Boise State Track Has An Image Problem

A former Women’s Track and Field athlete at BSU has filed a lawsuit accusing the University of being in violation of Title IX because they took no action after two complaints of harassment and rape had been made against a male athlete by two different women.

Here comes the nauseating part:

“Coach Hardy said that he could not help her because she had consumed a minor amount of alcohol before the rape,” Allred wrote in the lawsuit. “He failed to inform her of her right to file a criminal complaint against the BSU perpetrator, and even failed to provide her with information regarding available mental health services.”

This is the second woman that former coach J.W. Hardy gave this line to in response to them telling him that another member of their team wouldn’t listen to the word no and raped them.  The lawsuit also claims that the male athlete would often slap them on the butt, make lewd faces, and generally make practice a hellacious environment for his victims.

Some might believe that it couldn’t be that bad to be raped and then have to face the guy every day; that victims must “want it” somehow. She was drinking at the time of the assault. Not too much of a stretch to think they both were. Maybe she was wearing a short skirt or a low cut top. Maybe both! And lipstick! She was probably talking to her teammates, having a good time. Maybe she liked her attacker. Maybe they were flirting. None of those things are of any consequence whatsoever in this case. This case is about a woman going to her coach who she most likely trusts, opening up and saying out loud that someone took advantage of her and is now being an antagonistic jerk about it, and being told that because she was drinking, the university couldn’t help. He couldn’t help.

Hardy’s contract was not renewed in 2013. That means that he knew for over a year and did nothing. My question, and the one that Boise State is going to have to answer, is who knew? Who else looked around the track program and saw nothing wrong? How many assistant coaches? How many graduate assistants?  How many assumed that this behavior was okay? Because the lady is about to get her and her high powered lawyer very paid if that number is more than 4 – the perpetrator, the victims, and Coach Hardy.

Boise State Track and Field has an image problem. This isn’t the first lawsuit BSU is going to have to settle on their behalf. In 2008, Amy Christoffersen, an assistant (in fact the only female) coach sued because she was being paid roughly $15,000 a year less than male assistants with less experience. The difference between twenty thousand dollars a year and thirty five thousand dollars a year is the poverty line. She got tasked with anything deemed secretarial, like booking travel, keeping track of meal money, and keeping financial records. She was also demoted after 9 years from assistant coach to insurance coordinator. Of course, this was under Head Coach Mike Maynard, but this was the lawsuit that launched the NCAA investigation that would take both the coach’s job, as well as the AD who built the joint, Gene Bleymeyer, now the AD at SJSU. It would also find violations in Tennis, Track, and Football. (Admittedly, football’s violations were the ridiculous Cheeseburger and Couchgate.)

Boise State is going to have to answer some questions before the image issue corrects. Is this just leftover misogynistic residue from the previous AD? Has everyone associated with the Boise State Track Program who let this go on been disciplined and up-trained or just fired? Can we hear from someone who isn’t a man who works inside the Athletic Department truthfully discuss the current state of that office? Because if this ass patting testosterone fest is still the daily, there is a big issue that has to be resolved before Boise State can call itself “a metropolitan university of distinction.”

The Spring Game Has Sprung

For over 8 months, Bronco Nation weathered the harshness of an unprecedented frosty year that we hadn’t seen in almost a decade.  With matching opening losses to Washington and dual “Aloha means goodbye” bowl game losses in Hawaii, it seemed like we’d gone back to 2007.  That’s where the similarities end though.  We’d just finished our first, and until 2013, our worst year in the Coach Pete era.  This April brings a renewal.  The Bryan Harsin-Era brings a rebirth.  And, on April 12, 2014, me and 13,821 Bronco fanatics got our first look at it.

There is a buzz around the Boise State football program that is noticeably different that it’s been in recent years.  Coach Harsin has done that by being the opposite of what Coach Pete was (this isn’t an indictment on Coach Pete.  To each his own.).  He’s accessible and he makes sure that his staff is. He lets us in on the program in ways that we haven’t been used to.  Coach Harsin is an Idaho boy and most of us can identify with his mannerisms and the way he speaks his mind.  I only bring this up because the electricity around Bronco Stadium was palpable.  The last time I felt that personally was when College Game Day was on campus.  And it wasn’t just a grown up event. It was a family event. Bring Dad Bronco, Mom Bronco, Brother, Sister, & Baby Bronco down and get some sunshine and football in your Saturday. It was a perfect day weather-wise.

