January 22, 2001
A bi-weekly notes column penned by David Plati, who is in his 17th year as Colorado's Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations.
"Billy-Jeff" Clinton wanted to use Plati-'Tudes as another forum for his 75th goodbye speech, but politics has no place in the 'Tudes and his request was denied...
TRIVIA QUESTIONS (leftover from the Holidays)... CU -- Colorado is 2-6 on ESPN's "Big Monday," as tonight's (Jan. 22) game against Kansas is CU's third straight against the Jayhawks as part of the package. What two teams has CU beaten on Big Monday? Godfather -- Name the actor who appeared in the original Godfather, whose acting credits also included appearances on Gilligan's Island, The Flying Nun and in the movie, Get Shorty (his last movie role before his death).
UNIQUE EVENT THIS WEEKEND... The Laura Sharpe Flood/CU Invitational ski meet is set for this weekend at Eldora Ski Resort, just 25 miles west of Boulder. A collegiate ski meet is truly unique event, and the best part about the CU meet is that the alpine and nordic events take place less than a mile apart, so fans can take in both disciplines (at most places, they're at completely different venues, often up to 40 miles apart). The meet begins Friday with the men's and women's giant slalom and the men's and women's nordic freestyle races, with the slalom and classical events set for Saturday. The first alpine runs each day are at 9 a.m., with the first cross country action at 9:30. Participating teams include CU, Alaska-Anchorage, Denver, Montana State, Nevada-Reno, New Mexico, St. Olaf, Utah, Western State and Whitman. More information (and results) will be available through our web site, so check back often.
BUCHANAN, YOU SAY?... CU might just have its next track and field star in sophomore sprinter Amaris Buchanan, who in just two meets in a CU uniform has already put an assault on the Colorado record book. She won the Big 12 Conference's first track athlete-of-the-week honor for Jan. 15 by virtue of setting a school record in the 60-meter dash, as she was clocked in 7.43 seconds in the race, her first as a Buffalo after transferring from Long Beach State. A week later in the Colorado Invitational, she set Balch Fieldhouse records of 6.92 in 55-meter dash and 25.03 in the 200-meters, the latter breaking the mark held by her coach, Donna Waller. Amaris, by the way, is pronounced "am-R-iss."
JOA UNDERWAY... The "joint operating agreement" (JOA) between Denver's two daily newspapers, the Post and the Rocky Mountain News, is now a reality as the two commenced business side operations today (Jan. 22). As a result of the JOA, come April, the Post will not publish on Saturdays and the News will cease to exist Sundays, with both papers slightly larger on the weekend day they do print. How will this affect coverage of college athletics? While it definitely depends on which newspaper, it could very well be a positive.
For the Denver Post, the JOA should have little or no effect when it comes to CU coverage, and quite possibly coverage will be enhanced.
Sports editor Kevin Dale said, "We do have the Sunday paper, and from our standpoint, we expect to have strong coverage of all the college events. The difference for us will be in advancing football games and Saturday basketball games, but we plan to do that in our Friday editions. We want our Sunday papers to be one of the best Sunday papers in the country, so we're going to take measures to show that we're serious about covering college athletics. We don't want the readers to lose out on the coverage of the colleges (by only having one Sunday paper)." Dale said it was too early to tell if they would have extra staff at college events, but I got the feeling that whether they add staff or not, if the Post on Sunday gets to add pages to its sports section, colleges will benefit as much as anything. He also said they might look at some original coverage on the web on Saturdays, but also said it was hard to say at this point how much.
Things will be the most different at the Denver Rocky Mountain News since it loses the Sunday edition. Sports editor Barry Forbis basically summed it by saying the following: "While we haven't settled on everything-we're still discussing several things-there will obviously be bigger previews (on Saturdays) and larger Monday packages than we've had in the past. We've also talked about the Internet, and the Internet part of the JOA is still very much up in the air." Forbis indicated that in all likelihood, the Monday stories would be more overview and looking ahead instead of game recaps, which makes sense since the games will have transpired some 36 hour earlier. Frankly, from an SID standpoint, I like that. Often on Sunday, when the beat writers are up against deadline, many good notes and side features are omitted simply because there's no room. Obviously each paper has had a game story and often a columnist opining away, and depending on how many writers have staffed a game, sidebars, mini-features and game notes often took a backseat. But those might now flourish in the Monday News.
At the Boulder Camera, assistant sports editor Neill Woelk sees an "Open door that we would love to take advantage of. Since it does mean one less paper to compete with on the weekends, it really does give us a new opportunity, especially when it comes to University of Colorado coverage. And not only on Sundays after football games, but on Saturdays with our advance coverage on football, basketball and all CU sports."
