Nov. 29, 2001
BOULDER - A bi-weekly notes column penned by David Plati, who is in his 18th year as Colorado's Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations.
Okay, okay, I know... I've redefined bi-weekly as, "whenever." I've had requests for an All-Nebraska Plati-Tudes, but face it, I don't want anything that'll wind up on the Husker bulletin board. Assuming they could (Stop! That'd be too easy)...
TRIVIA QUESTIONS... CU-Chris Brown broke the school record for most points in a game when he scored 36 in the 62-36 win over Nebraska. Who held the old record? Godfather-What character received a lot more play in the book but was a minor storyline in the movies? (Hint: he had a fairly visible role in I, never showed up in II, and a brief cameo in III).
CU-NEBRASKA ABC'S BEST... The Nov. 23 telecast of the CU-Nebraska game on ABC was the network's highest rated game to date in 2001, as it drew a 7.0 rating and 26 share overnight and a 6.4 national rating (one rating point equals something like 990,000 homes). We have had a lot of requests on if the game is available on tape; unfortunately, we were informed that if we provide that service, we are violating several copyright laws. We can hope that it will show up on ESPN Classic soon (though they may not show a blowout as that would be a disservice to the other team-think, would we like it?). A better hope is that KMGH can replay the game in its entirety, much like it did back in June when the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup.
JOHNSON WINS BUFFALO HEART AWARD...Cortlen Johnson won the fourth annual Buffalo Heart Award, voted on by the fans and present by the fans behind the bench after the Nebraska game. The annual award is for the Colorado football player who best exemplifies HEART, DETERMINATION, GRIT, and DESIRE throughout the football season. Previous winners were Darrin Chiaverini, Mike Moschetti, and Eric McCready. A permanent display trophy consisting of a Colorado football helmet signed by the winners is showcased in the lobby of the Wells Fargo bank located on the Pearl Street mall.
AN INTERESTING LOOK AT BCS... From P-Toods fan Steve Mizdor; Steve went through and compiled his own BCS Standings, but eliminated all polls and went just with strength of schedule, quality wins and losses. His standings with this formula: 1. Miami 0.92; 2. Nebraska 0.98; 3. COLORADO 1.06; 4. Tennessee 1.54; 5. Oregon 1.70; 6. Florida 1.70; 7. Texas 1.78. Obviously the polls are the major component, but this was a most interesting look. Thanks, Steve!
DOWN UNDER... From another Plati-'Tudes fan Andy in Australia, who saw this in a column entitled "Sporting Life" by Geoff McClure. He prefaced the note with "Gloat please." Read on: "And we liked this line from American sportswriter Bernie Lincicome of the Rocky Mountain News after his local team Colorado, very much an American college football easybeat, scored a surprise 62-36 victory over Nebraska: 'After a decade of misery, gloating is not only permitted,' wrote Lincicome, 'it is demanded'." An easybeat? Anyone else have flashbacks to Herman's Hermits on that one?
THE "TROPHY"... The Texas Stadium encased model that the football team has been plastering with helmet decals of the conference schools CU has defeated was the brainchild of co-defensive coordinator Vince Okruch, who also recruits the Dallas area. It was in the lockerroom every Big 12 game this year, and the team would have a little ceremony after each victory and then apply the decal. You know, Gary took a lot of, well, let's say "guff" at the Big 12's July media day for saying the team's goal was to get back to Dallas, but how many of those people are eating big-time crow. And he borrowed a page from Baltimore Raven's head coach Brian Billick in distributing this week's itinerary LAST week, before the Nebraska game. Billick gave the Ravens their entire playoff meeting and practice schedule before their first playoff win against Denver last year, and they eventually won the Super Bowl. Ah, the power of... psychology (how many of you thought I was gonna say "cheese").
NEBRASKA LEFTOVERS... One cool sight was watching Bill McCartney congratulate Gary Barnett after the game. I motioned to Gary that Mac was waiting for him, and the smile on both their faces was just great to see... Jim Saccomano of the Broncos sat next to me the entire game, and came down to the lockerroom with me afterwards. He wanted to know how I could stay so calm during a big game (it was funny, he was more nervous than I was, but he's always cool and collected during Bronco games. Guess when it's your job to put out the prairie fires, and we have dozens on game day, you have no other choice)... We issued a Folsom Field record 617 media credentials for the game; a Nebraska game held the old record of 601 in 1989, when it was No. 2 vs. No. 3; we issued 692 earlier this year for the inaugural game at Invesco Field at Mile High versus Colorado State... My regret from last Friday is that I never had the opportunity to meet the 10 firemen in town to see the game from New York's Engine Company No. 1/Ladder No. 24, who were on their first real break from helping to clean up at Ground Zero at the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks... What did I do after the game to celebrate? Not a thing; that's when our job kicks into another gear, and after it slows two hours later and the notes and quotes are done, and the rest of the staff long departed to the Events Center to work the women's basketball tournament, two of us stayed behind to close the press box. Some five-plus hours after the game, the last writers, from the Omaha and Lincoln papers, left the box. They were a little bit in shock, especially since two of them had predicted a Nebraska win by three or more touchdowns, but they're all good people. Gotta tell ya, for all the pains that come with the job, all the fraudulent attempts at getting press passes (or the outlets we hear from just for the big games), there is nothing like hosting a game like CU-Nebraska.
