

Chevy Guy’s most famous line, of course, was “Technology and Stuff”:

And props to Chevy, who ran with it and turned it into a legit marketing campaign.

Happy Tuesday and stuff everybody. Thanks for reading and stuff.  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.

Your Weekly Roundup From The Sports World And Internet

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

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

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

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

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

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

But damn, they look awesome right now.

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

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

Oh, and they also have a decent offense.

So these are good times for Broncos fans.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things are good for Rams fans right now.

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

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

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

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

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

Off to the weekly departments…

Douche of the week:

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

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

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

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

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

Stud of the week/Tweets of the week:

What Madison Bumgarner has done this postseason has been incredible.

You get the idea.

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

Vines of the week:

Football players are stubborn.

This dude lowers his shoulder and everything.

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

Honestly, this looks like a lot of fun.

That last one also produced our…

Photo of the Week:

Photo courtesy, Matt Eisenberg

A couple links worth sharing:

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

I’m with Wilson Chandler on this one.

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

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

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

***

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

Weekly Roundup! Colorado State! Broncos! Baseball!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victory.

Colorado State is 6-1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Off to the weekly departments…

Stud of the week:

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

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

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

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

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

Tweet of the week:

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

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

Douche of the week:

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

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

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

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

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

Also, this is a thing that happened.

@cjzero

@cjzero

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

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

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

Vines of the week:

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

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

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

I’ve never heard a ref say this.

Here’s Tubby Smith falling on a mortorcycle.

Smooth, Tubbs.

Madison Bumgarner Wasting Beer, Volume III

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

A couple other cool things:

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

@Landgrant33 / SB Nation

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

This lady is just too damn much:

A couple links worth sharing:

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

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

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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.

Colorado State Beats Boston College For A Huge, Wild Win

Welcome to the 79th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where tonight officially starts one of the best times on the sports calendar with the MLB Postseason, college football and the NFL all going strong. Let’s get into it…

Lovett

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

“This is what I came here to do.” – Jim McElwain

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.

But then Garrett Grayson saw Charles Lovett just hanging out by himself in the back corner of the end zone. He threw him a football and Colorado State did beat Boston College on Saturday afternoon. College football is fun when you win! (Video of the winning TD can be seen here. It’s worth watching again.)

My biggest takeaway from this game is the resiliency the Rams showed once again. We saw it in the New Mexico Bowl vs. Washington State. We saw it in the Rocky Mountain Showdown vs. Colorado And to a lesser extent, we even saw it in the vain comeback attempt vs. Boise State, This team doesn’t quit when they fall behind. Even on the road. Even against good teams. That’s an encouraging characteristic as we move into the meat of the schedule.

I think that starts with Grayson. The quarterback threw two bad interceptions in a horrible first quarter, but he kept his head and stayed poised. (Not to mention played through an apparent injury.) Next thing you know, he’s making one of the country’s most dramatic plays from Saturday.

Much of the credit for this win needs to go to the CSU linebacking corps, which was just able to contain Boston College’s vaunted rushing attack. Max Morgan was all over the field. Morgan, Corey James and Aaron Davis appear to be one of the best groups of ‘backers in the country.

Running back Dee Hart was a game-changer again. His versatility is starting to pay huge dividends for CSU, with McElwain using him on kickoff returns, punt returns, catching passes out of the backfield, and handing him the ball. His 43-yard kickoff return in the 2nd quarter went for naught, but his 43-yard run on the final drive set up that dramatic game-winning touchdown. Hart had 207 all-purpose yards.

And I told y’all that Rashard Higgins is a damn star. He had nine catches for 98 yards and a TD.

So now CSU has won three straight over “Power 5” teams, coming from behind in each one. That’s the kind of stat you used to hear back in the Sonny glory days. They’ve also won seven of their last nine games overall and nine of their last twelve. The Colorado State Rams are straight rollin’ right now.

Listen, Boston College isn’t a college football power. They’re not ranked. But they are a pretty good team and there’s no doubt this represented one of the toughest games on the Rams’ schedule. With that in mind, and with the direction the Colorado State program seems to be heading, this was the biggest regular season win for the Rams in many, many years.

Take a minute and think about how this game would have gone four or five years ago. Those teams would have had about a 50 percent chance of keeping the game competitive and a zero percent chance of coming away with a victory.

The times they are a-changin’.

Colorado State won 24-21.

Colorado State had plenty to celebrate Saturday afternoon. (Stephan Savoia/AP)

So where does this team go from here?  Hopefully upward.

