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Alan Tapley The Athletic Supporter

Alan Tapley is an educator, author, and blogger who has lived just outside of Boulder for the last twenty years.  His published work includes two novels, two children’s books, a series of cartoons in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and multiple sports related articles. His love for family and the state of Colorado is only matched by one thing, his passion for sports.  The first baseball game he ever attended was at Wrigley Field, before there were lights.  At the final Bronco game at the old Mile High, he allegedly cut out a piece of his seat in the South stands.  But regardless of being here for the Avalanche’s last Stanley Cup, the Rockies only World Series appearance, and all the Broncos’ Super Bowl Victories, his wife never fails to remind him that he wasn’t at the University of Colorado in 1990, like she was.  The year the Buffs football team won the National Championship

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Something in the Air – Boulder’s National Center for Atmospheric Research

Humans have always had a complicated relationship with weather. Ancient cultures prayed and made offerings to gods in hopes of receiving conditions conducive to growing crops. Adverse weather, then, w…

Humans have always h…

Humans have always had a complicated relationship with weather. Ancient cultures prayed and made offerings to gods in hopes of receiving conditions conducive to growing crops. Adverse weather, then, was often interpreted as displeasure on behalf of those same beings—a punishment for failing to observe proper rituals. It doesn’t take a history scholar to understand this impulse. Weather, now as then, is both an enemy and ally. On one hand, it provides everything from the raw material for food—sunlight driving photosynthesis, wind the primary method of plants spreading their seeds—to …

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MidWinter: A Colorado Night’s Dream

Sometimes, writing about art and theater feels a lot like falling down the proverbial rabbit hole as I try to find the angle to write about wandering through a haunted-theater immersive experience, ge…

Sometimes, writing a…

Sometimes, writing about art and theater feels a lot like falling down the proverbial rabbit hole as I try to find the angle to write about wandering through a haunted-theater immersive experience, getting splashed in a Halloween horror show in the basement of a spaghetti emporium, sweating through a DIY D&D in a comic shop, savoring (har har!) Sweeney Todd’s enraged high notes, and trying to quiet my howling dog in a public house. I’ve found myself in some odd and awkward scenarios. To update the metaphor, writing this column is a lot like drunk-clicking through an endless algorithm o…

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The MLB All-Star Game – Orange Slices for Everyone

Ryan McMahon was named the Colorado Rockies token All-Star reserve last week in Major League Baseball’s version of “Orange slices for everyone.” As of yesterday, McMahon was hitting .274 with…

Ryan McMahon was nam…

Ryan McMahon was named the Colorado Rockies token All-Star reserve last week in Major League Baseball’s version of “Orange slices for everyone.” As of yesterday, McMahon was hitting .274 with 14 HRs and 45 RBIs for a team that currently sits in last place with a record of 32-59. In a game that showcases stars like Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper, and Shohei Ohtani, it may surprise some that McMahon was added to the National League roster. Afterall, while this will be the first All-Star Game appearance for McMahon, it is still one more than Kirk Gibson ever played in. But, like Elias …

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The 2024 NBA Draft – A Mock Tale

In theory, it shouldn’t be that difficult to create an NBA Mock Draft that closely aligns with the thought process of a lottery team’s General Manager. With an exception or two, everybody knows…

In theory, it should…

In theory, it shouldn’t be that difficult to create an NBA Mock Draft that closely aligns with the thought process of a lottery team’s General Manager. With an exception or two, everybody knows who the top dozen players are. If you need a big man, you probably have Alex Sarr, the 7’1, 19-year-old from France at the top of your board. Or possibly Donovan Clingan, the 7’2 shot blocker from UConn. At the small forward position, France’s Zaccharie Risacher sits atop most boards as a 6’9 athlete with an outside shot and a defensive reputation. And if you’re in need of a gu…

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Kaitlin, Kyrie, and The Weird World of Sports

Back in the day, there used to be a show on television called The Wide World of Sports, hosted by the legendary Jim McKay. Every Saturday, for years, the program would cover relevant sporting events …

