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David Plati

Welcome to a notes and comment column in its 12th year, penned by CU Associate Athletic Director David Plati, who is finishing his 27th year as the Buffaloes’ director of sports information.

Plati-‘Tudes No. 92 … Only a couple of Buffs who have worn 92 have attained all-league status: both All-Big 8: Laval Short and Shannon Clavelle, two of the best down linemen in CU history) … Not sure about most of you, but my life seems okay despite what LeBron James tweeted to the world (that all of us would go back to our boring lives with our everyday problems if we were rooting against him). Um, LeBron, remember that line by Nick Nolte in Blue Chips that 900 million Chinese don’t care? And as a PR guy, thanks for the example of what not to do and say for my players… Have you checked out Ted Miller’s Pac-12 Blog on Might be the best of all their blogs—I check it several times a day … And a personal note, I have finally recovered from the self-inflicted wound I suffered from jamming an ice pick in my ear after listening to Christina Aguilera hack up the national anthem at the Super Bowl. 

Trivia Questions

The opening four mind teasers:
CU—What did the Texas football team do in 2010 that a CU team has not done since 1915?
Who Am I?—I am one of four former Buffaloes who have scored in the Super Bowl.  The team I played for has long since relocated elsewhere.  I scored on a 1-yard touchdown run that gave my team a 7-3 lead, though we went on to lose 31-19 to Pittsburgh, which won its fourth and final Super Bowl of the 1970s.  Who am I?
Music—John Denver was officially inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame on April 21; he’s the inaugural inductee and others will go in later this year or early next.  What group is generally considered the first band with real Colorado ties to hit the national pop charts?
Name That Tune—From what song is this lyric passage from: “Well I stuffed my hair up under my hat … And told the bartender that I had a flat … And would he be kind enough to give me change for a one.”


Quick Hits
Jimmy Smith

Anyone else tired that college football and athletics in general is being portrayed as corrupt and out of control because of the actions of a few?  I plan on getting together with some colleagues and challenge the everyday college media to dedicate one day to nothing but positive stories; we all have them, and they outnumber the bad likely 500-to-1.  My good friend, Jim Saccomano, the longtime respected PR director at the Denver Broncos uses this formula to put the number of incidents in perspective: You have a league, the NFL, with 1,600 players, 500 or so coaches, and a few others in high profile positions; take those 2,200 people, multiply it by the number of days in a year, and that’s 803,000 daily opportunities for something negative to happen. But the one or two that might happen are disproportionately reflecting on the rest of the league, in part due to the microscope athletes, celebrities, politicians, etc., are under.  He’s used these two classic examples when speaking to our team and my class through the years: “The media will not write a story, ‘No NFL player fell off a roof drunk last night, and a lot of young women in L.A. get into trouble, but they don’t make the news because their name isn’t Lindsay Lohan.” … The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame inducted the late Tom Brookshier in its seventh class last December; Tom passed early in 2010 after a long illness … I’ve seen a lot of things in this business, but the lies spread about Jimmy Smith leading up to the NFL Draft were perplexing; no one called to fact check (one writer claimed he failed four drugs tests here; well, if you fail three, you miss a season—that’d be tough to hide—and you miss 30 percent of your season with two, and he never missed four games, either).  All of a sudden, he’s like the most evil person in the draft; fortunately, he didn’t fall too far with the rumors and landed with the team perhaps the most perfect for him, the Baltimore Ravens.  He’s in good hands there with the group of defensive veterans, and he’s already bonded with former CU SID student/grad assistant Patrick Gleason … Spell check award: From the Colorado Daily, whose editors enjoy and enjoy some kind of twisted satisfaction from printing anonymous insults about CU coaches, staff and athletes on the back page of the paper, spelled journalism without the “N” in a headline in its February 21 edition; that’s one word you might not want to misspell if you’re, oh, in the journalism business … Former men’s basketball assistant Ralph Patterson sent in this little nugget: the second-team quarterback at Stony Brook (FCS) last fall was sophomore Kyle Essington, the son of former CU QB Randy Essington (’83).  The elder Essington started 18 games over the course of three seasons (’80-82) before his career was ended after he was diagnosed with hemophilia … In case you missed the announcement, FSN Rocky Mountain was rebranded as ROOT Sports this spring; the network had parted ways with Fox Sports Net almost two years ago and is actually under DirecTV’s umbrella.  They will still carry plenty of FSN programming, the big switch likely being a lot more Pac-12 events and far fewer Big 12 ones ... In the FYI department, CU’s live mascot Ralphie V is included in a “Game Day USA” display at the College Football Hall of Fame … This was under the radar and I never saw it publicized, but when Air Force beat Navy last Oct. 2 to end a seven-game losing streak to the Midshipmen, Patsy Cline’s At Last came over the stadium’s public address; pretty darn cool to go old school like that … Want to check out weekly how every voter in the Associated Press football poll casts their ballots? Visit; you can even vote for the good and bad pollster of the week.

New CU Twitter Accounts

In addition to our general Twitter account, @CUBuffs, we have two new accounts.  Coach Embree’s can be found at @jebuffs, while sports video guru Jamie Guy will be tweeting some cool video links on @CU_Video.

Basketball Attendance Numbers

Colorado finished 77th nationally in men’s basketball attendance, averaging 7,014 fans for 20 home games; the 140,284 for those 20 contests was a school record, with the 7,014 figure second only to the 7,659 the Buffaloes averaged during the 1983-84 season.  In conference play, CU’s 9,623 per game was a school best, topping the 9,147 for Big 8 games during that ’83-84 campaign; the old Big 12 best was 8,995 set in 2002-03.  The Buffs averaged 6,267 per game in 2009-10, so the increase was 747 per game, or 12 percent higher this past season, just outside the top 20 in the NCAA for largest improvement.  CU was 86th in attendance in 2009-10, so the Buffs moved up nine spots; if you remember, the increase a year ago was 1,630 per game, which was sixth in the nation.  So over the last two years, the Buffs have increased attendance by 2,377 per contest, pretty solid growth.