A LITTLE BIT OF PAYBACK... Why did we announce the fact that 62 points were the most ever scored against Nebraska? A little payback; back in 1994, NU played a message from Trev Alberts, who was a senior the year before, in which he said something to the effect that, "I hope we're beating Colorado by 60 right now," when it aired in the third quarter (we were down either 17-0 or 24-0 at the time). A lot of us at CU remembered that, remembered the crowd's reaction, and it was in fact a fact. I reminded Trev (who is a good guy by the way) when we talked this week, and he recalled it and I sensed maybe a little embarrassed by it.
SPEAKING OF E-MAILS... We had quite the few from some irate Nebraska fans, some complaining about everything imaginable, others with legitimate points of contention, and even a few congratulatory ones. There was some inexcusable behavior by fans of both teams, but that happens. As I told the Omaha World-Herald, which used about 1/10th of my quotes, every school or team has their share of jerks, and Nebraska's not immune to that. The reporter called because she was doing a story about if NU fans would feel safe in Boulder, because of a couple of past incidents, virtually the same incidents that had happened to CU fans in Lincoln (she didn't mention that). I told her that I would be embarrassed as a CU staff member if a Nebraska fan didn't feel safe in our stadium (she didn't mention that). I also told her that a lot of the ugliness could be traced back to several Nebraska fans use of, to this day, the most distasteful thing I have ever head associated with sports, the slogan "Sal is Dead, Go Big Red" in reference to CU quarterback Sal Aunese dying in 1989 from stomach cancer (she didn't mention that). Then hosting KOA's second hour of Sports Talk with Larry Zimmer, we had a Nebraska fan in Boulder call in, ripping CU for having fair-weather fans. I don't know why some Nebraska fans say that like it is a badge of honor, and they don't buy our argument of that it's because there's a lot of competition near. Nebraska fans should feel fortunate that their Cornhuskers pretty much have the run of the state, sans a couple of Division I teams in baseball and basketball and the Omaha Royals. The same week we hosted Nebraska in football, there were two Denver Bronco games, three Denver Nugget games, three Colorado Avalanche games (including one where they retired Ray Bourque's jersey), and a bunch of Division I men's and women's basketball games, as well as DU-CC hockey. And the Rockies and Rapids are out of season. Why two callers had to chime in with the fair-weather fan argument was pure arrogance; Nebraska is probably one of the few teams, pro or college, that probably has just a handful of fair-weather (or bandwagon) fans. Almost everyone else has them, and everyone takes them on board. And that opinion hasn't ever been one brought forth by any of the class people who work in the NU Athletic Department.
COLORADO OR SHANAHAN DOUBLE... Here's a wacky one, straight from my football release: the Buffs will be attempting to become the second straight team from Colorado to win at Texas Stadium. On Thanksgiving Day, the Denver Broncos defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 26-24. Ah, but Mike Shanahan coaches the Denver Broncos, while son Kyle is a wide receiver for the Texas Longhorns. So it'll either be a Colorado sweep or a Shanahan sweep come the night of December 1.
IT'S ONLY FITTING... It was announced Nov. 28 that in the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2002, former CU ski coach and athletic director Bill Marolt and the late, great a Fred Casotti would officially be inducted into the Hall next Feb. 25. The two were good friends, and were at the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, together. Marolt is currently president and CEO of U.S. Skiing; Casotti, who spanned a half-century working with CU athletics, passed away this past Oct. 12 at the age of 77.
INTERESTING FOLLOW-UP II... For the idiot who E-mails in anonymously from an att.net address (one of those qxt60@ type addresses), the reason I mentioned the Katie Hnida note last week is because her father told it to me about a week or so earlier. And my point was that it was dangerous (or at least uncharted waters) for two newspapers picked up the story and ran it without ever getting confirmation from the family, which is the exact reason a third paper would not run it. As Jack Nicholson said in A Few Good Men, apparently, whoever you are, "You can't handle the truth." Believe whom you want to, pal, and have the guts to E-mail in sometime with your name (though I think I know who you are, or could be).
THIS WEEK'S NUMBER... 3-1-1. Yep, up from 2-1-1 a week ago, as it is Colorado's record as a ranked team against Nebraska when Gary Barnett is coaching on the sidelines for Colorado.
TRIVIA ANSWERS... CU-One of the oldest remaining records in CU annals fell, as on Oct. 30, 1937, Byron ":Whizzer" White scored 27 points on the strength of four touchdowns and three PAT kicks in Colorado's 54-0 win over Colorado Mines. White scored all 27 points in the first half; Brown scored CU's last six touchdowns-three in each half. Godfather- Johnny Fontane, the singer who made all the women shriek near the top of I.
"Plati-'Tudes" features notes and stories that may not get much play from the mainstream media; offers CU's take on issues raised by those who have an interest in the program; answers questions and concerns; and provides CU's point of view if we should disagree with what may have been written or broadcast. Have a question or want to know CU's take on something? E-mail Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the subject may appear in the next Plati-'Tudes.