Back in the day, the…

Back in the day, there used to be a show on television called The Wide World of Sports, hosted by the legendary Jim McKay. Every Saturday, for years, the program would cover relevant sporting events from around the globe and the stories that went along with them. The Wide World of Sports occasionally highlighted unknown events such as Jai-alai or Mexican Cliff Diving. But the show was better known for its innovation and understanding of the average American sports fan, being the first to televise Wimbledon, The Indianapolis 500, The British Open, and The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament…

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The Nuggets Loss Was Painful – But I’ve Seen Worse

Calling it a difficult sports weekend for Colorado fans may be a bit of an understatement. It was bad enough that the Colorado Avalanche were knocked out of the NHL Playoffs on Friday by the Dallas…

Calling it a difficu…

Calling it a difficult sports weekend for Colorado fans may be a bit of an understatement. It was bad enough that the Colorado Avalanche were knocked out of the NHL Playoffs on Friday by the Dallas Stars when former Avs Matt Duchene scored the game-winner in double overtime. But when the Denver Nuggets squandered a 20-point lead, in game seven, at home, just two days later – I was sick. The Nuggets were up 53-38 at halftime, stretched the lead to as many as 20, Nikola Jokic had 34 points and 17 rebounds, Jamal Murray added 35 points, and yet, the Minnesota Timberwolves ended their N…

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Nuggets Down 0-2 – And I’m a Little Worried

The last two games against the Minnesota Timberwolves were not pretty. A seven-point loss in game one, followed by a 26-point spanking in game two. But I’m not worried. The Denver Nuggets are t…

The last two games a…

The last two games against the Minnesota Timberwolves were not pretty. A seven-point loss in game one, followed by a 26-point spanking in game two. But I’m not worried. The Denver Nuggets are the defending NBA Champions, and they have Nikola Jokic. Is it a little concerning that Michael Malone undoubtedly made some adjustments after the game one loss, and the team did even worse in game two? Sure. Is it troubling that Jamal Murray is imploding a bit? Yeah. Is it nerve wracking that game three is in a couple of days, on the road, and no playoff team has ever come back from an …

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The NFL Draft – 4/20 May Have Passed, But There’s Still Plenty of Smoke

On paper, this year’s NFL Draft seems immensely predictable. The three teams at the top of the draft board are all in desperate need of a quarterback, and there are three projected prospects jus…

On paper, this year…

On paper, this year’s NFL Draft seems immensely predictable. The three teams at the top of the draft board are all in desperate need of a quarterback, and there are three projected prospects just waiting to hear their name called. After the quarterbacks have fallen, the board is left with three dynamic wide receivers, all thought to be true difference makers. While the Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Chargers, and New York Giants all have a specific need for their rosters – a dynamic, difference making, wide receiver. The assumption is that the rest of the top half of the draft i…

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A Rockie Start to the Season

With the baseball season upon us, I must admit that I struggled to find the positives when it came to writing about the Colorado Rockies. The team had gotten off to another slow start, the pitchers w…

With the baseball se…

With the baseball season upon us, I must admit that I struggled to find the positives when it came to writing about the Colorado Rockies. The team had gotten off to another slow start, the pitchers were getting shelled, and Kris Bryant was again, a virtual no-show. So, I cheated. I sat down at my computer, then asked ChatGPT to write me an 800-word article about the Colorado Rockies and all that was good. Within minutes, there it was. The words Cold Beer repeated 400 times. So, here it is. My annual story about the Colorado Rockies, written before they become too irrelevant, w…

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The Sweet Sixteen Winners – It’s a Coin Flip

Entering the Sweet Sixteen, I have to say that my bracket is looking pretty good. It helps that I had Kentucky going out a little early, picked Clemson over Baylor, and primarily went with the favori…

Entering the Sweet S…

Entering the Sweet Sixteen, I have to say that my bracket is looking pretty good. It helps that I had Kentucky going out a little early, picked Clemson over Baylor, and primarily went with the favorites up until this point. And I would like to think that my current success was due to the countless hours of work I have put in preparing for this tournament. Researching rosters to identify upperclassmen, checking player minutes to establish team depth, and scouting free throw percentages as games get tight at the end of March. I prefer strong guard play, note a team’s pace of play, alwa…

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The Broncos Without a Starting Quarterback? – Inconceivable!