CU's Top Trios

I saw a list on Sporting News Today listing sports’ 40 greatest trios based on all the conversation about the Big Three at the Miami Heat.  Mostly pro teams, a couple college football and basketball; only local one was the Broncos’ Three Amigos (wide receivers Mark Jackson, Vance Johnson and Ricky Nattiel).  It got me thinking about CU’s top trios, which you likely could apply to most of our sports at one point or another.  But I’d say the top ones that come to my mind would be the ones I conjured up below; there are many solid duos, but the third person listed played either an equal role or one just below in the success of the team (no other real criteria, other than in football they have to be on the same side of the ball):

  • Baseball (1953): OF Carroll Hardy, OF Frank Bernardi, P Tom Brookshier
  • Baseball (1973): C John Stearns, 1B Dave Engels, 3B Kevin Kirk
  • Basketball (1938-39): Jack Harvey, Jim Willcoxon, Robert Doll
  • Basketball (1954-55): Burdie Haldorson, Bob Jeangerard, Charlie Mock
  • Basketball (1961-62): Ken Charlton, Jim Davis, Wilky Gilmore
  • Basketball (1968-69): Cliff Meely, Gordie Tope, Ron Smith
  • Basketball (2002-03): David Harrison, Stephane Pelle, Michel Moraindis
  • Basketball (2010-11): Alec Burks, Cory Higgins, Levi Knutson
  • Women’s Basketball (1988-89): Bridget Turner, Crystal Ford, Tracy Tripp
  • Women’s Basketball (1992-93): Jamillah Lang, Shelley Sheetz, Mindy Henry
  • Women’s Basketball (1994-95): Shelley Sheetz, Isabelle Fijalkowski, Erin Scholz
  • Women’s Basketball (2002-03): Tera Bjorklund, Kate Fagan, Sabrina Scott (Linda Lappe)
  • Football (1954): HB Carroll Hardy, HB Frank Bernardi, FB John Bayuk
  • Football (1957): OG John Wooten, QB Boyd Dowler, HB Bob Stransky
  • Football (1961): OG Joe Romig, QB Gale Weidner, TE Jerry Hillebrand
  • Football (1971): QB Ken Johnson, TB Charlie Davis, WR Cliff Branch
  • Football (1989): LB Alfred Williams, LB Kanavis McGhee, DT Arthur Walker (45 TFL, 25 QBS!!)
  • Football (1990): QB Darian Hagan, TB Eric Bieniemy, WR Mike Pritchard
  • Football (1992): LB Chad Brown, LB Greg Biekert, CB Deon Figures
  • Football (1994): QB Kordell Stewart, RB Rashaan Salaam, WR Michael Westbrook
  • Football (2001): TB Chris Brown, TB Bobby Purify, TE Daniel Graham
  • Golf (1965-66): Hale Irwin, Larry McAtee, Allen Hoos
  • Golf (1980-81): Steve Jones, Terry Kahl, Rick Cramer
  • Golf (1992-93): Jonathan Kaye, Scott Petersen, Bobby Kalinowski
  • Skiing (early 1960s): Jimmie Heuga, Buddy Werner, Bill Marolt
  • Skiing (1991): Andreja Rojs, Toni Standteiner, Anette Skjolden
  • Skiing (2006): Lucie Zikova, Jana Rehemaa, Lisa Perricone
  • Track (1971-72): Cliff Branch, George Daniels, Kingsley Adams
  • Cross Country/Track (2003-04): Jorge Torres, Dathan Ritzenhein, Payton Batliner

The above are all solid trios, and would belong on any lengthy list; but if I missed a trio, e-mail it on in and I’ll include in the next P-‘Tudes.

English Tragedy
The English Family: Keith, Hillary, Easton & Madalyn

We lost one of the great all-time Buffs prematurely last December 2 when Keith English passed away in his sleep at just 44 years of age.

The Greeley native was the consummate team player and Buffalo.  A combination tight end and punter, a rare mix, he backed up CU’s All-American punter, Barry Helton, for three seasons.  He’d play some at tight end and on special teams, but patiently waited in the wings for his chance to punt.  When he got that chance as a senior in 1988, he made the most of it and then some, leading the nation with a 45.04 average and earning consensus All-America honors himself.   He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams and played in both the NFL and in Europe professionally.

Keith was the second player, Helton being the first, to earn All-America honors after I became sports info director in 1984.  Through the course of my career, I often receive waaaay too much credit for my role in these honors; I always say that the player needs to give me something to work with so I view it as my job NOT to screw it up.  As a result, I usually develop a special bond with the heralded player because I try to get to know them better, we do more interviews, and often travel to award presentations together. 

Keith was one of those special ones, always upbeat, smiling, positive, a joy to be around.  He often stopped and hung out in the SID office. 

He was the director of human resources for American Blue Ribbon Holdings (formerly VICORP Restaurants), specifically for the Village Inn at the time of his death.  In addition to the benefits the family will receive from his employer, a fund has also been set-up:

The Keith English Memorial Fund
c/o First Bank of Littleton
101 County Line Road
Littleton, CO 80129

The fund’s main purpose is to enable the family to keep their home in Littleton and for the college funds for the children, Madalyn and Easton, according to Keith’s widow, Hillary.

The service was heavily attended by Buff Nation, according to CU alum Todd Sandstedt, a high school classmate of Keith’s.  Coaches Jon Embree and Brian Cabral, Scott Scheifele (development) and several former players including Helton, Dave McCloughan, Trevor Smotherman, Joe McCreary, Curt Koch and Lance Carl all paid their tributes at the packed memorial.  Keith was excited that the head coaching reins of the program were handed over to his longtime teammate in Embree.

Memories From The Big 12

CU and Nebraska have endured several cheap shots, mostly from some media types that cover South Division schools. What I guess is jealousy a few have exhibited for us departing has at times been downright ridiculous—most recently, Fox Sports Southwest had a less than flattering eulogy for us on its official website, complete with lies, misinformation and attacks, written by “FS SOUTHWEST STAFF,” but it was removed after I ratted the anonymous coward out to a couple of FOX big wigs. Unfortunately, it was linked to in Ted Miller’s blog and the complaints came rolling in.  And some at The Daily Oklahoman have taken some shots, but then again, that’s the paper that badly needs a history lesson in how the Big 12 was formed… 

Those and a few other instances aside, and while I am as excited as can be about the move to the Pac-12, there are many things I’ll miss about the Big 12.  I have a lot of fond memories, and should considering I’ve spent all but four months of my entire professional career working in the Big 8/Big 12.  Here’s what I remember most and/or will miss:

  • Driving from the stadium to the airport after football games usually meant at least 30 minutes at most places; there’s something about a Saturday afternoon in the Midwest and you’re switching radio stations picking up different football games.
  • For that matter, the drives I knew like the back of my hand: Kansas City to Columbia, Lawrence and Manhattan; Des Moines to Ames; Oklahoma City to Stillwater or just down the road to Norman; and Houston to College Station.  Lubbock? I actually drove it from Boulder because it took about the same time when factoring in airport layovers.  Never did like Dallas to Waco, to be honest.  I always took the last flight out on Tuesday or Wednesday so the roads were usually empty and it provided me some alone time to sing my lungs out.
  • Stella's Blue Sky Diner in Des Moines, where they poured the milkshake into the glass … while it’s on your head (shout out to CU fan Rob Marshall for sending the diner's name in, I had spaced it).  Misti’s and P.O. Pear’s in Lincoln.  Iron Works in Austin (or for that matter, almost any barbecue joint in Texas).  Harpo’s and The Fieldhouse in Columbia (especially when I was in my 20’s).  Aggieville.  The Interurban in Norman.  The Chinese food joint John Rodhe used to take me to in Oklahoma City that had live music.   L.T.’s Barbecue in Kansas City (the best burnt ends in the world).  Hickory Park in Ames.  Highways with eight lanes in Houston.
  • Barry’s in Lincoln.  Ken Hambleton owns this sports bar, and always took good care of us.  And when we beat Michigan in ’94 with The Catch, the backroom full of people watching erupted cheering on CU.  Maybe they had some prophetic vision of Michigan being a future Husker rival.
  • Many longtime friends and associates in the media.  Can’t list them all, but those I’ve worked with the longest include Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star), John Rohde (Daily Oklahoman, a former Boulder High Panther), Randy Peterson (Des Moines Register), John Hoover and Dave Sittler (Tulsa World), Lee Barfknecht (Omaha World-Herald), Mike Babcock (Huskers Illustrated), almost everyone on the radio teams (Bob Davis, Wyatt Thompson, Stan Weber, Craig Way, on and on; not a lot of change through the years), and of course the guys who covered the Big 12 for FSN and ESPN Plus (Dave Armstrong, Dave Lapham, Bob Steinfeld, Jeff Muckleroy, Emily Jones …). Imagine we’ll see Joel Meyers on the west coast, though.
  • In the old Big 8, going over to defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz’ house for Thanksgiving leftovers while we watched some classic Nebraska-Oklahoma games.
  • November winds in the Midwest.  Okay, maybe those not so much.  But that ’91 finale we all remember in Ames.  A freezing blizzard, about 1,000 people there, snowdrifts as high as the press box.
  • As bad as they seem now, Holiday Inn “Holidomes.”  At one time, they were the “it” places to stay.  I mean, putt-putt and pool right off your hotel lobby?  Sweet…
  • Some of us dummies from Colorado standing outside Iowa State’s Jack Trice Stadium staring in awe at a tornado two miles away while the Iowans smartly took shelter.
  • Tim Allen, then the assistant SID at Oklahoma State, serenading me with "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" just two hours after we suffered an office fire (January 23, 1982-that date lives in infamy). Covered in soot, it was pretty funny. Tim, you smart---.Memories of my first road trip: Stillwater for a men’s basketball game in the winter my freshman year. 
  • Memories of a later trip to Stillwater: two of our basketball players getting ticketed for “cow-tipping.”
  • And most of all, my SID colleagues.  Some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet and work with.  For all the rivalry talk with Nebraska and some of the nastiest relationships between the fans, I’d count the people in the NU athletic department as some of my closest associates in the business.  We always got along and enjoyed each other’s company.  Guys I’ve worked with forever like Tom Kroeschell at Iowa State; has the driest sense of humor in the world and could always count on him to deliver the classic one-liner (still calls or emails occasionally to tell me to have Mason Crosby go and get the football off the roof of their building after his 57-yard field goal into the wind).  Chris Theisen and one of our own, Mike Strauss, at KU.  Chris Anderson, Keith Mann and of course, Don Bryant at Nebraska.  Chad Moller, Missouri’s SID who seems to keep getting taller (we were the same height in 1994 and now he’s like a foot taller).  A.C. Cannon at A&M, the nicest guy in the world after former Big 12 PR man Bo Carter.  My paisan counterpart at Texas, John Bianco, and the well-respected Bill Little.  Kenny Mossman, who did double duty at Kansas State and then Oklahoma.  Steve Buzzard, Pat Quinn and Big Mike Noteware at Oklahoma State (where Strauss also logged time).  Nick Joos at Baylor, one whose logged time at three Big 12 schools.  Chris Cook at Tech.  Kenny and Tom at K-State (and of course, Norma!). And the folks in the Big 12 office—Tim Allen, Bob Burda and Joni James, especially.  I could keep going on and on, and likely forgot someone, but those were the ones I worked the longest with and enjoyed the most.

What I won’t miss?
Easily the big one, especially from an SID perspective: one of biggest positives of breaking away is that maybe we have endured the final regurgitating of the infamous Fifth Down game.  With CU and Missouri parting ways, and due to non-conference scheduling philosophies likely would only meet again in a bowl game, we won’t be facing the Tigers in the regular season any time soon, if ever again.  Maybe now they’ll let it go and figure out that had we known it was fourth down, we would not have spiked the ball…

Otherwise, the November winds on the plains, the awful humidity everywhere but Colorado (we really need to use that more in recruiting),

So those along with my pet peeve: the policy to never publicize it when an official make a gross error that the call was wrong.  Hey, they’re human, they get most things right, but they’re big boys, they’re paid well, and they work for the conference like 12-14 days a year in football and 30 in basketball. If they make a decision that severely affects a team, they should be called out publicly (e.g., we were told Kansas was offsides on the onside kick last November; if we take over at their 30, we likely score, go up 52-24, most assuredly win.  It may have not altered Dan Hawkins’ future, but we would have been bowl-eligible with that extra win and the Pinstripe Bowl had an eye toward us since the spring).  I understand the need to protect officials, but also protect your coaches.  (And yes, I know, you still shouldn’t blow a 45-24 lead with eight minutes to go…)

Pac-10 Hits 400 NCAA Championships

When Arizona State won the NCAA softball championship in early June, it marked the 400th NCAA title won by the 10 member schools—easily outdistancing its closest competitor (SEC is in the high 100s).  Pac-10 schools have won nine national titles in 2010-11, which will again be tops in the nation—for the 45th time in the last 51 years (and the league has teams competing in the last three events this month).  Now when Colorado (22 NCAA titles) and Utah (20) officially join the conference on July 1, the number will zoom to at least 442; national championships in football do not count, and neither do titles in the old AIAW, the national women’s organizing body that was absorbed by the NCAA beginning in 1982-83.  A look at the Pac-12 schools and their title counts:



(71 men's, 36 women's)



(61 men's, 40 women's)



(79 men's, 14 women's)



(25 men's,   5 women's)

Arizona State


(11 men's, 12 women's)



(13 men's,   5 women's)



(  6 men's, 11 women's)



(  0 men's,   6 women's)

Oregon State


(  3 men's,   0 women's)

Washington St.


(  2 men's,   0 women's)






(14 men's,   2 women's, 6 coed)



(  2 men's,   9 women's, 9 coed)

Boidock Coaching At Stanford

Former Buff hoopster Billy Boidock recently wrote in with an update while finishing up his second year in Stanford's MBA program (he is helping coach Johnny Dawkins with the Cardinal basketball team as a graduate assistant). His duties included aiding the assistant coaches in practice, on video reports and in scouting.  He expects to be done with the graduate degree this month, and then plans to look at full-time Division I coaching opportunities.

