Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Friday, April 29, 2011

Congrats to the two first rounders UPDATED

If you can tear your eyes away from the coverage of some wedding that seems to be dominating the airwaves (Everyone realizes we fought a war 235 years ago so we didn't have to care about this crap, right?), I'd like to take a moment to congratulate CU's two first round picks. 

Nate Solder, who began his career as an awkwardly tall tight end only to turn into one of the best tackles in the nation, was taken 17th overall by the New England Patriots.  Nate was one of the final players on the roster who had any ties to the Barnett regime, having committed to CU before Coach was booted prior to the '05 Champs Sports Bowl.  New England should prove to be a great spot for him.  Not only will he play high profile games right away, but NE has a history of integrating Buffs into their schemes.  Chad Brown, Ted Johnson, Christian Fauria, Daniel Graham, and Terance Wheatley have all found success and large paychecks in Boston, and Nate should easily shine with the Patriots.
This is the man who will be protecting Tom Brady's blindside starting this fall.

There is some consternation in Patriots circles that they grabbed Nate when local hero Anthony Castonzo and Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi (not happy with my Bears choice of Carimi; fills a gaping need, but I feel he's hit his ceiling) were still on the board.  However, I'm sure any thought of those guys will disappear once they watch Nate consistently do the right thing on the field.  He's a great fit in that organization, and he's a great fit in that lineup.  He'll anchor that line for many years to come.

Jimmy Smith slipped to the Baltimore Ravens, who took a little too much time to savor the joy of drafting a Buffalo, so Jimmy will officially be the 27th pick of the 2011 NFL draft.  Despite all the swirling crap about Jimmy being the second coming of Pac-Man Jones, the Ravens knew what Jimmy was all about, and grabbed the superlative Buffaloes DB.  The stories will all be about the risk the Ravens are taking (and how long they took to take it), but, as I've said many times, this is all blown out of proportion, and Jimmy won't allow off field crap to derail his NFL career.  (Jimmy did a great job in this interview talking about his poor decisions as a youngster; that we in Buffs Nation never heard another peep from him off the field speaks to those lessons being learned)
Jimmy will be playing alongside defensive luminaries Ed Reed and Ray Lewis this fall.
UPDATE 4-29-11: It seems that it was my very own Chicago Bears who caused the draft timing fuckup that forced the Ravens to miss their selection timing window and select Jimmy with the 27th pick overall instead of the 26th.  The Bears had worked a trade with the Ravens to swap their 29th selection and a 4th round pick for B'More's 26th, but the Bears never called to confirm it with the NFLThe league then told the Ravens they had to select their player because the trade wasn't official.   Bears GM Jerry Angelo admitted fault, and the league is looking into possible repercussions.  Both teams wound up with the players they wanted, but the Ravens were robbed of a 4th rounder.

What this means for Jimmy is that he'll get paid a bit more than he would've had the trade gone through, as the Ravens would've selected him 2 spots lower with the 29th, instead of the 27th where he went.  In cash-dollar terms, that's could be a little less than $1 million guaranteed.  In 2010 the 27th pick (Devin McCourty, NE) received $200k more over the life of the deal and $825k more in guaranteed cash than the 29th (Kyle Wilson, NYJ).  You can buy a hell of a nice car with $825k in extra cash.

Jimmy will be joining a veteran Ravens defense who are seemingly always in blitz mode, so his shut-down skills will be put to the test early and often.  Baltimore is known for loving big, physical DB's, and Jimmy fits that mold to a "T;"  because of this, I expect him to make an immediate on-field impact.  In addition, word from Ravens country is that they are quickly looking past the dusty old stories of his off-field incidents, and are focusing on his fit.  It seems to be a great situation for the guy, and hopefully he'll be terrorizing AFC North WRs for years to come.


Nate was the first Buff chosen in the first round since Tyler Brayton in 2003, and the pair become the first pair of Buffs taken in the first round since Chris Naeole and Rae Carruth went in 1997.  Congratulations to both Jimmy and Nate; do us all proud at the next level guys!

