A notes and comment column penned by Associate Athletic Director David Plati, who is in his 22nd year as the Buffaloes director of sports information:
Welcome to Plati-‘Tudes...three of these before Memorial Day? Am I back? Have I found time? This one was sped up after Keith Jackson officially retired because I felt the need to weigh in on that... Read on...
TRIVIA QUESTIONS... CU—What was the first football game Keith Jackson ever called for ABC in Boulder? Seinfeld—Jerry Seinfeld has appeared on the cover of TV Guide 15 times—tied for the 22nd most all-time. Lucille Ball leads with 34, followed by Johnny Carson (29) and then Michael Landon and Mary Tyler Moore, both with 27. Which of the following people did not appear on more covers than Seinfeld? Carroll O’Connor (a.k.a., Archie Bunker), William Shatner, Cybill Shepherd, David Duchovny, Bob Denver and/or Andy Griffith.
CHECK OUT THE COOL CU TIES... The new mug shots of the football players will show off a cool new CU tie, featuring the updated logo. Check them out—interested in purchasing one of your own? Go visit Mike Novich at the Buffalo River Clothing Company in Boulder (4800 Baseline Road, Suite E104; 303-464-7988; Email: email@example.com).
HAWKINS, DeBERRY TO HEADLINE SPRINGS LUNCHEON... Football coaches Dan Hawkins (Colorado), Fisher DeBerry (Air Force) and Bob Bodor (Colorado College) will headline the 2006 Sports Corp Football Kickoff Luncheon on Wednesday, June 21 at the Garden Pavilion of The Penrose House in Colorado Springs.
The event begins at Noon and will give gridiron fans and school supporters a chance to meet the new CU head coach along with the DeBerry, the legend preparing for his 23rd season at the helm of the Falcons. Also featured will be Bodor, who starts his fourth year with the Tigers and hopes to build on a breathtaking 58-52, three-overtime win against Menlo College in the 2005 season finale.
Tickets are priced at $25 for Sports Corp members and $30 for non-members; tables of 10 are tabbed at for $250 for Sports Corp., Buff Club, Blue & Silver Club and Tiger Pride members and $300 for others. Seating is limited, and reservations now accepted by calling Jessica Klem at The Sports Corp (719) 634-7333, ext.1009 or at her e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NO MORE “BIG UGLIES?”... Sad, but true, but long-time ABC sports icon Keith Jackson is officially retiring from play-by-play, though still plans on doing occasional commercials. But his days of announcing games are over. I was afraid this would be the case in March, when I made my annual excursion to southern California that always includes Keith treating me to a round at Los Angeles Country Club (he must have a thing for watching someone play bad golf, it’s usually my first round of the year). I got the feeling then that he had announced his last game, which was the BCS title game between Texas and USC. What a game to go out on. A perfectionist, he felt he was slipping a little (I disagreed), and he wanted a strict diet of Pac-10 cities with few exceptions (he would have been cool with Boulder, for example). But ABC Sports is basically under ESPN control now, and there would have been no guarantees. So he’ll summer in British Columbia like he always does and take his time returning to the states this time around.
Keith did many of our games in the 1970s, but my first encounter with him was in 1993, when we hosted Miami in a national telecast on ABC. (I think I won him over when I got Bill McCartney to conform to an ABC request after a firm “NO” the first time I asked.) But he was behind the microphones for two of the most exciting games in CU football history, in back-to-back weeks, no less. If you recall, he and broadcast mate Bob Griese set up the final three plays in Colorado’s 27-26 win at Michigan on Sept. 24, 1994. Most remember his call of the game winning play (He’s got three people down there... caught! Caught by (Michael) Westbrook for a touchdown!), but next time the game is on ESPN Classic, pay particular attention to how he and Griese set up the drive. They nailed it.
The following week, which Keith may or may not recall, he came to my defense against a couple of national writers who criticized me in a back-handed way for missing my opportunity to promote Kordell Stewart for the Heisman Trophy. Despite being armed with the fact that Rashaan Salaam had just posted the most rushing yards by an opponent back against Michigan in Ann Arbor in 21 years, I had blown it. Keith agreed with me in the Texas press box that there was absolutely no way I could separate Stewart and Salaam at that point, not to mention Westbrook, who had 157 receiving yards against the Wolverines.
The Buffs went on to defeat Texas, 34-31, on a last second field goal by Neil Voskeritchian; but Salaam rushed for 317 yards in 100-degree heat and had one of the finest individual efforts and one of the handful of 300-yard rushing games Jackson was privy to call.