Woelk To Oregon

There were countless times former Boulder Camera sportswriter Neill Woelk and I would talk, usually around 1 a.m., and we often mused about switching careers and opening a sports bar.  Or about collaborating on a book together (he wanted to do one on my hard luck love life, some of the stories are unbelievable).  But for reasons few know, and maybe one day Neill will give me permission to pass along, he felt it was time to leave the Camera and start something new on the other side of 50.  He left for Oregon last December to manage a community newspaper in Hermiston, one that publishes twice weekly.  We’ll miss Neill, as his was often a voice of reason when others wanted to be purely negative, who lacked a sense of the big picture, and definitely lacked a sense of community.  He knew the importance of building relationships, something he learned from one of the best in former Camera sports editor Dan Creedon.  You see, we never expect anyone to shill for us despite what some want to believe; all we ask is to be accurate with the old school bonus of being fair.  It’s not as if Neill never called us on the carpet, but when he did so, he did it without being personal or being a smart aleck.  Here was a link to the announcement of his new position in Oregon:

Rodney Stewart's Big 12 Coaches Snub
Rodney Stewart

Yes old news, but when we think of this it still peeves me to no end.  The Big 12 coaches leaving tailback Rodney Stewart off ALL of its all-conference teams to many was inexplicable to say the least and outright crime to say the most.  To recap his season: Stewart rushed for 1,318 yards, a workhorse with 290 carries for a 4.5 average with 10 touchdowns; 110 carries went for five or more yards.  He also caught 29 passes for 290 yards, giving him 1,608 all-purpose yards, and completed his only pass for 23 yards and a touchdown; he earned a team-best 80 first downs (65 rush, 14 receiving, 1 passing; and 30 on third or fourth down).  He was 18-of-22 on 3rd/4th-&-1.  And remember, CU, as usual (something like 12 out of 15 years), played one of if not the toughest schedules in the conference—one where aside from Oklahoma, usually feasted on at least three if not four cupcakes and fruit tarts in the non-league schedule (many would play only one BCS opponent, but it’s pretty much a fact that Colorado and Oklahoma were about the only ones with two or more).  Fine if you want to schedule that way, but it was always criticized by the media on the front end but come awards time, the schedule some of our former colleagues played was forgotten. 

In 2010, according to the Sagarin Ratings (much more complex than the NCAA’s cumulative W-L record of opponents played as it takes into account the teams that played the team you played), CU faced the ninth toughest in the nation, while Oklahoma passed CU into eighth at the end due to playing NU in the Big 12 title game.  But of the top 11 toughest schedules nationally in 2010, 10 were Pac-12 Conference schools (Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, UCLA and Cal played the toughest five in the land; then came Arizona State, USC, OU, CU, Stanford and Arizona).

So Rodney earned his stats against the nation’s ninth toughest schedule.  He was third overall in the league in rushing for all games at (109.8), and was second in league play, with 916 yards, just 1 yard behind OSU ALL-AMERICAN Kendall Hunter.  Associate SID Curtis Snyder did some research and found that prior to 2010, in Big 12 history, there were 42 instances where a player rushed for 100 yards per game (39 running backs, 3 quarterbacks): 23 were named first-team All-Big 12, 15 second-team, two third-team and two honorable mention (three of the four third-team and honorable mention pics were the QBs).   So in short, 38 of the 39 running backs made second-team or higher, but all made the team in some respect.

Brian Howell of the Longmont Times-Call took it one step further and after researching the facts, wrote that Stewart had the most yards by a Big 12 opponent back (175; Cyrus Gray and Alexander Robinson were next with 117), and had the second most yards against Kansas State (195; Baylor’s Jay Finley had 250).  Or as Brian put it, Turner Gill (KU) and Bill Snyder (KSU) didn’t think Rodney deserved to be in the top four?  (Coaches voted for a first and second team).  For the record, my request to the league to right this ridiculous wrong and add him to the honorable mention team wasn’t granted.

So there you have it, the only running back in 15 years of Big 12 history to average 100 yards per game or more not to earn any kind of all-league accolade was Colorado’s Rodney Stewart.  Absolutely and totally inconceivable (

Reinhardt-Bruno Golf Tournament July 14

The Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado is holding its 17th annual golf tournament on July 14 at Lake Valley Golf Club north of Boulder.  Former Buff tight end Ed Reinhardt is co-hosting the event with Tony Bruno; Reinhardt suffered a brain injury late in a game at Oregon on Sept. 15, 1984, endured a 62-day coma and continues his recovery to this day, while Bruno was injured in a boxing incident while he was a CU student.  Proceeds from the event go to scholarships for brain injury survivors.  For more information, visit the organization’s website at

Hawkins Satter Rekord I Sverige

Okay, so the only Swedish I’ve ever known was the late John Candy’s line in Splash; but former Buff quarterback Cody Hawkins is playing for the Stockholm Mean Machines.  He became the first quarterback in Swedish history to have consecutive 300-yard passing games, and in one, threw five touchdown passes. He also led a game winning drive in the final minute, clinching the win with a TD pass with 10 seconds to play.  Otherwise, it’s a little hard to tell much as even when Google translates the team’s website (, a few things don’t make sense.  One American is allowed per side (offense/defense) in the European League, and former Buff outside linebacker B.J. Beatty might be joining Cody later this month (after Cody, along with former corner Cha’pelle Brown, finish play for Team USA in a World Cup-style football competition—they play three games in five days next month in Innsbruck).  As for the elder Hawkins, Dan, he and wife Misti are moving back to their house in Boise at the end of the month.  He will be joining ESPN this fall in an analyst capacity on either TV or radio and is looking forward to it; he’s also working on his master’s in psychology from the University of Missouri (hopefully he won’t be charged FIVE times the tuition, if you get my drift).   

Go Larry Scott

A lot of celebrating was done on 12 campuses the first week of May, when the Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott announced a 12-year deal with ESPN and Fox Sports Net to televise football and men’s and women’s basketball games.  The announcement followed a similar one by the Big 12, our former conference, and the Pac-12 basically blew all other conferences out of the water (likely much to the chagrin of a few Big 12 media types who went as far as to write the Big 12 was better off with CU and Nebraska, because we wouldn’t have meant much if any more dollars for the Big 12’s new deal).  Here’s a chart of current contracts, based upon media reports that the Pac-12’s deal is $2.7 billion over 12 years (keep in mind the actual numbers have not been announced, so it could be that or even higher), and check out which conference dominates in Top 30 markets—yes, the Pac-12 with 10 (and has 11 of the top 31):