There will be no Friday Beer Post today, but it will return next week.  Sorry.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: Declarations all around

NFL draft week is one that always seems exciting right up until the point you actually start living through it.  I hope everyone enjoys the soothing tones of Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, Jr., because they're all you're going to hear from on ESPN the next few days. 

In anticipation of 6 days of overwrought declarations, some based in fact and some not, I've dedicated this grab bag to declarative exclamations. 

Click below for today's bag...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Beer Post: Rehash of distribution issues

A few weeks back, while looking forward to the Final Four of Beer Madness, I bemoaned the sale of Goose Island to Anheuser-Bush (it seems the deal didn't sit too well with the guys at GI either).  Word was that the sale was in response to the difficulties many craft breweries share of keeping up with demand, and that the Hall family was tired of trying to keep up.  In the comments, brewing professional Rico talked about the sale of GI in terms of the future of craft beer, going as far as to say that the craft industry is at a "crossroads."  With demand often greatly outpacing production capability, many breweries have to find creative revenue streams to enable an expansion of production, thus putting tremendous strain on the balance sheets until the predicted revenue starts pumping in.  It's an uncomfortable position that many small breweries across the nation find themselves in..

With that in mind, I couldn't help but notice over the past few weeks as two Colorado craft giants pulled back their distribution.  First Great Divide, and then Avery announced territorial pull-out plans.  Now, I don't expect Avery or GD to sell-out to Coors anytime soon, and no one in Colorado will have any trouble finding a Titan IPA or a White Rascal if they want one, but it is with a mounting sense of dread that I see some of my favorite breweries breaking distribution partnerships and retreating back across the Great Plains.  I couldn't help but notice, during my tour two weeks ago, how haphazardly Avery was strewn across an office park.  At the time I found it quaint and "Boulder-ish," but now, as I think back on it, it all seems very tenuous. 

To underscore the point, this is not a case of no one wanting their beers.  The truth is exactly the opposite, too many people want their beers, and they just don't have enough to go around.  The only way forward for the breweries I love is to expand; allowing more room for more mash tuns, fermentors, and larger bottling lines.  And the only way they can handle this is with a large influx of cash, which more than likely means pricey, and inherently risky loans.  If some breweries find that they are risk-averse, they might end up going the way of GI.  Rico's right, craft brewing is at a crossroads, and a perilous one at that.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Quick Post: "The Decision" from Burks UPDATED

In probably the shortest statement ever, Buffs super swing man Alec Burks announced that he'd be taking his talents to "the Association."  He's planning on signing with an agent, so the return option will not be available to him.  He's gone, and CU's immediate basketball future will surround attempts to replace his production.
Dude's about to get paiiiiiiiiiiiiiid.  From: the BDC

Alec seemed to be a little nervous at the beginning of the presser, and he struggled a little bit initially when pressed by the media.  This is probably because he mentioned that before yesterday he was coming back, but discussions with Coach Boyle and his mother turned him around.  He probably honestly did struggle with his choice, but in the end, from an outsiders prospective, I think he made the right one.  The iron's hot for his services right now, and I don't know if the same could be said next year.

I loved what Coach Boyle said about Colorado being a place where everyone can follow their dreams.  Alec came out here to pursue his hoop dreams, and now he has the opportunity to further that pursuit.

I'm honestly really happy for him.  Way to go Al!

UPDATE 4/21/11 - On 102.3 the Ticket, Alec admitted that he not only went to class but met with a tutor this morning.  Kid's going pro, about to make a ton of money, and he's still keeping up with his studies.  Dude's special, there's nothing else to it.

Quick Post: Decision day for Burks

Not to overemphasize the point or anything, but today we find out if the Buffs will compete for the inaugural Pac-12 crown.  At 2pm this afternoon Alec Burks will make his NBA decision known, ending weeks of speculation throughout Buff Nation. will carry his press conference live, and I'm sure the whole of Buff-related interwebs will explode with the result if you can't stream at work.

