Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Thursday, September 29, 2016

2016 CU vs Oregon State Football Teaser

Ladies and gentlemen, we've entered new territory.  I am, for the first time this year, going to see Colorado play a game live and in person.  For various reasons - personal, business, and otherwise - I was unable to attend any of the home or road affairs in September.  I missed the Oregon game entirely, in fact, thanks to a wedding ceremony.

The whole scheduling thing has left me hungry to get into Folsom and get my first real good look at what's going on this year.  Sure, I've seen the broadcasts, but a live, in-person look is always preferable.

But, that also means I'm changing up what had been a winning pattern; me not going to games. So, should the Buffs stumble on Saturday, you'll all know the reason -- I jinxed them with my presence.  I apologize in advance.


Hype Music for the Week: "Your Time is Gonna Come" by Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin, one of the monoliths of music history, penned this ditty of emotional revenge, which I find fitting.  With the Buffs on the Rise, it's time to pay back some of our conference brethren for the shames of recent history.  Their time has come.


Kickoff from resplendent Folsom Field is set for 12:30 MT on Saturday.  The Buffs will be going for something wholly unprecedented in the Pac-12 era: a two-game in-conference winning streak. Remember to wear white! There's a slight chance of rain in the forecast, but nothing to be too worried about.  Coverage for those unable to attend is on Pac-12 Networks, with the radio call on 850 KOA.

Click below for the teaser...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday Grab Bag: Buffs are Risen

Well, Pac-12, ya done fucked up.  You had Colorado Football at its low point, dead for all intents and purposes as a competitive football entity, yet allowed the program to get up off the mat.  #TheRise is, apparently, very much real, and y'all in some serious trouble.  I'm not saying from the team, for whom the sky appears to be the limit, I'm talking about the fanbase.  BuffNation is a bunch of certified cocky shits when we have something on the gridiron to root for.  We are now the fly in your punchbowl.  Prepare for some ruckus, and we do not apologize in advance.


Today in the bag, I'm talking the historic win over Oregon, a look ahead into the near future of the football schedule, and the start of basketball season.

Click below for the bag...

Friday, September 23, 2016

2016 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - Oregon 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!"

I come to you today from Brooklyn, NY. Out here on some family business, I figure, why not feature something local? Well, what could get more local to Brooklyn than Brooklyn Brewery?  The brainchild of Steve Hindy and Tom Potter, Brooklyn has been pumping out fantastic beers under the direction of the singular Garrett Oliver for years.  Their staple brew, Brooklyn Lager, is this week's beer-o-the-week.
I don't feature a lot of lagers, mostly due to the fact that the American craft beer scene is dominated by ales.  Lagers (beer 'lagered' at low temperatures with bottom-fermenting yeast), however, are some of the most prolific and historically significant styles on the planet, as popularized by mega-brands like Budweiser and Coors.  This version is nothing like that pale swill, though.  No, Brooklyn has actually produced something with taste that stands up well past your standard tailgate environment.  This is a beer with legs, one capable of suiting your needs whenever they may arise.

Brooklyn is a Vienna-style amber, a 19th Century style brought to the continent, originally, through Mexico.  It will pour copper-yellow into your glass, with a nice pillow of head.  You'll get strong malt notes throughout the nose and palate, with a small cut of floral hops (thanks to the dry-hopping process).  The taste is of caramel malt, and exceedingly pleasant.  At 5.2 ABV, it's a highly sessionable brew that's worthy of staying with you through multiple rounds of bag toss or farmer's golf.

Unfortunately, Brooklyn Brewery doesn't currently have a distribution outlet in Colorado, so you can't find it in local shops.  Next time you're out east (they distribute throughout the Midwest), though, be sure to give it a try.  Tomorrow, I'll kickback a few of these while trying to keep up with the Buffs in Eugene.

Happy Friday!  Go Buffs, beat the Ducks!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

2016 CU vs Oregon Football Teaser

Pressed for time, I'm releasing this a day early.  Enjoy!


Hype Music for the Week: "Song from M*A*S*H" by Johnny Mandel and Mike Altman

Also known as 'Suicide is Painless,' this was the intro lullaby to one of the most successful televisions shows in the history of the medium.  It was apparently meant to be 'the stupidest song ever written.'  I picked this in recognition of the litany of major injuries suffered by both the Buffs and Ducks last week, severely limiting both rosters headed into the tilt.  Enjoy!


Kickoff from Autzen Field in Eugene, OR is set for 3:30pm MT on Saturday.  Televised coverage can be found on Pac-12 Network, with the radio possibly on 850 KOA (unless scintillating Colorado Rockies' action preempts).  For those going to the game, weather looks to be pretty nice, with sunshine and mid-70s in the forecast for the Pacific Northwest.  For those watching at home, I hear you're in for room temperature and dry.

Click below for the teaser...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Grab Bag: 'Special' Teams Cost Buffs in Michigan

I'm on a short week, due to an upcoming trip to New York.  That means, for the first time in a while, this weekly feature is actually dropping on a Monday!  Huzzah!  It also means that, with time crunched, I'm straight to the action...

Today in the bag, I'm talking the attrition-heavy effort in Ann Arbor, some Saturday success from the Soccer and Volleyball teams, and the how the upcoming schedule fared in football.

Click below for the bag...

Friday, September 16, 2016

2016 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - Michigan 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!"