Like many Bronco fans, I was struggling to figure out Sean Payton’s quarterback plans after letting go of Russell Wilson, despite still owing him $40 million. The Denver Broncos lacked the cap …

Like many Bronco fan…

Like many Bronco fans, I was struggling to figure out Sean Payton’s quarterback plans after letting go of Russell Wilson, despite still owing him $40 million. The Denver Broncos lacked the cap space for any high-priced free agent, were absent of the draft capital needed to move up for a top-three pick, and obviously, Jarrett Stidham could never be the answer. But it all became clear the other morning as I sat in bed watching the 1987 classic, The Princess Bride. Remember the scene in The Princess Bride, when the man in black (Westley) challenges Vizzini in a Battle of Wits to …

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Swifties, a Strip Show, and the Las Vegas Super Bowl

In a Super Bowl that featured celebrities in the stands, clever commercials, and of course, Taylor Swift, it would be easy to lose focus as a sportswriter and simply put together 1100 words that avoid…

In a Super Bowl that…

In a Super Bowl that featured celebrities in the stands, clever commercials, and of course, Taylor Swift, it would be easy to lose focus as a sportswriter and simply put together 1100 words that avoided the game – and just focused on the Swifties, and their clicks. But Super Bowl LVIII wasn’t just about Taylor. It was about heroes like Andy Reid, Travis Kelce, and Pat Mahomes. Not the Anti-Hero. The game deserves an article that treats the play on the field with respect. Not a Blank Space. All that attention on Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Ice Spice, and Usher. I’m just going t…

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Sean Payton Headlines Coachella 2024

Spanning over two weekends, Coachella is best known for the biggest names on the biggest of stages. No, I am not talking about Beyonce, Bad Bunny, or Harry Styles. I’m talking about the other Coac…

Spanning over two we…

Spanning over two weekends, Coachella is best known for the biggest names on the biggest of stages. No, I am not talking about Beyonce, Bad Bunny, or Harry Styles. I’m talking about the other Coachella. As in, the big stage of NFL and NCAA coaches that are stealing all the headlines. Nick Saban calling it quits at Alabama, Pete Carroll stepping down in Seattle, and Bill Belichick moving on from New England. The warmup acts had a little star power as well. Kalen DeBoer leaves the Huskies for the Crimson Tide, Jerod Mayo is the man for the Pats, Mike Vrabel no longer a Titan. Co…

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Just One Question – Who’s Playing Quarterback Next Season?

With just two games remaining in the Denver Broncos season, Sean Payton made the decision to bench quarterback Russell Wilson. Essentially a move that put an end to Wilson’s future in Denver. …

With just two games …

With just two games remaining in the Denver Broncos season, Sean Payton made the decision to bench quarterback Russell Wilson. Essentially a move that put an end to Wilson’s future in Denver. Moving on from a quarterback that was only 11-18 in his two seasons as a Bronco. That’s football. Replacing a quarterback that doesn’t fit the coach’s scheme, acquired by the previous regime. That’s commonplace. Benching a quarterback as a scapegoat, implying that it wasn’t the coaching, but rather, the execution of the plays. That happens. Preferring a cheap quarterb…

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‘Tis the Season – A Bronco Holiday Poem

‘Twas the night before Christmas with stars in the heaven. The Broncos were hosting at seven and seven. There was Belichick, the Pats, but no longer Tom Brady. It was now Bailey Zappe, New Engl…

‘Twas the night be…

‘Twas the night before Christmas with stars in the heaven. The Broncos were hosting at seven and seven. There was Belichick, the Pats, but no longer Tom Brady. It was now Bailey Zappe, New England’s hopes were Slim Shady. But the Broncos this season were a bit of a mess. Scaring opponents but still scared of success. Who starts 1-5 and then goes 6-2? Who hopes for the playoffs when the playoffs are through? Miami scores 70 like we’re a cheap set of gnomes. We then beat Josh Allen and the great Pat Mahomes? We choked to the Raiders and that Jets game was foul. …