  Top First-Tier Rights Holder Second-Tier Rights Holder
Conference Teams 30 Network Yrs Expires Rights Fee Network Yrs  Expires Rights Fee Avg. Total/Year Avg. School
Pac-12 12 10 ESPN/FOX 12 2023-24 2,700,000,000 *       225,000,000 18,750,000
Big 10 12 8 ESPN 10 2015-16 1,000,000,000 BTN 25 2031-32 2,800,000,000 212,000,000 17,666,667
SEC 12 4 CBS 15 2023-24 825,000,000 ESPN 15 2023-24 2,250,000,000 205,000,000 17,083,333
Big 12 10 5 ESPN 8 2015-16 480,000,000 FOX 13 2024-25 1,170,000,000 150,000,000 15,000,000
ACC 12 6 ESPN 12 2022-23 1,860,000,000 *       155,000,000 12,916,667
Big East 8 5 ESPN 6 2011-12 20,000,000 CBS 6 2012-13 54,000,000 42,333,333 529,167
Top 30—number of top 30 markets (2010 census); *—first & second-tier rights shared (all-inclusive); ESPN includes ABC; BTN—Big 10 Network. MARKETS:
ACC 8 (MIA), 9 (ATL), 10 (BOS), 19 (TAM), 20 (BAL), 26 (ORL), 33 (CHA), 36 (VAB-NOR), 40 (JAX)
Big East  5 (PHI), 7 (WSH DC), 19 (TAM), 20 (BAL), 22 (PIT), 37 (PRV)
Big 10 3 (CHI), 5 (PHI), 12 (DET), 16 (MIN-STP), 18 (STL), 22 (PIT), 27 (CIN), 28 (CLE), 32 (SJ), 34 (IND), 39 (MIL)
Big 12  4 (DAL-FTW), 6 (HOU), 18 (STL), 25 (SA), 29 (KC), 35 (AUS)
Pac-12 2 (LA), 11 (SF-OAK), 13 (S.CAL), 14 (PHO), 15 (SEA-TAC), 17 (SD), 21 (DEN), 23 (PRT), 24 (SAC), 30 (LV), 31 (SJ)
SEC 9 (ATL), 13 (JAX), 19 (TAM), 26 (ORL), 38 (NSH), 40 (JAX)
No Claim 1 (NYC)

Moran Memories

I’ve included some commentary from former CU SID Mike Moran in past P-‘Tudes editions, and he recently scribbled some memories of CU’s first visit to Ohio State in football some 40 years ago this September.  Mike called the Buff win in Columbus that year his second favorite personal sports moment, after that certain hockey weekend in Lake Placid when he was the USOC spokesperson in 1980.  Here are some excerpts (Mike, by the way, either gets the credit or blame for hiring me as a freshman in the SID office in 1978):

Charles Davis

The announcement this week that the Colorado Buffs will play Ohio State on the gridiron next fall in Columbus exhumed memories of my second favorite personal sports experience during five decades of connection with the fields of play, from athlete to media relations… that would be the riveting 20-14 upset by the Buffs of the fifth-ranked Buckeyes on September 25, 1971, before 85,528 stunned fans at cavernous Ohio Stadium… two weeks before, the young Buffs, with almost 30 sophomores on the travel roster, had gone to Baton Rouge and LSU’s hostile Tiger Stadium and rocked the Tigers, 31-21, in front of 78,000 disbelieving faithful… .as CU’s then 29-year-old sports publicist, I had spent the week prior to the game in Columbus on a media advance trip, visiting with local print and broadcast media about the Buffs and pushing story ideas about Eddie Crowder’s team, which had grabbed the attention of the nation’s sports media with the LSU stunner… on Wednesday of that week, I was the guest of the lionized Columbus Citizen-Journal sports columnist Kaye Kessler at the OSU booster club lunch downtown, where I spoke about the Buffs to an audience of 350-400 Buckeye supporters … found myself sitting next to the venerable OSU head coach, Woody Hayes … Hayes, notable over  the years to come for his temper and outbursts, could not have been more gracious and engaging with me before he arose to speak, and he and Kessler even gave me a lift back to my hotel after the lunch … the warm embrace ended with a thud on Saturday afternoon in the sweltering horseshoe, where the defending Big Ten Champion Buckeyes had strung together 19 straight wins and were 14-point favorites … the Buffs utilized a punishing triple-option attack that featured sophomore quarterback Ken Johnson (Scottsdale, Arizona), soph tailback Charles Davis (West Columbia, Texas) and bruising fullback John Tarver (Bakersfield, Calif.) to run up 285 yards on the ground against an OSU defense that had never been up against this offense … Davis swept the Ohio State flanks for 135 yards on pitchouts from Johnson and scored twice……….speedster Cliff Branch uncorked a 68-yard punt return for  second period TD … and a rock-ribbed Buff defense, anchored by Vietnam Marine vets Bud Magrum and Herb Orvis, defensive back Cullen Bryant of Mitchell High in Colorado Springs, and safety John “Bad Dude” Stearns of Denver, made several spectacular plays and pulled off two goal line stands to deliver the knockout … Hayes displayed his famed temper twice in the fourth quarter when officials drew his wrath with calls that went against the Buckeyes, throwing his cap to the turf on one occasion and grabbing the sideline down marker on another and hurling it to the side on another… the CU locker room was bedlam afterwards, for this was the first win by a Big Eight team in history over Ohio State … it was “Goodbye, Columbus” two hours later as we packed up our stuff and took busses to the airport to board our Continental Airlines charter back to Denver, where the real surprise awaited the Buffs and the coaching staff that evening… CU’s principal booster at the time was Robert F. Six, the CEO of Continental Airlines who had forged the company from scratch into the sixth-largest airline in the world. His impact on the success of the CU program was immense, from providing summer jobs at Continental hubs like Denver, Houston and Los Angeles for Buff players, sponsorship of the Crowder television show, recruitment of other donors, and even the creative talents of his wife, the actress Audrey Meadows (The Honeymooners), who had designed and decorated the sparkling new Buff Club lounge at Folsom Field… We landed at the Continental hangar at the old Stapleton Airport around 7:00 p.m. that evening, to be greeted by four airport fire trucks launching geysers of water into the sky, 2,000 fans in the parking area near our team busses, a band, cameras, TV crews and giddiness abounding … A moment, frozen in time, to be forever cherished and recalled … our Buffs went on to a 10-2 season, ranked #3 nationally behind the only teams we would lose to—Nebraska and Oklahoma and at the end of the year, the national polls and the final Big Eight standings were the same, 1. Nebraska; 2. Oklahoma; 3. Colorado.


