CO Sports Chick

Musings on Colorado sports from a female perspective

MarshMello’s No More

Posted by The Minkster on February 25, 2011

Oh happy day!!  The Melodrama is finally over and last night in The Can against the East leading Boston Celtics Nuggets fans got to see what kind of team will be finishing out the 2011 season.  The fact that Boston had lost in four out of their last five visits to the Mile High City was irrelevant as transplanted yanks in green came out in droves to cheer on the team that started this new NBA super team phenomenon.  

Just kick yourself – right now – if you missed this contest and you like old school basketball.  There was great defense by both teams, no phantom superstar whistles to speak of, awesome ball movement and hustle!  What an entertaining game and I actually stopped working on my computer, which is what I usually do during long boring NBA games.  The old MarshMello Nuggets would typically lose a game where they scored under 90 points, but these guys looked like they were playing college ball and put the aging oxygen sucking Celtics away 89-75 in the last few minutes of a hard-fought contest. 

I just love how the media guys keep saying the Celtics were short-handed with only nine guys suited up for the game.  Is that an excuse?  The Nuggets beat Memphis 120-107 with same number of guys (9) just two days earlier but minus its “superstar”, team leader and bench support.  Boston lost two role players and two rookies – must have been devastating!  

JR schools Big Baby

JR taking it to the hoop!

Anyway, back to our Nuggets.  George Karl looks re-energized, Ty has stepped up into Mr. Big Shot’s role, Kmart looks like Steve Austin (as in 6 Million Dollar Man not Stone Cold) and Afflalo looks to shine in the new look Nuggets to show why he was highly regarded coming out of UCLA.  The new defensive minded Nugs held Boston scoreless for the last 6:09 of the game!  That would have never happened with Melo and Chauncey in the lineup.  Did you know this is only the sixth time this season the Nuggets have been held to less than 90 points, but he first time they won a low scoring affair? 

The pre-trade Nuggets couldn’t hold a lead, but the post powder blue team keeps the pedal to the floor and is determined to make the playoffs.  It’s like a new short season for the baby Nuggos and I think they can go deep into the playoffs playing more like the Spurs than the Lakers.  A team effort, tough D, ball movement and multiple scoring threats will beat a superstar with a back-up band over the long NBA season.

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Melodrama Finally Over!

Posted by The Minkster on February 22, 2011

Carmelo Anthony gave the Nuggets 6 good years of his 7 year contract and was free to leave after this season.  That’s how this NBA contract thing works.  No team can be married to a player for an entire career without both sides putting out.  By that I mean, the organization has to make an effort to build a winning team (see his Airness and the Bulls, and Kobe and the Lakers) around a franchise player and the pro has to continuously work on his game while putting it all out there for the team.  If one side feels like the other isn’t carrying its weight then divorce is imminent. 

Carmelo Anthony

Melo heading to greener pastures

Melo has taken care of his body, improved his game and matured from the defiant teen that was drafted after one season at Syracuse.  The Nuggets have tried bringing in key support players and the right coaching staff, but the moves have come up short.  I firmly believe that if the Nuggets hadn’t been strapped with big contracts and salary cap limits and could’ve figured out a way to bring Stoudemire to Denver Melo would’ve signed the extension in the off-season.  By bringing in Al Harrington with K-Mart and Birdman recovering from off-season surgery Melo was done with Denver.  Time to move on and try to win a championship somewhere else. 

Looks like the Eastern Conference might be relevant again, (other than the Celtics), but the best TEAMS still live in the West and the right to hoist the O’Brien trophy goes through L.A. and Koby.  The kids will have fun playing black top ball during the season on the East coast, but if you watched the All-Star game it is very apparent that the West knows how to play championship caliber basketball.  Although I don’t like the Black Momba, it was great to see him school Bron Bron, D3PO and the Celtics retirees. 