Inside Bronco Stadium, the crowd was amazing. The goal was to get 20,000 fans out.  It was a lofty goal and I was pretty sure by the way people were filing in that we’d get close.  Obviously, I was a little incorrect as to my estimation but I think that it the Nation showed good form.  In comparison, the University of Michigan only had just over 15,000 fans at their Spring Game in a stadium that holds 109,901. I say we shoot for a sellout streak that starts with our first home game and goes on in perpetuity.

As far as the Spring Game is concerned, I’ll give you the laymen’s analysis. I am in no way an expert in college football and I can only give you my opinion on what I saw. A good friend once said “I’m not a reporter, I’m a writer.” and I fully identify with that statement.  Also, I do realize that Coach Harsin and his staff have not fully installed their playbooks, we have plenty of people learning new schemes, and there are some players that didn’t participate for various reasons.  This is in no way representative of what this Bronco team is fully capable of.

What is better than starting a “game” off than a kickoff return for a touchdown?  Not really anything, I’m quite sure.  Ask Devin Hester.  Sure – it was the scout team that covering the kick and it didn’t seem full speed but the crowd seemed to enjoy Bryan Douglas taking it back for 100 yards. I know I did.  After that, special teams was pretty much an afterthought. No field goals were attempted.  The PATs were all made.  The punting was made interesting by the wind but the return game wasn’t really a focus.

The two teams were “Boise State” and “Broncos”.  Boise State was made up of the first team offense and defense and Broncos were the 2nd team.  Everyone else filled in.  In the beginning, it seemed like a huge mismatch.  The Boise State offense had the ball moving really well on the first drive with the big play coming on a 52 yard run by Shane Williams-Rhodes.  Jay Ajayi punched it in from one yard out two plays later.  That, and the kickoff return, was the only scoring of the first half.  The defense for Boise State dominated Broncos and Broncos settled in and held Boise State after the first drive (the names make it confusing, right?).  The second half was basically more of the same.  Defense dominated.   Boise State’s first drive ended with Dionza Blue picking off Grant Hedrick and Broncos were moving the ball with Tommy Stuart at the helm but a fumble stopped that drive.  The Broncos team did get their only score on a wheel route from Ryan Finley to Devan Demas for 82 yards while the Boise State team topped off their scoring on a 13 yard run by Shane Williams-Rhodes. We were treated to a bit of excitement with a final score of Boise State 21, Broncos 7.

So here are some observations/predictions:

-The offense still needs some work.

-Grant Hedrick is well ahead of Ryan Finley and Tommy Stuart.

-I think Finley will be #2 although Stuart looked more “on-point” to me yesterday.

-Jay Ajayi will get 75%-80% of the carries this year. Maybe more.

-Derrick Thomas will get more carries than Jack Fields and Devan Demas.

-Matt Miller will never have a regular game that resembles this Spring Game.

-Shane Williams-Rhodes will be utilized like no other Bronco ever.

-The future is bright on both offense and defense.

-Sometimes I state the most obvious things.

-Our defense will be better than expected.

-Statue Left will always-ALWAYS-be the greatest play ever called in history.

We, as fans of this great program, are lucky enough to be here for the rebirth.  We are in for something special I believe.  Does that translate into a perfect season in 2014? Most likely not.  Does it translate into great expectations?  Yes and that’s not a bad thing.  Judging on the way things went yesterday and the excitement of every fan that I know, the annual Blue and Orange Spring Game was everything that we hoped it would be.  Welcome back, football.  Welcome back, Bronco Nation.  Only 137 days until Ole Miss.

Next Gen Bronco Fans

Next Gen Bronco Fans

Brett Rypien Commits to Boise State

Back in December, not too long after Bryan Harsin began to #AttackTheFuture at Boise State, the Broncos landed a superstar recruit in Dylan Sumner-Gardner. Recruits of Dylan’s caliber are not in abundance in the college game, and in the past rarely did Boise State ever have a shot with such a recruit, let alone actually secure a commitment and get them to sign. There was no doubt, Marcel Yates hit a home run right away after returning to Boise with Sumner-Gardner. But this was no flash-in-the-pan…Eliah Drinkwitz upped the ante by landing 4-Star TE Chase Blakley. Then on signing day, 4-Star DE Jabril Frazier jumped on the bandwagon too.

These were not flukes. Harsin and his staff proved to be legit recruiters….and it didn’t take them long to make a major splash in the 2015 recruiting cycle.

