Tuesday, November 20, 2012



'Tis the season for recounting the things for which you are thankful.  I am fortunate to have many.

I am thankful for a loving family who tolerates my Buff obsessions even as they do not generally share them.

I'm thankful to live in Boulder, Colorado.  The totally not reality bubble of a town that's as zany, creative, happy and fit as it is insular and self-absorbed.

I'm thankful for Mike Bohn, the CU Athletic Director.  He's got one of the more difficult situations in Division 1 - a brand name school expected to be always competitive in each major sport but lacking big donors and broad administrative support.  Despite this he's increased the local visibility of the team through such innovations as the Ralphie's Stampede Pearl Street Pep Rallies.  He's also hired two very good mens' Basketball coaches (Tad Boyle being an amazing diamond in the rough) and has our hoops team winning the conference tournament and nationally ranked for the first time since Chauncey.  He was possibly the first D1 AD to truly understand the imminent conference realignment, brilliantly navigating dangerous waters to get the Buffs into a conference that is a huge improvement over the Big XII (which has since become a second tier league).  Sadly, however, Mike has failed on the football front.  But to be fair the Barnett firing and the Hawkins hiring were moves that were broadly lauded as right, even brilliant, moves.  The Embree hiring was risky but sentimentally popular and, frankly, fit within the budget.

And I'm thankful for Jon Embree.  Jon loves CU just as I do.  As a young lad starring at Cherry Creek he could have gone to any school he wished - but he chose to be a Buff.  As an up and coming assistant coach he toiled for years in Boulder teaching young Buffs and keeping the program in the upper tier.  When he had the opportunity to return as head coach, he took a lower salary in order to save budget for his assistants.  He's a Buff through and through.  I love him for this.  And he has worked hard and suffered mightily in his two years at the helm of our once proud program.  His suffering makes my heart hurt.

Thank you, Jon, thank you for giving it a go.  But the experiment is not succeeding.  Aside from a slightly improved running game there is not a single piece of evidence that suggests things are improving.  But sadly there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.   This is the worst season in the long history of Buff football and is probably in the top 10 worst performances in NCAA history.

The CU administration does not seem to have the appetite nor the pocketbook to fire and replace Embree this year - but they should.  This has gone too far and badly affects the CU brand which has far reaching consequences beyond athletics.  It seems silly to imply that a bad football team can drag down a proud academic icon - until you try to name one other well respected non-Ivy league school whose flagship sport is a synonym for failure.

It's time for a change.  Even if the Buffs improbably upset Utah on Friday - and I will be rooting with every fiber of my being for that to happen - it's time for a change.

Thank you, Jon.  You will always be a special Buff.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Defense Rests

The good news here is that CU's offense re-appeared last week versus Arizona.  The smashmouth style running game featuring Donta Abron and Christina Powell pounded the ball and scored 31points, second most this season.  That fierce offense produced this memorable image.
CPow - helmetless and on his way to the endzone, Baby

The bad news is that the Buffs still lost by 25 points.

You're going into the endzone WITH your helmet?  Lame, bro.
Look, your mom and I didn't tell you this sooner because we thought it would make you super sad.  But the truth is that the entire CU defense died tragically in a bizarre scooter vs. street sweeper accident back in training camp.  Ever since, the team has fielded 11 scarecrows stuffed with Greg Brown's dirty socks, straw and sorrow.
They almost look human

However almost nobody in Colorado noticed because they've spent their fall leveraging the democratic process  - architected by the founding fathers and defended in war by our grandfathers - to legalize weed.

And that, apparently, will be the enduring memory of the autumn of 2012 in Boulder.  That is, if there is any memory at all.

Oh also, Buffs play Washington this weekend.  They also legalized weed.  Birds of a feather...

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Raising Arizona

The week in which our confoundedly cursed Buffs play Arizona brings to mind this haunting scene from the great film, Raising Arizona.  This monologue as much as anything describes my own journey from preseason to today.

"I drifted off thinking about happiness, birth and new life.  But now I was haunted by a vision of...

He was horrible.  The lone biker of the Apocalypse."

(Sorry if an ad played before you could see the clip.  Hulu are evidently capitalists.)

"I feared that I myself had unleashed him."

