Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tuesday Grab Bag: Closer, but still not there... yet.

I'd like to tell you all a story.  It's a story about a pair of friends, let's call then 'Larry' and 'Terry' (to protect the innocent), who had planned on attending the CU/Oregon game Saturday night.  Larry, specifically, had come down from the mountains with an eye towards watching Colorado football this weekend, and had lead the charge to pre-purchase tickets, make plans (including Half Fast!), and generally set their affairs in order -- they were going to this game.  I saw them off Saturday night, planning to take my own route to the stadium with the group I was sitting with.  We made loose plans to meet up at the stadium and afterwards, shared a 'few' beverages, and parted ways.  This was at 5pm.

After winding my way across Boulder and up to Folsom, I headed over to the field house at about 7. Making a beeline for the nearest beer stand, I spied Larry and Terry over by a trash can, significantly more enhanced than they were a few hours previously.  Their state of affairs was a little worrisome for that early in the evening, but I noted that they had, at least, made it to Folsom in time for kickoff.  We shared some drinks, quickly talked over the weather, and generally shot the shit.  I assured them we'd meet up afterwards, and told them to call me.

Well, of course, the weather opened up, delaying the kickoff and spilling many of the fans to the concourses. I'm rarely comfortable in tightly crowded situations, so I left Larry and Terry to their spiraling, drunken state, and forced my way outside into the pouring rain.  Warnings of lightning in the area barely registered with me, as I took in the awesome sight of Folsom bathed in light and precipitation.  As the game eventually got under way, I noticed my phone was really struggling with the moisture and slammed cell towers, so I put it away, and forgot Larry and Terry were even in the stadium until the 4th Quarter.  As the end result of the game became clear, I remembered to turn on my phone again, but noted that L&T hadn't called.  Figuring they were already out on Pearl Street, and no longer in the mood for revelry myself, I tightened my jacket, and trudged home.

Arriving at my door, I was surprised to find the TV and lights were on.  Slipping inside, I was stunned to see the passed out forms of Larry and Terry, completely dead to the world (Larry had been staying at my place while in town, and had a key).  I surveyed the house, finding the kitchen faucet full on and pouring into oblivion, the doors unlocked, and discarded wet clothes strewn about.  Confused, but otherwise uncaring due to the late hour, I turned off the lights, television, and faucet, locked the doors, and went to bed.

In the morning, I found out the truth.  Despite being safely in the stadium at 7, neither one of them had made it to the re-scheduled kickoff.  The two had gone separate ways shortly after I had talked with them, and it had all gone south from there.  Larry, frightened by the lightning reports, had given up early, and took off for home.  Terry, whose phone was also on the fritz and couldn't contact anyone else to sit with, took off into the night, eventually purchasing a plate of curry at Tiffin's, and stumbling back to my house.

The point, I guess, is that a football Saturday is a marathon, not a sprint.  Pace yourselves, accordingly. Don't be like 'Larry & Terry.'


Today in the bag, I'm talking the action against Oregon, a look ahead to CU's next three opponents, and the first few days of basketball practices.

Click below for the bag...

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Beer Post: 2015 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - Oregon Edition

Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!"

Earlier this week, we were all treated to the rare cosmic occurrence that is a 'Super Blood Moon.' Ominous in title, the totally not scary combination of a supermoon and lunar eclipse appeared in the sky for the first time since the early 80s, not to return until 2033.  To celebrate the event, I'm taking inspiration from the bloody-orange orb in our sky, and picking Upslope Brewing's Blood Orange Saison as this week's gameday beer-o-the-week.

After two weeks of garbage picks, both in acknowledgement of the quality of opponents and my mood, I've returned to the land of good beer.  One from Boulder-proper, too.  Upslope, long my favorite brewery in town, hit this seasonal special release out of the park, combining the exotic flavors of blood oranges and Mandarina Bavaria hops (so en vogue right now) in a satisfying take on the classic and erratic Saison style.