Brett Rypien, a unanimous Top-10 ranked 4-Star recruit across all recruiting services, only Boise State’s second such recruit (Sumner-Gardner is the other), committed to Boise State on Saturday in Coach Harsin’s office right after the scrimmage that was made public to students, faculty, and staff. Rypien has accounted for around 8200 passing yards and is close to 100 TD passes in his high school career….that isn’t over with.

4-Star QB from the eastern side of Washington. Put up ridiculous record-breaking numbers. He wears #11. The similarities to you know who have us all grinning.

Sure, we can spit out the typical drivel…..”It’s a long time until signing day”, “Recruiting rankings don’t mean anything”, “He has to prove it” blah blah blah…..we get it, all that is true. But convincing an athlete of this caliber to come to Boise State shows just how special this new staff is, and how far our university and facilities have come. We have a history of being the little engine that could….its clear Harsin envision’s a bigger train.

Its a long ways until signing day, and hopefully we don’t have to wait until then to see Brett on campus. Either way, Boise State fans could not possibly be more elated to have Brett Rypien and his family joining #BroncoNation. Welcome to #BroncoNation, Rypien clan!!! (You too, Mark)

Let the fun begin….

#ATF #BleedBlue #RideTheLigthening

Getting Behind BTN Hall-of-Famer Scott Jorgensen

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Image Courtesy: http://www.mmaweekly.com/

Scott Jorgensen is a lot of things, a 3x Pac-10 wrestling champion, former #1 contender, BTN Hall-of-Fame inductee, and undoubtedly one of the most exciting fighters in MMA history. However, tomorrow night this former Boise State star could very well be fighting for his future in the premier MMA organization in the world, the UFC. Jorgensen is coming off back-to-back loses and loses in 4 of his last 5 bouts. And though many including myself would point to the fact that 3 of those 4 loses have come against guys who are either champion, former champion, or #1 contender’s, the UFC tends to have little sympathy or care about such things. The UFC is a cut-throat business where a losing streak often means walking papers.

There is no doubt Scott Jorgensen is aware of this fact. Overall, I am pretty sure he is probably tired of addressing these questions all together. My purpose in writing this article in fact is not even to rehash these issues over and over again. My point in writing this was to make Bronco Nation aware that one of our own is going into battle tomorrow and they should tune in. The fight itself will be on Fox Sports 1 between 3 and 5pm. But even if you can’t catch the fight don’t hesitate to send Jorgensen some well wishes on Twitter (@ScottJorgensen). Jorgensen is one of our own, he wrestled at Boise State, and still trains here today. He has opened a gym in Boise, and has spent a lot of time giving back to the community. It is time for Boise to support one of our own.

Good luck Scott, the Blue Turf Nation has your back!

Boise State Spring Football: Early Speculation

After months of anticipation, the Boise State Broncos finally hit the field in the last week. The coaching staff and Video Coordinator Chris Mitchell have treated Boise State fans to “Bronco All-Access” videos that give fans an inside look at how this new era is unfolding. Unfortunately for the local media, Boise State’s practices are closed off for the most part and not much info is getting out. Completely understandable of course, makes game-planning harder on Ole Miss.

However, the staff has been releasing a “player of the day” for multiple categories each practice, allowing fans to speculate without having seen the team practice.

First Observation: Derrick Thomas is coming on at the right time

Coaching chances can be a blessing for players who were not on the best terms with the previous staff when it comes to playing time. Derrick Thomas appears to be our first example of this. The Senior RB, who faltered a bit on the depth chart late in the season, has been labeled offensive player of the day TWICE in back-to-back practices. RB coach Kent Riddle had this to say about Thomas’ performance,

“Derrick has put together two really nice practices in a row,” said running backs coach Kent Riddle. “He showed some nice explosiveness and power on Sunday night, and caught the ball well out of the backfield for a couple of scores.”

Finding a good compliment to Jay Ajayi in the RB rotation is a goal the coaching staff has set, and Derrick Thomas appears to be making a name for himself early. It’s still early in spring ball, and a ton can change between now and August 28th, but D.T. has taken the bull by the horns so far.

