Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

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...

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Beer Post: 2015 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - RMS 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!"

It's the RMS, so the honorary beer-o-the-week is, as always, Buff Gold.  I'm still not over the change in packaging (where the hell did the Flatirons go?), but it is what it is.  Want to spice up your Buff Gold intake tomorrow?  Why not try a 'Buffalo Maker?'  Simply drop a shot of Buffalo Trace bourbon into a BG, and
voilĂ !  That'll get you good and feisty in a heartbeat.

Anyways, the official intoxicant for tomorrow evening is something I discovered just this past week.  In the later hours of Tuesday evening, just as my beloved White Sox were finishing off their 17-6 ass-whupping at the hands of the woeful Oakland Athletics, I came across this tweet from blogging hero Jim Margalus:
First off, the man belongs to a curling club; props!  Secondly... I became intrigued with this "5-Hour Energy into malt liquor" thing.  The monstrosity is apparently called 'the anvil' and is this week's gameday beer-o-the-week.

If this sounds like a horrible idea to you, then GOOD NEWS! Your brain is still functioning at a high capacity.  Mixing energy drinks/caffeine and alcohol is generally not advisable, and, if the 'Four Loko' stories are to be believed, can even lead to hospitalization or death.  Note: I am not recommending that you actually drink this, and, should you do ignore this warning, you do so at your own risk.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way... for this experiment I chose to mix basic/standard berry-flavored 5-Hour with Colt 45.  Why Colt 45?  'Cause of Billy Dee, duh!  Basic drop shot, then chug.  Simple enough, even a freshman could do it.

The results?  Well, let me tell you; if, as Ben Franklin would tell us, beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy, then this abomination is proof that mankind does not deserve such gifts.  The taste is awful, it made me feel awful, and only the awful would suggest this to anyone.

The point is, the anvil is truly awful, and something to be avoided -- much like the RMS itself, which is my least favorite day on the sporting calendar.  If you enjoy it - the anvil and the RMS - then God Bless you, but I'm happy enough living my life without either, thank you very much.

Happy Friday!  Go Buffs, get that 'W!'

2015 Rocky Mountain Showdown Preview

Growing up a Chicago White Sox fan, disparaging news stories about fan attendance were as common place as deep dish pizza and hot dogs without ketchup.  If you can dream the angle up, Chicago sports writers used it to talk the sorry state of butts-in-seats on the South Side.  Stories about how many more fans come to see the Cubs, stories about how 'rough' the neighborhood is, stories about how lagging attendance hurts team payroll, even stories about how the reflection off the empty seats during day games can affect the play on the field.  Ad nauseam doesn't even begin to cover it.

This is why, beyond some nominal teasing about 'well, we support our team,' and how dwindling attendance at the RMS in the late 2000s was an embarrassment to all involved, I don't go too deep into the numbers one way or the other.  Those lines reek of HAWT TAKE to me, and hit a little too close to home.

Then comes this tweet:
... I just can't resist chasing the rabbit on this one.

Now don't worry, this is not about the CSU figure, because it is what it is.  This is about those 30% of CU season ticket holders reserving their right to boycott the trip to Denver.  That's 30% of donors saying 'hell no' to the Invesco trip (or whatever it's called now), a chorus which is loud enough for any AD in the country to hear. Is there any wonder why this series is ending in a few years?

Certainly, there are some underlying factors in that figure.  Scalpers and ticket agencies may see a few extra units of Oregon tickets as a better profit-making engine than upper-tank rotten eggs to the RMS.  Some of that 30% could also, just as easily, get more seats for a game in Boulder, and then buy their Denver seats separately.  Regardless, the fact remains that CU fans are voting with their wallets, and a sizable minority - and many more non-season ticket holders (like myself) in addition - are voting 'absolutely not.' With numbers like that, this series is as dead as a door nail, not to be seen again for some time after 2020.