Sorry to see Melo go.  Sorry that the Nuggets couldn’t put together a more dominant team during Anthony’s contract.  Really sorry to see Chauncey get swept up in this mess, but maybe he’ll get another ring out of it before retiring.  But, after months of the Melodrama it will be exciting to see what the Nuggets can do with this new roster and if they can hang on for a playoff spot this year.  I believe there is enough talent to win without Melo, but the only thing that matters is if the guys in powder blue believe that is true.

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Popping the Top in the Foam Dome

Posted by The Minkster on February 16, 2011

If you haven’t caught a CU men’s basketball game yet this year you might want to check that off your list before the Big 12 tournament tips off.  The Buffs are in the middle of the pack and seeding will come down to the last weekend of match-ups, but that isn’t the story.  The 2010-11 version of our Buffaloes is undersized and doesn’t have much experience off the bench, but they line up toe-to-toe in each game with the expectation of winning.  That’s a huge step in the right direction. 

Big kudos go out to Tad Boyle in finally moving the men’s basketball team in a new direction.  He has a team with lanky forwards hitting the boards while the only true center is a freshman coming off the bench.  When the scoring tandem of Higgins and Burks are having an off night other guys step up and throw down needed baskets.  It isn’t just about playing tough D anymore, but playing a complete game on both ends of the floor which translates to wins on the road.  Something CU fans aren’t used to seeing.

I’m excited about Boyle’s first recruiting class next year and the team getting another 12 months to become better students of the game of basketball.  At times this year it seemed that the guys were either tired or didn’t understand what needed to be done at key points in the game.  Knowing when to press, when to push the ball up the floor, how to take a quick shot or hold the ball has been the downfall of this team at times, but you can see improvements in their overall basketball IQ.  There is excitement under the Flatirons and I’m hoping that Burks will come back for his junior year to be part of the excitement.

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Throwback Time in Foam Dome

Posted by The Minkster on January 25, 2011

Were you able to catch the CU men’s basketball team last week on the road?  The first stop was in Lincoln followed by a Saturday afternoon brawl in Norman after big upsets of ranked Mizzou and K-State.  Both road stops were tough losses to teams that CU would probably could beat at home.  This is Boyle’s first Big 12 rodeo, so I can understand he wasn’t sure how to deal with the refs swallowing the whistles for the black shirts on the road.  CU didn’t see the charity stripe in the first half of the Nebraska game, which seems a bit odd for a team that was one of the best teams in the country in free throw attempts and percentage made. 

Ref holding ball

Big 12 Refs Tough on the Road

The Buffs are small, so their game is driving to the hoop and drawing fouls which opens up the outside shooters.  When you take the ability to get fouls away it’s frustrating for a club that doesn’t have the personnel to bang inside and can’t get good looks from the perimeter.  In both games you could see the frustration and lapses in concentration overcoming this shiny new Buffs team.  That’s something that Boyle will have to learn how to coach through, adjust the game plan and keep the guys focused.  I’m guessing it won’t get much better in the new Pac-12, so this is good practice.

Tonight provides an opportunity to prove the melt downs in those mid-western watering holes weren’t because the horses were tired, but shenanigans by the Cartwrights in stripes (that’s a Bonanza reference for you youngsters out there).  Kansas comes into Coors Events Center ranked #6 after an upset by Texas over the weekend to drop the Big 12 powerhouse to 18-1 overall.  It’s a little eerie that the last time CU beat KU at home the Jayhawks were ranked #6.  If one team gets hot in the second half then it will probably be a blowout, otherwise these two match-up well and it should be a great game.  For the first time in a long time there should be more black and gold in the building than blue.  The Buffs need this win to have a shot at getting an invitation to the Big Dance in March, so hopefully they have shaken off that road trip and are ready to bring it tonight!

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Not Enough Heat to Start a Fire in Rockies

Posted by The Minkster on January 14, 2011

Knowing that Melo will soon be playing home games somewhere around the Big Apple in a week or two made the annihilation of the Miami Heat, even without King James, as sweet as a chunk of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory fudge.  Up by about 30 going into the fourth quarter and maintaining the spread five minutes into it put the Nuggets in the unique situation of clearing the bench and resting the starters for the remainder of the game.  Afflalo, JR and Ty gave us a glimpse of how the future of the franchise might look next year after all the veterans have been cleared out, and if they could do that every night the Nuggos would at least be fun to watch. 