Ah yes, our Buffs play the newly Rich Rodriguez offense-ified Arizona Wildcats.  Yet another brilliant, athletic spread offense for our defenseless defense to face.
"We're super excited to host the Colorado Buffaloes"
I wish I could give you a ray of sunshine here but the more I look at this match up the more I feel our Buffs are bringing a knife to a gun drone fight.

Three more games left, folks.  And then the sweet release of death season's end finally arrives.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Hail to the champs! (of Cross Country)

The Buffs have now won 100% of the Pac12 Men's Cross Country Championships.

One hundred percent.  We are undefeated in Men's cross country.  Here are our boys celebrating their big win this week.
Congrats!  Now, who among you can also tackle?

So buck up, Buffaloes!  The Buffs may not be good at football but we are good at other things like running long distances, physics (high-five Dave Wineland!) and launching freaking ASTRONAUTS into space!

You know who's not good at astronauts?  Stanford.

Unfortunately we are not scheduled to have an astronaut match with Stanford this weekend.  We are instead slated to play them in football - an activity in which they currently excel.
I feel you, Sad Chip

But come on out anyway.  And each time that Stanford scores on our hapless D, point to the sky to remind them that the celestial scoreboard is still very much in our favor, dammit!
Scott Carpenter, bitches

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Stop Chip on Chip violence!

Friends, I'm here to draw your attention to a growing trend in our great nation.  Yes, I'm talking about Chip on Chip violence.
Oh god, he looks angry!
So lovable!

It's a sad state of affairs.  One would hope that our society had evolved enough that Chips would live together is harmony, in fact support one another and celebrate their unifying Chipness.

After all, Chipkind has come so far.

We've won mascot national championships.

We've won Conference Championships.

We're world renowned for our fashion pioneering.

Someday there may even be a Mitt Chip in the White House...

But, alas, beatings of Chips continue apace.  And frequently those Chip beatings are administered at the hands of other Chips.  Horrible, 46 point beatings!  When will it stop?

Here's wishing for the emergence of a more benevolent Chip culture.  Increase the Peace!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hi, I'm perfect

Hello Buff fans.  I'm University of Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley.
This is the 2nd year in a row that I'm projected to be the NFL #1 draft pick

Buffalover has asked me to stop by to give you, the Buff Nation, some words of encouragement.

I understand that you've been feeling down lately.  Boy, do I ever know what that feels like!  Why it was just last month...  My team, USC, was undefeated and projected by most to be in contention for the 2012 National Championship.  I was the leading candidate for the Handsome Heisman Trophy.  But then suddenly we were dealt a devastating loss at the hands on #21 (twenty one!) Stanford.  They beat us 21-14.  I've never been so humiliated in all my life.
Losing hurts.  You don't have to tell me.
So believe me, I know how you feel, Buffs!

But take it from me, Matt Barkley, that when you get knocked down you just have to get right back up, pat your ridiculously talented blue chip teammates on the rear end, tell your equally handsome (and rich!) head coach that you'll try harder next time and get right back out there on the field.
I gazed into Coach Kiffin's dreamy eyes and apologized

We're 5-1 and ranked #10 in the nation.  Disappointing, but I can still smile.
Grin and bear it, guys
You see, attitude is everything.

I know you Buffs are feeling a bit stressed out these days.  I know a lot about stress.  Just last year, my junior year at USC, I was projected to be one of the top NFL draft picks.  Everybody thought I should turn pro.  But I thought, gosh, I haven't even graduated yet - how can I, Matt Barkley, go pro?!  Boy was that ever stressful.  As you can see, I decided to stay in college here at USC and finish what I started.  All I've received in return is the undying appreciation and adoration of the students, faculty and alumni of USC.

So I can appreciate the stress that you all are going through.

For me, I found that the best stress relief was to take the summer off and go to Africa with my gorgeous girlfriend, Brittany, and help some underprivileged children.
Brit and me blowing off some steam.  In Africa.
 So maybe you should try that.

As you can see, my life is anything but easy.  Shoot, I may not even win the Heisman Trophy this year.  There's also a chance (small) that I won't be the #1 draft pick in the NFL.  But that's OK.  I just keep my chin up and do the best darned job that I can.