The P-‘Tudes Mailbag

Q: I saw where Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe said this in an interview: “We lost two members in part because those two members had issues with the conference for a long time. Colorado not as much issues with the conference, because they had always been more of a West Coast institution than they had been a heart-of-the-country institution.”  Do you agree?
A: Yes and no.  We obviously by sheer geography were a heart-of-the-country institution when we joined the then-Big 7 back in 1948.  But as time moved forward, and our out-of-state students started coming in much larger numbers from the west coast, we’re now in a conference where many more of our alumni reside.  We have some great alums in the Big 12 area, and over 6,000 in Texas, but those numbers overall are dwarfed by the count in California, Arizona, Oregon and Washington.  And as noted on several fronts, academically, it’s a mega-difference.  We’re already partnering with Pac-12 institutions on research initiatives. The Pac-12 is simply a better fit for us in the year 2011 … and good for Dan for keeping our old colleagues together.  My major disappointment is that here we are in Colorado, one of the most beautiful places in the world, and the only thing we consistently hosted were the league meetings in Colorado Springs.  Otherwise, one outdoor track meet and one women’s golf tournament is all I can remember; everything else was in a Dallas-San Antonio-Kansas City-Oklahoma City rotation for the most part.  We’ll host a few more championships in the Pac-12, and Denver might gain some events and not lose out to Kansas City, which often sold its soul to gain them, something Denver wasn’t willing to do.  But Invesco Field versus Arrowhead?  The Pepsi Center or the K.C. arenas pre-Sprint Center?  C’mon. 

Q: What is in place at Colorado to prevent a tragedy like one that occurred at Notre Dame?
A: This refers to the incident last fall where the wind toppled over a scissor-lift that killed a student videographer who was taping football practice.  We have several things in place, especially since Boulder is one of the windiest cities in the nation.  Our head trainer, Miguel Rueda, is the point person, as we subscribe to a weather service that provides him real time data (which also goes to Jason DePaepe, one of our facilities/grounds staffers).  Miguel has the authority to suspend/delay practices based on the information he has received, usually for lightning and occasionally wind.  We have the scissor lifts (towers) as most now employ, and we use common sense in concert with NCAA weather policies.  In light to moderate wind (under 20 mph), they can be lowered to safer levels; in cases of high to extreme wind, and if the team is still practicing, they are lowered to the ground and continue videoing from that level (about 10 feet).  If there is lightning in the area, they are not utilized, and if the bubble is up, we will have moved practice inside. At CU, sports video director Jamie Guy requires all his personnel to wear safety harnesses, and they must be outfitted in those before the lift is turned on and that is required even in perfect weather conditions.  He also has provided the option to his workers that if they feel uneasy in any circumstance that they can come back down.  Also, the lifts are set for each practice by full-time personnel on the facilities and grounds staff, not student managers or videographers.

Q: Any thoughts from a numbers guy on the UConn-UCLA consecutive win chase that went on?
A: Count me among those that say it’s apples and oranges—the UCLA men/Connecticut women and the longest winning streak comparisons. UCLA won 88 straight in the 1970s, and UConn had a run of 90 end in January.  Obviously a great achievement by UConn, downplaying it would be idiocy, and especially since UConn already had a previous run of 70 in a row.  That is hard to fathom, and no team in any sport has two streaks like that.  But to compare them and tout that topped UCLA’s record?  Since when do record books transcend individual sports? UConn did not beat 89 straight men’s teams.  Compare them to which was harder to accomplish, if you wish: UConn beat about three times as many ranked teams (top 25 to the top 20 in the ‘70s), but UCLA didn’t have a network (ESPN) schmoozing for them in its day that I can recall.  UConn plays in the era of conference tournaments and needing six victories to win the national championship; UCLA had no postseason Pac-8 tournament and only 16 advanced to the NCAA’s back then (I doubt a John Wooden-coached team would have lost in the rounds of 64 or 32, though).  So it makes interesting conversion; if you’re going to make a list, then include all sports and see where it ranks across the board.  I’m fine with that, but the only team that can break UCLA’s record is a men’s team, much like the only team that best UConn’s is a women’s team.  And if I am in the doghouse of the politically correct crowd of media and others that scolded those who didn’t agree them, so be it.

Q: Coach Embree said something about Tyler Hansen having a day like Kordell Stewart did against Baylor when he had Koy Detmer on his heels.  What did he mean?
A: Back in 1992, the quarterback spot was basically wide open after Darian Hagan completed his career.  Kordell won the job in fall drills over Koy Detmer, Duke Tobin and Vance Joseph, but Koy had made a push as a true freshman.  Kordell had a solid game in the opener against CSU (409 yards), and then came out at Baylor and before spraining an ankle, completed 16-of-17 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns (a rating of 276.4).  Hansen was 18-of-19 in the scrimmage for 246 yards and three scores, a 255.6 rating.  Kordell’s only “incompletion” was actually a play where Michael Westbrook was called for offensive interference; back then, the rule was a 15-yard penalty and loss of down, and the quarterback was credited with an attempt; now, it’s a loss of down but no attempt is charged. 

Q: Can Colorado go to a bowl game in 2011 with a 6-7 record since it would meet the required 6-win total for bowls?
A: No.  NCAA rules state that a bowl eligible team is “defined as one that has won a number of games against FBS opponents that is equal to or greater than the number of its overall losses.”  The exception is that one of the victories can come against an FCS opponent; but with 12 game schedules, six wins in the minimum, and those who play 13 (those who play at Hawai'i) must win seven.  The other exception is if you should be a 5-7 team that won its league championship game, or a conference champion with five or fewer overall wins but won their conference, say with a 5-1 record (which North Texas did a few years ago when it was 5-6 overall).

Q: Living out here on the west coast, my Buff friends and I have been catching some grief from Pac-10 fans who don't understand what we bring to the conference (especially the younger fans).  We believe we stack up pretty darn well against our fellow Pac-12 members.  Can you do some research with numbers in football?
A: There was a long list of suggested things to compare, which would have required quite a bit of work, but as far as all-time football numbers are concerned, here are some basics:

School (2010 record) Seasons Games W L T Pct
Arizona (7-6) 107 1,009 561 415 33 .572
Arizona State (6-6) 98 928 555 349 24 .611
California (5-7) 118 1,194 648 494 52 .564
Colorado (5-7) 121 1,149 671 442 36 .600
Oregon (12-1) 115 1,106 590 470 46 .554
Oregon State (5-7) 114 1,087 499 538 50 .482
Southern Cal (8-4) 118 1,134 769 311 54 .702
Stanford (12-1) 104 1,053 572 432 49 .566
UCLA (4-8) 92 959 549 373 37 .592
Utah (10-3) 117 1,069 615 423 31 .590
Washington (7-6) 121 1,125 663 412 50 .612
Washington State (2-10) 115 1,047 493 509 45 .492

As you can see, Colorado is second in games played to Cal, second in wins behind USC, and fourth in winning percentage.

Q: I saw someone post on a fan site that Nebraska actually played as many BCS schools in non-conference play as Colorado did in their 15 years together in the Big 12.  That doesn’t seem possible—what are the numbers?
A: That is true, I actually researched that a couple of years ago: CU and NU each played 22 BCS teams in non-league play from 1996 through 2010, with Oklahoma next with 17.  I’d argue our non-league slates were a little tougher because they included 15 games against an arch rival (CSU) that wanted to beat you as bad as anyone, and there wasn’t a non-BCS school that would have viewed Nebraska in that light.  The BCS teams both of us scheduled were for the most part really very comparable.  Some won’t like what I am about to write, but Nebraska was often wrongly criticized for playing easy non-league schedules: on numerous occasions, they had teams ask out of games late and they were left to scramble to find an opponent—starting if my memory recalls correctly, two games with SMU in the late 1980s after it had been dealt the death penalty.  But the three former Big 8 powers definitely scheduled better on a consistent basis than anyone else in the Big 12.  (And before someone asks, CU was 6-16 and Nebraska 16-6 in those games.)

