Tag Archives: Denver Broncos

The Broncos Flop and John Fox Is Gone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It had to be done.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Off to the weekly departments…

Tweets of the week:

Ummm…

Roy Halladay’s picture is pretty hilarious:

Vines of the week:

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

(Here’s the full video.)

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

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

Photo of the Week:

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

(Simon Bruty, Sports Illustrated)

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

Some other stuff the internet had to offer this week:

Just a nice, relaxing drive on the city bus.

I always knew public transportation wasn’t for me.

Kenny Mayne‘s tribute to Stuart Scott was touching:

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

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

***

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

2014 Year In Review, Part Two

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

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

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

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

We pick this thing up in…

JULY:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I regret nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

AUGUST:

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

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

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

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

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

Although this dude was not to be outdone.

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

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

(Aaron Ontiveroz/Denver Post)

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

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

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER:

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

@NolanLees

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

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

Deadspin

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

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

I love the pass defense here.

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

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

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

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

It also produced one of the better pictures of 2014.

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

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

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

OCTOBER:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still laughing at that thing.

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

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

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

@_MarcusD_

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

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

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

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

NOVEMBER:

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

@cjzero

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hmmm…

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

Deadspin

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

(Andy Cross, Denver Post)

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

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

CJ Zero/ Cauldren

DECEMBER:

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

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

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

Jim McElwain put them there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

2014 Year In Review, Part One

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

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

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

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

 JANUARY:

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

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

And the BCS National Championship wasn’t bad either.

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

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

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

SB Nation

This still cracks me up.

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

@corkgaines

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

FEBRUARY:

And then…

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

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

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

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

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

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

via @sbnationgif

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

via Deadspin

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

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

MARCH:

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

Via The Big Lead

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

Via @mlb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(via Deadspin)

via @sbnationgif

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

I felt the need to clarify that last tweet.

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

APRIL:

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

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

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

Getty Images

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

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

via Deadspin

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

The Big Lead

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

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

HockeyGrrls

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

 

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

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

Indeed it was.

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

Adam Hunger, USA Today Sports.

I could still watch that Vine all day.

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

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

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

MAY:

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

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

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

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

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

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

For The Win

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

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

This kid was one of our Studs of the Week:

So was HERO CAT! REMEMBER HERO CAT?!

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

JUNE:

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

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

via @cjzero

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@cjzero

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

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Yoenis Cespedes made the throw of the year.

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

Deadspin

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

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

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

Keep an eye out next week for Part Two.

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

“Well…

…(long pause)…

…(sophisticated stroking of chin hair)…

…(vacant stare)…

Shit.”

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

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

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

Good question, Herschel. What DID we just watch?

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

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

THIS IS ALL THE OFFENSE’S FAULT!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was ugly.

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

THIS IS ALL THE DEFENSE’S FAULT!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So looking ahead…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m not entirely sure how to answer that.

Off to the weekly departments…

Stud of the week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s only half of the equation.

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

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

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

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

Douche of the week:

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

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

A few other things:

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

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

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

Mr. Referee looks kind of terrified.

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

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

Deadspin / @bubbaprog

And,


A
couple links worth sharing:

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

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

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

***

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.

***

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 Football Weekend Roundup

Welcome to the 76th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where FOOTBALL. Let’s get into it…

Description of . Julius Thomas (80) of the Denver Broncos runs in the second touchdown of the game during the second quarter.  The Denver Broncos played the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo. on September 7, 2014. (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post)

It’s hard to envision a game in which Julius Thomas doesn’t dominate. (Seth McConnell/The Denver Post)

The first weekend of the year to offer a full slate of both college football and the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! did not disappoint. Let’s start with some fairly quick thoughts on the local squads:

The Denver Broncos are 1-0, which is the best record they can have at this point in the season, so that’s good. Naturally, many Broncos fans and media-types are concerned because the Broncos were not dominant enough in the second half of their opener vs. the Colts on Sunday night. Complaining after beating good teams will always seem strange to me.