By the way, Keith is 77... we played the South Course at LACC that day, and he still hits ‘em long and straight, and he shot a 76. I’m 46, and I had that total on the front before I sunk my last putt on nine (I “rallied” for a 45 on the back for a 92 for those who are wondering...).
I know you will miss hearing his voice as much as I will. But he was also a joy to be around away from the broadcast booth, and I am extremely fortunate to count him and his wife Turi Ann (the "Viking" as Keith calls her) among my true friends. Here’s to your retirement, K.J. !
Click here to listen to two of his classic calls, including CU's "The Catch": http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/motion/echo/index?id=2424138&category=Motion%20on%20Demand&subcategory=College%20Football.
NFL DRAFT RECAP... Colorado “officially” had four players selected in the 2006 NFL Draft, which tied for the 16th most by any school. TE Joe Klopfenstein topped the list by going in the second round (46th overall) to the St. Louis Rams, and it was good to see WR/KR Jeremy Bloom get his shot, going in the fifth round (No. 147) to Philadelphia. If you were to count TB Brian Calhoun, who started his career at CU and left after two years, finishing with one year at Wisconsin before coming out early, and the CU count would jump to a tie for 13th. Southern Cal had the most players selected with 11, with Miami, Fla., Ohio State and Virginia Tech all next with nine.
LEMPERLE JOINS WTA STAFF... Former CU women’s tennis player Dominique Lemperle has accepted a position as a writer/editor for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour website. She will be based at the ATP headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (near Jacksonville) and began work on March 20. In her new gig, she will be responsible for posting content on
www.wtatour.com, including match reports, daily notes, tournament results, photos, multimedia files, etc. She will also cover some tournaments and write features. “You can't imagine how excited I am about this move. After working in Colorado and California I'm ready for new adventures on the East Coast,” Dominique wrote in an Email. Lemperle, a former No. 1 singles player for the Buffaloes, also worked as an intern at the Boulder Daily Camera. Congrats, Dominique!
MORE ON FACILITIES... Baylor is the latest Big 12 school to join the race to improve facilities, as over $7 million has been raised toward a $14.4 million project for a football practice complex, adjacent to the school’s basketball arena and baseball stadium on the banks of the Brazos River.
Oklahoma State upped the ante when T. Boone Pickens gave his alma mater $165 million at the end of 2005, almost a quarter of what is needed to construct a $700 million athletic village.
With Texas expanding their stadium, Texas A&M preparing to go forth with a new indoor practice facility, and recent projects at Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas Tech, almost every conference school is or has recently engaged in some kind of major facility upgrade. Almost. Colorado right now is on the outside looking in, though athletic director Mike Bohn and new football coach Dan Hawkins are emphasizing that it won’t be long until the Buffaloes will have to do something.
“We don’t have to match ‘em and get into an arms race with ‘em,” Hawkins told Mike Haynes in a recent interview on the Altitude Sports & Entertainment Network. “It’s been 15 years since there were any major upgrades, and it’s become a big part of recruiting and we need to do something sooner rather than later.”
LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS... Kudos to Boulder Camera sports columnist Neill Woelk for recently standing up to his counterparts on the news-side who always try (and usually miserably fail) to paint intercollegiate athletics as a financial drain on universities. He had enough and spent hours researching the right numbers (which were available in calls to all of two people).
And let’s not forget, while there are anywhere from 300 to 350 student-athletes any given year (1.3 percent of the student populace), 11,961 purchased student season tickets in football last year (42.7 percent). CU’s all-time student season ticket high was 14,442 in 1972, which represented 68.8 percent of the student body count that year, when enrollment was 21,000. Now the anti-football types will say I should not use high numbers from two years to state my argument, which is quite simply that a very significant portion of the students incorporate attending games as one of their on-campus activities.
Okay—here are some more indisputable numbers: since 1970 (16 football seasons), CU has sold 354,875 student season tickets, an average of 9,858 per year. Conservatively, if the average campus enrollment over this time was 26,000, it works to 38 percent of the students who attend football games (student elections don't even do that well, often 25-30 percentage points less than that). I would gather the only two things that rank ahead of a 38 percent figure in university-related activities on campus are class attendance and participation at the recreation center.
If someone wants to dislike college athletics, fine; just don’t manipulate the numbers and leave out facts to support an opinion. It really makes me wonder how often they do the same with their other arguments.
