Welcome to a notes and comment column in its 13th year, penned by CU Associate Athletic Director David Plati, who is in his 30th year as the Buffaloes' director of sports information.
Plati-‘Tudes No. 97 ... that was Justin Bannan’s number as a Buffalo before he went on to enjoy a 10-year NFL career ... This edition comes to you from Los Angeles, where the Buffaloes are present for our third Pac-12 Media Day ... I am now officially a dinosaur: in my 30th year as SID, with title upgrades along the way as I was the late Eddie Crowder’s last hire as athletic director: my 29th anniversary as sports info guy was earlier this week (July 24), that date being one week before Crowder stepped down ... So, beginning with the 1984 Big 8 Skywriter’s Tour, this technically marks my 31st media day; the Big 12 did not continue the Skywriter’s Tour format and brought everyone to a centralized location starting in 1996.
The opening four mind teasers:
CU—What former college commissioner and football power broker once did radio play-by-play for the CU men’s basketball team?
Who Am I?—I wore No. 1 during my career at CU, and played on offense, defense and special teams; I made my “bones” in the latter. At the time I ran back a kickoff for 93 yards and a touchdown, when I did that it was believed to be only the fourth time it had occurred in that instance in college football. All told, there were 30 kickoffs in the stadium that day, but that was the only one returned for a touchdown. Who am I?
Music—This musical “group” was created by its lead singer, Ron Dante, songwriter/producer Jeff Barry and famous rock promoter Don Kirshner (remember Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert on TV in the 70s?).
Name That Tune—From what song is this lyric passage from: “Suzie wants to be a lady director ... And Eddie wants to drive a hearse ... Johnny wants to be a doctor or lawyer ... And Linda wants to be a nurse.”
|Head Coach Mike MacIntyre at Pac-12 Media Day.|
Plati-‘Tudes from the SONY movie studio lot in Los Angeles, which also houses Screen Gems (you often hear, “This has been a Screen Gems presentation”) ... This is a combo P-‘Tudes, including some notes compiled along the way in earlier months and some notes from the third Pac-12 Media Day the Buffaloes have been a part of ... Coaches, players and staff were housed at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, a “boutique” hotel; the place had to spend $10 million on mirrors alone (the TV’s were encased in one) ... Congrats to former CU sports information staffer Zak Gilbert, hired by the Cleveland Browns as their new director of media relations; Zak, as some of you may know, was wrongly fired by the Oakland Raiders because Sports Illustrated had some unflattering things to say about their late owner, Al Davis. Davis’ son, Mark, is now running the team and basically had a hissy fit that someone would write negative things about a team that has a 49-111 record since its last playoff season (10 years, zero seasons over .500). So he fired Zak because the request for the story came through PR; well, they were going to do a story either way, might as well have some input. Serious collectible? I would say so: one of our great fans from outside the state, Tony Dial (Columbus, Ohio), once again sent me his keepsake football to have our head coach sign and return, check this out: Mike MacIntyre signed it for him, joining others who have also signed: Eddie Crowder, Bill Mallory, Bill McCartney, Rick Neuheisel, Gary Barnett, Dan Hawkins and Jon Embree (he purchased the ball in the late 80s and got Crowder and Mallory to sign after their CU tenures, but never tracked down Chuck Fairbanks, otherwise he’d have every coach from the last 50 years) ... See where Derek Ernst won his first PGA tour event (Wells Fargo Championship) on May 5? He played college golf at UNLV and hit the shot that allowed the Rebels to win a playoff over the Buffaloes in the 2011 Air Force Falcon Invitational. In the team playoff on the first hole, he hit his second shot to within two feet and that was the impetus for the UNLV win (though technically both schools are recognized as the victor for the rankings) ... Remember Steve Young, an offensive tackle for the Buffs from 1972-75? His son Nathan is the drummer for the rock band Anberlin (formed in 2002) ... Alex Stivrins (basketball ’85) saw his son, Luke, sign with Nevada this past April; the younger Stivrins, a 6-11 center, had been playing at Pratt Community College where he averaged 5.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in 2012-13.
|Pac-12 Media Day / Thoughts From L.A.|
Bold: Commissioner Larry Scott opened media day with his state of the conference address, and within it was an update on the impasse between the Pac-12 Networks and DirecTV’s refusal to add them under the same arrangements as every other sports channel it carries (DTV wants the Pac-12 to be an a la carte option, something it asks of no other network). The commish said that it appears there will be no deal for the 2013 football season and boldly encouraged fans of the Pac-12 to drop DirecTV and subscribe to a satellite provider that carries the network.
Team Intros: Each school had its head coach and two players take the podium in the main interview room for 15 minutes, all introduced by a 30-second video featuring highlights choreographed to fairly loud music.