Hype music for the week: "Turn Down for What" by DJ Snake and Lil John

Why?  Why would I subject you to the abject horror that is this song?  Well, because it's just as fucking annoying as this series  They were made for each other!  'Happy' RMS week!


The *sigh* 87th edition of the Rocky Mountain Showdown kicks off from *sigh* Sports Authority Field at Mile High at 5pm on Saturday.  Follow the action CBS Sports Network or 850 KOA if you're not going to be in Denver (like me!).

For reference, you can find my previews from previous iterations of this series herehereherehere, and here.

Click bel...

*record scratch*

Last year, in a fit of childish petulance, I refused to preview them prior to the RMS, instead focusing on our beloved Buffs.  It was cute, but otherwise pointless.  A one-off joke, if you will.  So I meant to give little brother the full preview treatment today, I really did.

However, my roommate Alan stepped into the room right as I was starting to pen the article Monday night. Upon hearing the topic, he spat "why would we need to waste our time on that blight on humanity?  'But what about their new coach," I asked.  "Fuck 'em; I don't know why I'm supposed to care about that."

Fair enough.  Fuck 'em, indeed.

Without further adieu, I present my two-weeks-too-late preview of the 2015 Colorado Buffaloes, and only the 2015 Colorado Buffaloes.

Click below for the preview...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tuesday Grab Bag: Runnin' Wild

It was a weird weekend for the Pac-12.  As a whole, the league went 10-2, which is pretty good, but a number of the games went off in kooky fashion, and the South, especially, is starting to lose a little of its luster.  The biggest culprit was Arizona State, who struggled with FCS minnow Cal Poly for three and a half quarters before pulling away late in a 35-21 final (*smug smirk*).  While still a successful weekend, not the easy non-conference blitz those on the Left Coast were expecting.

To top it all off, the news broke on Saturday that the ongoing talks with AT&T/DirecTV over a Pac-12 Networks carriage deal fell through.  AT&T was trying to squeeze the conference, not without reason, and had put together what was deemed a 'very bad deal' for the league.  Just how bad?  Well, reportedly, it would've forced the league to:

  1. Overhaul its business model.
  2. Rewrite the terms of agreements with current partners.
  3. Potentially subject itself to litigation.
  4. Compromise the entire endeavor and the integrity of the universities (*cough* a bit overwrought here).
Certainly, there's some spin in that assessment, but, none-the-less, that sounds horrible, and the league soundly rejected it - not a single vote in favor.  *woof*

Now, this is not the end-all on the matter, but, as we're already two weeks into the lucrative football season, time is quickly ticking through the window.  Pac-12 Networks has gone on far too long without getting their channel on the satellite leader, and the hand-wringing by the fans and press is taking over El Jefe's legacy. Something is going to give, and my guess is that it will end up being the Conference of Champions.


Today in the bag, I'm talking the win over UMass, some updates on upcoming opponents, and some recruiting news from the men's basketball program.

Click below for the bag...

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Beer Post: 2015 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - UMass 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!"

The Minutemen, as the stories go, were always at the ready, capable of responding at a minute's notice to military needs in the era leading up to the Revolutionary War.  I figure, to combat such a timely enemy, we need a beer that understands the importance of time; one that uses the clock to its advantage. A beer that makes the passing minutes a rite of passage, if you will.  You'll need far more than just a minute's notice to brew this week's beer; in fact you'll need 90 minutes, at least.  That's right, this week's gameday beer-o-the-week is Dogfish Head's epic 90-minute IPA.

90-minute was one of the original Imperial IPAs to adorn the nation's craft beer shelves, and is potentially still the best out there.  Continuously hopped over, you guessed it, 90 minutes, and then dry-hopped to finish, this beer embraces not only the glory of the hop, but its complexity at the most basic level.  Probably not as bitter as you would expect (conveniently, 90 IBUs), this is still a massive beer, and can overwhelm the taste buds of the unready.  Drinker be warned.

