Welcome to a notes and comment column in its 15th year, penned by CU Associate Athletic Director David Plati, who begins his 31st year as the Buffaloes’ director of sports information.
Plati-‘Tudes No. 99 ... DT Leonard Renfro is our most celebrated player to have worn No. 99, with others including fellow tackles/ends Tyler Brayton and Okland Salavea ... Apologies as it has been almost a year since my last P-Tudes, but at least I am 4-for-4 penning one from the Pac-12 Media Day(s)... During this year’s event, it marked my 30th anniversary as SID, as then-AD Eddie Crowder hired me on July 24, 1984 ... So, beginning with the 1984 Big 8 Skywriter’s Tour, which eventually morphed into media days to accommodate more people, this marks my 32nd conference media day (though occasionally I still trumpet the value of a Skywriter format where the media visit each city, that usually gets shot down by an 11-1 vote :) ) ... And it certainly does not seem like over a year since we lost Dan Creedon (long-time Boulder Camera sports editor); he’s one of many that CU just doesn’t feel quite the same to me, similarly to when we lost Fred Casotti and Mark Simpson.
The opening four mind teasers:
CU—Many who are affiliated with CU history know that Carroll Hardy (’55) is the only player to ever pinch-hit for Ted Williams. But the three-sport Buff star (football, baseball, track) actually hit his first home run in the big leagues pinch-hitting for another major star. Who was he?
Who Am I (CU)?—I arrived at CU with one of my high school teammates. I wore No. 24 during my career at CU, and started all four years. Had there been a 3-point line at the time, I’d probably have at least 200 more points as one of my specialty shots was to drill it from the top of the key. My real specialty in college was stealing the ball away from whoever I was guarding. I played for a time in the NBA, and the coached overseas. I recently was named an assistant coach in the NBA in the “city that never sleeps.” Who am I?
Music—The legendary Caribou Ranch outside of Nederland was recently sold, the site where over 180 musical artists and/or groups recorded songs in the 1970s and 1980s. What was the first album recorded there?
Name That Tune—From what song is this lyric passage from: “A dying flame, you're free again ... Who could love and do that to you ... All dressed in black, he won't be coming back ... Save your tears, you've got years and years.”
Plati-‘Tudes from the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood, where some of The Godfather was filmed, among many other notable films, of course ... This is a combo P-‘Tudes, as it includes some notes compiled along the way and some notes from the fourth Pac-12 Media Day the Buffaloes have been a part of ... Coaches, players and staff were housed at the Loews Hollywood hotel; I arrived Monday night, and the lobby was full of people who just attended the Motley Crue/Alice Cooper concert at the Hollywood Bowl (people my age who wore what we all wore 27 years ago; not a good look for many) ... I can’t tip it off just yet, but due to the efforts of many, we will debut something this fall on the BuffVision boards we’ve hoped to get accomplished for quite some time; trust me, what we have secured will be a total hit (how’s that for whetting the ol’ appetite!) ... Very sad to hear about Denver Bronco owner Pat Bowlen (stepped down Wednesday from running the team due to his battle with Alzheimer’s; the same disease that recently claimed CU Hall of Famer Bob Jeangerard). I only visited with him on a couple of occasions, but as a longtime Bronco game day employee (35th season coming up), I witnessed a man take an organization already well-respected and somehow ratchet it up to an even higher level; one of it not the most classiest teams from top to bottom in all of sports ... Saw Will Oliver’s parents out here, they report that Will, completing his internship at Barclay’s in New York City, spent a lot of time with recent CU graduate and four-year ski letterman Andreas Haug, who landed a job immediately after graduation with Goldman Sachs. The two apparently are visiting about working together in the future ... Nice to see 19 former Buff golfers participating in the 50th Annual Colorado Open this weekend; I have a special affinity for the tournament, as working 12 of them at Hiwan Golf Club (1981-92) was a yearly experience that was a true joy ... Got together with a few former Buff hoopsters from CU basketball SID days as a student/assistant SID in the early 1980s: Jack Tuz came to town as his son was in the national lacrosse tournament here, and a small reunion took place at Brad Helms house in Broomfield that included Jay Humphries, Kevin Cornish, Russell Tearney, Billy Thompson and Scott Wilke.