For the record, I can't believe that Alec's decision will be anything other than to declare himself for the draft.  With the recent rash of high profile players deciding to stay in school, and if the impending NBA lockout truly doesn't play into his decision, then there's no basketball-related reason for Alec to stay off of a draft board that he will invariably shoot up.  As the best SG prospect in a quickly shrinking draft, the kid should go pro.

The allure of another year in college, with friends, girls, and Boulder to entertain, may be strong, but I continue to maintain that the best CU basketball star of the past 14 years needs to make the jump.  I'll be blown off my chair if he hasn't reached the same conclusion.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: Playoffs!?

With the start of the NBA playoffs this weekend, we now have 2 sets of playoffs running across the country.  April is always a great time to be a sports fan: baseball gets started, the NCAA crowns a basketball champion, the Masters greens its way into our hearts, and the road to championships start in 2 professional leagues.  I'm enjoying every minute of it.

This week in the bag, I'll take a look at playoffs, both hockey and basketball, while briefly touching on my two favorite baseball teams.

Click below for the bag

Nuggets failed themselves - I had plenty of leftover questions from last night's 107-103 Nuggets loss to Oklahoma City in the first game of the NBA playoffs.  How could the refs blow that basket interference call?  Why is Ray Felton guarding Kevin Durant at any point down the stretch?  Why is Danilo Gallinari handling the ball?  The Nuggets couldn't draw up a better play than a 20ft jumper from Kenyon Martin?  Can't somebody, please, hit both their free throws?
Westbrook and the Thunder surged past the Nuggets late Sunday night.  From: the Post

The good thing is that all of these problems are fixable.  George Karl will go back to the drawing board and get his undersized guards off the freakishly 6-9 swing man Kevin Durant, the officials will be shamed into actually paying attention to late-game boardwork, Danilo won't be put in a position to give up the ball twice down the stretch, actual shooters will end up shooting in the final minute, and the free throws will take care of themselves.

The problem as I see is OKC strict refusal to allow Denver to score on the fast break.  The Nuggets only had 9 points on the break last night, and at times Coach Karl was literally left pleading with his team to turn on the run.  The Nuggets will have to run if they are to win the series; let's see if there's a change in game 2.

Bulls survive a scare - With just over 3 minutes to go the seemingly lifeless Bulls were down 10 without the ball.  All game they had failed to contain the Pacers efficient offense, and even the other-worldly Derrick Rose looked unlikely to pull the Bulls collective asses out of the fire.  I turned the game off. 

Then, as if a cloud parted, the game turned.  A stunning 16-1 thundered down, and victory was in hand.  I was left befuddled when I clicked onto ESPN a few minutes after the final buzzer.  "We won?"  104-99 was the final, they even played "Another one bites the dust."  Official and everything.
Hounded all evening, D-Rose somehow pulled the Bulls butts out the fire, but can he keep it up?  From: the Trib

The headline may read Bulls victory, but that game was far from impressive.  Indiana seemingly scored at will against the vaunted Bulls defense, as it took until the final 2 minutes for the Bulls to even sniff a lead.  Derrick Rose needed 44 shots to score his 39, and got banged up in the process.  For a team looking to compete for a title, this was a rough start to a hopefully long playoff journey.

Blackhawks going out without even a whimper - The defending Stanley Cup Champions look far from worthy this year.  Even home ice couldn't stop the Vancouver Canucks from skating to a 3-0 series lead.  Put that in the bank, season's over for the Hawks.
That's going fast.  From: the Trib

I don't know what the future holds for the franchise, but don't feel right as it's been painful to watch this year.  In the aftermath of a title, we've seen the all too quick dismantling of a champion due to money and cap implications.  With a team built around young talent, I hoped that at least a few more years of upper-table quality was in store, but the Hawk's ship seems to be sinking fast as the '09-'10 team slowly fades into memory.  I don't want a return to the early 2000s, stay relevant Hawks, please!