This sounds a little crazy, but with the CSU’s soft schedule, it’s not completely unreasonable to at least think about seeing them win out. The game at Nevada in two weeks looks like a tough one. Utah State for Homecoming no longer looks like a huge challenge. (They’ve struggled on the road and Chuckie Keeton hasn’t been able to stay healthy.) And there is always the strong possibility of CSU laying an egg and losing a game they shouldn’t lose.

So yeah, I realize saying the Rams could win the remainder of their games and go 11-1 sounds pretty silly. And I’m not necessarily predicting that. I’m just saying it doesn’t look impossible.

On a much more important and slightly more serious note, the Rams’ chances of winning the Mountain Division increased dramatically Saturday night. About eight hours after the Rams won, Boise State lost to Air Force. I didn’t think the Broncos would lose a conference game after dominating CSU in Boise in week two. Then they went to Colorado Springs and fell behind a bad Air Force team 28-0. Uhh, what?

So now Boise and CSU both already have one conference loss (though BSU will have the tiebreaker over CSU because of the head-to-head victory). Utah State has to travel to Fort Collins and Boise. I’m still not sold on Wyoming or Air Force as contenders. A whole bunch of football still needs to be played (obviously), but at this point it appears that the Rams are in the hunt for their first conference title since Bradlee Van Pelt’s 2002 team.

So that’s pretty cool.

Subject change…

The MLB Postseason begins tonight, which is just wonderful news. There’s no better dramatic theater in sports than the baseball tournament that begins in a few hours.  The Athletics and Royals are in the AL play-in game tonight in Kansas City. The Giants and Pirates are in the NL play-in game tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.

The best first-round series figures to be Dodgers vs. Cardinals, a rematch of last year’s NLCS that will feature two separate matchups of Clayton Kershaw vs. Adam Wainwright– two of the heaviest heavyweights in baseball. Like most fans without a horse in the race, I’ll be pulling for the Pirates and Royals. Could you imagine that World Series?

That said, I like the Nationals to beat the Tigers in the Fall Classic. While I’m not overly confident in that prediction, my confidence in the Postseason being awesome is very, very high.

Off to the weekly departments…

Vine(s) of the week:

Speaking of the Nationals, Jordan Zimmerman threw a no-hitter on the last day of the regular season on Sunday. The final out was pretty remarkable, especially when you have this vantage point:

I also like Zimmerman’s reaction:

Stud(s) of the week:

Lots of options this week, but I want to give some love to Paul Konerko. The longtime White Sox first baseman played his last game on Friday. Konerko has had a remarkably underrated career and the game will miss him, his quiet and workmanlike approach, and his 439 homers and 1,412 RBI.

I also like this Jose Altuve story. Altuve, who is awesome and only like four feet tall, was leading the American League in hitting heading into the final game. The Astros tried to bench him to make sure Altuve would win the batting title. (He was leading Victor Martinez by three points heading into Sunday.) Altuve refused, played, and got two hits to raise his average and take the AL crown. Pretty legit.

The Rockies went the opposite route and benched Justin Morneau for the last two games to ensure him of leading the NL in hitting. LAME.

And on a somewhat related note, look at this swing from Altuve from few days back:

Douche of the week:

Hey look Michael Phelps got his 2nd DUI today. All the money in the world and a very public reputation on line… I just don’t get it man.

But also… No Broncos were arrested on the bye week. Sweet!

Picture(s) of the week:

Some Ohio State bro did that neat thing where you run out onto the field during a game. Ohio State assistant strength coach Anthony Schlagel took care of that.

The picture is better, but here’s a Vine of the incident:

Wait we have one more picture! My favorite mugshot ever:

Unbelievable! The weird thing about this is if you actually visit that link, that mug is nowhere to be found. So I’m not entirely sure if this guy is the suspected bank robber or if CBS 4 Denver just has an awesome stock photo to run when bad guys get caught. Either way, I’m glad I saw it.

Tweet of the week:

Some really solid analysis from Broadway Joe on Sunday:

Offense of line.

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

The Pirates were excited to make the playoffs. This is how you videobomb a newscast!

Mike Trout is inventing the “no-look diving catch”.

I don’t even understand that.

Hey here’s a GIF that made me laugh:

I have no idea why I found this 30-yard stumble to be so damn funny:

Steve Smith has no interest in handing the ball to the ref. I really respect this move:

stevesmh

SB Nation

Arizona State lost to UCLA 62-27 Thursday night, but the final score wasn’t the most embarrassing part of their evening. This was:

A couple links worth sharing from the past week:

And finally, I don’t have much time to get into the incredible overkill of Derek Jeter’s final games. But gosh, Keith Olbermann does makes some interesting points about Jeter’s career:

On the other side of the spectrum, his nephew’s little hat tip was pretty darn cute:

Happy Tuesday everybody.  GO WATCH SOME BASEBALL. Thanks for reading. See y’all 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.