July 1, 2002
So, anyone else besides me suffer from an Orbitz window popping up in your dreams? I am less likely to go to any site that "spams" me, don't know about you...unless it's www.spam.com (yes, Spam has its own site).
TRIVIA QUESTIONS: CU--Stephane Pelle was one of two players in the Big 12 Conference to average a double-double in scoring and rebounding in 2001-02 (as a junior; KU's Drew Gooden was the other). Name the three players who have averaged a double-double in at least two seasons in CU history. Godfather--The five "families" in the Godfather were Corleone, Barzini, Tattaglia, Strachi and Cunio. Name the real five mafia families at the height of their fame in New York.
THE UNTOLD STORY ON THE ATHLON COVER: By now, most of you have probably seen the cover of this region's Athlon football preview magazine. It's the one that has tailbacks Chris Brown, Marcus Houston and Bobby Purify gracing the cover. What you don't know is the fact that three were equally adamant that they would not pose for the picture unless fullback Brandon Drumm was included in the shot. The picture of the four does appear inside the magazine, so chalk one up for team spirit right there.
CU TO HOST NCAA WOMEN'S TOURNEY PLAY: Colorado has been selected as one of 16 campus sites for the 2003 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. New for 2003 will be predetermined sites, with CU one of four Big 12 schools to be named as host schools (with Kansas State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech). All schools were invited to submit bids to host the event, which will take place March 22-25 (if that sounds later than in the past, it is; the tournament has been moved back a week to help improve game times for television, among other things). Ceal Barry's Buffaloes have hosted first/second round games nine previous times; if the Buffs make the tournament, odds are they would be assigned Boulder as the locale to play.
ROLE REVERSAL: Almost 40 years ago, Estes Banks was a member of Eddie Crowder's first recruiting class at Colorado. In those days, it was a different deal; Estes came to town, looked the place over, and in the parking lot of the old Lampost restaurant, shook hands with Eddie and assistant coach Joe Harper and agreed to attend CU. Banks rushed for 726 yards and nine touchdowns between 1964-66 at CU, helping return CU to its winning ways after three straight 2-8 seasons from '62 to '64.
Now fast forward to 2002, where in the weight room at Dal Ward, a group known as the "Big Dogs" gathers at 6:30 a.m. three times a week to workout. Banks "co-founded" the group with senior associate AD Jon "Biceps" Burianek last summer. "I had met Doc Kreis and he said come on and work out, so I did. I wasn't in good shape at all, and I believe that he (Kreis) saved my life. I brought in Burianek; he wasn't as heavy as I was, but was 'sorrowful.' We soon named ourselves the "Big Dogs."
Golf coach Mark Simpson was the next to join, followed by ticket manager Ed Gow and licensing director Bruce Fletcher; all have earned "Big Dog" status, which is attained after working out a minimum of one month without missing the allotted number of sessions. I joined on June 3, and down 16 pounds already, am poised to become the next Big Dog. But the most recent member of the group is Crowder, CU's former coach and athletic director, who at age 70, is semi-retired but still works as a marketing consultant with his wife, Kate (in fact, the two will be Chicago in mid-July to make a presentation in Spanish).
Now Banks, 56, and Crowder have been in contact off and on through the years, but when Eddie recently saw Burianek in his new "buffed" physique, he wanted more information. He joined in June 10, walking the nearly two miles to (and from) Dal Ward three times a week for the workout, which includes an assortment of weight training, biking, walking and other conditioning drills.
"JB is my head coach, but Estes is my position coach," Crowder says. "I was inspired by Jon, but Estes is definitely coaching me, staying on me."
"I let Eddie have water, even though he never let us have it when we practiced," Banks mused. "I've thought about taking it away. But he's come a long way; he's mobile, agile and sometimes hostile, but he's mellowing."
SPORTING NEWS COMING TO TOWN: One of The Sporting News' college football writers, Matt Hayes, will be in Boulder later this month to take a look at Doc Kreis' strength and conditioning program as it relates to developing young offensive linemen. Part of the drill will include Matt participating in some selected workouts, including Doc's infamous "parachute run" (where the players try to sprint wearing an open 'chute).
PRESEASON PICKS: So far 13 reputable organizations have released their preseason football Top 25s (sorry, we're not acknowledging "Joe Basement's Top 25), and the Buffs come in as high as No. 5 (collegefootballnews.com) and as low as No. 19 (Phil Steele's College Football). On the average, the Buffs are in at No. 9 (well, No. 9.2), but are in the top 10 in 11 of the 13 polls. Take out Steele's No. 19 and a No. 16 by Dave Campbell's Texas Football (that poll is coordinated by ESPN's Ron Franklin), and CU jumps to No. 7. The publication that has had the most accurate of all preseason picks over the last decade-Playboy-doesn't come out until September.
