“The Big Steps Are Done”

While bored the other day — this happens a lot, believe it or not — I was reading a Grantland article on my phone, previewing the NBA season and the teams considered to be contenders, pretenders, or something in the middle.

Do I care about the NBA? Not particularly. But with the Nuggets expected to be fairly decent this year, one Vincent Casablancas and I have bandied about the idea of getting some tickets to watch the boys play ball at the Pepsi Center.

ANYway, I don’t usually read NBA news and predictions, but I did in this case (for the record, Grantland places Denver in the “Exciting Upside, Too Many Questions” category). One line in particular about the Oklahoma City Thunder stood out to me, relating to moves in free agency and how teams aspire to assemble their crew for each season. “The big steps are done,” it read, “but sometimes the smaller steps are hardest.”

Naturally, my thoughts immediately turned to football, and the Broncos. Because inevitably, that’s where my thoughts end up.

Like the Thunder, the Broncos’ big moves are done. Don’t expect a signing as splashy as Peyton Manning in the ’13 offseason; indeed, in the history of the league there’s never been such a big signing for any team. Reggie White signing with the Packers in the early ’90s is the closest thing we’ve ever seen to several teams pursuing one big name player, and thanks to the 24 hour news cycle now in existence, it was nowhere near the same scale of coverage.

Getting Manning was the coup of the off season. That was our “big move.” It didn’t signal an arrival, but signaled an intention: An intention to improve.

Now the tough part — making the little steps — begins.

[Read more…]

The Morning Wood: Not Waving the White Flag

Big weekend for sports, you guys. Lots going on and I had a great time, first watching my Grizzlies demolish the Golden Pandas of Northern Colorado on Saturday and then watching the first half of Broncos/Patriots before I had to go to a wedding. It was a special day.

But somehow, some way, after a game in which Peyton Manning threw for 350 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions on more than 40 attempts, there are those who would call for the dreaded Tim Tebow. Proving once and for all that the internet is for nothing but fanbois and bedwetters, the threads sprung up almost immediately after Denver went to 2-3 on the season (playing maybe the toughest early-season schedule in the league), threads with names like “But… I thought Tebow was the problem” and “Sure glad we spent $98 million and got rid of that loser Tebow” and “I’m desperate for attention and John Elway is Dumb; the Tim Tebow is a martyr story.”

Far be it from me to make fun of the bedwetters, crying in their non-alcoholic beer and begging for a return to the three-and-out offense that was so effective that was mildly effective that helped us back into the playoffs going 0-3 in the last three games including a 7-3 loss AT HOME to the fucking Chiefs, but let’s get something clear right now.

If Tim Tebow was still the starter in Denver (and no, I can’t believe I’m having to write about this either), we wouldn’t be 2-3. We wouldn’t be 5-0, and would likely be closer to 1-4. With Tebow, we would have beaten the Raiders. Not in the fashion we did, where we repeatedly gave them swirlies in a dirty toilet and took their lunch money for four quarters, but probably in a mistake-addled three quarters followed by a fourth quarter where Tim plays TebowBall and suddenly pulls a touchdown out of his ass. Yee-fucking-haw.

To intone that we’re not better off with a better quarterback under center is just retarded.

Tebow fanbois, stop being retarded. That’s an order. [Read more…]

Fappin’ in the First: Magic Sam’s Mock Draft

I hate to distract from the simply marvelous other football soccer coverage on this here magazine, but… you guys… The NFL Draft is tonight. Holy shit, you guys, I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to write something about one of the greatest spectacles in sports and/or the longest-running violation of American Anti-Trust law. It’s going to be an epic night.

The lights! The cameras! Chris Berman sweating profusely! Mel Kiper’s hair! Mike Mayock’s bizarre-ass, barely-audible-but-that-almost-makes-it-worse-because-is-he-or-isn’t-he lisp! Suits with 12 buttons! Suits with 15 buttons! Merrill Hoge and his Octuple Windsor knot tie! Suzy Kolber (I would hit it)! This chick! (Call me!)

Your intrepid correspondents will be viewing the first round tonight (which is simulcast on both ESPN and NFL Network, and probably on a Spanish language station too; I’m lazy and RAYCESS, so I won’t be providing that information. ¡Arriba!) at the home of one Vincent Casablancas, who in addition to writing strong takes about your Colorado Rockies, has a home properly set up for drinking and viewing television on Denver’s north side.

On the menu: Magic Sam’s Magic Ribs, simmering as I type this in a crock pot of their own juices, various accoutrements and barbecue sauce. For FREEDOM®. Garlic toast, beans and beer will also make an appearance. Gonna be sexy.

But you’re not here to be turned into a drooling mess at your desk by my domesticated prowess in the kitchen (if I could be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, I would. Sadly I’m forced to wear shoes at all times. Something something TERRORISM). You’re here to talk football.

So let’s get our sexy on. Presenting the first three rounds of Broncos Draft Picks, 2012: [Read more…]

Hawkins is No Grizzly

Sometimes the news blindsides you. You’re just going about your day, helping old ladies across the street and/or taking care of business with lead pipe cruelty, and you hear the news.

Fresh off the opening weekend drubbing my bracket took (largely due to my homer-riffic pick of YOUR Montana Grizzlies in the Elite 8), and the news was once again not good.

Coach fired… AD fired… no replacements announced… not many details… new coaches should be in place by the end of the week (uh, that’s tomorrow; nothing like rushing a huge decision, eh guys?).

SERIOUSLY? It’s fucking March, folks. You don’t fire coaches in March, and you sure as shit don’t do it without someone waiting in the wings to take over one of the best football programs in the country. [Read more…]

Griz Look to Knock Off No. 1… Again

As it turns out, this is the second time the Montana Grizzlies football team will take on the top ranked team in the country, on the road, in front of a hostile crowd. (Montana @ Sam Houston State, Friday, 8pm ET, ESPN) Just a few weeks ago Montana took on Montana State in Bozeman in a game MSU was heavily favored to win. The Griz performed the football equivalent of knocking in the door to their house, leaving a growler in the toilet and kicking their Cat in a 36-10 blowout that wasn’t even really that close.

Sam Houston State’s Bearkats pose a unique challenge to the Grizzlies, with their famed “Tixis Speed” which we’ve heard is different from regular speed because Freedom™. But among the things Tixis-dwelling Bearkat fans overlook or ignore — aside from casual racism, of course — is that Montana’s got some speedy players of their own. And while SHSU fans brag about their 1-0 record against Montana in their home “stadium” at Bowers Field, the fact is that these guys don’t have the big game experience to compete with the visiting Grizzlies.

[Read more…]

Friday Night Lights – College Playoffs Return to Montana

It shines in the distance, a beacon of all that’s right with football, nestled between a sleepy beer-first-college-second town and a mountain. And right now, it’s quiet; the relatively new SprinTurf field untouched by cleats. It sits and waits for its cameo, as the lights trucked in by ESPN for the event blaze through the night.

[Read more…]

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