Rockies on fire - I never, ever, look at records before Memorial Day, but the Rockies are off to a fantastic start.  4 strait series victories, 2 of them sweeps, have the Rox flying high.  Let's not get a head of ourselves, as there are 147 games left in the season, but I think this Rox team has the chance to do something special.  Not 100-win special, but 90-95 with a division title seems plausible.
The game is coming easy to the Rox right now.  From: the Post.

White Sox suffer another mid-April swoon -  While the Rockies are riding high in the early going, my Sox have hit their typical mid-April weather-related road block.  Temperatures were slightly warm to start the season, and the Sox roared out to a hot offensive start.  The only thing seemingly able to stop "the Good Guys" in the first week was the pathetic performance of the back-end of the bullpen.  

Now the temperatures have run cold in Chicago, and the offense has begun to sputter resulting in a 3 game sweep at the hands of the Angels and a dip under .500.  By now I've grown accustomed to this, and fully expect the bats to hide when the temp drops below 55 degrees.  While it's expected, I don't see why it isn't fixable.  Regardless, the Sox have big-time sad face as they embark on a grueling 11-game east-coast roadtrip.  Here's to hoping the team can survive the month within earshot of .500.  The pressure to perform is on, and the "all-in" season may end up all-out before it really gets going.
New faces: same lame start.  From: the Trib

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Beer Post: Monday Beer Tours

"Wow, it's like I died and went to heaven, then God realized it wasn't my time yet, so He sent me back to a brewery." - Peter Griffin

I can't stand Family Guy, but they can get to the heart of the matter every now and then.  Much like random baseball fields in Iowa, breweries are little slices of heaven on earth   Since visiting Heaven, and all of it earthly slices, is much better than working, I took Monday off to tour some of Colorado's numerous breweries.

I came up with a grand unified theory of brewery tours.  It is impossible to do more than 3 in a day.  Simply, the force of time, distance, and drunkeness will keep you from getting too many in.  Don't get me wrong; visiting 3 breweries instead of working on a Monday is fucking awesome, but in a perfect world, I would've slipped about 5 in.  Damn physical laws of time and space.


I started my tour by trekking up to Fort Collins.  Two of the more iconic breweries this state has to offer are located up in Ft Fun in the form of New Belgium and Odell's.  I can't stand New Belgium, and they aren't even open on Monday's, so Odell's was my starting place.  In retrospect, I don't think I could've done any better.  As a hop freak, a hop-obsessed brewery like Odell's is right up my alley, and the tour was small, which allowed for an easy conversation style with the tour guide.  He took us around the usual route, passing the cool hop back and the bottling line before entering their hop storage.  Inside, the group was allowed to dive into a basket of whole hop leafs.  I was damn near giddy at the mere sight of it all.
That's a lot of hops.
Hop-fondling behind us, I stopped at the taproom for another pint of their new double IPA Myrcenary.  Very recently released, Myrcenary is something I've only been able to enjoy twice previously.  Those tastings had left me pleased but not blown away; the beer was very hoppy, but it seemed to be missing something.  The pint I had at the tap room, however, changed the way I look at the brew.  Much more floral and citrus-y, the whole character of the hops came through in a way that they hadn't in my previous tastings.  If you can find your way to Ft Collins, it's worth the stop at Odell's just to try Myrcenary fresh.  For me it was a wholly different experience.
Myrcenary: gotta try it at the brewery.

Literally down the block from Odell's lies relative newcomer Fort Collins Brewery.  I haven't been too exposed to this brewery, but the constraints of time and space, combined with the fact that I drove all the way up to FoCo, compelled me to stop by.  This was a more traditional taphouse experience.  The small scope of the brewery (under 20 employees) meant that tours were infrequently available, so dueling taster trays combined with a discussion with the bartender were the course of my time spent there.