|Pac-12 Media Day / One-Liners|
|Juda Parker (left) and Nelson Spruce (right) take a Selfie with Pac-12 Networks' Ashley Adamson|
Senior defensive tackle Juda Parker and junior receiver Nelson Spruce represented the Buffaloes here ... The two, along with all the other players attended one of Jimmy Kimmel’s concert series on Wednesday night (someone who goes by Common, me being old, I had to look him up); they did get the opportunity to pose for a picture with the late night host ... Parker was reunited with high school teammate and Oregon Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota (read Kevin Gemmel’s column on ESPN.com about a prediction Juda made) ... Found out the broadcast team for our CU-CSU game on Fox Sports 1: the Friday, August 29 game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High will have Tim Brando handling the play-by-play duties, with CU’s own Joel Klatt returning home to serve as analyst (no sideline reporter at this time, but the game will be produced by Mike Helling, another Coloradoan) ... The Pac-12 had 39 media members vote in its preseason poll, and CU was voted sixth in the South Division for the third straight year; with 43 points, that likely meant CU received four fifth place votes and the remaining 35 for last. Motivation ... Oregon (37 first place votes) and UCLA (37 as well) were selected as the division favorites, with Oregon getting the nod to win the league title game.
|Pac-12 Media Day / Thoughts From Hollywoodland|
Bold: Most of the coaches spoke about the Pac-12 being the best conference from top-to-bottom, partially in response to the SEC beginning its propaganda machine that they deserve two of the four spots in the upcoming College Football Playoff. Coach MacIntyre was among them, and he also pointed out that the league easily has the best quarterbacks in the nation. The SEC comments were laughable: one coach (guess who, the one whose team can’t handle playing in what he called a consolation bowl game) said it would be a shame if a quality SEC team lost in its league’s championship game and didn’t get a shot at the national championship. Well guess what, boo-hoo. Maybe teams in a championship game need to look at that as the first round of the playoffs; if a No. 6 seed in the NFL beats a No. 1 in the divisional round, that top dog doesn’t get a second chance.
Live On The Pac-12 Network: The Pac-12 Network went live both says with over four hours of programming; each school had their half hour in the sun (literally; the state was located inside the Bronson Gate at Paramount Studios). Mac and our players led off day two; Oregon’s Mariota told host Mike Yam that Juda Parker had an incredible talent—singing. So, they asked Juda what he liked to sing, and him being a fan of old classics, said some Nat King Cole. That, of course led to him singing on cue from Rick Neuheisel, “Unforgettable.”
Topic of the Day: Most media members notice that there’s about 25 percent less of MacIntyre, who slimmed down some 55 pounds since December. After reading the book Why Diets Fail, he went on a strict regimen of healthier eating and working out. The end result, he’s back at his playing weight in his Georgia Tech days.
Saying: MacIntyre often referred to one of his favorite phrases from one his coaching mentors, Bill Parcells. “Knowledge equals confidence equals playing fast.”
L.A. Story Was Not Accurate: Remember Steve Martin’s 1990 move, L.A. Story? Well, it was not accurate. He played a weatherman, and in all his reports, he noted how the high here every day was going to be 72. Not so this week; the thermometer reached 94 on Wednesday and 88 on Thursday.
|Pac-12 Networks Update|
No, there is no deal with DirecTV; still at an impasse; but the Pac-12 Networks are still available in 60 million homes via 36 distributors (recently adding Cox Communications nationwide) and have added on-line access internationally on YouTube (but obviously blacked out in the U.S. due to the other service provider contracts).
|The P-'Tudes Mailbag|
Q: What are the pros and cons of restructuring Division I (or the so-called power 5 conferences). So much talk, so many rumors.
A: Hey, we’re right there with you. No one knows for sure how this will play out; think most are for or at least understand the full cost of attendance (be it called a stipend, allowance, etc.); at CU, we’re always concerned about the welfare of our student-athletes and will always do what is best that is permissible. I’ve heard some of the crazy rumors out there, such agents somehow getting in the mix and meeting with coaches about playing time, for example. I can’t see it coming to that. Or at least hope not.
Q: I am not a fan of playing Colorado State on a Friday in Denver. Why would you (CU) make such a decision?
A: We know we will never get 100 percent of our fans happy with any date over Labor Day weekend, many still don’t even want the game in Denver in the first place because we can’t similarly match where they sit at Folsom Field. But this is the first time we had the opportunity to play the game on a weeknight; fans still can enjoy their full holiday weekend, traffic heading into downtown Denver should be no different than usual, with no Rockies baseball game and the likelihood that many people will hit the roads out of town earlier in the day. We gained a national TV audience for the contest on Fox Sports 1 (Tim Brando’s debut play-by-play debut on the network at that) with virtually no other games on at the same time. And we gain an extra day to prepare for the second game of the season, which happens to be the longest road trip we will ever have made in the Continental United States (Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro ... just a tad longer than our previous trips to Miami).
Q: Didn’t see much of CU’s side of things on the Football 101 class it offers for women. Why?