Saisons (meaning 'season' in French) are a diverse family of beers, generally taking their direction from the old Belgian farmhouse styles.  Brewed in the winter by off-season farmers, these ales were made for summer consumption - easy drinking and flavorful, they're meant to help beat the heat.  Expect spicy yeast tones with a fruity nose on top of a malt base of the brewer's choice.  As I've gotten into ryes in the past - well known for their spicy profiles - saisons fit right in, peppering the tongue with lots of bright flavors.

Here, Upslope excels, playing off the spicy hints of the style with the tart and citrus taste from the blood orange.  Combine with floral hop notes on the nose and tongue, and it's a very pleasing brew.  Dry on the finish, it'll get out of the way quickly, inviting you just to keep on sipping.  At 6% ABV, you can do just that, splitting a six-pack with a friend or two as the night envelops the tailgate fields.  Those in Colorado should easily find plenty at any 'good' liquor store -- try it, and thank me later.

Happy Friday! Go Buffs, beat the Ducks!

2015 CU vs Oregon Football Preview

Conference play.  It's been a 'Stop Sign' for the hopes of BuffNation since the start of the decade.  Our new friends in the Pac-12, while wonderful in every other way, have proven to be less than accommodating to the Colorado football program.  The Buffs, unable to swim upstream against the current of talent, have gone 4-32 through four seasons out West.  It hasn't even been that close, with CU being outscored 1570-763 in those 36 contests for an average of 43.6 to 21.2 each week. *blech*

Well, the time has come, my friends; that crap is done and dusted. The season of relevancy is upon us. Colorado may not wind its way to a bowl, it may not yet release itself from the death-grip of the Pac-12 South's basement, but it sure as hell is going to put the fear of Ralphie into a few teams.  It all starts tomorrow, as a wide-eyed, bruised, and beaten brace of Ducks come to Folsom.  They've had the run of the series since expansion, but it's time for Colorado, yes COLORADO!, to make some noise.  Into the wilds of a night time kickoff we go, let's give Oregon a healthy fear of #Pac12AfterDark!


Hype music for the week: "Fear of the Dark" by Iron Maiden

MAIDEN! For the 12-yr old metal head in all of us, I present a quintessential track from this quintessential heavy medal staple.  These guys are weird but harmless, and one of the most successful acts in all of music-dom. Crank it!


Kickoff from Folsom Field is set for 8pm tomorrow evening.  Folsom is never better than when it's packed for a night game, so I'm expecting everyone in the region to head to this one.  Coverage for those unable to attend will be on ESPN: the Mothership, with the radio call on 850 KOA.

Please remember: if you're sitting in an even section - wear black, if you're a student, or are sitting in an odd numbered section - wear silver/grey.

Click below for the preview...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday Grab Bag: The 'real' football season starts this Saturday

The Athletic Department is getting a little creative for this week's game against Oregon.  For Saturday's 8pm kickoff on ESPN, they're asking those in attendance to either wear black (even numbered sections) or silver/grey (students and odd numbered sections).
Hey, look!  A handy guide!  From:
With crowd numbers already estimated to be well into the high 40,000s and a prime time kickoff, Folsom is sure to be rocking.  If those in the stands can follow the game plan, it'll create a nice backdrop and visual for those night owls tuning in.


Today in the bag, I'm talking the win over Nicholls State, the weekly look forward to the upcoming schedule, and the unofficial start of basketball season.

Click below for the bag...

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Beer Post: 2015 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - Nicholls State Edition

Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in (not) the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson "IT'LL WONT GET YOU DRUNK!"

For a watered down opponent, I feel I need to feature a watered-down beer.  However, Nicholls, having lost their last 20 ballgames, looks to be far more than watered down, so I need something... more punchless.  Yep, I'm honoring the Colonels by picking a near-beer, which is why O'Doul's Amber is this week's gameday beer-o-the-week.