Anyway Buff Fans, I just wanted to stop by and try to cheer you up.  I hope it helped!  Go Trojans!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Buffs Win! (another Nobel Prize)

It's only Wednesday and the Buffs are already winners.  The Nobel committee in Stockholm, who clearly have a mad crush on CU, have bestowed the Nobel Prize for Physics on faculty member Dave Wineland.   It's CU's 9th Nobel.
If there was a Nobel Prize for Mustaches he would win that too

To celebrate, the Buffs will have Wineland ride Ralphie as she leads the Buffs onto the field for their Thursday night tilt against the Arizona State Sun Devils*!  The sight of a thundering 1500 Buffalo and a mustachioed physicist will be terrifying enough to the visiting Devils.  Add to that the blackout clad Thursday Night Club of CU revelers and ASU should be duly intimidated.  Further add the fact (fact!) that the Buffs have never lost in a Thursday night game at home and this spells 2012 victory # 2 for the Buffaloes.

Yes, victory returns as the Buffs rise up against great odds and wallop a Sun Devil squad with designs on winning out in the Pac12 South division.  ASU brings a ferocious defense and a prolific offense to Folsom Field.  With a new coach, they've been everything the Buffs haven't been this year - productive, consistent, disciplined, creative and confident.  But a crisp, dark Thursday night in Boulder could change all that.  College football exemplifies beauty in chaos as the improbable happens every week.  

Every week.  It happened in 2008 when a underperforming, down-trodden Dan Hawkins led Buff squad rose up on a Thursday Night in front of a nationally televised audience to defeat the 21st ranked West Virginia Mountaineers in Boulder.

And so will the scene unfold in Boulder once again.  As an election season weary nation switches the tube to ESPN in search of distraction, they'll be met with a surprising scene.  A Buff team left for dead at the season mid-way point suddenly demonstrating that reports of their death had indeed been exaggerated.  

And an elated, all-black clad student body and alumni base storm the field once more.  And Dave Wineman's magnificent mustache will lead them.
Go Buffs!
* Untrue

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Me after the Fresno game

"Without pain, how could we know joy?" goes an old saying.  

A Buff Nation now knows joy.  And after the immense, humiliating pain we've experienced over the first 3 weeks of the 2012 season, the joy of week 4 at Washington State is the sweetest joy any football fan is likely to feel.  
Party in Pullman

If Oregon or Alabama goes unbeaten this year to win the national title, will their fans feel joy as sweet as the Buff's victory over WSU?  Happiness, pride, satisfaction - yes.  But true joy - no.  For they have not suffered.  

We suffering lot know joy.  Yes, we know joy indeed!

Savor it.  And never, ever taking winning for granted again.

For though our Buffs have plenty of fight left in them, there is no victory assured throughout the course of this Pac12 slate.

Up next are the Bruins of UCLA.  Yes, the powder blue clad ones that Chuck Fairbanks briefly and miserably tried to imitate in the early '80s. 
Never forget
UCLA had a Neuheisel-ectomy in the off season and is suddenly a fearsome lot of powder blue assassins.  But for a stumble against Oregon State last week, the Bruins have been impressive, especially offensively.  Most notably, they gave the Fuskers a good shellacking a couple of weeks back - Buddha bless 'em.
Hucked 'em

So with a bit of wind in their sails, the Buffs return to the friendly confines of Folsom Field.  The WSU victory momentum plus the dizzying altitude of Boulder plus the lunatic screaming of the partisan fans could spell trouble for the gifted Bruins.
Wither beneath his emphatic pointing, Bruins!

So do come on out to dear old CU this Saturday.  Drink in the sunshine and the pageantry.  And "Never Give In"!

PS - You MUST watch this video:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rock Bottomer

Your faithful correspondent reports this week from the warm and exotic climes of Hong Kong - home of armies of park occupying, slow motion, invisible foe kung fu fighting grandmothers.

Hong Kong grandmas.  Undefeated for eternity.
As I lumber through the park on my morning runs, I gaze at the kung fu grandmas...
Not pictured, invisible bad guys recoiling in pain.
So calm, so relaxed, in another zone unaffected by the buzzing madness of the real-time world.  And I think to myself - this must be how the Buff defensive backs feel.
Cover Two
Maybe the grandmas know something that we don't.  That the speed and stress of our lives is but an illusion, a world unworthy of conscious occupation.  In the right frame of mind and physical concentration one can disengage from the rat race and enter a better world.  A world of one's own making.

I want to enter that world.