On another front, since 1989, of the schools with the top 36 records in the FBS/I-A, the BCS teams with the most wins over non-BCS schools are: Texas Tech (64), Kansas State (62), Auburn (58), Virginia Tech (58), Boston College (56), Alabama (54) and Wisconsin (53); Colorado tied for the sixth-fewest with 31 (13 over CSU).

Q: I see some have ripped you for your estimation of the number of people wearing blue last year at a game, downplaying it and insulting the organizers.  Care to explain, because you were way off when you said just 200.
A: Well, I didn’t count personally, a little busy on game day, some of the ops people gave me estimates.  They were all over the place: 200, 500, 900.  I eyeballed it, and figured it was around 500, but we got word that many parents and others thought that wearing blue was some sort of deal to support the team and had no idea it was to send a message to the coaching staff and administration.  So I went with the lower number because of that, and the fact that I was here when we wore blue uniforms and I think it’s an insult to the players in the program who wore those.  Many players on the team from 1980-84 feel disconnected enough, to mock them by wearing blue and the message the organizers wanted to convey only continued to add to that.  At the spring alumni luncheon this fall, all of one player from the Fairbanks Era returned; we want and need them back. 


Navies Starts Ground Breaking Academy

Former Buff and recently-retired NFL veteran Hannibal Navies is now the president and CEO of the 360 Football Academy.  It is a most interesting concept, and the stated objective is to “provide student-athletes a comprehensive year-round curriculum administered in collaboration with some of the most well respected and accomplished firms in both the athletic and academic space with a goal of 99% of our participants attending college through academic or athletic scholarships.”  For more information and testimonials, here’s the link to his website:

Hessler Headed Back On The Links

The Northern Colorado Buff Club had its annual golf outing on May 23 at Ptarmigan Golf Club in Windsor, and a surprise beneficiary was former quarterback John Hessler.  Hess, who continues his recovery from a hit-and-run car accident on Oct. 19, 2003, used to play golf very well but hasn’t had a chance to get back into the game due to his injuries until recently.  An owner of outdated golf equipment, the first and third place teams donated their winnings along with some other individuals (golf shop gift certificates and or cash) toward a new set of clubs of John; the difference between the certificates and the cost of the clubs was covered by the NorCo club.   Head pro Mike Ball was fitting John personally, and Blake Anderson gets an assist for facilitating things along.  Now Hess, go out and break 100!!

Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

So let me get this straight: the NCAA clamps down on media guides because of the overall costs and the fact that some schools can extravagantly spend and others can’t, but apparently has no issue with Texas and now perhaps Notre Dame having their own sports networks, with UT's funded by ESPN?  Talk about the ultimate recruiting advantage … all I know is if I am one of the remaining nine schools in the Big 12, they’re not televising squat from my campus unless they pay me a nice chunk of change to do so.  More power to ‘em for being able to do it, but $300 million over 20 years for one school’s network, I’d want a piece of that pie.  I just know I speak for many when I say my cable bill better not increase one penny because of it and if I have to get it, I want a receipt for my taxes from both.

Things That Make You Go Hmmm II...

"In my mind, I know we're a better team than them, but unfortunately the stats and the record don't show that." -- Kansas State forward Curtis Kelly on his team's 87-75 loss to the Buffs in the Big 12 tournament Kansas City.  Um, Curtis, buddy, CU was 3-0 against you; if you were on the better team, K-State would have won at least one, instead of losing by 8 on your home court and by 12 on your neutral-home court in Kansas City.  I guess Curtis couldn’t come to grips that CU owned him and his ‘Cats. 

Things That Make You Go Hmmm III...

It was practically comical to see some (re: some) in the media rip the perks that the Fiesta Bowl provided athletic administrators, like shoes and shirts for the Fiesta Frolics, one of the best PR marketing tools in college sports.  Other bowls sponsor similar perks as well.  The funny part was you didn’t see those media guys mention the gifts THEY get at the BCS games (rather expensive pieces of luggage), not to mention the complimentary food all week.  At the BCS game this year in Phoenix, some were whining that the free food wasn’t as good as at Rose Bowl in California in 2010.  They almost never would have to pay for a meal, but let me provide a little insight: there are those in the media that certainly accept the free food and then hunt down blank receipts so they can turn it in as an expense.  (It’s a common, but not widespread practice—most media members wouldn’t think of doing this, but the ones that do number well more than a handful.)  Some actually complain about what they get, or how often we serve something; one of my all-time favorites is one guy complained to me once that we always served the same meal in our football press box (hand carved roast baron of beef and all the sides).  My response was simply, “You mean to tell me you wouldn’t have the same thing for lunch at some point six times over a three month span?”

Website(s) & Links of the ‘Tude

Anthony Hull did a documentary on his brother Alfred returning for the reunion of the 1990 team; it was quite well done and you can view it here:  And here’s a web link of the ‘Tude: ABC News did a feature on Jeremy Bloom’s foundation that works with seniors much like Make-A-Wish works with youngsters; you can view that here:  Interested in helping Jeremy?  Visit his website at  Who said kickers aren’t tough?  Check out what former Buff Jeremy Flores (‘01) is up to at:  Former CU sports video director-turned actor/producer Tom Doyle has produced pilot of an intended web series called “Vampire Sheriff.”  Those who are curious can see it here:  Who says signing autographs for youngsters don’t have lasting effects; check this out:  Many of you know there are several CU alumni working for NASA, including former trickster Mark McDonald and huge CU fan Scott Hartman; they sent me this info and a link of Big Head Todd live in Mission Control at 3 a.m. one morning playing the wake up song for Discovery (STS-133).  Their song, Blue Sky, was the top vote getter in a NASA contest to pick the crew’s wake up music; watch it here: this ‘Tudes funny link:

But I saved the best for last: some champion this as the best sports compilation video ever made; hard to disagree:

(If a link doesn't work, try pasting it in your browser; some have had problems clicking on the last one above, but it is there.)