This beast has been around for nearly 20 years now as the other half of In-Bev's low-alcohol duo.  I picked the Amber because I hate green bottles, like the one their 'Original' style is sold in.  Why not some of the other non-alcaholic malt beverages on the market, like Sharp's, St Pauli, and Coors NA? *shrugs* Why not pick BrewDogs hilariously ironic Nanny State?  'Cause I couldn't get my hands on a bottle.  The process really is that simple.

To answer your immediate question: yes, you can get drunk off of 'non-alcoholic' beer.  While technically a 'N/A' brew, O'Doul's does still contain about .4% ABV.  Slam 10 of these in one sitting, and you'll have consumed the rough equivalent of a single light beer.  Congratulations!  Now, go get your stomach pumped.

To answer your second question: yes, I have tried O'Doul's before.  Most people who reach for an O'D are doing so for a reason, usually health related.  As someone who's been there before, I'm not going to dish on it too much, but, suffice it to say, this isn't a true replacement for the real thing. To save you the suspense, it's not very good.  The Amber is very grainy, sweet-ish, and (you'll never believe it) exceedingly light and watery.  Best to keep your liver healthy, and the world of real booze open to you.

But, hey, if you're feeling adventurous, go grab a pack and toast CU's date with the dregs of FCS football. It may not get you drunk, but you'll still be sober enough at halftime to drive home, which is a plus.

Happy Friday!  Go Buffs, beat the Colonels!

2015 CU vs Nicholls State Football Preview

Huh, so something called 'Nicholls State' or just 'Nicholls' has appeared on the schedule.  Never seen that before. Here comes a new challenger, if you will.  I guess they sound vaguely familiar, but my guess is that, under close inspection, they'll wind up being just another pseudo-anonymous FCS program.  I mean, they can't have anything special about them... OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT:

Regular old mascot, or M.Bison?  YOU DECIDE! (Personally, I think Raul Julia wore it better). All I know is that Chip better be brushing up on his counters and hadukens, or he's going to be in trouble.

Anyways, on with our regularly scheduled programming...


Hype music for the week: "Mack the Knife" by Louis Armstrong

Nicholls State is located in tiny Thibodaux, Louisiana, which is just down the road from New Orleans. 'Nawlins, being one of the truly great cultural centers this country has to offer, provides the opportunity to pull from their vast storehouse of musicians and performers.  I chose Louis Armstrong because it's fucking Louis Armstrong, and I chose "Mack the Knife" because it's a bonafide classic.  You're welcome.


Kickoff from Folsom Field is set for 11:30 am on Saturday.  The weather is supposed to be sunny and gorgeous, of course, so be sure to head to Boulder to enjoy yet another day in Front Range paradise. Coverage for those poor souls stuck elsewhere will be on Pac-12 Networks and 850 KOA.

Click below for the preview...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tuesday Grab Bag: *fist-pump, nod* Onto the Next One

You've probably already heard, but CSU's mascot, CAM 24, died Saturday morning.  I do not bring this up to be humorful.  Certainly this kind of behavior is inexcusable, and reeks of Husker-dom (C'mon, don't be that guy) -- I know how I would feel if either living Ralphie had died Saturday (God forbid).  I'm just honestly concerned for our state's foremost aggie school, and how they can't seem to keep their mascots alive.

See, Rambouillet Sheep (CAM's breed) generally live about 6-8 years.  I've heard more, but we'll go with the conservative estimates for the sake of argument. #24 had lived to be six, which is still on the young-ish side for the breed, but what about numbers 1-23?  The CAM program was instituted in 1947, meaning the 24 CAMs have reigned for an average of about 2.8 years per; some have held the title for much shorter tenures.  There's some overlap here, as one sheep dies/retires and another ascends well into their life-span, but what are they doing to these guys that they are only lasting a few years?  Doesn't that seem a little weird to anyone else?  I don't know, but maybe feed the next one a few fewer Doritos...


Today in the bag, I'm talking the win over little brother, a look at the upcoming schedule, and a check-in with the soccer and volleyball teams.

Click below for the bag...