WHITE HOUSE... As most of you know, the national champion CU ski team was one of 12 NCAA title winners invited to the White House to celebrate National Student-Athlete Day on April 6. What an experience! I almost skipped out of it because I was behind (like usual) at work, but I am glad I didn’t, as it was a once in a lifetime deal. President Bush was especially intrigued with coach Richard Rokos’ story about escaping a communist Czechoslovakia in 1980, and Richie was beaming. The Washington D.C. alumni group hosted our entourage for dinner the night before, and afterwards we took in some of the sites around the mall, including the breathtaking World War II memorial. After our photo op with the prez, he shook hands with about 20 of us in our group, and while disappointed that after he met me he made no mention of Plati-‘Tudes, we talked baseball briefly as we had a mutual acquaintance (by briefly, I mean 10 seconds). It certainly was a privilege to meet the leader of the free world, I can tell you that.
FORMER BUFF CARMANN MOVES ON TO TENNESSEE... Former CU women’s basketball player Kami Carmann joined the WTVF (Nashville, Tenn.) sports staff last Monday, May 1, as the station's No. three anchor. Carmann spent the last three years in Raleigh, N.C. as a news reporter, sports reporter and fill-in anchor for WLFL-TV. Before that she worked at KHGI, the local ABC affiliate in Kearney, Neb., a position she started at in the business after he stellar playing career for Ceal Barry between 1997-2001. Carmann, a 6-foot-3 forward in her day and owner of a journalism/broadcast news degree, was CU’s team captain and is a native of Littleton. "She's going to be really good,'' WTVF Sports Director Hope Hines said. "She's very energetic and she looks good on camera. She's got all of the qualities you would need and want, and she's excited about being in Nashville.''
Her husband, former CU assistant SID Curtis Snyder, who spent the last three years as the Webmaster for the Duke University athletic site, will be commuting between Durham and Nashville, as he plans on staying on for the Blue Devils.
THE P-‘TUDES MAILBAG... The usual grab-bag of questions fired my way by P-‘Tudes readers and others that I thought others would be interested in:
Q: Could you list former radio broadcast teams from past to the present and the years that they worked together? I first started listening to Buff games on the radio in the late seventies as a small child alongside my Dad (a longtime Buff fan) and still do today as a season ticket holder.
A: Just turn to page 434 in your CU football media guide... wait a minute, I had to cut that page because the NCAA said so; couldn’t fit it in the 208 (maybe the NCAA can in its 591-page book). Ah, but I digress... That list is on page 434 of the 2004 guide before the ridiculous limitations were adopted; but here you go if you don’t have a copy of that collector’s item:
1973-78 Larry Zimmer, Bob Rubin (KOA)
1979-80 Larry Zimmer, Ron Zappolo (KOA)
1981 Larry Zimmer, Jon Keyworth (KOA)
1982-83 Wayne Larrivee, Bobby Anderson (KHOW)
1984 Wayne Larrivee, Bobby Anderson (KRXY)
1985-94 Larry Zimmer, Kent Groshong (KOA)
1995-00 Larry Zimmer, Jim Ryan (KOA)
2001 Larry Zimmer, Jim Conrad (KOA)
2002-03 Larry Zimmer, Jay Leeuwenburg (KOA)
2004-05 Mark Johnson, Larry Zimmer (KOA)
Prior to 1973, when KOA was named as the flagship station (though CU allowed KBOL in Boulder to do games until the early 1980s), as many as four radio stations originated CU football broadcasts. Stations such as KBOL, KLZ and KHOW broadcast games and personalities like Jim Kithcart, Mark Schreiber, John Henry, Starr Yelland, Pete Hansen, Bob Martin, Dick Carlson, Don Cole, Mike Wolfe, Fred Casotti, Glenn Perkins, Irv Brown and a few others called the action over the radio airwaves. Kithcart and Groshong did the KBOL broadcasts together through 1984.
Q: Could you update us on the status of the contracts for both Mike Bohn and Dan Hawkins?
A: They are still being finalized between their representatives and CU’s Legal Counsel. When they are finalized, the appropriate announcements will be made, but it is a methodical, complicated process as most contracts are. No worries, both are here for the long haul!
Q: You’re a music guy. What do you think are the five most recognizable guitar riffs of all time?
A: Hmmm... the first one that popped into my head was Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple. Of course, that’s a better question for the younger brother, Mr. Music biz. Mark rattled off these five in no time, but agreed on my selection as well: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Rolling Stones), Rebel Rebel (David Bowie), Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin), You Really Got Me (Van Halen/Kinks) and Day Tripper (Beatles).
Q: What really happened with the golf team?
A: We’ve never discussed the details, as they were internal to the program. Much of what was reported by several in the media was not accurate; examples: the team did not drive 110 miles in the middle of their meet to San Francisco on an “off night” during the meet, and no team member was drinking in public. There was no off night, they drove to ‘Frisco after the meet was over because they were flying out of there the next morning, and the establishment they attended as a group does not serve alcohol.