By far the best brew I tasted there was their Maibock.  Smooth, well crafted, and lightly hopped, the sweet maltiness of the Maibock was a pleasure to enjoy.  The Maibock is indicative of the general Germanic oeuvre of FCB's offerings.  Plenty of lagers dot their menu, which is slightly out of place in the American craft brewing community that is so dominated by ales.  It was an interesting change of pace, and if I see that Maibock on shelves, I wouldn't hesitate to grab it.


Heading back down US 287, I passed up the opportunity to stop by Longmont's Left Hand (I'll swing back around sometime later, I swear) to close my tour at Boulder's own Avery.  By far my favorite Colorado brewery (although my trip to Odell's ticked them up a couple of notches), Avery is haphazardly strewn about an industrial park in East Boulder.  It's damn hard to find if you haven't been there before, but its worth the effort.  As the day was inching closer to 5, the tap room was semi-full, and our tour was filled with people. 

The Avery taproom is a great place to try some wild stuff; and I mean fucking wild.  I tried two beers there that stretched the boundaries of my palate.  The first, Fumator, is a smoked ale aged in Stranahan's whiskey barrels.  It would go great with any number of smoked sausages and cheeses, and generally reminded me of smoked cheddar mixed with whiskey; really freaky, but, in its own way, very tasty.  The other eye-opening flavor came from the Hand of Budda.  It's a spiced Belgian ale, spiked with an interesting spice called Budda's Hand.  I've never, in my entire life, tasted anything like this.  I'm not sure I liked it (I'll have to try some more) but it certainly was unique.
Fumator was a smoky treat

The highlight of any trip to Avery is the barrel room where they keep all of their barrel-aged brews.  Barrels are reused until they no longer have any quality flavor to impart, and the brewery does weekly taping of some wildly anticipated stuff.  While there I listened to arguments over what type of barrels impart the best flavors, and which year of "the Beast" was best.  A really awesome place to end my day.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quick Post: Jeremy Adams is (apparently) official UPDATED

UPDATE 4/14/11, 2:44PM - Ask and you shall receive; has an article up confirming the NLI. 

I'm still waiting for to say something (anything) about Jeremy Adams, but according to both Buffalo Stampede and Buffzone he's in.  Jeremy certainly does sound excited to be a Buff, which is always good, and his high-major background (having started his career at Texas A&M) is promising, even though it didn't work out for him in College Station.  At 6-5, 190lbs he has some decent size for a wing, and he'll have 3 years left to make an impact at CU.  Chance creation will be a key area where CU needs to cover gaps left by the outgoing 6 players, and Coach Boyle now has multiple options to throw at the problem.


As of now CU is out of scholarships to hand out.  Still waiting on final word from Alec...  In my mind he's 100% gone, but stranger shit has happened.  When he does leave, CU will have to decide if they want to scramble to fill the spot or bank it for next year.  The immediate assumption is that the Buffs need another forward this season.  I'm not sure that's the case.  Dre, Dufault, SHT, and Mills will combine with the incoming freshman Damiene Cain to form the front court.  Assuming no injuries and a return to the 3-guard offense, that's a little bit of a logjam with 5 players playing for 2 spots on the court. With only 2 players playing swing/wing positions, I'd look for Coach Boyle to look for another slasher/scorer if he chooses to spend it this season.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quick Post: Back in the saddle again

We're the #1 party school.... again.  Wooo, go Buffs! 

Playboy (NSFW, duh) gives us the honors this time.  This time, I hope the band doesn't get busted at a party (that I may or may not have attended) to celebrate.

Wednesday roster shuffle

CU head football coach Jon Embree was a busy guy yesterday.  As promised, he ended the spring portion of practices by anointing a starting QB and booting 5 players off the team