The vets that are cornerstone of trade talks

In case you muted the TNT Heat-loving broadcast team or decided that the Mentalist rerun was more entertaining, you might not know that LeBron James missed the game due to a sprained ankle.  Too bad, because the way the Nuggets played last night I think Melo and the gang would’ve still smacked the Heat around.  Despite its record, I think this team in baby blue could go deep into the playoffs if it could stay together.  And, it would be great if Santa still brought me presents and the Easter Bunny filled my basket with Cadbury eggs.  It’s a business and we all root for laundry, so no use in worrying about who is leaving.  I just hope the Nuggets end up with a diamond in the rough like the Rox did in CarGo after moving Holliday.  Both Holliday and Melo wanted out of Denver and I wish them both many losses and absence of a championship ring upon retirement.  Yep, no taking the high road here – it just a business boys.

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Denver Sports More Fun Off The Field

Posted by The Minkster on December 8, 2010

Rox fan

It's a happy winter for Rox fans

It used to be about this time of year I’m deciding if I can work out a trip to watch the Buffs in their bowl game, anxious about whether the Broncos can win the West or have to go to the playoffs as a Wild Card, and reading that the Rockies did nothing at the Winter Meetings.  Times sure have changed!  Instead I’m contemplating who will be captaining the HindenBUFF and BRONCOtania in the near future while watching the Rockos wheel and deal their way through the offseason.  Have I been beamed into a parallel dimension.

At this point we know it will be an all-star Buffaloes alum coaching staff undertaking the arduous task of leading a beleaguered gridiron team into the Pac-10/12 next fall.  I don’t know if it will work – heck I thought Hawk was a good hire – but it has to be better than the last regime.  Even if these guys that bleed black and gold don’t win big I can’t see the haters digging the fangs in too deep on one of their own. 

Did you see the firing of McKid coming, because I sure didn’t?  I figured he might be gone after this season or Bowlen would keep him on another year figuring a lockout was a high probability relieving the Broncos of carrying three head coaches on the payroll.  Didn’t figure Little Hoodie would be packing up his office this week!    This will certainly be an interesting hire and, despite some naysayers, Dove Valley is still a coveted office in which to hang glory days pictures.

What about those Rockies!  Signing Tulo to a Heltonesque contract was a great move and keeping the #2 pitcher De La Rosa was impressive.  They still need another bat, but it looks like the guys in purple ties are mixing and mingling instead of watching pay-per-view in their hotel rooms at the Winter Meetings.  The Coors Field crew is even going after Michael Young currently under contract with the Rangers.  It’s crazy, but I actually have confidence that the Rox will sign a bat and a safety net for the Iannetta Project.  Ho ho ho, I wish us a merry Christmas Denver fans.

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Counting Feathers After Turkey Weekend

Posted by The Minkster on December 1, 2010

Broncos fan for the night

My Steelers fan cousin in Broncos jersey after losing bet.

Now that the Buffs’ painful football season and Hawk era of love are officially over up in Boulder it seems like an appropriate time to take stock of where Colorado sports are as we sleigh ride into the holidays.  Although the only Colorado team to show-up on the gridiron this fall was the Zoomies, it is still the most wonderful time of the year for sports fans.  Let’s take a moment to rate the teams that strap’em on and sweat for our entertainment during this time of year.  One Rudolph means shopping on Black Friday morning at Cherry Creek Mall would be less painful than watching a game, and five Rudolphs mean you would be forgiven if you traded your child’s sold-out-for-months hot Christmas toy for a ticket to the big game.