Is the second-half near comeback by the Colts reason for concern? Yeah, probably a little. Obviously we all would have liked to see both the offense and defense play a more complete game. Last year throughout the season I was Mr. Everything-Is-Fine when discussing the Broncos. Then they played in the Super Bowl. So yes, this year we would all like to see a little (or a lot) more “nasty” from this team.

And there sure wasn’t much of that in the second half on Sunday night.

But at this point, I’m still not one to worry. Just like last year, the Broncos are playing a 16 week preseason. On Sunday night they probably didn’t play well enough to win in January or February, but those important games are a very long way away. Lots of things can change over the course of the next four months. Right now, piling up the ‘dubyas is all that matters.

So I’m not going to fret this one. Even with that lackluster finish, it’s clear who the best team in the AFC is.

Description of . Boise State running back Jay Ajayi (27) tumbles into the end zone over Colorado State linebacker Max Morgan during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Boise, Idaho, on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)

Jay Ajayi had no problem against the CSU defense. Weeeeeee! (Otto Kitsinger, AP)

Coming in to this game, I said we didn’t really know how good CSU was, because we have no idea whether or not CU is terrible (more on that later). Now we know with certainty that the Rams are not on the level of the elite team in the Mountain West. At least not yet. Overall, though, I’m still not sure what we have with this team.

The killer running game from week one was completely nonexistent (28 yards on 23 attempts) and the defense could not do anything to stop Jay Ajayi and Grant Hendrick. Boise racked up 675 yards of total offense, which is an absolutely absurd number.

So yeah, this one didn’t go particularly well. The Rams did get their crap together eventually and made it an interesting game in the fourth quarter, but the outcome was never really in doubt.

I’m going to go ahead and make some excuses now. This was ridiculously difficult scheduling. Traveling to Boise immediately following an emotional win over your rival is just a tough draw. Hell, starting conference play on the road against the best team in the conference in the season’s second week is a tough draw in itself. Also, two of the Rams best offensive players and preseason all-conference selections didn’t suit up in Ty Sambrailo and Kivon Cartwright.

So I do think that this game would have been more competitive if it was played in the heart of the conference schedule. All that said, there’s no doubt that Boise is the better team. And that shouldn’t be all that shocking when you think about it.

So moving forward, CSU has a cupcake, an off week and then an interesting game on the road at Boston College, who was just beaten by Pittsburgh at home.

A couple weeks ago I spoke of that elusive “Next Step” for the CSU program. While winning the Mountain Division of the MWC just took a serious hit, that “Next Step” is still within reach if they can avoid bad losses and win at Boston College and/or beat Utah State at home.

And after the first two weeks I have no idea whether or not that’s realistic.

While we’re on the topic, here’s the third installment of CSU football’s YouTube series, “The Grind.” There’s some really cool Rocky Mountain Showdown footage in here. Of course, this was more exciting before that game on Saturday night. Still a great production though.

The Colorado Buffaloes were thiiiiiiisss close to losing to Massachusetts. UMass is in the MAC and has won one game each of the past two years, their only two seasons as an FBS program. Holy crap, guys! CU might be really, really bad. Like, 2012-CU-Buffs-bad. That’s hilarious, but as previously mentioned, might not bode well for your Colorado State Rams.

And I was going to say a few words about Ray Rice but screw it. Too much to the story and it’s evolving too fast for any of my scorching hot takes. I will say; however, that I do find it incredibly odd that the new video changed everything so quickly when everyone had already seen a video of him dragging around an unconscious body. We all needed the new video to piece this all together? Really? What am I missing? Weird.

Anyway, Goddell might be screwed. This ends today’s analysis on the situation.

Moving on…

There was so much happening on the internet the past week, that I’m not going to break all of these into the weekly departments, but here are a bunch of pictures, videos, tweets, GIFs, and Vines that I enjoyed:

We obviously have to start with the greatest play in the history of football.

That’s Antonio Brown just jump-kicking some poor, pathetic punter right in the face. It’s incredible.