Topic of the Day: every coach and most of the players were asked about the new targeting rule in relation to player safety. Washington State coach Mike Leach was particularly against the rule, citing, “This is what football was invented for.”
My Hero: Meanwhile, back in Denver, he finally announced it. Long-time Denver Bronco PR man and vice president of communications, Jim Saccomano, will retire following the 2013 season. The two greatest influences on my professional career were Jim and Tim Simmons (followed by Fred Casotti and Mike Moran, the other three all one-time CU sports information directors. Read all about it here. I will give Jim some grief though—I created charting the red zone (as most know) and field position stats, but he gave me the green light to also keep those for the Broncos as I was charting those at CU; he easily could have said no and they really became famous and widespread through the Broncos, not CU, so I’ll acquiesce and give him some credit!
My Hero II: Major congrats to former UCLA and fellow big man Marc Dellins. He just retired from UCLA, but in the last year, has dropped 200 pounds (and yes, I’ve asked for the info on how he did it. I didn’t recognize him and yes, I need to do the same).
Liar!: It lightly rained over the lunch hour here, nothing major, but it did make Albert Hammond a liar. Albert who? He wrote and composed It Never Rains In Southern California, a song that peaked at No. 5 in the summer of 1972.
|Pac-12 & DirecTV Update|
And here’s an in-depth update on the Pac-12 Network/DirecTV situation: despite the network administrators making it their top priority to get a deal done with DirecTV, the two were still at an impasse as we conclude the ’12-13 fiscal year. For those who have DTV as their satellite carrier, the Pac-12 and all member schools share that frustration; the Pac-12 Network wants a fair deal. This question remains unanswered: Why does DirecTV was to impose terms on the Pac-12 Networks that are drastically different from the terms it has agreed to with every other sport content organization and regional sports network? The Pac-12 Networks has secured essentially the same deal it is offering DirecTV with over 50 other providers, so obviously the packaging is right and the deal is fair. The ball has been, and remains, in DirecTV’s court.
|Pac-12 Media Day / Home Sweet Home|
Senior Chidera Uzo-Diribe and junior Paul Richardson represented the Buffaloes here, and they were the recipients of some good fortune. Both are from the Los Angeles area, Richardson from the city itself and Uzo-Diribe from nearby Corona. With this year’s event on a Friday, there was no need to get them back to Boulder when it ended for school the next day and this are allowed to stay through Sunday. Thus, the rare trip home with expenses covered by the school with zero NCAA or academic issues; both were excited to eat a lot of beef at Lawry’s (Richardson told Coach Mac that he ate so much steak he now weighs 185) and of course have In-and-Out Burger on their agenda over the weekend.
|Left: Chidera Uzo-Diribe. Right: Paul Richardson and Mike MacIntyre
(courtesy: Associated Press)
|Pac-12 Media Day / One-Liners|
|Mike MacIntyre with CU alum and long-time College Gameday host Chris Fowler at ESPN's studios.|
MacIntyre and the other 11 coaches joined us in Los Angeles Thursday evening, as they all participated in what has become known as the “ESPN Car Wash,” where they run the gamut of several television and radio shows on the network. They had some excitement at the end of the six-hour plane flights, as due to fog in the area, the pilots of both small planes had to abort their first attempts to land, but did so the next time out ... I thought we (Colorado) had more questions asked of the head coach and players then all but three schools (USC, UCLA and Stanford); most teams were up and off in 10 minutes; media didn’t really ask a lot of questions of anyone outside the L.A. schools ... Mac’s best line: “It wasn’t too long ago that Colorado was a top 15 team consistently, and we’re going to get back there.” ... While on the SONY lot, we were told not to take any pictures of any movie posters, no tweeting of anything, especially any actors we might have seen (which numbered zero). Not sure what they were worried about ... Former CU quarterback-turned-TV personality Joel Klatt was in attendance here, as he has moved out here full-time and starts with Fox Sports 1 on August 1; we noted that since he left ROOT Sports and his daily chores with the Colorado Rockies, the team is about 12 games under .500 (“Guess I was the good luck charm,” said Joel) ... Dumb question of the day: USC coach Lane Kiffin was asked if he had talked to anyone at Penn State about learning from any advice on how they dealt with reducing their scholarships. Um, USC was penalized before Penn State was, ya nimrod ... Among the familiar faces spotted here were Rip Scherer, CU’s quarterback coach the last two years who is now the director of football operations for UCLA and Don Martin, the one-time producer for Irv Brown and Joe Williams in Denver radio who has risen to the kingpin of Fox Sports Radio.