THE OLD DAYS: Summer means research, and thanks to Jon Burianek, who found an old notebook containing long forgotten historical documents, I was able to fill in a few blanks in our history books. What was funny is how games and players were described in those days. While I don't know the author, this is what he penned about John S. Patterson, a halfback on the 1899 team: "Though starting slow he is a fast sprinter, follows the interference well and is a hard man to tackle. As a result, he is a good ground gainer on end runs, his line plunging is heavy and he keeps his feet remarkably well. Throughout the game he plays with dogged grit and a determination to win or die."
Wow. To win or die? Well, we were 7-1 that season...
FOOTBALL ROAD TICKETS: The number of football away game tickets that are available in the Big 12 Conference, per league-wide agreement, has dropped from 4,000 to 3,850. The difference of 150 tickets means that 50-60 fewer people on the average will be able to purchase road ducats; just an "FYI" as road games at places like Oklahoma and Nebraska this year have been extremely popular in the past.
CONGRATS TO THE FINNIGAN'S: Former CU Assistant SID Matt Finnigan and wife Suzanne welcomed Megan Elizabeth (left) into the world on June 12. (It was a bittersweet time for Matt, as he lost his mom to a long battle with cancer just the week before.) The family overcame their first obstacle, checking out of the hospital in Los Angeles at the same time the parade for the NBA champion Lakers began.
FINAL RIVALRY UPDATE: As selected by P-Tude readers, here's an update on our two most recognized rivalries for the '01-02 academic year: the Buffs were 16-12-1 against Nebraska (7-3-1 in games/matches, 9-9 in meets/tournaments) and 11-8 versus Colorado State (3-3 in games/matches, 8-5 in meets/tournaments).
BCS TWEAKING: We naturally had several calls following the tweaking of Bowl Championship Series standings formula last week, since Nebraska edged us by .05 to get a Rose Bowl berth opposite Miami for the '01 title game. Oregon was fourth in the standings, though No. 2 in the polls. Gary Barnett's answer: "Just tell us what the rules are and we'll play by 'em."
I for one, think margin of victory should remain as a consideration in the computer polls, with a seal at either 21 or 28 points. I'm just one that's not for the computer polls at all. There has to be some human element involved, otherwise all teams would start the season tied for first with the same rating. But most, if not all of those polls, have ratings before a game is ever played, so they're prejudiced in some way from the start. And there are a lot of us who are pretty good at statistics in this business that have absolutely no idea what goes into most of these rankings.
I'm with ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit: while they obviously generate a lot of publicity, if the first poll comes out after some games are played, then a 4-0 team with four impressive wins can appear in the right place, as opposed to a 4-0 preseason No. 4 team with four unimpressive wins that the pollsters couldn't drop because that team still won.
Also, while newspapers and such always poll college presidents, athletic directors and coaches on a college football playoff, it seems like no one ever has taken the time to ask perhaps those who matter the most-the students who play the game. We did just that for our football media guide; 74 out of 78 players responded to three survey questions, one of which was about the BCS. The question was, "What is your opinion on a college football playoff?" Almost two-thirds (49, or 66.2 percent) said the BCS was fine, just needs a change or two. Another 23 answered, "I want a playoff," (31.9%), and two said the BCS is fine just the way is.
The other questions asked if they felt spring football was necessary (78 percent said yes), and if 12 games were too many (84 percent said no).
WORDS TO MAKE YOU THINK: Recently, Rocky Mountain News publisher John Temple addressed a situation where his paper was accused of running a front page photo of a man with one of his "privates" showing. The man was sitting in front of his burned down house near Durango, and he, along with many others, said it in fact was "him," whereas the News claims it was a shadow. (I looked at it, and honestly I thought it could be either; I've been in this business long enough to know things aren't always what they seem, and there have been interesting printing mistakes through the years). In Temple's editorial in defending that it was a shadow, he included the following statements:
"The public has been lied to so many times that it's become difficult to imagine someone would actually tell the truth if it made him or his organization look bad."
"Clearly, perception is reality, even if I still think perception is what you believe to be true. It's just darn hard to convince people otherwise."
"We've all heard too many lies. So when the truth flies in the face of what we think we know, we can't accept it.
He also cited times when personnel or legal matters prohibit them from being able to discuss things publicly, a situation we often find ourselves in.
All good, solid points and true statements in my mind, but people need to remember that these apply to people and stories the media cover as well. All three definitely apply to an on-going story most of you know about concerning recruiting here. Yet, columnists at Temple's own paper have not paid attention often to any of his three statements above when writing about someone outside of their organization. After all, those don't help sell papers.
And let me ask you this? Who is doing the lying to the public? The way "truth" is covered any more, the media has played a big a role as any of making the public feel like they're being deceived at times. Beat writers are a little more opinionated, and columnists have carte blanche in twisting a subject to their view, no matter how inaccurate.
And then there are times when media bias is clear. One example is the Boulder Camera recently blasting republicans on its editorial pages four straight days; just once, could that paper write any favorable toward that party? I barely remember anything nice about that party other than right after 9/11. There's good and bad in both, you know? Okay, I'm off my soapbox...
Let's just hope the News, and other media, apply what he said when they're covering other stories and not one they found themselves in the middle of.