For my taste, Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione, who I once got to meet (!!!!!) at an event in Vail, hit it out of the park with this one.  It's hop forward, certainly, but that tidal wave of hops comes with a surprising amount of malty balance, and doesn't strike me as resinous or 'dank' as it could be.  Maybe not one for the hop freaks out there, but one for people who enjoy everything that goes into big, hearty 'Murikan craft brewing.

This is the ship that launched a thousand copy-cat IPAs, so it's best to honor the classics. Get yourself a four-pack of this one, and sip it easy while contemplating the meaning of time itself.  Let the hop flavors swarm over your tongue, and just... relax, man, it that uniquely Boulder way. Certainly don't go too hog-wild; 90-minute clocks in at about 9% ABV. Maybe best to split that pack with a buddy or two.

Happy Friday!  Go Buffs, beat the Minutemen!

2015 CU vs UMass Football Preview

The performance against Hawai'i sucked, and the team knows it.  Despite a lot of positive rhetoric, the Buffs appeared under-prepared and self-destructive against a beatable opponent in the opener.

At Tuesday's presser, Coach Mac was particularly blunt:
I think they made bone-head mistakes that cost us a football game. We outplayed that team, we out "physicaled" that team, we out rushed that team, we out gained that team. We just made bone-head mistakes. Maybe that was because some of them were tight, I don’t know. They didn’t seem tight to me, we just made some bone-head mistakes that we've got to coach better to not have happen, or we would have won that game by a few touchdowns. It's very frustrating.”
The team knows that they did a lot of harm to an upswell of goodwill last weekend, harm that may be very difficult to undo in the immediacy.

Which brings me to this tweet.  Despite the perceived promise among the diehards, the practical involvement of thousands of future donors is dwindling at an alarming rate. Over the past decade, even as the program has careened into the canyon of crap, fan support, for the most part, has remained acceptable. Unfortunately, that grace period is gone, and the student body has begun to flat abandon the program.  I not going to waste words blaming them, nor make excuses.  It is what it is.

The point is, while I don't think the team absolutely needs to (or even can) go to a bowl game this year, they absolutely cannot take a full step backwards.  2015 must be another year of positive feelings. Of improvement.  Accordingly, performances like the one against Hawai'i are not, under any circumstances acceptable. The Buffs need to convert the winnable games, like Saturday's against Massachusetts, into the left-hand column, and stay competitive throughout lesser opportunities.  Else there may not be many around to see it when/if they ever get good again.


Hype music for the week: Paul Revere by the Beastie Boys



Kickoff from beautiful Folsom Field is set for high noon on Saturday.  The Buffs will be looking to rebound and regain lost momentum under crystal clear skies.  Seriously, it's going to be gorgeous this weekend. Come game time, there won't be a finer place to be in the Front Range, regardless of the product on the field.  Get your ass to Boulder!

Note: for those making their way to the stadium via the Creek Path (a group that includes myself), please understand that construction is still going on, and some of those traditional routes have been detoured. Check out this map for more information.

Click below for the preview...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tuesday Grab Bag: Same Old Buffs

It's a shortened week, which means we're straight to the action today.  In the bag, I'm wrapping the loss to Hawai'i, looking ahead to next few opponents on the schedule, and discussing the K-State Marching Band.

Click below for the bag...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

THURSDAY Beer Post: 2015 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - Hawai'i 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!"

Thursday Beer Post?  What has this blog come to?  Monday Grab Bags on a Tuesday, Friday Beer Posts on a Thursday... does the calendar mean anything anymore?  This simply isn't right! *sigh*  I guess we can all be thankful, at least, that football season has returned, and with it that most hallowed of American traditions: the tailgate. Of course, with the tailgate comes the glaring need for BEER at the tailgate!  Unsure of what to provide this evening?  Here, let me make a game-specific suggestion for you...

