Thursday - August 16, 2018

Archive for the ‘ Sports ’ Category

 

An Ode to Sports

August 14th, 2018

I sat down at my computer and thought about what to write.  It had been a few weeks since my last article and I was happy to get back to work after my editor approved a couple weeks off.  Last weekend I flew to Minnesota to watch my sixteen-year-old daughter swim at a major meet, as well as visiting a longtime friend from my childhood. The week before I attended my mother’s memorial.  She had passed away after a short battle with cancer at the age of 74. Staring at the screen, I thought about the Rockies big weekend series against the Dodgers, and the Broncos opening act on Saturday versus... Read More

Trade Deadline – Don’t Hold Your Breath

July 24th, 2018

With the MLB trade deadline approaching and the Colorado Rockies soundly in the playoff hunt, the question remains whether Colorado will be aggressive in acquiring talent before the July 31 deadline.  Currently positioned in third place, just behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, and in a basic dead heat with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, and Atlanta Braves, the Rockies have a tough decision to make.  Go add some talent to keep up with the other teams, or hope their current roster is good enough.  Here are four players the Rockies should go after, and a fifth they probably will. Cole... Read More

Fighting for Relevancy

July 17th, 2018

In the 2011 NBA draft, Cleveland selected Kyrie Irving with the first overall pick as other teams contemplated top talents that could help their franchise. Klay Thompson went number 11 to the Golden State Warriors, and Kawhi Leonard went 15th ending up with the Spurs.  But like most NBA drafts, the rest of the picks were filled with unknown names with questionable talent and hopeful aspirations.  At the back end of the draft Dallas chose Targuy Ngombo with the 57th pick, the Lakers took Ater Majok with the 58th, and the Spurs went with Adam Hanga at 59. Obscure players from places like Qatar,... Read More

Colorado Rockies – Six Games for the Season

July 10th, 2018

In the game of baseball, a batter can often be bothered by the shadows that lie between the mound and home plate, but it’s the foreshadowing that concerns the Colorado Rockies.  Baseball purists will say not to worry, just stay around .500 until the All-Star break, and then make your move.  After all, there are 162 games to be played.  But the next six games may shape the landscape of the Rockies for years to come. Currently in fourth place with a record of 46-44, Colorado trails the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Francisco Giants in the race for the NL West.  To further... Read More

Nikola Jokic and the Youth Movement

July 3rd, 2018

The Denver Nuggets had a busy week as they inked Nikola Jokic to a five-year/$147 million max contract, and then lured Will Barton back to the team with a four-year/$50 million deal.  So, I hope that you were entertained by last year’s team that barely missed the playoffs, because they’re not going anywhere soon. Jokic, only 23 years old, was due to make a mere $1.6 million this season but the Nuggets aggressively signed the former second-round pick to a long-term deal to keep him off the market.  Combine the existing contract of 23-year-old Gary Harris (four-year/$84 million) and the probable... Read More

Michael Porter Jr. – Worth the Wait

June 26th, 2018
Michael Porter Jr.

As the names were announced in last week’s NBA draft, players such as DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Luka Doncic, and others strutted to the stage in flamboyant suits and logo filled caps to shake hands with the commissioner and celebrate their early first round selection.  Michael Porter Jr. sat awkwardly at a table nearby waiting for his name to be called. Projected at one time as the top high school player in the nation and potential number one overall pick, Porter started to slide down the draft board over concerns of a back issue that sidelined him for most of his freshman season at... Read More

Denver Nuggets – Shopping Overseas Again

June 12th, 2018
NBA Draft_Nuggets

The NBA draft will be held on June 21st and the Denver Nuggets will have to wait to see who is available at pick number 14.  Assuming that no trades are made before draft day, my mock draft looks like this. Phoenix Suns – DeAndre Ayton (7’0 Center/Arizona).  Outstanding athlete for a big man, Ayton dominates the boards with his physicality and can still make the 10-footer to keep the other NBA centers honest.  Along with Devin Booker, the Suns finally have the makings of an actual NBA team. Sacramento Kings – Luka Donic (6’8 SG/SF/Slovenia). The Kings are the worst in the league at evaluating... Read More

Otto-matic

June 5th, 2018
Adam Ottavino

If you struggle with the pronunciation of Rockies relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (/ah-tah-VEEN-oh/) it’s understandable. And my guess is that if you’re not a diehard Rockies fan you would struggle recognizing the man at all. In pitching for the Rockies, Ottavino’s job is to not be noticed.  As a middle-to-late-inning set-up man, Ottavino’s job is to hope that the flashy, high paid starters throw a solid six or seven innings, as closer Wade Davis (3yr/$52 million) begins to stretch and warm up in the bullpen to close it out. Ottavino’s job is to face just a few batters in the seventh or... Read More

Thou Protest Too Much

May 29th, 2018

Last week the NFL owners approved a national anthem policy that would require all players to stand and show respect for the flag.  The policy, which was passed without discussion from the NFL Players Association, would allow players to stay in the locker room during the playing of the anthem if they wished not to participate.  Whether the move was a response to lower ratings based on the taking-a- knee protests, political pressure from fans and the Trump administration, or simply a poorly constructed compromise, the ball is now in the players court.  First Amendment rights aside, if the players... Read More

NBA Lottery – Unlucky Fourteen

May 22nd, 2018

              The first three picks in the 1993 NBA draft were Chris Weber, Shawn Bradley, and Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. The three would go on to star in NBA Finals games, All-Star games, movies, and commercials.  The 14th pick in the draft that year was Scott Haskin, a 6’11 center from Oregon State.  Haskin would play only 27 games for the Indiana Pacers before being out of the league for good. When the ping pong ball solidified the Denver Nuggets lottery position last week, the plan seemed obvious.  Select the best player available to add depth to... Read More