Look at this shot!

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Greatest play in the history of football.

I don’t know why, but eating out of a full-sized box of Frosted Flakes inside the stadium at a NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! game had me laughing harder than anything else this weekend.

Nevada beat Washington State on Friday night. The Wolfpack has a guy who looks like this, so that’s pretty neat.

I’d like to think that if I were a Division One football player I would do everything I can to look ridiculous on a daily basis like Mr. Hekking. Maybe dye my hair black and my beard blonde or something, I don’t know, that mullet is pretty hard to top.

A whole bunch of people in my Twitter feed really hate Chris Collinsworth. This slip-up was his finest gem from Thursday.

You see, he said “the ’85 Bears in ’86”. It’s funny because it’s impossible.

Tony Dungy deleted this tweet for some reason. But an astute observer grabbed a screenshot:

I wonder what it would be like to poop out a bird. Probably not that awesome, huh?

Nebraska was almost on the wrong side of an all-time upset at home to some team named McNese State. But then Amir Abdulla, who is awesome, did this.

I was unable to find the original picture or posting anywhere, but here’s a tweet/screenshot/thing of a really great photo from the Virginia Tech – Ohio State game (which Virginia Tech, who wears orange, won).

The Patriots lost and Tom Brady was sad.

This isn’t from a football game but it’s great. Whatever’s comfortable, bro.

Please note the multiple Dos XX cans on the bleachers and the half-eaten hot dog in the right hand. What an awesome human being.

This is not a from a football game either, but I found it interesting and I really enjoyed the video below. Tony Reali is leaving Pardon The Interruption after 13 years. He’ll still host Around The Horn and is going to do something for Good Morning America, which is apparently still a thing that some people watch. I don’t watch PTI or Around the Horn anymore, but I used to. And I know a large group of people around my age who are reading this watched those two shows, back to back, just about every day in high school and college. I’ve always thought Reali is pretty awesome.

A couple links worth sharing and other items of note (lots this week!):

  • USA Today caught up with Jim McElwain for a fairly lengthy interview.
  • Terry Frei did some great work at the Denver Post in providing some insight into Dee Hart’s background.
  • Kenneth Faried has been killing it for team USA in the FIBA World Cup. What does that mean for the Nuggets?
  • Northern Colorado almost beat an FCS team on the road. They lost to UNLV by one point after a missed chip-shot field goal with under six minutes to go. This never would have happened if that Bigelow kid was still there. Also, this means UNLV is really, really crappy.
  • The Cincinnati Bengals signed a player to their practice squad solely because his daughter has cancer and he needs the health benefits and salary. This is an awesome story amid so much NFL awfulness.
  • The New York Times obituary of Joan Rivers is interesting as hell.
  • The horribleness of Derek Jeter’s farewell tour continues. The Yankees will be wearing Jeter patches on their sleeves and hats for the remainder of the season. That’s like a whole month of wearing a patch for a guy who is not dead or retired, but still on the team. I get how much everybody likes Jeter, but come on. It’s getting embarrassing.

And finally, this video is not suitable for your workplace due to a good amount of what I think is profane screaming, but I found it too funny and strange not to share. (Hat tip to E.V. for sending this one over.)

When she hip-checks him and he flails on his back like an overturned turtle for a few seconds… That’s just gold. 2 millon view is one day! I used to put random, non-sports videos like this in almost every post. Whatever happened to that?

Happy Tuesday everybody. 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.

The Annoying People At Your Football Party

So, that didn’t go well.  (Getty Images)

Welcome to the 46th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I don’t have much to contribute to the Super Bowl narrative on a Tuesday afternoon. It’s all over. In Denver, there wasn’t even any quirky or lighthearted aspects of the Super Bowl. We don’t care about the commercials. We don’t care about the halftime show. We don’t care about Joe Namath’s coat. There was just embarrassment and confusion. Dismay and desperation and depression. And dads on smart phones with crying kids.