The first move, which surprises exactly no one, was the ascension of Tyler Hansen once again into the starting QB role.  While Tyler was never named the starter coming out of spring under Hawk, he had been  listed on top of the depth chart numerous times over his career.  Every time he would get leapfrogged by mini-Hawk, resulting in a 3-year career littered with burned red-shirts and too few opportunities to show what he can do.  I have no doubt that Tyler will be the QB all season, but I think it would only be human nature for him to constantly look over his shoulder.  Don't worry, Tyler; mini-Hawk aint walking through that door, and there's a new sheriff in town.  Embo wouldn't do you like that.  Enjoy your senior season and kick some ass!
Tyler finally has #1 all to himself.  From: the BDC
I take it as no small measure that Coach Embree took the step to name a starter at this point.  For the first time since 2005, the Buffs will head into summer knowing who their QB will be on opening day.  Hawk loved to play games with the roster.  He purposefully left his players in the dark in order to both foster continued competition and keep opponents from keying on players prior to the start of the season.  Instead, it ended up fostering an atmosphere of confusion and suspicion, while keeping the units from clicking till about week 6.

I understand the goal of protecting the integrity of the depth chart by pushing kids to be better, but Hawk went about it the wrong way.  Tyler earned the spot, he's going to be the #1, so announce it now and let him lead his team.  It's as simple as that.

The other news from yesterday was the summary dismissal of 5 players from the team.  Sr OG Max Tuioti-Mariner, Jr WR Will Jefferson, Jr DE Forrest West, and Fr TE's Harold Mobley and Henley Griffon were all given red tags in their lockers on Tuesday.  Coach Embree had been saying for weeks that players who were not committed to both the classroom and the field, and who couldn't play at this level, wouldn't be welcome under his new regime.  Today we saw the first casualties from that refusal to accept Hawk's commitment to bleh.

Overall, the list isn't overly earth-shattering.  I was a little surprised about MTM; despite a rash of ligament tears, he had always shown promise.  It's a shame he couldn't stay healthy, cause he would have been an interestinng option at guard.  Jefferson, despite having played in the spring game, apparently has a knee injury that will permanently sideline him.  Hawk had scraped the bottom of the barrel to grab Jefferson, but Will had also shown some promise.  West had gotten a little playing time last year, and the two TE's had quietly taken their redshirts. 

The two injuries and three out-right cuts may not drastically change the fall roster, but they do further the process of Embree taking over the team.  It's always ugly when scholarships are not renewed, and I hope all 5 kids find opportunities elsewhere, but at least we're moving forward.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: Catching up with all of the weekend action.

I was off enjoying a much needed day off yesterday, so this special Tuesday edition of the grab bag will cover all of the craziness from this past weekend.  Lots of Buff talk, and a quick stroll down to Augusta, Georgia await.

Click below for the bag...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Beer Post: Gameday Beer-o-the-week - Spring Game Edition

The Spring Game offers me a unique opportunity to tailgate in April, and I've dusted off this old trope to celebrate. 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!"

Spring football is a chore, and it's always a 50/50 prop if I'll actually go.  I'm sorry, but anyone who's obsessed enough to actually care about spring football, who's not directly involved with a team, needs to get their head examined.  The inside game of guys trying to make the move up the depth chart just isn't exciting enough to get my heart beating.  Sure, there's the added spice of a new coaching staff, but what're we really going to learn from tomorrows event? 

Seriously, what's the damn point for me as a fan?  Show up and maybe see us injure ourselves while playing... ourselves.  Who are we?  The Buffaloes!  And who are we gonna beat?  The Buffaloes!  It's the football equivalent of masturbation, and not something that should be shown in public.

However, beer is being served; I'M TOTALLY IN! 

It's time to dust off the beer pong table, find all the pieces to farmer's golf, and make a mad dash to the store for some lighter fluid because tailgating is back on the agenda!  I may not stay for much of the game, but I definitely going to enjoy springtime in Colorado with good friends, a few beers, and a brat if offered the opportunity.

For the Spring Game I wanted to choose a seasonal local brew, possibly with a frivolity and light-hearted character that lends itself to the decidedly un-serious nature of the event.  With that in mind, I'm naming Great Divide's Colette Farmhouse Ale as this week's Tailgate beer-o-the-week.