CU has ventured forth into the wilds of the Pacific Ocean in search of a win, but I remain in Boulder. I figure, why not pick a beer that combines the best of both worlds?  Luckily, the masterminds over at Avery have provided just such an option; a beer that combines what's great about Boulder (craft brewing in its highest form) with an exotic, Hawaiian-y flavor profile.  That beer, Avery Brewing's Liliko'i Kepolo, is this week's gameday beer of the week.
Poured tall and proud at the new-ish Avery Brewery in North Boulder
Don't get caught up in the name -- this is a classic example of a fruit-infused witbier, a Belgian wheat style that easily lends itself to enhancements (and to consumption on a hot summer day).  In the Hawaiian language, Liliko'i translates to passion fruit and Kepolo to devil, meaning Avery is essentially telling you that this is a version of their staple White Rascal spiked with passion fruit.  Easy enough?  Believe me, drinking one... or two... or five of these is just as simple.

I know some of you may now be going, "but I don't want any passion fruit in my beer.' Come now, don't be so snobby about the flavor profile.  Yes, this is fruit-forward on the tongue, but it's not artificially-sweet and sticky.  This is gloriously tart and acidic, tasting of actual liliko'i, not candy.  Paired with the light and spicy wit base, it's simply a wonderful sipper in the dying days of summer.  Quick, get out to the store and score a pack of these before 11 o'clock rolls around!

Happy FridayThursday!  Go Buffs, beat the Rainbow Warriors!

2015 CU vs Hawai'i Football Preview

Well, we've made it.  After a long offseason only lengthened by the basketball team's struggles with mediocrity (what, you think I'd get through the first football preview without a hoops mention?), we've come to the end of summer's road.  Football is back (with a vengeance), and ready to distract. Finally, some real-life action to discuss while sipping the kool-aid!

In preparation for tonight's festivities, I've looked across the internet for a hype track.  As a true child of the 80s, and with the game emanating from the 50th state, there was really only one choice:

Hell yeah!  Now I'm ready for some football!


Remember to set the timer on the coffee pot, as the 2015 Colorado Football season will eventually kick off from Aloha Stadium in downtown Honolulu at 11pm MT this evening.  Yes, 11pm; essentially fucking midnight.  Now, to be fair, that is a 7pm start out in the Islands, but, for those of us in the contiguous 48, that means the game will end some time in the early hours of Friday morning.  Hope you planned ahead, like me, and took tomorrow off...

Click below for the preview...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tuesday Grab Bag: Football takes the stage

Site note:  This week's schedule is a little weird, due to the Thursday kickoff.  I 'hope' to have the Hawai'i preview up tomorrow afternoon, but more than likely Thursday noon-ish.  The FridayThursday Beer Post will be up Thursday afternoon.  Stay tuned...


Coach MacIntyre decided to give us all a GameWeek gift by releasing an early depth chart.  I can't help but notice that the release came the day after the BDC's Brian Howell posted the paper's projections (mostly correct), but that's less important than the information contained therein.  Of key note:
  • There's depth everywhere; 38 returning letter-winners among the 50 available spots on the two-deep.
  • Still, only five positions list seniors on the top line -- Nelson Spruce (WR), Stephane Nembot (OT), Christian Powell (RB), Justin Solis (DT), Ken Crawley (DB).
  • Of the three positions featuring non-lettered designated starters (all on defense), all are incoming transfers, and, theoretically, were brought in for just such a purpose -- Jordan Carrell (DE), Leo Jackson (DE), and Jaleel Awini (LB).
  • Former walk-on Ryan Moeller (!) earned the starting spot at Free Safety.  Cool-cool-cool.
  • The kicking game is still a mystery, with the 'OR' tag noted at both punter and placekicker.
As Ryan Koenigsberg noted here, much of the defensive chart is skewed by a strict adherence to the 4-3 format.  As the Buffs are probably going to run a lot of 3-4, consume with large portions of salt.  NOM-NOM.


Today in the bag, I'm talking my wish list for the football season, some sparkling results from the volleyball court, and the action from the soccer pitch.

Click below for the bag...