(via Getty Images)

There were also annoying people at bars. I watched the game downtown at Jackson’s in LoDo. Jackson’s is a great Denver bar and it was packed and the atmosphere was awesome… For the first 12 seconds of the game. Anyway, a guy behind me helped me come to an important realization. This gentleman was screaming various forms of the word “F–K!” at various players during every single play of the game. Every single play. Every. Single. Play.

A handoff to Moreno around the edge on 2nd and 7: “OHH YOU BETTER GET THE F–KING FIRST DOWN!” Russell Wilson scrambles for a first down on 3rd and 6: “WHY THE F–K DON’T WE HAVE A F–KING SPY ON HIM?!” A poor throw from Manning that falls incomplete with no real intended receiving target: “DECKER CAN’T F–KING GET OPEN!” You get the idea. I don’t even mind the cussing. If you’re watching the Broncos play in the Super Bowl in Denver, you are probably going to hear some naughty words. Anyway, this brings me to my next point:  Watching important football games with large groups of people you don’t know kind of sucks. I present:  The Annoying People Of Large Football Gatherings. (Horray I found a way to write about the Super Bowl without actually writing about that horrible Super Bowl!)

We’ll start with the cute 21-year-old girls in pink Broncos jerseys (probably Decker) that couldn’t tell you what a first down is. These chicks are pretty standard at most sporting events. They take selfies for their Instagram accounts with their little stickers on their cheeks and big smiles. They are unavoidable. Pretty annoying, but not a real big deal. On the plus side, if the game goes south, the males who are actually football fans have something to shift their focus. This is the reason these girls are socially acceptable in the macho manly world of football and beer and big TVs and hot wings. Aaarrghh!

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. (Unless he is trying to start The Wave at Coors Field, which is a classic move for this guy.)

(Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Broncos watch parties are filled with annoying people. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

The next two characters are the ones that really irk me. Our third football party staple is the I-know-a-lot-about-the-Broncos-and-football guy. He is very excited to try to exercise his immense knowledge of all things pertaining to the game to anyone who is listening, which is usually nobody.

A fan’s casual observation of “They got Decker back to receive punts again.” is met with “Yeah dude they don’t trust Holliday inside the twenties because he has bad hands Decker has better hands he’s not as explosive but he’s more trustworthy Fox said he wasn’t gunna make any changes in the punt return game on Wednesday I read it online if it’s a crucial moment like if they’re down 5 with a minute left it’ll probably be Trindon yanno because he’s more explosive but Decker is gunna be back there for now.”

Okay, buddy. Thanks.

This dude loves to talk about players on the offensive line. Obviously he knows more about the Broncos than you if he’s naming offensive linemen! “What is Beadles even doing?!” or “Ohh man watch Manny Ramirez on this play are you kidding me?!”

And of course, he knows he should be coaching the team, even though he didn’t quite make JV in high school. “We have to get out of this cover two!” “He’s not even trying to look off the safety over the top.” “Watch the zone read here… WATCH THE ZONE READ.”

Lastly, we have my least favorite person at any large football gathering. The I’m-a-bigger-fan-than-you guy. This is the guy who finds it imperative that everyone knows just how passionate he is about his team. The “F-word” guy I’ve already discussed falls into this category. This guy is a bit of a spinoff from the last, knowledge dispensing, character. He wants you to know how much he knows, but really he just wants you to see HOW MUCH HE CARES. He probably started caring about the Broncos around the time Peyton Manning strolled into town but dammit if he’s not overflowing with passion these days. Look at his orange hoody! He just yelled so loud during that 22-yard kickoff return!  He’s wearing Broncos gloves! GLOVES! Did you see how focused he was when Moreno was slow to get up? He was so focused. He must really care. He is like a super fan. I wonder if he has a bunch of money on the game. Man, he must have a bunch of money on the line, because look how INTO IT he is! If something good happens I’m going to look over at him to see his reaction. If something bad happens I’m going to look over at him to see his reaction. Whoa, he just flipped over his basket of chips and some of them hit that girl in the back of the head and he didn’t even apologize! He is one serious fan! I wonder if he knows Pat Bowlen. Maybe I’ll ask him. No. No, I don’t want to interrupt his viewing experience with such a silly question. Yeah, I’m just going to stay out of the way and watch him react to the game. He is scowling at the TV mumbling into his GLOVES! I wonder what he is telling his GLOVES. Look at him just completely ignoring his friends. They’re talking to him but he’s so mad he doesn’t even care! Ohh man he just stepped outside to get some air. He doesn’t even smoke, he just walked out to the patio in the cold because he COULDN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