With Colette we're talking Belgian yeast flavors here, as the style was created in the region.  It's a little cloudy after the pour and has a lot of fruity, zesty flavors to cut through the bready/banana flavors that all Belgian's tend to have.  It's definitely drinkable, but, as it has 7.3% abv, I wouldn't suggest drinking too many.  It also has a suitably alluring farm girl, with pitchfork, on the label.  Colette would kick the shit out any Miller Lite girl who got in her way, and I'm totally cool with that.

Happy Friday!  Go Buffs, Beat Ourselves!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Quick Post: Burks NBA decision chatter

There was a bunch of chatter both in the papers and on the twitter yesterday about Alec Burks setting a deadline of April 20th to make his NBA draft decision, and that there will be no "declare, but don't hire an agent" route.  He continues to state that his mind isn't made up and that it is a tough decision.  It's always hard to take that next step in life, to leave what's familiar, but I continue to feel that the realistic chance that he decides to stay at CU is close to 0%.

He also mentioned what I've been assuming for months, that the impending NBA lockout won't affect his decision.  That makes total sense to me; even with the lockout, first round contracts are slotted and guaranteed  (I don't think that slotting system will change during CBA negotiations) so there is relatively low risk even if the season gets washed out; it'll just be a delay on the eventual payday.  On the flip side, should Burks stay an extra year, he'd be contending with an enlarged draft pool next season. (ESPN's Chad Ford has a great evolving in/out list) Considering that he's one of the few viable NBA talents at his position, it may in fact be slightly advantageous for him to jump early, get a higher draft spot, and wait a few months for the cash to flow.

From my perspective he should go, take the eventual payday, and rep CU.  I'm not going to argue if he wants to stay another year, as I'd love 15+ more opportunities to see him play, but I think it would cost him lottery pick status.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quick Post: Tulo's walkup song

The famous quote from Bull Durham is: "If you believe you're playing well because you're getting laid, or because you're not getting laid, or because you wear women's underwear, then you are! And you should know that!"

I guess that line of reasoning would have to extend to walk-up songs.  The subject of Tulo's walk-up song is apparently very important to Tulo, having immediately replaced some random, fan-chosen, pop crap for some other random pop-crap the minute he hit a rough patch, but do grown-ass reporters really have to talk about this shit?  This reminds me of last year when people, including Ozzie Guillen, started fretting over Gordon Beckham's walk-up song when he wasn't hitting. 

I could care less.  If a hitter thinks that's what keeping him from mashing, I guess that's fine, but please, let's not talk about it; it just makes everyone seem stupid.

That said, for the record my walk-up song would either be "Dying Breed" by Five Finger Death Punch, "Big Ego's" by Dr Dre, or "Dog Eat Dog" by AC/DC.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Enough to make a basketball fan cry

The headlines may read that UCONN won a national title last night, beating the Butler Bulldogs en route to Huskies coach Jim Calhoun's 3rd championship, but the story in my eyes was them doing so in the worst single game of basketball I've ever seen.  94 combined points (good for lowest combined title game score in 61 years), Butler shooting 18.8% from the field (worst ever in a title game), and UCONN shooting 1-11 from 3 (worst ever from a winner).
Hey, look, another missed shot in the paint.

This wasn't good defense as some would have you believe, this was two under-talented squads, exhausted from having played 6 games in 3 weeks, being seemingly unable to hit an open bunny layup.  Yes they were playing hard, but playing hard doesn't mean two teams combine to score under 100.  Time and time again I found myself saying "they can't screw this up," yet there the two teams would be, flailing about like they had just discovered this whole "basketball thing."   They knew this was a game for the national title, right?
U-G-L-Y, you aint got no alibi: you're ugly... you're ugly.