Congrats Shouts & Sympathies
  • Hudson Davis Kay
    Congrats to Eric and Camela Kay, who welcomed Hudson Davis Kay into the world last Sept. 9; Eric is the assistant PR man for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the son of the late great Rick Kay, who played defensive end/linebacker for the Buffs on some of Eddie Crowder’s great CU teams.  Eric is targeting Hudson to be a tailback for the Buffs in 2028.
  • To former Buff All-Big 8 safety Mickey Pruitt (’87), who is being inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame!
  • To former Buff Ryan Walters (’08), who is climbing up the coaching ladder rather quickly after being hired as defensive backs coach at Arizona on February 22.
  • To former Buff golfer Dirk Fennie (’91), who has entered the world of coaching and has enjoyed some immediate success.  Success?  Heck, he’s in his second year at Division III Greensboro College, the Pine Needles spent several weeks ranked No. 1 and ended the fall at No. 7.   In his first year, he led Greensboro to an 11th place finish in the D-3 NCAA championships and to a ranking as high as No. 2 during the season.  Dirk played under the late Mark Simpson his junior and senior years after beginning his career at Campbell.  Those alums who would like to read up on Dirk, here’s the link to his on-line bio:
  • To another former linkster, Matt Zions (’02), who earned back his European Tour card thanks to a 15th place finish on the 2010 secondary money list (the top 20 get their main cards back).   
  • To current senior-to-be golfer Sebastian Heisele, got off to a great start in his summer play by winning an EPD (European Professional Development) Tour event, the Schloss Moyland Golf Resort Classic in Bedburg-Hau, Germany.  One of just three players under par after recording a 72-71-68—211 (-2) scorecard, he won on the second playoff hole, defeating a mostly pro field.  Details:
  • And to former Buff Steve Irwin (’97), who was one of 12 amateurs to qualify for this year’s U.S. Open at Congressional; after about 15 attempts to qualify, he finally made it into the field for the first time.  Father Hale will be on hand to watch from behind the ropes.  (Update: Steve shot 78-77--155 and missed the cut.)
  • To former Buffs Mason Crosby (’06) and Brad Jones (’08), who became the 30th and 31st Buffaloes to earn Super Bowl rings when Green Bay defeated Pittsburgh, 31-25, in Super Bowl XLV on February 6.
  • Congrats to former CU SID staffer Patrick Gleason, a member of the Baltimore Ravens PR staff that was honored May 2 with the annual Pete Rozelle Award as the NFL’s most outstanding PR department.  Gleason spent 2001-05 in the Buff SID office, the last as the grad assistant, before joining the Ravens as an intern for the ’05 season and then earning a full-time position one year later (more here: 
  • Many of you know of the Jordan family, some say the First Family of CU football dating to when Zack strolled the sidelines of Folsom Field as one of our greatest punters ever back in the early 1950s.  Son Buzz passed away tragically at the age of 49 last summer while winding down what appeared to be a successful fight against cancer.  Rick Reilly (’81) did a very nice job writing about one of Buzz’ passions, golfing to help others.  If you missed the story on, here’s the link:
  • We also lost a player from Zack’s same era, as Emerson Wilson passed away last Oct. 20 in Kansas City at the age of 77.  Wilson was one of Dal Ward’s top running backs in the first half of his CU career, and he’s still in the record book for the longest run in school history—a 95-yard touchdown jaunt he reeled off against Kansas State in 1954.  Russ Warnock’s father coached against some of Wilson’s great Boulder High teams (which featured the Anderson brothers, Dick and Bobby).  He specifically recalled a game in 1963 when Fort Collins High had a great future Buff of its own in Monte Huber.  Russ was in business for a time with Emerson, and e-mailed this in shortly after his death: “He was such a glass guy; warm, funny, caring.  You know, I see the older Buffs leaving us and it's sad, but what great memories of special people.  Glad to have stumbled along the trail of some great human beings.”
  • On February 14, Paul Briggs died at the age of 90 in Bakersfield, Calif.  As was the case with several players everywhere, his college career was interrupted by service in World War II; he cracked the lineup in 1942 as a freshman, played as a sophomore the following year and then it was off to serve, he returned to become an All-Mountain States Conference tackle in both 1946 and 1947.  He joined the Navy ROTC at CU, and eventually rose to the rank of Commander in the U.S. Navy, often serving on many treacherous missions against the Japanese.  Among his many medals were the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.  The Grand Junction native went on to play one year with Detroit in the NFL and then embarked on a long coaching career in southern California.
  • This past March 11, the popular Jimmy Webb passed away at the age of 47; one of the first stalwarts on Coach Bill McCartney’s offensive lines (he was a tackle in 1984-85), he went on to work a decade as CU’s assistant equipment manager under Bill Crowder.  The St. Louis native was known best for his smile, which he flashed practically 24/7, and was simply one of the good guys you come across in life.  I was especially fond of Jimmy, not only because he was on my first team as the football SID, but for his help through the years as a fellow staff member and for his friendship overall.  He had hit some hard times, but was on his way back when health problems got the better of him.
  • Two months later, on May 11, former Buff offensive guard Dick Mankowski passed away in Milwaukee at the age of 70; he lettered three times from 1962-64.  He originally was from Milwaukee and ventured west to play for the Buffaloes.  (We are working on an obituary site on, where we’ll maintain a list and biographies of Buffaloes from all sports we’ve lost through the years.  It will debut later in the year but will be a work in progress at the beginning.)

This Tudes’ Number: 1.8

As in 1.8 percent, or how often the player over the course of three seasons CU All-American offensive tackle Nate Solder had to block influenced a passing play.  In three years the position, Solder has to pass protect exactly 1,400 times; he allowed just five sacks and 21 pressures (14 of those his sophomore  year), thus the player he had to keep away from a Buff signal caller got to the QB 26 times, or 1.8 percent.  Wow.

Trivia Answers

CU—Texas finished last outright in the Big 12 South; CU has not finished last outright in conference or divisional play since 1915 in the old Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (CU only finished last outright one other time—in Colorado Football Association play in 1898). 
Who Am I?—Cullen Bryant.  Bryant was drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Rams in the ’73 NFL draft; though a defensive back in college, he eventually was converted to a fullback on offense.   He was the second Buffalo to score in the Super Bowl at the time; Boyd Dowler scored on a 62-yard reception from Bart Starr against Oakland in Super Bowl II; Cliff Branch scored three touchdowns for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (two in SB XV against Philadelphia, one against Washington in SB XVII; all three passes were from Jim Plunkett); and Mason Crosby recently became the fourth with four PAT kicks and a field goal for seven total points in Green Bay’s 31-25 win over Pittsburgh in SB XLV.
Music—The Astronauts; their instrumental song Baja charted at No. 94 on the Billboard charts in early 1963, while their album, Surfin’ with The Astronauts, rose to No. 61.  They developed out of Boulder with some members having their start with a band called The Stormtroopers at Boulder High School.  Members included Jon "Storm" Patterson, Bob Demmon, Dennis Lindsey, Jim Gallagher and Rich Fifield.  (The Glenn Miller Band obviously superseded The Astronauts and had many national hits, but there were no real national charts back then.)  Listen to Baja here:
Name That Tune—The Charlie Daniels classic from 1972, Uneasy Rider (here it is on Youtube:

“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, and the subject may appear in the next Plati-‘Tudes.