  • Air Force Academy Football – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • Colorado Avalanche – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • Colorado Rapids – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • Denver Broncos – Rudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • Denver Nuggets – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • University of Colorado Football – Rudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • University of Colorado Women’s Basketball – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • University of Denver Hockey – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • CU, DU, AFA Men’s Basketball – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • DU and AFA Women’s Basketball – Rudy the Red Nosed Deer

EVERYBODY GIVE IT UP FOR THE RAPIDS – YOUR 2010 MLS CHAMPS!!  I know soccer can be painful to watch in general, but the championship match against Dallas was a great game with the intensity you would expect in a title bout between two scrappy underdog teams.  Show your love next season for the only Colorado pro team to bring home hardware since the Mammoth had a Gait on the sideline by going to the pitch at Dick’s next spring.

No need to rehash football except to congratulate the Zoomies on bringing the Commander’s Trophy back to the front range.  Two wings up boys!  Looks like the best basketball team in the state might be the CU women roundballers, but they have a tough Big 12 gauntlet to maneuver through including a visit from the Baylor Bears – a team that should’ve ended U Conn’s NCAA record-setting win streak a couple of weeks ago.  I’m excited about the new Boyle regime up in Boulder, but it will take some time to recruit and get his system in place.  The Pios are a young hockey team and keep getting better as the season progresses.  Definitely catch a game at Magness this season.

Back to the pro teams, the Nuggets have been banged up but should keep the playoff streak alive with or without Melo.  The Avs look like a playoff team although still very young and have had to make some trades due to injuries, but catch these guys when they are playing like Sacco says they are capable of and they’ll put one up in the W column.  We should see the “A” in the playoffs again this year and hopefully into the second round.  And last but not least the Rox!  They’re playin’ when they’re not playin’, know what I’m sayin’?  With the lifetime signing of Tulo, getting a deal done with Rosey and actively shopping for a big bat the Rockies are more exciting than McKid’s gang on Sunday afternoon.

Dear Santa, my wish list is short this year: Les Miles hired by the Buffs, Melo signs the Nuggets new contract, the Rox bring Adam Dunn to the Mile High City and Bowlen brings on Elway to help McKid with talent evaluation (see John’s success as Crush owner).  What’s on your sports wish list this holiday season?

Posted in Avalanche, Broncos, CO College Sports, Nuggets, Rapids, Rockies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Raiders Record Book Day is Wake-up Call

Posted by The Minkster on October 25, 2010

That is the most embarrassing display of Broncos football I’ve ever seen, and that’s because I wasn’t even a zygote when Denver set the team record for defensive futility after being blasted by 59 points in 1963.  If you haven’t heard, the only other shellacking like that was at the hands of the KC Chiefs at DU’s Hilltop Stadium with final scoreboard reading 59-7 in favor of the bad buys.  It wasn’t just that the Broncos didn’t show up on Sunday, but that it was handed down by the 2-4 Jason Campbell led Raiders!  Really?!  The guys cashing Bowlen signed paychecks better be doing a whole lot of soul-searching on that long plane ride to London or they might be looking for jobs in the new collective bargaining agreement adjusted NFL next year. 

Josh McDaniels

On a wild ride with McKid

I do have to say that McKid did step up and take full responsiblity for looking like he trotted out the Duke University football team onto Mile High turf.  Not that he could deflect much responsibility, but he didn’t use the media to berate any players or fellow coaches.  I’m guessing he won’t have to educate the team on what exactly “hated rivalry” means and inspire his team to get up for Raiders week come mid-December.  The Shanny payback inspiration is gone, but hopefully McKid has found his own reason to hate Raider Nation.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I just have to put in a small plug for Joshy and his new orange and blue toy.  It’s too easy to pick on a guy that looks like he can still fit into his high school prom tux and borrows his dad’s car to take his wife out to Sonic on Friday night dates.  That’s because I wish someone had enough faith in me and given me the opportunity at that age to soar like an eagle or crash and burn like a bad Jackass stunt.  Aren’t we all hard on the kid because there is just a tinge of jealousy coloring our orange sunglasses? 