We get it man.

This dude is just the worst. Something tells me the guy leaning on the table quietly watching each play with his arms folded cares just as much as you do, he just doesn’t crave the attention.

Moving on…

Stud of the week:

The Seahawks. Going into the Super Bowl I thought the Broncos were the better team. Now, I think if those two teams played ten times, Seattle wins at least nine of them. Percy Harvin is a game changer. That defense is nuts. Russell Wilson does enough. Props to Seattle, the best team in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! by a wide margin. Those dudes are good.

Douche of the week:

The Broncos. Because what the hell was that?

Tweet of the week:

I’m sure there were lots of hilarious tweets about the Super Bowl. I wasn’t about to read any of them. Sorry.

What to watch the next seven days:

Depending on who you ask, the end of the Super Bowl means it is officially college basketball/NBA/NHL season. I’ve pretty much lost interest in the Nuggets, so they don’t make the cut this week. Not a whole lot of college basketball peaks my interest until Saturday, when just about everybody is in action. (Colorado State hosts UNLV tomorrow night. The Rams have been competitive in just about every Mountain West game; they just can’t close out any good teams.) (Colorado has gone from a top-20 ranking to the bubble. They host Washington State tomorrow night). The Avs continue to win games, so they’re worth your time. They play tonight, Thursday and Saturday on the East Coast.

And we can’t forget the Olympics. The Opening Ceremonies are Friday night on NBC. Keep on eye on NBC, NBC Sports, USA, MSNBC and CNBC for coverage that figures to be pretty much constant.

Here’s an important story from Sports Illustrated about an NFL player’s struggles after football. It’s worth your time.

See if you can count how many words Popovich gives in this interview:

`

CSU Basketball fans should get a kick out of Tim Miles helping a fan ask his girlfriend to marry him. You don’t usually see this kind of thing from college basketball coaches, but Tim remains a pretty cool dude.

(Tip of the hat to fellow WordPresser Luke Binder for the assist on that one).

And finally, if Richard Sherman references don’t pain you too much, you should watch this incredible video from Frank Caliendo. (Don’t worry it’s not really about Sherman).

`

I think his Schefter is just hilarious.

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Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. This week will be better than the last. See ya next week.

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

Your AFC Championship Roundup

Welcome to the 44th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’m planning my trip to New York for the Super Bowl. I just need Super Bowl tickets, plane tickets, hotel accommodations, and the time off work. Any takers on that?

via @corkgaines

If you haven’t heard, the Broncos beat the Patriots 26-16 on Sunday. Games with that much hype rarely live up to the billing and this one fit the mold. The AFC Championship didn’t deliver because the Patriots just were not very good.

This is the second of two playoff games that saw the Broncos win by a touchdown or more. Neither game was as close as the final score indicated. In reality, this was a 23-3 game with under 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Broncos were never going to lose this one.

Peyton Manning did pretty much whatever he wanted on offense. The Patriots needed to run the ball effectively to have a chance. The Broncos shut down the running game from the outset. Throw in some poor quarterback play from Tom Brady– he badly missed at least two open receivers for would be touchdowns– and you have a fairly easy AFC Championship victory.

This is one the city of Denver and state of Colorado badly needed. The Nuggets and Avalanche might both make the playoffs this year, but they’re not championship material and have not been for many years. The Rockies are actually the last Colorado team to contend for a championship back in 2007, but they quickly settled back in to their last place ways. No colleges are making noise on a national level.