NFL QB Rankings – Broncos 27th Out of 32

May 15th, 2018

After signing Case Keenum to a two-year contract and passing on a quarterback in the draft, how do the Broncos compare to the other 31 teams at the quarterback position for the next few years.  The ranking below.         Green Bay – They have Aaron Rodgers, enough said. New England – Tom Brady stars as Benjamin Button. New Orleans – Drew Brees signed a two-year extension worth $50 million, the Saints are fine. Seattle – Russel Wilson is only 29 years-old, has gone to four Pro-Bowls, and has already won a ring.  They’re good. Detroit – The franchise has issues,... Read More

Adjustments at the Plate

May 8th, 2018

With the Colorado Rockies off to a 20-15 record behind solid pitching and the bats of Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado, we should be relatively satisfied.  After all, the Rockies have already played more road games (23) than any other team in the league, and the assumption is that the slumping bats will come alive once the thin air and short fences do their thing.  But after a team batting average of just .228 and some early struggles that may not correct themselves, here are four moves that Colorado may want to look at…sooner than later.   Find a veteran hitter to plug at first base.... Read More

Bronco Draft Gives Them a Chubb

May 1st, 2018

With all the speculation leading towards the Denver Broncos selecting a quarterback-of-the-future in this year’s NFL draft, gun-slinger John Elway failed to pull the trigger, but didn’t draw a blank.  After Cleveland continued its historic failure of drafting quarterbacks by selecting Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick, the Browns compounded their mistake by selecting Denzel Ward (CB/Florida State) providing the Broncos a gift of edge-rushing proportions. It’s possible that Elway had his eye on Mayfield or Sam Darnold (USC), but after both quarterbacks were taken off... Read More

Denver Nuggets – Better Luck Next Year

April 17th, 2018

The Denver Nuggets were a mere 4.4 seconds from making the NBA Playoffs.  Nikola Jokic had the ball in his hands and a one-on-one opportunity.  But like a microcosm of the entire season, Jokic and the Nuggets came up just short.  With a 112-106 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver will have to watch the playoffs from afar as the organization focuses on next year.  Here are five moves that can get us playoff bound in 2018-2019.   1. Do nothing. Okay, almost nothing.  Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Gary Harris made great strides this year.  Under Michael Malone, Denver... Read More

Avalanche Make Playoffs – Go Figure

April 10th, 2018

The excitement of the Avalanche players was contagious as the crowd erupted and the final horn sounded.  With a 5-2 victory over St. Louis in the last game of the regular season, Colorado secured the eighth and final playoff spot in what has been a remarkable turn-around season.  One could forgive the doubters for being skeptical as the Avalanche were coming off a last place, 48-point season in 2016-2017. But now that our Colorado boys have made the playoffs, is there room on that bandwagon for one more?  Even if I admit that Saturday night’s game was the only one I watched all season? It’s... Read More

Colorado Rockies – Business as Usual

March 27th, 2018

Like sipping a cold microbrew in the cheap seats at Coors Field, I can still taste the success of last year’s Colorado Rockies.  With a 87-75 record and our first playoff game in almost ten years, Spring couldn’t come soon enough.  I doubted the Monfort family, I didn’t want to “trust the process”, but the organization proved me wrong.  The 2018 Rockies brought almost everyone back and even opened up their wallet to sign the top reliever in baseball, Wade Davis, to a huge contract. Blake Street is booming, roof top bars are stocking up, kids are dusting off their gloves, but there’s... Read More

Denver’s Draft Pick – Fairly Obvious

March 20th, 2018

Now that John Elway has his quarterback, predicting who the Broncos will take with the fifth pick in the 2018 NFL draft is fairly obvious.   It may not be sexy, but Denver needs major help on their offensive line so look for Elway to select Quenton Nelson, a beast of a lineman out of Notre Dame.  You can pencil Nelson in as an immediate starter and a future pro-bowler for years to come. Actually, since we’re doing this in pencil…Case Keenum only signed a two-year deal for basically Brock Osweiler money, which means Elway doesn’t see him as the long-term solution, but more of a stop-gap... Read More

CSU Hoops – Time’s Up

March 13th, 2018

The Colorado State University Men’s basketball program has a major problem.  Head coach Larry Eustachy and interim coach Steve Barnes were forced out for their treatment of players. The program finished with a record of 11-21 and their only internal candidate is a second-year assistant coach whose apex include three years as the head coach at Northwestern Kansas Technical College. To put it lightly, the Rams are in trouble. But what if I told you that the perfect coaching candidate is just a phone call away. A current NBA assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs under Greg Popovich, a former... Read More

Cheaters Never Win

March 6th, 2018

The Pac 12 finished up basketball’s regular season and the Colorado Buffaloes showed that hard work, cohesiveness, and integrity can get you a long way.  Wait, did I say integrity?  Skip that. With an 8th place finish in the conference (8-10) and an overall record of 16-14, Colorado will not be one of the 64 teams invited to the NCAA tournament, will probably not be sent an invite to the NIT, but will finish the season knowing that they did things the right way, remembering the adage that cheaters never win. Well, almost never. It’s true that the Arizona Wildcats won the conference even though... Read More

Locals at the Olympics

February 27th, 2018

As the Winter Olympics extinguish their flame and the clean-up crew of PyeongChang do their best curling-like sweep job in the aftermath, the country of Norway left South Korea victorious with a total of 39 overall medals, followed by Germany with 31, and Canada with 29.  The Republic of Colorado finished in 15th place, just behind China. Okay, Colorado isn’t exactly a country, but with 31 athletes representing the United States, more than any other state, it could have been.  Athletes from Colorado won more gold medals than Russia, more silver than Finland, and more Bronze than Sweden. Mikaela... Read More