Second Observation: Corey Bell is leaving nothing to chance

Marcel Yates pointed out not too long ago that the Bronco defense will be returning to a 4-2-5 set that will see the nickel spot return in the role former players like Ellis Powers and Winston Venable once played. This opened up a variety of possibilities, and I’m sure must have stressed out Corey Bell a little bit. Those who didn’t play much under Chris Petersen are elated to see a coaching change. It means they might play more! Former starters on the other hand might be a little worried about roster instability. Marcel Yates wanted to give Bell first crack at the spot, and it appears the first audition at nickel might be the last for 2014. In just three practices, Bell has won honors for Defensive player of the day, Ballhawk honors (twice), Special Teams player of the day. Its clear Bell is leaving nothing to chance, and he’s an early candidate to have a breakout year in 2014. Still early of course, but Corey has his eyes on the prize.

Third Observation: Ryan Finley making an impact?

My final bit of early speculation involves a QB…finally! Its been well-noted that the Broncos have very little to no depth at QB. Grant Hedrick is supposedly the only serviceable QB, and if he gets hurt we are doomed. Contrary to that, Thomas Stuart has been said to be having a good camp so far, albeit still learning. One detail that caught the eye of Bronco fans was that of Ryan Finley earning Playmaker of the day honors in the Broncos third practice. What this means nobody is completely sure, but it is encouraging to see that a QB other than Grant Hedrick is making plays in practice. I’m not ready to call Ryan Finley a dark horse to start at all, but if he continues to earn honors like that in the coming practices, you can bet #BroncoNation will go nuts over the RS-Freshman QBs progress.

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That is all for now, we’ll have more speculation and food for thought as spring ball develops. What do you guys think? Is Thomas going to be the #2 RB? Will Ryan Finley come out of nowhere and shock the fans, media, and coaches?

Remember Coach Harsin’s goal! Make Project20K happen! #ATF

Boise State Football Spring Preview

It seems like its been an eternity since Chris Petersen stunned #BroncoNation the morning of December 6th when it was announced that after years of speculation, he finally took another head coaching job. It only took a week for Bob Kustra and Mark Coyle to find their man to replace Pete, but it certainly didn’t feel that way to Broncos fans.

Since then lots has changed. Bryan Harsin and his young staff shocked Broncos fans by getting commitments from 4-star prospects Dylan Sumner-Gardner and Chase Blakley, showing everyone the kind of recruiting prowess and potential this staff has. Now that the recruiting games are somewhat over (at least for this recent class), the staff can finally pause their recruiting efforts to coach football! The Broncos hit the field for the first time under Harsin tomorrow morning, and unfortunately if you’re expecting a ton of news and updates from the local media, you will be a bit disappointed. Harsin is keeping things on the down low, possibly to keep the Broncos scheme anonymity intact until after the Ole Miss game.

Updates or no updates, the team will be practicing, and there is lots to sort out…..here are some things to keep an eye on this spring, and going forward into summer workouts and fall camp.

The QB “Battle” – It is natural that with a coaching change, every position is open for the taking. That said, Harsin and the coaches have made it clear that RS-Senior QB Grant Hedrick is the leader in the clubhouse. I know fans have a bad taste in their mouths about last season, and Grant was far from perfect, but he did some good things. Hedrick finished the 2013 season with a passing efficiency rating that ranked 23rd nationally at 150.0. Hedrick struggled with turnovers, often at bad times (ugh….that SDSU pick-6)…but 1825 passing yards, 22 total TDs, and 5 INTs in only 6 total starts isn’t exactly terrible either. Grant earned the right to be the “incumbent”. That said, nobody is guaranteed anything. Grant will have to fend off JC-transfer Tommy Stuart, who impressed fans with his highlight tape and has done nothing his entire life but exceed expectations. He won’t concede that starting spot without a fight. RS-Freshman Ryan Finley will attempt to compete as much as he can, but Harsin has warned that they’ll need to bring him along at a slower pace with Finley coming off of surgery. Put all that together, and the details suggest Hedrick will be a heavy favorite to win the job, but nonetheless fans will pay very close attention to the QBs come the spring game.

Will the future play-makers please stand up! – Jay Ajayi, Matt Miller, Shane Williams-Rhodes….fans know who the stars of today are on this Bronco offense. Jay and Shane however are already juniors and Matt Miller is a senior! The Broncos are in need of some future play-makers to step up and make a name for themselves. Unfortunately the RB depth behind Jay Ajayi is a little cluttered with Aaron Baltazar’s unfortunate departure (sigh). From Charles Bertoli, to Devan Demas, to Jack Fields, to Derrick Thomas…I swear all of these RBs have had bright spots, but none have solidified that #2 or #3 RB spot in the rotation much like Jeremy Avery and D.J. Harper did behind Doug Martin. You can take your pick, all of them have talent. But someone needs to stand up behind Jay Ajayi and establish themselves.