A: Well, as we know, reporters don’t always include everything we may tell them; nature of the biz, a lot of factors come into play, fairly common and usually due to space limitations. But I did relay a lot more information than appeared in the story. Here is my exact Email I sent to the Boulder Camera writer in response to those who had issues with the class’ name (but not that it was offered):
“We have offered this class off and on since the mid-1990s, when the number of female fans was starting to significantly increase and we saw an opportunity to get more women involved with the program. Those numbers have grown steadily since then, and a recent Scarborough Research study found that 45 percent of the NFL’s fan base are women.
Our class is taught at a sophisticated level, provides a great insider’s look at what goes on in a college football program and covers topics such as the advantages of a “cover two defense.” (You won’t hear about the very basics of the game, such as a touchdown is worth six points.) It has never been intended to come off as being condescending to women. In fact, in the two decades in which we’ve offered this class, we have had zero complaints. Many university football programs around the country have offered similar classes for a long time, as do many NFL teams, including the Denver Broncos.
There’s been great interaction between not only the coaches and the participants, but many friendships have been formed between those attending. It has proven to be a very popular class. In fact, our Portland Alumni chapter asked if we could live-stream the class for them.
We greatly value all of our fans, and that certainly includes the growing number of female fans. For example, the Buffalo Belles, a women’s booster group founded in the 1970s, gathers for a weekly luncheon during the football season to meet with football coaches and players. The group’s membership exceeds 300, and men have attended these luncheons at the University Memorial Center as well.”
Obviously, most of that never made it to the story. Regardless, it was only named such because the target audience we wanted to attend were women. So we’ll likely figure out a way to market with a different name for the class (full disclosure: it came to light that there had been one previous complaint in the past that I had never been notified of). Incidentally, we did provide contact info to the reporter for one woman who has attended in the past, but they never connected (they did try), and an invitation to attend the class went unanswered.
|Things That Make You Go Hmmm...|
I drove out to California ahead of Pac-12 media days, made a couple of stops along the way and checked off another ballpark on my bucket list (saw the Angels host the Orioles); stadium looked much different from the time we played Tennessee in the Disneyland Pigskin Classic in 1990. So en route out there, has anyone ever noticed that when traveling on an Interstate, there might be two semi-trucks behind each other, but as you approach, one pulls out and takes like 5 minutes to pass the other? I am convinced it’s a game truckers play just to remind us they are the bosses of the road.
|Website(s) & Links Of The 'Tude|
From William (a.k.a. Bil, with one L”) Hopkins, a recently retired member of the rock group Firefall, who seems to find the coolest NASA web links. This has nothing to do with sports, but is pretty darn fascinating (scroll in and out): http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120312.html.
|Congrats Shouts & Sympathies|
Emily HunsuckerBob Jeangerard
- It was sad to see Bob Jeangerard (’55) pass away before his induction into our Athletic Hall of Fame this October (see separate story on CUBuffs.com). He had come close in the balloting for the 2012 class, in which we inducted a record 12 members, and we were confident he would make it in the next time around. The committee does its best to take in those whose health might be failing; Jeangerard will be only the seventh to enter the Hall out of 68 members posthumously (previously inducted after their passing were Kayo Lam, Harry Carlson, Frank Potts, Fred Casotti, Buddy Werner and Jack Harvey).
|This P-Tudes Number: 469|
The “Conference of Champions” (that would be the Pac-12) has now claimed 469 NCAA championships, still well over twice of that over any other conference. League schools won 10 during the 2013-14 athletics year, including CU’s claiming the men’s cross country crown.
CU—Playing for Cleveland in 1958, Hardy hit his first home run as a pinch-hitter for none other than Roger Maris. On May 18, 1958, he hit a three-run, walk-off home run in the 11th inning to give the Indians a 7-4 win over the Chicago White Sox. He hit 17 overall in his major league career, the last coming in 1967 against the New York Yankees.
Who Am I?—Jay Humphries. From Inglewood, Calif., he came to CU with teammate Vince Kelley in 1980, and was named an assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets in July under its new head coach, Lionel Hollins.
Music—Joe Walsh (of Eagles and James Gang fame) and his new group Barnstorm completed their first album of the same name at Caribou in 1972; read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribou_Ranch.
Name That Tune—From 1978, Fool (If You Think It’s Over), by Chris Rea. It peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Top 100 in September of that year (my freshman one at CU). Hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3myI0IJmTlQ.
“Plati-‘Tudes” features notes and stories that may not get much play from the mainstream media; offers Plati’s or 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 subject may appear in the next Plati-‘Tudes.