SUMMER BUFFS: A couple of Buffs have done pretty well in some recent competition. Senior netter Dominique Lemperle easily won the Denver City Open, while frosh golfer-to-be Derek O'Neill finished second in the state public links championships (losing by a single stroke; he had 15-footer to win but it sailed four feet past on his birdie try). But his 69 in the final round was the low score for Sunday, always an impressive accomplishment when courses are often set the toughest.
SEARS CUP NOTES: The Buffs officially finished No. 18 in the '01-02 Sears Cup Standings, the best finish for CU in the nine years that the standings have been compiled. But it's time for "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics" (a popular book title from I think the 1960s).
Stanford won going away with 1,499 points, using the maximum 20 sports to earn those points, or 74.95 per sport. Most impressive, since the most any can earn is 100. Second in the point-per-sport counted category? Colorado, with 68.32 for 11 sports that counted (five men, five women's one coed). CU also had the fewest sports count in the Top 25.
Now that's a second way to look at the standings. The third way would be to take the final point total and divide by the number of sports a school sponsors. Stanford sponsors 33, so divide that number into 1,499 and it still comes to a healthy 45.4, likely the best in the country. Colorado's works to 44.21, still pretty good (coed sports count as two, as they do in NCAA counts).
My point? I have never felt that raw points in this compilation tells the true story-schools with more sports are always near the top. Stanford and North Carolina actually scored in over 20 sports (Stanford 27, North Carolina 21), but had to have sports thrown out to get to the minimum 20 counters. The more sports you sponsor, proportionally the more are likely to do well. In the Sears Cup Standings, that means points.
So while we were 18th in the raw standings, we're also pretty proud that we were second in both adjusted categories. (I've actually asked the Sears Cup people to incorporate some of this in the future; don't know what the answer will be).
FROM THE P-'TUDES E-MAILBAG: Some assorted questions I've/we've received lately, so I'll share the answers with all:
Q: When are the basketball schedules announced?
A: The Big 12 normally gets their schedule drafts out around mid-July, and after each school confirms that their home dates work, the final schedule then comes out around August 1. Look for a change in the women's schedule; the ladies used to end the last week in February, but with their NCAA championships moving back a week, they now will play conference games the first week of March and have about 12 days off prior to the start of the NCAA's.
Q: Can you go over football television revenues and such? (morphed from several questions).
A: Payouts for being on television depend on assorted factors, i.e., what network, conference or non-conference game, etc. First, the base payment that all 12 schools receive for football television is $1.4 million. If a game is selected for broadcast on ABC, teams receive approximately $225,000 for a conference game, and twice that amount for a non-league game (or $450,000). If game is selected by Fox Sports, as well as TBS or ESPN, that figure is roughly $175,000 for a league game and $350,000 for a non-league game. So, by doing some quick math for CU's known television appearances for 2002 (USC, UCLA and Nebraska on ABC, CSU on ESPN and San Diego State on FSN), plus the base fee, it works to over $3.2 million from football television alone; and remember, there are seven other games that will be under consideration for broadcast, five of which have a good chance at making the airwaves. Those payment figures would be altered if the number of appearances increase over what is in the contract (36 by ABC, or 18 games involving Big 12 teams, and 50 by Fox Sports Net/TBS).
As far as maximum and minimum broadcast counts are concerned, Fox Sports makes the best effort to televise each school at least once (there is no minimum appearance count for ABC). The maximum count is a complicated deal over the course of two seasons, but it would take a lot for a team not to appear in an important late season game because it has exceeded its maximum count. Special thanks to Tim Allen at the Big 12 for giving me all the above info.
Q: Does Ben Portie get his (PGA) Tour card because he qualified for the U.S. Open?
A: No, he doesn't. There are several routes one can take to becoming a regular on the PGA Tour; the one he is currently using is to qualify for open spots in tournaments the Monday prior to the start of Thursday's play. He shot a career best 63 to win the qualifying last week for the Federal Express St. Jude Classic in Memphis, where he just missed the cut after a 75-66--141 effort. If he can qualify and make the cut at a few tournaments, then he'll appear on the money list. One great finish could cement his a spot for next year, or a few top 20 finishes. Otherwise, he has to hope for sponsor exemptions and the most common route-making the Tour out of the PGA Tour Qualifying School in December.
Q: You said (David) Bowie was coming, but I haven't seen it announced. Is he still coming? (My most popular question!)
A: Yes; Denver is on the list as one of 11 concerts he will be doing in the U.S. (along with NYC, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Jones Beach, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle). It hasn't been announced locally, but the Denver date appears on several Bowie websites. Look for him to play here somewhere between, oh, August 9 and 11... (for those who don't know why this is included here, my younger bro is one of Bowie's guitarists, playing the bass and six-string, among others).
TRIVIA ANSWERS: CU--Cliff Meely (1968-69, 1969-70, 1970-71) and Shaun Vandiver (1988-89, 1989-90, 1990-91) did it three times, and Jim Davis did it twice (1962-63, 1963-64). Godfather--Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese,
"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.