|RIP, Dan Creedon|
We lost one of the all-time best “newspapermen” in sports or any other field when longtime Boulder Camera sports editor Dan Creedon passed away on July 3. Dan was tough on his staff, and tough on the area media relations folks, particularly those of us at CU. But he made all of us better for it; for years, the Camera’s sports section under his editorial leadership was by far the best in the nation of a paper of its size. We held a memorial for Dan some 10 days after his death, and through the combined efforts of several people, created a faux 8-page sports section as a keepsake for those who attended the service. We’ve linked to a PDF of that handout for those interested to see what many people had to say about Dan, who lived to be 75, but the last six months were tough ones as he never could recover from a nasty fall before New Year’s.
|So That's Why|
I had always wondered, like many of you, in many old clips of the Eagles why did Glenn Frey often wear a T-shirt (in more than one color) that had UNIVERSITY of COLORADO printed on the front? (In classic 70’s style, not overly imaginative, no logos.) I thought of it again when Showtime started running the documentary, History of the Eagles earlier this year; so I asked Chuck Morris, the head honcho at AEG Live Rocky Mountain, and J.C. Ancell, the longtime CU employee who oversaw Program Council among other things all UMC if they knew why.
Chuck’s answer was simple, “Glenn lived in Aspen part-time for a long time, and the whole band had a bunch of Colorado friends.” But J.C. added to it, referring to when the Eagles did a six-night stand at Tulagi’s (owned by Morris) to polish their act in December 1971. G. Brown was a bartender and manager of the Tul (he now runs the Colorado Music Hall of Fame; full disclosure, I am a board member). The documentary shows that the Eagles were definitely a handful at various stages during their careers. “They used to let CU athletes in the back door in exchange for CU gear, and the Eagles often wore the shirts on and off the stage. At the CU show (at Folsom Field on July 29, 1978 on their Hotel California tour), they made a deal for some back stage passes in return for a load of jerseys and other gear. Frey always seemed to like the CU-branded stuff.” And from looking at the documentary, looks like the Eagles may have also traded tickets for schwag at Notre Dame, Illinois and the Dallas Cowboys.
Then, G added this: “The Eagles played Tulagi (and the Gallery in Aspen) because David Geffen didn't want anyone to see them in L.A. until the act was perfect. So they woodshedded in Colorado. Chuck told the agent that it was Christmas break, that the students were gone and the town was dead, but the band came anyway, mostly to audition for producer Glyn Johns ("Who's Next" and tens of other classic rock albums). The heat went out one night – Bernie Leadon was playing his banjos with gloves on. I will always remember Glenn Frey and Don Henley sitting at the bar (we were only serving 3.2 beer) sharing a pitcher and talking about how they were going to be the biggest band in the world. I was stunned at their confidence verging on cockiness, given that they had just played to a room of 50 people. But sure enough, nine months later, "Take It Easy" was on the charts and they were playing the Denver Coliseum.”
Now, the above could be updated; I asked the Eagles longtime manager, Irving Azoff, to verify the above and he was checking with Frey. So you want to check back to see if the above story holds! Showtime also did the “Last Play at Shea,” a documentary of the history of Shea Stadium intertwined with the career of Billy Joel (who hails from Long Island and played the last concert there in 2008). Both documentaries are incredible if you’re into either one.
|BuffVision Snares Another Telly|
Our talented folks over in BuffVision (Deric Swanson, Eric Pelloni and Sam Neumann) scored another Telly Award, the department’s fifth overall, for its piece produced last November on the men’s basketball team versus the Navy Seals (see it here). The Telly Awards serve to recognize those in the industry who produce the finest film and video productions, groundbreaking web commercials, videos and films, and outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs. Previous Tellys were awarded to BuffVision for the following:
Two separate distinctions back in 2007 for the :30 Ralphie Institutional Spot on campus. And two awards in 2008, one for the Buffalo Stampede Coaches Show and another for the Football Tickets Ad campaign that year.
|Clearing Something Up|
It was reported by some last November that we (CU) was on the cheap and wouldn’t buy bottled water for the football offices. For the record, and so people can stop spreading falsehoods, campus department can generally buy bottled water with state dollars per university policy (it’s a waste of money and not efficient). However, we can all have 5-gallon water coolers; football had those removed because they simply preferred individual bottles instead of refilling personal containers. Also, they wanted bottled water for recruiting purposes (so kids could carry those around), which we could reimburse for; Jon coordinated purchases of those on his own (or through his assistant), and when he did so, was reimbursed for those costs. As for Jon buying his own desk, he didn’t like the one his predecessor, Dan Hawkins, had been using or any that the university supplier could offer, so he decided to buy his own. The university/state will thus not reimburse if you don’t select from the vendors on the bid lists. So that’s the story behind the story. (Desks are very personal; I’ve had the same one my entire career.)
|The P-'Tudes Mailbag|
Q: Who selects the music that’s played pregame in football and basketball?