Because in my world, the peace and equilibrium of tai chi is instead replace with the crazed screams and self immolation of Colorado defenses.
"It was my understanding that the opponents would be invisible and unable to punch me in the face."

"This is the worst tai chi class ever, coach."
"Again with the face punching?"
In my world, the browser transports to Hong Kong a withering assessment by the great Matt Hinton...
"There was already considerable evidence before Saturday that the Colorado Buffaloes, 0-2 with demoralizing losses to Colorado State and Sacramento State, may be the worst team in major college football. At Fresno State, though, the Buffs made a compelling bid for the ages in what must rank among the worst performances in recorded NCAA history."
Mr Hinton's words are as inarguable as they are indelicate.  The rock bottom we'd thought we'd seen has now sunk so, so much lower.

And now the Pac12 schedule begins.  First up is the familiar face of the dread pirate Mike Leach and his new charges, the Washington State Cougars.  The author of the Air Raid must be drooling with anticipation at the Buffs' incompetent teenaged defenders.  Dear Buddha...

But alas, this team is our team.  We're bonded by the Black and Gold blood coursing through our veins.  There's no escaping the turbulence.  Just pull your seat belt tight and hold on until it's over.

"Who is that sweaty white boy and why is he weeping?  He should try tai chi."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Don't say Fresno. Say Fresyes!


Well here we are at long last...

Congratulations, we've arrived at rock bottom.  We are 0-2 after having played the two crappiest teams on our schedule.  Indeed two of the crappiest teams in the country.  It doesn't matter what happens now, it can't possibly get any worse. Smiley face!

The Sac State experience was a disaster reminiscent of the Hawkinsian opus, Montana State.  It was bad, so bad.  But allow me to extract one ray of sunshine out of the otherwise miserable affair.  The running game returned.  And it returned in the form of a big, bruising, true freshman fullback cum tailback.  Behold CPow!
Christian Powell, ladies and gentleman
The young man exploded for 148 yards of smashmouthy beauty.  His gutsy performance opened up the passing game which produced countless... misfires and under thrown ducks.  But let us not nitpick.  Hooray ground game!

So next up on the 2012 tour of horrors is a visit to Fresno State, home of the Bulldogs.
The maniacal, cross-eyed snarl.  The pigeon-toed stance.  The presence of a shirt with no pants.  And, oh god, please tell me that's a tail.
I remember a Fresno State team coming into Folsom some ten years ago.  A certain David Carr quarterbacked his team to an upset victory over the Buffs.  I hate that guy.  Well guess what - he's still there.
Can we just suspend this little charade, Mr. "Derek" Carr?
Apparently David's brother "Derek" is now the starting QB.  I suppose when his eligibility runs out brother "Doug" will show up.  Is it too much to ask the NCAA to perform some DNA testing?

Go Buffs... please.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Show Some Sac (State)!


Another week in the football purgatory from which the Buffs have not yet emerged.

"Ray over there is the lucky one.  He died before he saw us lose to these fuckwits."

A painful loss to the Rams is humiliating, plain and simple.  A fact that will be repeatedly (and grammatically incorrectly) pointed out to us by our CSU friends and family.  At least until the next Monster Truck rally or tractor pull.

But, alas, the season is as young as the 3 true freshmen who will start in our defensive backfield this week. 

I have underpants older than Yuri Wright

The Buffs will make their 2012 Folsom Field debut against the Hornets of "Sacramento State University".  

It sounds made up because I don't think that Sacramento is a state.  But let's just assume that, in fact, Sacramento State University is a thing and possesses a football team that dares to enter Folsom Field.  The Hornets will meet an angry group of Buffaloes hungry for redemption.  The O line will have learned how to pass block, the receivers will have learned how to catch, the freshmen DBs will have learned their assignments, the punt returners will have learned how to get and hold the ball and the coaches will have learned to NOT call a sprint roll-out pass play to the back of the end zone with a gimpy, short quarterback on 4th and goal from the half yard line.

Learning.  It's why colleges exist, no?

And the Buffs will roll to a big win, 58-0.  Sorry Hornets, we've no time for compassion we are busy learning.

So come on out to dear old CU this weekend.  Don't let the anonymity of "Sacramento State University" keep you away.  Because if the last 8 years of mediocrity have taught you anything it's that winning cannot be taken for granted.  So don't miss an opportunity to witness it.  

And learning.  Value the learning.