In a subsequent story, the Rocky Mountain News tacked the word “scandal” into one of its headlines; well, it wasn’t anything close to a scandal, it was simply some young men (great young men by the way) who made a mistake. I had several upset players and parents when they saw that. The word “scandal” was written by one of the desk guys (which is always the case—reporters never writes headlines, on any story); the reporter, the assistant sports editor and the editor all agreed that it was not the proper word for the story and apologized to me. At that point, I was satisfied.
The bottom line is that the team members apologized, and other than a few people making the occasional wisecrack, they have put the incident behind them.
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM... I’ve worked a lot of NBA games, and I have got to tell you, anyone who tells you that the officiating in the NBA playoffs is as honest as a day is long is living in fantasyland. You can’t tell me the NBA wasn’t drooling over a potential Lakers-Clippers match-up; you know, all that Hollywood glitter, Jack Nicholson across the floor from Billy Crystal, etc. Not that it would have made much difference, but some of the calls that went against the Nuggets were a joke, and the same can be said for many that went against the Lakers’ opponent in the Suns; credit Phoenix for coming back to knock ‘em off. I have been amazed by the egos of SOME of those referees—which were only topped by major league baseball umpires until they were blown out of the water a few years ago. Both must have thought the fans paid to see them officiate or umpire, but since the failed great umpire walkout, only the NBA’s are out there in my opinion. It gets old watching some of these NBA refs pretend they’re the show, and I know many people that are turned off to pro basketball for that very reason, regardless of what NBA muckity-mucks will tell you.
LEEUWENBURG TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK... It won’t be released until sometime next year, but former CU All-American center Jay Leeuwenburg and yours truly will collaborate on a book tentatively titled, “Tales of Colorado Football” as told by Jay Leeuwenburg. We’ll begin work this summer. All I know is we need to come up with 45,000 words, so thankfully Jay has the gift of word and I’ll just have to type and research facts. I won’t be the only area PR guy doing a book; look for one centered on a popular local team due out around the same time (that’s all I’m saying).
ANYONE ELSE TIRED OF “SO-CALLED” EXPERTS WHO COULDN’T CUT IT THEMSELVES? ... Doing this while watching the NFL Draft, I was tempted to look up Sean Salisbury’s career NFL statistics after he spent the better portion of his comments ripping into other people’s qualifications and accomplishments. Draw your own conclusions before you pay much attention in the future (if you have at all) to this guy: 40 career games played between 1987 and 1996, 318-of-577 (55 percent), 3,824 yards (6.6 per try), 19 TDs, 19 interceptions. Accomplish something yourself before you criticize others.
LOOKING FOR A WEEKEND GOLFING ESCAPE?... I am wearing my secretary-treasurer hat of the Rocky Mountain Golf Writers Association here: looking for a 3-4 day weekend escape within driving range? Play golf? I swore five years ago to play more mountain golf and have lived up to that promise; if you want to consider the same, check out this website: www.golfgrandcoounty.com. They have hosted the RMGWA tournament the last three years at several courses, all scenic, all good but fun tests of golf. No if yours truly, who is the defending RMGWA champion (no kidding, regardless of Edward McGlasson says) can survive these courses, so can you. Check it out; last year, we played Grand Lake, Grand Elk, Headwaters and Pole Creek, and all four are great tracks!
PREDICTION... I am on record (you can verify with Jim Armstrong and Tim Neverett) predicting that the Colorado Rockies will go 88-74 this season. Am I nuts? Only time will tell, but in my third year as one of two official scorers for the club, I’ve liked what I have seen with the young kids. They’re off to a solid start — 19-13 and in first place through games of April 29 — so I only need them to go 69-61 the rest of the way! Could happen...
WEBSITE OF THE ‘TUDE... If you want to peruse many of the numbers in college athletic budgets, here’s a great place to go, courtesy of the Indianapolis Star: http://www2.indystar.com/NCAA_financial_reports/.
THIS WEEK’S NUMBER... 18. The number of Colorado football games called by Keith Jackson between 1971 and 2003; a CU-Nebraska game was his first, and a Buff-Husker contest was his last, the 31-22 game in Boulder in 2003.
TRIVIA ANSWERS: CU—It was on October 21, 1972, and No. 9 Colorado upset No. 2 Oklahoma, 20-14; Bud Wilkinson was the color analyst that day. Seinfeld—Carroll O’Connor (19 times), Cybill Shepherd (18) and David Duchovny (16) have all appeared more than Seinfeld; Andy Griffith (12 times) is just behind him.
“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.