Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Commitment; back for more; winning time

Ah, a successful marriage.

What a wonderful visual and a beautiful thing.

Such couples have my greatest respect and admiration because I know how hard that is to make work and I have to confess my sins here -- I couldn't cut it. I had to check out. I failed.

So when I look at Broncos' owner Pat Bowlen and his coach Mike Shanahan, I just want to help them celebrate every anniversary. Buy the champagne, sing out loud, toast them, the whole nine yards.

Not to gossip or anything but between you and me, I gotta say, who's more loyal than Bowlen?

The man can take disappointment after disappointment from his sports' spouse and never fall out of love.

So he keeps spending big money on Shanahan, loading his bank account again, for another three years of football bliss, hoping he will get what he needs to feel fulfilled, another title.

Bowlen is no George Steinbrenner, is he?

What I see is this -- the Denver owner saw how some media and fans thought former Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher was thought to seriously sliding as Steelers' boss until, all he did was end up holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy as a Super Bowl winner.

The word here is Bowlen believes Shanahan, with a talented, young quarterback (Jay Cutler) can do what Cowher did with baby Ben Roethlisberger -- be king of the mountain.

Quiet star coming back for more

Avalanche point machine Joe Sakic will be back cutting wood for a 19th season after agreeing to a one-year contract extension Monday. Sakic is all about value, never breaking down, always producing. He is Canada's version of Honda or Toyota -- a little oil, a little maintenance and watch him cruise through another season.


Carmelo Anthony
and Marcus Camby were dominant and Eduardo Najera and Linas Kleiza were formidable off the bench as the Nuggets kept winning, knocking off the Lakers, 115-111, at the Pepsi Center. Forget the amount of points Denver allowed; they made L.A. work for them. George Karl's team is suddenly becoming intriguing. They are still first-round playoff meat but they might actually look competitive while getting chewed up, likely by San Antonio, which almost always grinds down the Nuggets' "O."

About time, don't you think, that Colorado actually used those bats in its' hands for something other than posing. The Rockies peppered the Dodgers for 11 hits in a 6-3 win at Chavez Ravine Monday with under-loved Jeff Baker rapping out three hits and under-performing Garrett Atkins homering and driving in three. Jeff Francis, the best lefty starter in club history, threw six quality innings as the starters continue to look better than they are. So a feel-good day, no doubt, let's enjoy it, even if the bullpen is still a bunch of incorrigibles (sorry Ramon Ramirez and Manny Corpas).

Matadors no more

Seems I went Rip Van Winkle and awoke to the Nuggets changing their stripes and getting dirty and defensive as Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post wrote Monday. This team has been embarrassing on the defensive end since the preseason, something that was noted on a previous blog (Nuggets Noise) back in the fall but the energy seems at a different level now, the degree of necessary commitment is there and what do you know, the results are showing. Coach George Karl is shaking his head, saying to himself "I've only been telling these punks how to do this all season long. What a bunch of know-it-all rebellious teenagers."

Sorry George, can't take their car keys. You just have to grin and bear it.

Remember, it's a players' league and they play when they wanna' and when they don't, well coaches get fired.

Hitting the court

Marc J. Spears of the Denver Post is the big man but he knows how to dish it too, as he's assisted me in previous writing projects and has now agreed to talk about his observations on new CU basketball coach Jeff Bzdelik, when the Buffs' pilot was back running the Nuggets, courtside, for deposed general manager Kiki Vandeweghe.

Spears' insight on who Bzdelik is as a coach and a person will be shared later this week.

Respect to Kaylor

How 'bout a shout out, an ovation and a handshake for former Northglenn all-stater and current Colorado State punter Jimmie Kaylor for his work as a man as much as with his leg. Mom and dad (Brenda and Jim) get some attention here for instilling the power of giving in their son.

The flurry

Julian Wright
leaves Kansas early for the NBA draft -- he's not ready and will get splinters next season and maybe the one after that, too. Guess that KU education just aint' what it used to be. Wright can certainly pass better than most "bigs" and can rebound a little but he's far from well-rounded or even excellent anywhere while also being a weak, one-dimensional scorer. Still, his loss hurts the Jayhawks significantly for 2007-08 as, for a college player, his athleticism and his school's talent and system helped him make plays.

John Wooden is high mileage so he's going to get conditions and that bears watching no matter how minor the media plays it off as, and because Wooden is, by all visual accounts, one of the classiest gentlemen around, I'm personally concerned. Many coaches could learn from his humanistic, educational approach to leadership. You don't have to be a Bobby Knight, Bob Huggins' selfish, arrogant roadgrader-of-people to be the gold standard in winning.

Sent my way

I had a brain fog and typed "mute" when I should have typed "moot" in Monday's post.

What was I thinking?

The wires got crossed for a moment. Just threw a pick into double coverage when I know that's a fool's move. Will shake it off and not repeat that JPD as my junior high school geometry teacher (Basil Mike, which is one of the great names out there) used to say, as in Just Plain Dumb.

Thanks for the head's up, reader.

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