Butler was especially pathetic; their beautiful carriage turning back into a rotting-ass pumpkin in front of the whole nation.  Before Matt Howard put back a seemingly easy offensive rebound with 6:15 remaining in the second half, the Bulldogs had yet to score a basket in the paint.  They finished to shoot 3-31 from inside the arc (that's 9.7%).  High-school teams, playing in the same stage, could've shot on accident better than that.  Besides the fact that no one has ever shot this poorly in a title game, teams haven't shot nearly this bad since the '40s.  I'm not even sure they had invented the jump-shot back when Washington St and Wisconsin combined to shoot in the low 20%s in 1941.  Are you kidding me?  This was a team in our national final?  Normally I would feel bad for kids who lay an egg this bad, but shit was that painful to watch.  For 40 minutes of play I learned to hate the game of basketball, and it's all Butler's fault.

Hand UCONN the trophy, and lets never, ever, talk of that game again.
I have never been less convinced that the winner of the NCAA Tournament was the best team in college basketball.  A win is a win, however.


Site-News note: With the end of basketball season, and the impending end of spring football, comes the long wait til fall for relevant Buffs news.  Unlike last year, I will continue to update my blog through the Summer, just a lot less frequently.  Every week I will have up a Monday Grab Bag and a Friday Beer Post, but Tuesday-Thursday will only feature sporadic updates as warranted.

Additionally, over the coming months I'll be putting together a series of longer wrapups and previews of Buffs basketball.  I'll be looking at the season that was, the players that are leaving, the team going forward, and what we can expect from the offseason.. In addition, I'll be covering the opening of the new practice facility, the future of Alec Burks, and the evolving 2011 and 2012 recruiting classes. 

I hope you'll stick with me.  Go Buffs!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Quick Post: Burks writeup on

While super-sophmore Alec Burks hasn't officially declared himself for the NBA draft, most everyone else is going about things as if he has. included him in their writeup of the SG position for the upcoming NBA draft.  There's nothing too shocking in the piece (GM's love his athleticism, rebounding, and potential; are worried about his shot and defense) but they do list him as their best option in a soft SG class.

Money quote: "But we draft on talent, and he's very talented. He'll have the ball and he'll break you down. In space, he's (tough) ... great upside if he's willing to work. Something tells me (the work ethic) is not off the charts because he hasn't worked on his body at all. But the holes in his game are fixable."

Monday Grab Bag: Hey, look, baseball!

WOOHOO, baseball is back, and with it nearly 24 hours of nice weather!  This week in the bag I'll touch on both the Rox and the Sox opening weekends, a little spring football, and one of the Utah schools (not who you would think) trying to pick a fight.

Click below for the bag...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Beer Post: Final Four of Beer Madness and some sad news

After 3 weeks, the semi-finals and finals of beer madness are open for voting over at DRAFT Magazine.  3 of my final four from last week made the cut!  I certainly did better with beer than I did with my NCAA bracket!  The 3 I nailed were Moose Drool from Big Sky Brewing, Dead Guy Ale from Rogue, and Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale.  Much to my chagrin Alaskan's Smoked Porter didn't make it; it was usurped by Old Rasputin Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing.

Voting for the final round is open, so get to votin'!  My picks are Dead Guy Ale to face off against Sublimely Self-Righteous, with Stone's demonic Black IPA coming out on top. 
My pick to win it all.

Happy Friday!

In some sad news, Chicago's own Goose Island announced that it was selling out to Anheuser-Bush this week.  Goose Island, one of the older craft breweries in the nation, sold it's soul to the brewing devil for $38.8 million.  The decision seems to have been made because of inability to meet demand.  John Hall, founder of the 23 year old company, will stay on as CEO.

At the bottom of the article, there's a brief mention that GI becomes the 5th brewery in the top-20 craft breweries to sell-out in the past year.  I understand the difficulties in meeting demand and continuing to grow your business, but does it have to end this way for some of the biggest names in the craft industry?

For my palate, selling out to the big-3 only drags you down into the corporate jizz-pool of tasteless swill.  Sure, more people will now be exposed to your product, but at what cost to the quality and ingenuity of your brand?  There's something special in the provincial nature that some of the best breweries in the country have to offer, or the truly limited, and daring, quality a rebellious brew holds.  Corporate beer makes for lousy beer in my estimation.  Just saying, but maybe mass-distribution isn't the answer.