Denver is a Broncos town to its core. In recent years the Broncos have provided a little excitement that was always followed by disappointment.  Sports in Colorado have been hurting for some time. If the Broncos win one more game, all those years of apathy and heartbreak could be erased.

Douche of the week:

I provided plenty of reasons to hate the Patriots last week. This week Bill Belichick gave us another. After getting his ass kicked up and down the field all day in an AFC title game that was not really competitive, Belichick surprised most of the fans and media when he whined about Wes Welker’s hit that injured Aqib Talib.

I can’t talk about all of this without showing Welker and his hilarious helmet, because why not? (via Larry Brown Sports)

He implied that the league should fine or suspend Welker, whom he referred to as “the receiver” even though Welker played for Belichick in New England for six seasons.  Belichick usually stays above this kind of thing, but I guess the realization that his team was nowhere close to winning a Super Bowl and his “dynasty” window is closing in a hurry stung quite a bit.

If the Broncos are going to send a “hitman” on the Patriots’ best defensive player, I’m not sure why they would send the smallest guy on the field who has been dealing with concussion issues all season. (Even if he is wearing the most enormous football helmet ever worn, which I put in this post because it’s hilarious.)

Bill Belichick rarely says anything interesting in press conferences and now maybe we know why. Evidently he is not one to lose graciously. Get over yourself, douche.

(Also checking in on the douche meter: The Seattle fan who threw food at a badly injured 49er. That’s about as low as it gets.)

(Also I’m avoiding the whole Richard Sherman thing because I can’t believe how played out that story has been over the course of 36 hours.)

Stud of the week:

Champ Bailey is one game away from (presumably) being the first person named Champ to ever win a Super Bowl. (AAron Ontiveroz, AP)

Last week, in the wake of Chris Harris’s injury, I suggested that Champ Bailey fill in for Harris in the starting lineup. Bailey did just that. And he did it well, looking like the Champ Bailey of old. He ran step for step with receivers. He was a presence in the running game. You can bet Tom Brady knew he was out there.

Bailey ranks pretty high on my all-time favorite athlete list and I’m thrilled that he just reached the first Super Bowl in his 15-year career. I loved this paragraph from Benjamin Hochman’s article in the Denver Post, who sums it up better than I can:

“A generation of Broncos fans has grown up with Champ. Players come and go, but Bailey is a Broncos staple, ubiquitous. He’s part of Denverites’ lives, he’s your guy, and now, with him finally going to the big one, you feel genuine happiness for him. This is what sports do to us. This feeling, this connection, is what makes it fun being a fan.”

Champ Bailey is your stud of the week.

Tweet of the week:

That gem is in reference to this classic moment:

`

Here are couple memorable moments from Sunday in GIF form:

Just a standard third down conversion:

via @worldofisaac

HORSES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DRUM!

via @bubbaprog

I love that little stare-down from the horse guy.

What to watch the next seven days:

This is one of the slowest weeks in sports. No football whatsoever (the Pro Bowl definitely does not count). We’re looking only at NHL, NBA and college basketball.

  • The Nuggets are proving to be a pretty streaky team. They lost eight in a row. Then won the next five. They have since lost three of four. They’re 20-20 and tied for 9th place in the Western Conference. They play two of the best teams in the NBA this week. At Portland on Thursday (TNT) and home to Indiana on Saturday (ALT).
  • The Avalanche are still playing pretty well. They have won four in a row and are in 5th place in the Western Conference at 31-12-5. They play four times over the next seven days. All four games are winnable. The best game should be Saturday at Tampa Bay.
  • It’s actually a pretty weak week for college basketball. #21 Michigan hosts #10 Iowa tomorrow, but it’s on the Big Ten Network so you might be out of luck. Everybody is in action Saturday, but no matchups really jump out at me.

And finally, one more GIF just because it’s really wonderful.

GIF of the year for Broncos fans? (via @sbnationgif)

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

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