A: Most of it is selected by the players, especially in basketball, before the band takes over with its pregame show. In football, there is the first window after the band finishes rehearsing and when the players come out for warm-ups; those tunes are selected by our veteran audio man, John Templeton (who dates all the way to 1973 with the university and to the early 80’s full-time with the athletic department. We can’t play just anything; some need approval; after John Denver died, Templeton played a medley of his hits toward the end of halftime. In 2005, coming off the “ordeal” as I call it, the team wanted to play Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take It but that one was shot down by the powers that be, though I am not sure how many people really would have made a connection.
Q: We are always hearing about cost of attendance, stipends, etc., and there are a lot of numbers out there. Any idea what the numbers are?
A: Rob Drybread in CU’s financial aid office does have that research, and he shared with me. The true cost of attendance comprises six items, four of which are covered by an NCAA scholarship (tuition, fees, room and board, medical); the two that aren’t are transportation and personal expenses. For an in-state student, that number has been calculated at $2,250and for an out-of-state student, $2,932. The personal expense for both include $1,314, which would cover entertainment, assorted other meals, money to go to the movies, laundry, etc.); the other amounts are for transportation. For football with a full 85 scholarships awarded, let’s go with 50 out of state and 35 in-state, that’s an extra $225,350 annually. For 216 full scholarships (the most we can award), and let’s split those evenly at 108 in and out of state, that’s $559,656 a year; not sure, however, if those sports that award partial scholarships, if each student would get the full $2,250 or $2,932 or a percentage.
Q: What did CU earn from the Pac-12 Conference last year? I’ve heard varying numbers between $3 and $19 million (the latter by you on the radio).
A: It was the $19 million figure for fiscal year 2012-13, the bulk of which came from television revenues ($13.7 million for football TV, $2.4 million from men’s basketball TV). The remainder mostly came from bowl payouts to the conference and revenues from the conference basketball tournaments.
|Things That Make You Go Hmmm...|
This one was easy on this trip: Los Angeles traffic. No kidding, believe it or not, we actually were on “the 405” Thursday afternoon and traveled almost three miles before we got stuck in traffic. And then back to normal on La Cienga Blvd., where the lights must have been calibrated by a pack of hyenas.
|Website(s) & Links of the 'Tude|
|Congrats Shouts & Sympathies|
CU Hall of Famer's Steve Jones and Hale Irwin
- Though she didn’t make it past the first round, congrats to golf alum Emily Talley (’12), who represented the Buffaloes well in the Golf Channel’s Big Break: Mexico. View her post-experience interview here.
- The two greatest golfers in our history, Hale Irwin (’67) and Steve Jones (’81), were reunited with other U.S. Open champions for a group photo this past June at Merion Golf Club outside of Philadelphia. But before the photo of 35 former champions was taken, Steve decided to have some fun with Hale in front of the Camera.
- And congrats to Steve Doolittle ('80), who was recently named the top football player out of Tucson's Amphitheatre High School. The Arizona Daily Star is doing a series on the top 10 players out of all Southern Arizona programs, and "Dr. Doo" topped the list.
CU—Former Big 8 Commissioner and CFA Executive Director Chuck Neinas. Eddie Crowder had found a home for CU basketball games on KHOW after the KOA contract had expired in 1981, and when Wayne Larrivee could not fly in and do the games, Chuck filled in.
Who Am I?—Ben Kelly. He returned the opening kickoff for a score in the 1998 Aloha Bowl, igniting CU’s 51-43 win over Oregon; at the time, it was just the fourth time an opening kickoff was returned for a touchdown in a bowl game. Kelly was CU’s starting cornerback, and played some spot tailback on offense as a junior in ‘99. Thirty kickoffs? If you recall, that was an experimental day in Honolulu, as there were two bowl games back-to-back; in the nightcap, Air Force defeated Washington, 45-25; there were 17 kickoffs in the first game and 13 in the second.
Music—Why, it’s “The Archies” of Sugar Sugar fame, the No. 1 song of 1969. Dante was the voice of Archie, who handled lead vocals and lead guitar (Reggie played the bass and did background vocals; Jughead played the drums, Betty the tambourine and Veronica the organ). Here’s the official music video.
Name That Tune—From 1978, Almost Summer, but Mike Love and Celebration. It’s from the soundtrack of an obscure late 70’s teen movie of the same name that starred Bruno Kirby and Tim Mathieson. The chorus is quite catchy and that’s likely what most remember (“Well it’s back to class, crack your books, no giving the teacher dirty looks ...). Hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L33buIdy7Eg.
“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 email@example.com, and the subject may appear in the next Plati-‘Tudes.