The Denver newspaper war has always been interesting, and the bottom line always has been that the public has been the beneficiary. Look for both to continue.
CHENEY-CU CONNECTION?... The country's new vice president, Dick Cheney, of course hails from Wyoming, the same home state of the late Erv Cheney, who lettered in football in the 1930s (a teammate of Byron White's in fact). Dick Hilker (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) wrote in wondering if the two were related. Unfortunately, we don't know; the files prior to 1950 are limited if they exist at all, so he has no personal file, and the Alumni Association had no information. If anyone knows if they're at all related, please drop me a line; I'll also keep researching!
THIS WEEK'S NUMBER ... 4, the number of double-digit conference road victories by the men's basketball team in Big 12 action since Ricardo Patton became head coach in 1996. While four is a modest number, it does come into perspective once it is considered that CU's 88-71 win at Texas Tech last Saturday was only the 21st time CU has won on the road in league play since it joined the Big Seven in 1948 (over the course of 364 Big Seven-Eight-12 league games in 53 seasons). Prior to Patton being named coach, CU had just one double-figure road win the previous 27 seasons, a 70-51 verdict at Kansas State on March 4, 1994. CU's most decisive conference road win since joining the Big Seven was a 75047 win at Nebraska on Jan. 7, 1963.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?... I was asked last week what was up with former CU men's basketball coach Tom Apke; we've stayed in touch through the years but I hadn't spoken with him for a while so it was a good reason to catch up with him. The entire Apke family is still in North Carolina, as Tom and his wife Eileen are living in Charlotte, as they remained in the state once he retired from coaching after spending several years at Appalachian State (where he ended up after leaving CU following the '85-86 season). Now 57, he is selling residential real estate in the Charlotte area, where he relocated to (from Boone) because he is also in broadcasting. He did 20 television games last year and is doing 15 this year, as he does syndicated games for Fox Sports South, UNC-Charlotte and a few other entities, and also does some sports talk radio on occasion in Charlotte as a guest host during the basketball season.
He has remained in touch with former CU players Matt Bullard and Scott Wilke as well as with one-time CU SID student assistant Todd Sandstedt (now an FBI agent in the south), who eventually wound up as an assistant coach at Appalachian State. Apke hasn't returned to Colorado since 1990, when he was in town for the Final Four that he helped put together while head coach at CU. He was 59-81 in five seasons with the Buffaloes (1981-82 through '85-86), with his best CU team posting a 16-13 mark in '83-84. That was a talented team that featured seniors Jay Humphries and Vince Kelley, juniors Alex Stivrins and Tony Pruitt and sophomore Randy Downs; the Buffs were 6-8 in Big Eight play, including two overtime losses and five of seven road league losses by 10 points or less. CU didn't receive an NCAA (or NIT) bid that year, but the "March Madness" field that season called for 48 teams, instead of the 64 (now 65) that prevailed much of the remainder of the century.
As for the Apke family, Eileen is in administration at the Brocker Health Center on the UNC-Charlotte campus, as she runs a couple of departments and teaches some class (Tom & Eileen celebrated their 30th weeding anniversary last spring). Son Mike, who was recently married, graduated from North Carolina State in environmental engineering and is working in nearby Asheville, and daughter Karin graduated from the College of Charleston (S.C.) in business and is working in Charlotte. Likely one of the few coaches of his generation, he has adapted to the Internet and E-mail, and anyone interested in contacting Tom can reach him at email@example.com.
MEDIA DARLINGS... Two recent CU graduates (and former football players) are making their living in the media. Ryan Chiaverini ('00), who played defensive back and is the twin brother of Darrin, a wide receiver with the Cleveland Browns, is the weekend sports anchor at KFBB-TV, the ABC affiliate in Great Falls, Mont. Matt Altman, a reserve placekicker, is working with Artists Television Group, a big Beverly Hills production company. The '99 grad is the contact person for network producers.
TRIVIA ANSWERS... CU -- The Buffs have defeated Nebraska (86-69 in 1991) and Missouri (106-94) on "Big Monday." Godfather -- Actor Vito Scotti: he was "Nazorine the Baker" in the Godfather. His final role was the restaurant manager at Vesuvio's in Get Shorty.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Plati-'Tudes" features notes and stories that may not get much play from the mainstream media; offers CU's take on issues raised by those who have an interest in the program; answers questions and concerns; and provides CU's point of view if we should disagree with what may have been written or broadcast.
Have a question or want to know CU's take on something? E-mail Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the the subject may appear in the next Plati-'Tudes.