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CFP Stands for College Football Pandemonium

The College Football Playoff (CFP) committee must have had some tough conversations following Alabama’s 27-24 victory over top-ranked Georgia in last Saturday’s SEC Championship game. If the co…

The College Football…

The College Football Playoff (CFP) committee must have had some tough conversations following Alabama’s 27-24 victory over top-ranked Georgia in last Saturday’s SEC Championship game. If the committee was about fairness, the path seemed clear. Michigan (13-0) was the obvious number one seed after a 26-0 dismantling of Iowa in the Big Ten finale. In the Pac-12, Washington (13-0) had secured the number two seed with a 34-31 nail-biter over Oregon. Florida State (13-0) stayed unbeaten by winning the ACC title, 16-6 over Louisville. Inevitably, leaving just Alabama (12-1) and Texas (12…

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Why Lebron Will Eventually be LeGOAT

The Thanksgiving table can get contentious at times. Generations of family loudly discussing politics, sports, and the proper use of nonbinary pronouns. Grandpa may never understand the difference…

The Thanksgiving tab…

The Thanksgiving table can get contentious at times. Generations of family loudly discussing politics, sports, and the proper use of nonbinary pronouns. Grandpa may never understand the difference between he/him/his and they/them/theirs, but he will go to his deathbed with the belief that Bill Russell with his 11 rings, is the greatest basketball player of all-time. Cousin Logan is a millennial. He listens to 32 podcasts a week, pays $6.50 for his coffee each morning, and swears in his vintage Kobe Bryant signature shoes, that the G.O.A.T. is Kobe Bryant. Aunt Suzy thinks that Kareem…

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I’ll Take Week Nine NFL Quarterbacks For $400

Welcome back to Jeopardy. Thanks to bad luck, some bad karma, a crappy offensive-line, and a torn ACL, I’m your host, Aaron Rodgers. Our three contestants have breezed through categories that in…

Welcome back to Jeop…

Welcome back to Jeopardy. Thanks to bad luck, some bad karma, a crappy offensive-line, and a torn ACL, I’m your host, Aaron Rodgers. Our three contestants have breezed through categories that include Quantum Physics, Biomechanics, and 14th Century Poetry, but our final category may be the most challenging subject of them all. Robert, you’re up. I’ll take Week Nine NFL Quarterbacks for $400. This Devito probably took a TAXI to the stadium before being SUBBED in for New York Giant’s quarterback Daniel Jones, who tore his ACL. (buzzer sound) Who is Danny DeVito? …

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A Nuggets Repeat is no Laughing Matter

Opening the 2023-24 NBA season against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers would have been big enough news by itself, but tonight there is more. The team will probably come running out onto the…

Opening the 2023-24 …

Opening the 2023-24 NBA season against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers would have been big enough news by itself, but tonight there is more. The team will probably come running out onto the court as the DJ blasts Tobe Nwigwe’s song “Fye Fye.” Flashing lights will shoot across the darkened arena like a European dance club. The Finals MVP, Nikola Jokic, will probably say a few words. And the Championship banner will slowly be hoisted to the rafters to deafening applause. But we are no longer just the Denver Nuggets. We are the reigning World Champion Denver Nuggets – an…

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What Did Your Sports Hero Dress Up As For Halloween?

Besides the sugar-buzz from devouring fun-sized Snicker bars all weekend, the best part was watching famous athletes walking arena halls in their Halloween best. The Celtics’ Grant Williams went …

Besides the sugar-bu…

Besides the sugar-buzz from devouring fun-sized Snicker bars all weekend, the best part was watching famous athletes walking arena halls in their Halloween best. The Celtics’ Grant Williams went full Gotham in a Batman costume. Atlanta’s Trae Young dressed as the Black Panther. The Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic was appropriately made up as The Joker. And most everyone else in the sports world showed up as some type of character from Stranger Things. I didn’t happen to catch what quarterback Russell Wilson dressed up as pre-game, but I had a few guesses. • Russell could have dres…

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