Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday Grab Bag: A Scrimmage Snoozer

It's freshman move-in week here in Boulder, and I'm ready to get the fuck out of town.  Just so happens, however, that my day job has other ideas.  Phrases like 'attendance is mandatory,' and 'bad traffic is no excuse' were thrown around, so here I am... stuck in the Valley as the horde of dotting parents descends.

You'd think I'd be used to this garbage by now, having been a devoted Boulderite for over a decade, but it's just something you can never get used to -- the glut of cars, the picked-clean aisles of Target, the impossibility of finding an open table at a local restaurant.  Heaven help me, I love this town for 362 days a year, but this just ain't the week for me.

My advice to those who didn't realize, and were thinking of driving up to town over the next few days: why not try Broomfield?


Speaking of freshman move-in, please consider this:
Remember: we are not a football school, we are not a basketball school.  We are a Cross County (and Skiing) school.  For his 20th year of dominance, at the onset of yet another national title campaign, we owe that man a statue.


Today in the bag, I'm talking Saturday's scrimmage, the Mayor's discussion on who was the best wide receiver in CU history, and the PGA Championship.

Click below for the bag...

Buffs scrimmage slips by uneventfully - 

Saturday morning, under a crystal clear, utterly typical summer sky in Boulder, the Buffs put on their final open scrimmage of fall camp.  For those of BuffNation, like me, yearning for a peak at what's in store for the season... well, there's wasn't much to see.  The word 'vanilla' was tossed around repeatedly in the media, and that's a pretty apt descriptor.
That's just pronographic.  I could've moved around for a better shot, but whatevs.
The scrimmage started out sluggish, with the action kicking off about an hour later than expected, and never really getting going after that.  It even took a few attempts for the punt crew, who were first on the stage, to get off anything resembling a Pac-12-caliber kick (is that even a thing?). Starters like Nelson Spruce (not appearing), Sefo Liufau (I only noticed one series), Addison Gillam (one series), and Chidobe Awuzie (also sidelined) were conspicuous spectators, and the defense stayed in their base 3-4. Aside from a few bright spots - a nice run from Christian Powell, a pick-six from the interception-starved defense, freshman Isaiah Oliver showing off his hit stick, Lee Walker doing things, Patrick Carr toting the rock - it was, all-in-all, a mundane affair. No drama.

But that's what you should expect in situations such as this.  Camp is just now cracking the half-way mark, and it would be irresponsible for the staff to put on a show just to satiate the curious.  Sure, there's something to be said to rewarding the diehards who would show up to something as ridiculous as an 8:30am scrimmage, but, with games to be won and a season to stay healthy for on the horizon, best to play it safe, and show off the youngsters.  To that end, only Samson Kafovalu pulled up lame (and he's, apparently, all good), and we all got to see plenty of the freshmen. Mission accomplished.
That Powell run was cool, at least.  From: the BDC
Plus, for those of us fans desperate enough to travel to Folsom on a precious day off from work, we still got the pleasure of Folsom in sunlight.  Season ticket holders got to take part in Selfie Day on the field post-practice.  Posters (as outstanding as always) were made available at the entrance.  For the price of admission (very much free), you can't ask for anything more.

The best wide receiver in CU history - 

Towards the tail end of a rolling twitter discussion of 'who was better: Jerry Rice or Randy Moss?' (For the record, it's Moss), the Mayor, Spencer Dinwiddie, threw out this gem:
Leave it to the Mayor to raise an important issue for debate... P-Rich certainly comes to mind easily, putting his best work on paper only a few short years ago, but he has some sizable competition with current wideout stud Nelson Spruce, and other greats from years past.  Even as hardscrabble as the football has been in Boulder, of late, there's been some good ones over the last few years.  Names like DJ Hackett, Derek McCoy, and Scotty McKnight join luminaries like Michael Westbrook, Charles E Johnson, Cliff Branch, and Dave Logan as claimants to the throne.
Up for discussion: the career of Paul Richardson.
Hackett and McCoy (who must always be listed together, in duo) and Scotty were certainly fantastic players.  QB Joel Klatt wouldn't have half the number he currently has without his pair of receivers, and the mind-meld between McKnight and Cody Hawkins, for better or worse, defined an era.  Going further, however, and I start to lose my feel.  I'd have to defer on Westbrook.  I saw him plenty on TV, but that's not good enough here; gotta see them in person. Similar for *cough* Rae Carruth.  CEJ, while I have his replica jersey (thanks to a yard sale), was a bit before my time.  Even more so for Branch and 'That Radio Guy.' Others will have a better sense there.

For my money, however, in the last 13 years of Colorado football, P-Rich was the best.  He passes the eye test (if you could see him), the stat test (284 yards in a single game, yo), along with everything else... and, overcame a whole lot to have the '13 season he did (recovering from injury; rotating QBs, including a freshman; coaching turmoil; etc.).  Scotty has better raw numbers, and the original H&M did it in more meaningful games, but none had the pure, unbelievable, undefendable breakaway speed of Richardson.
*poof* HE GONE! From: SBNation
He single-handedly accounted for all four wins a few years back, and I still say his injury hasted the conclusion of the Embree era. Say what you will about the older stars, but they'll have a hard time besting that case.

There's your answer, Mayor: yes, P-Rich is the best.

Day's Day in Wisconsin - 

The 2015 major championship season came to a close on Sunday, as Australian Jason Day took home the PGA title in demonstrative fashion.  Making the course at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin look like your local public 18, he cruised to a four-day total of 20-shots under par -- good enough for a new major championship record, besting Tiger's old mark of 19-under from the 2000 British Open.  It's the 27-year-old's first major victory, and well earned, at that.
An emotional Jason Day takes home his first crown in historic fashion. From:SBNation
Before even his final putt, the emotions had begun to pour out early and often from Day.  Remembering the loss of his father at age 11, and his subsequent battle with alcohol addiction (I don't want to make light of it, but... a 12-year-old alcoholic? Aussies don't fuck around, yo.), he talked of the journey from being a down-and-out youth to becoming a champion golfer.  He had been close to the top before, but this final leap into both success and history proved to be too much, and the tears followed.  In a year seemingly dedicated to golf's revival as a fresh, youthful stage, Day's season-capping win was dramatic and heart-felt.

Jordan Spieth, who remains the best golfer on the planet, finished second at 17-under.  While he only made it half-way through his bid for the first modern Grand Slam, he is, definitively, the flag-bearer of the golfing world.  Winning the Masters and US Open, before coming up just short at the British and PGA, cemented his status.  Still at only 22 years of age, it's easy to imagine the next decade becoming all about the UT product - what we as golf fans once had with Tiger, now seems to have been transferred to Spieth.  Can't wait for next year.

Happy Tuesday!

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