The same can be said for the WR position. Matt Miller and SWR were awesome last season, but whoa boy does production fall off a statistical cliff after those two. The Broncos cannot continue to rely solely on these two in 2014, or 2015 will present some serious concerns at WR. Fortunately, there are lots of talented candidates waiting in the wings. A.J. Richardson is one of the more highly rated WRs to ever commit to Boise State. Tanner Shipley and Thomas Sperbeck both impressed during last August’s fall scrimmage. Troy Ware had some good moments last season sans fumble vs. Oregon State. Much like the RB spot, the talent is there….but who will step up? Junior Adams will have a fun time sorting through this crew. With SWR taking it easy coming back from surgery, the opportunity is there.

O-Line depth to be tested – Also noted in Chadd Cripe’s linked notes from the Statesmen is the fact that Rees Odhiambo will sit this spring out as a precautionary measure. Meaning Marcus Henry will be the only returning starter from 2013 to participate this spring. Travis Averill, Mario Yakoo, Steven Baggett, among others come into spring with some experience. This is a very talented group who will benefit from lots of reps this spring. Winning football games derives from how you play in the trenches. If the Broncos want to hit the ground running on offense in 2014, this O-Line unit will need to gel quickly.

Can Yates fix the Bronco Defense? – Joe Southwick this, Robert Prince that…..Grant Hedrick that, Robert Prince this…..talk about the offense all you like, the reason the Broncos struggled in 2013 is because the defense took a tremendous step backwards. The days of abusing opponents upfront and suffocating passing games under a dominant secondary appeared to be a thing of the past. Marcel Yates said it was hard to watch film of last season. LOL You’re telling us……everyone struggled. Freshman LBs Tanner Vallejo and Ben Weaver provide optimism, and inserting more depth with Joey Martarano coming into the fold is exciting. But this entire defensive unit sucked. No getting around it. The secondary has come under a ton of scrutiny from media and fans. Whether it was a scheme issue or talent issue is what we’ll begin to unravel this spring with Yates taking over. The introduction of stud recruit Dylan Sumner-Gardner and many redshirt corners like Dionza Blue and Cameron Hartsfield to name a few, should light a fire under this unit. Nobody’s spot is safe. The secondary battle, more than any other group, should be intense as Marcel begins to rebuild this unit. They know what happened last season was not satisfactory. Time to fix it.

The Broncos lose very few starters on defense going into spring. In fact, only two really. Unfortunately, those two are Demarcus Lawrence and Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe. Outside of Armand Nance, nobody really has an inside track on the D-Line starting spots. Kamalei Correa, Gabe Perez, Beau Martin, among other DEs figure to fight for those spots. RS-Freshman DT Nick Terry was one of the most highly rated DTs Boise State has ever landed. Can he potentially be our next 4-year starter at DT? God I hope so. The Broncos desperately need play-makers at DT to stand up. Nance has been very good, but he cannot do it all himself. The Broncos need to be four deep. Can the likes of Taimatuia, Terry, Ash, etc. take that next step? To return to national prominence, the Broncos will need to recapture their dominant ways on the D-Line.

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Coach Harsin has challenged fans to break the 20,000 fans barrier at the spring game. The theme of this spring seems to be everyone needing to step up. The Broncos need young talent to step up at all positions, and the fans need to step up too. Coach Pete made it clear that things began to go stale here in Boise, even for him. The Broncos have every intention to kick this funk and fans need to do the same. We need to break that 20,000 barrier for the spring game and then attempt to sell-out every home game next fall. This is a team effort and we need to help this young team and staff as much as we can. There is a lot of mystery surrounding this 2014 Boise State football team. Lets start off things on the right note…

Go Broncos!!! #BleedBlue #Project20K

This Week at the Diggity’s – Episode 6 (I Was Stuck In A Bathroom In Sochi)

You may have heard about an American Olympian being trapped in his bathroom in Sochi. Contrary to those reports, it wasn’t Johnny Quinn, it was me. That’s where I’ve been. I know you’ve missed me. Well, maybe the column if not me. Anyways, TWatD is back and raring to go! Enjoy the misery.