After opening week snark and last week's tongue-in-cheek pick of a damn soft drink, we're back to normal service for the weekly beer selection.  There's a lot of good breweries in Michigan, a number of which are well worth a drive if you're in region.  One of the more unique and celebrated standouts, though, is actually located in Ann Arbor.  Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, a short hop down main street from the Big House, is simply one of the best purveyors of rustic-style beers in the country.  Their signature Oro de Calabaza wild ale is this week's beer-o-the-week.
Alternatively categorized as a biere de garde, a strong ale, a wild ale, or a golden ale, depending on your view on such things, Oro de Calabaza (meaning golden pumpkin... don't worry, not a fake-ass pumpkin ale) is a barrel-aged and bottle-conditioned Belgian-style brew. Essentially a cousin of the saison, these are all variations on a Franco-Belgian theme meant to be brewed in cool weather and stored in cellars for extended periods.  They are typically malt-forward, complex, and pretty sweet, with that weird nod in the direction of Belgian yeast.  This version will pour a little hazy in the glass, and hit you with a rich array of acidic floral, fruit, and spice flavors, along with some wood from the oak barrels.  Not my favorite style, and there are almost no hop characteristics to savor, but still very pleasant, especially if you don't mind a little funk.  Seriously, if you're into the whole Belgian thing, you should enjoy this.

Note: this is not a beer for getting ripped.  We're talking serious flavors here for mature palates.  I can't even imagine someone wanting to pound a bottle of this, and, at 8% abv, it'd hurt.  No, this is for the more mellow tailgate; contemplative and retrospective.  The kind that the wine and cheese elites at the UofM would appreciate.  In fact, pair with cheese.  Go ahead, get some damn cheese, already!

For those in Boulder, far from the action on Saturday, Liquormart and Hazel's both offer it in handy 350ml size.  Purchase, consume, enjoy.  Responsibly, of course.

Happy Friday!  Go Buffs, beat the Wolverines!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

2016 CU vs Michigan Football Preview

Before I get to today's full preview, it's confession time.  Back in the fall of 2001, yours truly was a high school senior, desperately trying to make his college choice.  Of course, the University of Colorado was on the list, along with a handful of other random schools from around the country (Washington, Clemson, Purdue, etc.). Atop the heap, though, was the University of Michigan.  While I had been a CU fan from early on in my youth, I had eventually come to be obsessed with Michigan.  The combination of tradition, academics, and one of the best fight songs ever written had me drooling to go play tuba in the Big House.  I wanted it bad, and had done all the things academic advisors tell you to do, even though it was always a long shot.

Crushingly, however, the letter returned from Ann Arbor was the smaller kind, the one filled only with tidings of rejection.  I didn't get in.  I threw off the Michigan hat I was wearing.  It generally sucked. That's when the tears came.

There's a silver lining to that moment of pain, however. If there is ever to be a consolation prize worth earning, four-ish years in Boulder is it. The people I met, the lessons I learned, the experiences I had could not have existed in Ann Arbor.  Boulder and CU are as unique a temple to higher education as anywhere on the planet, and the thought that I could've missed the chance to experience them makes me shudder in retrospect. Really, it was a twist of miraculous fate that I was rejected by the UofM, that I didn't get what I thought I wanted.  I can't imagine my life out east, and count my lucky stars that I am a Buffalo, not a Wolverine. 

So, with Big Blue appearing on the schedule for the first time since my arrival in Boulder, I stand proudly shoulder to shoulder with the school that chose me.  Go get 'em, Buffs!


Hype Music for the Week: "Vogue" by Madonna

There were a lot of options for the feature this week.  Everything from Eminem to KISS and the Supremes was considered; Detroit is deep in quality music from across the spectrum.  In the end, however, I chose Madonna for one important reason: of all the popular music acts to emerge from the Detroit area, she's the only one to have actually gone to the University of Michigan (on a dance scholarship; Iggy Popp was also considered).  So, here we are.

Vogue was arguably Madonna's biggest hit.  Released at the height of her fame in 1990, it reached #1 on the Billboard charts in May of that year.  It's a pop-y jingle with legs, influencing many of the dance hits from that decade.  Enjoy!


There was a question going around #BuffsTwitter this week that got me thinking.  The CU/Michigan game is the biggest for Colorado since... when?  See, there's a lot on the table for the Buffaloes this week.  After two consecutive ass-whuppings over lesser competition, the team is riding high into Week 3, but is otherwise untested.  The promise of this fixture, though, is an opportunity to prove to national eyes, usually fixated far from Boulder, that #TheRise is for real.  CU hasn't had a like opportunity in a long while.  With a win over the Wolverines, Colorado could stamp their name in the top-25 for the first time since 2005.  No kidding, it's a big damn game.

So, to the question at hand, my argument would be the Nebraska fixture in 2010.  That was the last time Colorado was within a victory of bowl eligibility, and the last time any game featuring the Buffaloes felt like it had even the barest of 'stakes.'  But, even then, the feeling is different.  In November of 2010, the program and fanbase were clearly on the decline, and that loss in Lincoln just capped another lost season.  The stakes lost had been simply to add a little juice headed into a coaching search (and leave the BigXII on a high note); nothing all that substantial.  Now in 2016, with hope cautiously blossoming under a rising sun, the stakes have an opposite timbre to them.  Instead of forestalling what a loss could mean, the stakes are all about the dream of what a win could mean.  I like this reality much better.

And so, we look ahead to Saturday. Kickoff from the venerable 'Big House' in Ann Arbor, MI is set for 1:30pm MT.  Weather could be nasty, with rain and thunderstorms forecasted for pretty much all of Saturday.  Coverage can be found on the BigTen Network, with Mark Johnson and the radio call on 850 KOA.

Click below for the preview...