There will be growing pains, but I see great potential for this team and its Doogie Howser leader.  McKid really isn’t any worse than the mediocrity that had come to describe Shanny’s post-Elway teams.  And, his start is like another Bronco head coach that ended up being pretty good – Dan Reeves (4 Super Bowl appearances as a head coach).  McKid’s record is 10-13 to this point with more than half the 2010 season left and the AFC West still up for grabs.  Dan was 12-13 in his first two seasons as the youngest head coach (37) in the NFL then took the Broncos to the playoffs the next year as a wild card team.  Let’s give Josh a break and see where this joy ride takes us.  If this team has any pride at all I’d hate to be the 49ers this weekend.  We shall soon find out the character of the 2010 Broncos.

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Buffs Need to Lay Down Some Payback

Posted by The Minkster on October 15, 2010

Do you recall this past summer when college AD’s were once again spinning the Big Wheel to get into the conference Showcase Showdown?  The Fuskers jumped first into the Big Ten (that was 11 and now 12 members strong), which left the 11 players in the Big 12 scrambling as rumors started flying about CU bolting to the Pac 10.  For awhile there was talk of combining the Pac 10 and Big 12 into some supernova conference, but when it became clear to Texas and Oklahoma they would have to take the same cut from the till as all the other teams they took their toys and went home.  While all these dust devils were swirling around down south the Baylor supporters saw the writing on the wall and figured they would be one of the teams not invited to the left-hand coast conference, so they tried to go all “39 Steps” on the Pac 10 by handcuffing the school to the Longhorns while minimizing CU athletics. 

Obviously getting the governor of Texas involved didn’t produce the intended outcome, but it looks like it probably worked out the best for everyone anyway.  Of course, taking the high road isn’t very much fun if you can settle the score on the gridiron or hardwood.  This will probably be the last time the Bears visit the heathen hamlet of Boulder, so the Buffs need to step up and throw the hammer down on these boys!  I know the secondary is depleted, but the offense should be able to play ball control and keep it out of the hands of Robert Griffin who can sling it and run it.  The dude finished third in the 400 meter hurdles at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships!  The Buffs need to keep this guy in the pocket and hope the young backs can make some plays.  In the end, it will be another beautiful fall day in Colorado watching the sun go down over the Flatirons, and win or lose we’ll never have to go back to Waco.

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Colorado Teams Skate to Opening Wins

Posted by The Minkster on October 9, 2010

Meaningful hockey has begun in Colorado with the Avs picking up a tough OT win on the NHL’s opening night and DU winning a tough season opener on the road in Vermont.  A great start to a long season, so let’s hope the guys can stay healthy and the legs hold-up until spring thaw.

Chris Stewart scores first goal of the season

Colorado got a great opportunity to test Avs 2.0 on a night honoring the 1996 Avs championship team against the current keepers of the Stanley Cup, the Chicago Blackhawks.  Although the Hawks had a yard sale this summer to clean out the old laundry a young talented core is still in tact anchored in net by a familiar Avs foe with Turco stitched on the back of his sweater.  There will be many tests this season, but the guys in burgundy and blue have started out on the right foot.  Although Colorado couldn’t hold the lead in the third, goalie Craig Anderson continued to shoulder the load and stopped 35 in the 4-3 overtime win.  Last season most Avs fans were pleasantly surprised by the new look youngsters in the A sweaters, but expectations are higher this year with a playoff appearance expected.  These guys look like they can do it again with comparisons of Duchene/Stastny to Sakic/Forsberg being bantered about.  Only time will tell.

The DU Pioneers melted down at the end of last season and the experienced squad failed to show up in the postseason when most expected to see them competing in the Frozen Four (including the CO Sports Chick).  But, this is a new team reloaded with talented youngsters and two new goalies splitting time in net for George Gwozdecky.  After giving up the first goal and being shutout in the first period the Pios D stepped up and gave their goal scorers a chance to work.  Vermont was held to only one goal per period and 1 of 7 conversions on power plays.  Again a goalie came up big for a Colorado team with Adam Murray saving 27 on 30 shots compared to his Catamounts counterpart who only stopped 15 on 19 shots on goal.  DU added an empty netter to close out a tough opening night with a 5-3 win.  As always Pioneers should be competitive and give fans a wild ride!

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