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I’m sorry I haven’t been around in a couple of weeks. I can come up with a couple of excuses. Mrs. Diggity hasn’t been feeling all that well so I’ve been focusing on her well-being. I like to say that my weekly column has been preempted by the Olympics…I’m so proud of the Men’s basketball team. Big wins against UNM, CSU, and UNLV. They’ve moved back into almost being a bubble team. I’m cautiously optimistic….I don’t care that Miller Lite is in a throwback can. Unless you put a good product in that can, you’re putting a dress on a pig…I was really impressed with both the USA Men’s and Women’s hockey teams. And I’m glad that the women won the Silver. It looked like the men decided that Bronze wasn’t good enough and quit against Finland. If you don’t feel like representing the country 100% of the time, turn down the spot on the team…It’s good to see someone from ‘nsync doing so well. No. Not Timberlake. Congratulations, Joey Fatone, on your ad deal with Bosley Hair Restoration…Who was the first person that said “Let’s ski 50km and let’s put it on the very last day of the Olympics.”? If I was one of those idiots, sorry, elite athletes, I’d want a 31 mile ski race to be on the first day so I could recover for the Closing Ceremony….It’s fun to see my wife all hopped up on migraine medication trying to tweet. She’s not making any sort of sense. Epic….I’m confused with all of these diet and sensitive stomach dog foods. For heaven’s sake! Dogs drink from toilets and eat their own poop. How sensitive can their tummies be?…How do I feel about the Olympics? I watched them. Twitter and the 24 hour news cycle ruined them for me. And, for some reason, NBC Sports Network would show live events in the morning and then NBC would replay those same events as their prime time line up. Like we wouldn’t notice….Hey Subway is selling pizza now! What’s that? Flatizza? No it’s pizza. Don’t come at me with a pizza and try to tell me it’s not. Are you taking bong rips with Michael Phelps?…I’m not sure what to watch now that I’m out from under the bewitching spell of Bob Costa’s Double Sochi Pinkeye….NASCAR is back. Apparently so is Dale, Jr. I’m not a huge fan of racing. Probably because they aren’t ambi-turners (points if you know the movie)….Not a good look, Raymond Felton. How are you going to point a gun at your wife? Did she make you that mad? I realize the Knicks are that bad but wow. That’s really not a good look at all sir….If you don’t know your baseball history, please pray you don’t become part of Buck Showalter’s team. You may have to write a one-page essay about your lack of knowledge. But, really, who doesn’t know who Frank Robinson is (if you are a baseball fan)?…Why is anything that Aaron Hernandez does anymore relevant news? So he got in a prison altercation. He’s an alleged triple-murderer now and not a professional football player. He’s not news….Wednesday night was a bad one for both the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams. The guys never had a chance although Mikey and Ryan had great games.  The gals were down by over 20 and forced overtime but still came up short. We are all still behind you. Finish strong….And just when you thought there wasn’t anything left for reality shows to grab on to, along comes “Game of Arms”. You guessed it. An arm wrestling reality show. SMH….I have mentioned that I like watching boxing. Typically it’s Friday Night Fights. The fighting isn’t always upper echelon but Teddy Atlas has the right amount of crazy to keep me interested….I hate to say this but telling us where Tiger Woods is at in a golf tournament is the equivalent of telling us where Danica Patrick is in a NASCAR race. Pretty close to far from contention. At least Tiger used to be a champion. Right, Danica?…A commercial came on tv but I wasn’t really paying attention and the tag line was something about “…the Power of a Period.”. My first thought was about how classless are tampon commercials getting. It was a Metro PCS commercial. I’m dumb sometimes….I know I’ve mentioned farmersonly.com in my column before. Their tag line is “City Folks Just Don’t Get It”. I beg to differ. They do actually. They created the internet….Both the Men’s and Women’s teams took it to Wyoming this week. The Women had an easier time of it. The Men, on the other hand, decided to give the Cowboys get a 15 point head start. Way to chip away and get the win, guys….Here’s the soapbox moment of the week – There is no way in hell and breakfast that some people can like EVERY good team. That, sir or madam, makes you a bandwagon fan and you are a fraud. *Jumps off the soapbox*…The song of the week says it all.  Have a great week everyone! And, as always, GO BRONCOS!

 

What They Are Saying – Demarcus Lawrence

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Image Courtesy: USA Today Sports

Boise State has a tradition of proving people wrong. That tradition does not extend to just the football however. Every year the NFL combine seems replay a familiar cycle. It kind of goes like this.

1.) NFL Combine invites Boise State Player to attend.

2.) Said Boise State player accepts invite.

3.) Boise State player comes and blows everyone’s mind.

4.) Rinse, recycle, repeat.

This year, that player we are talking about is Demarcus Lawrence. Boise State fans already knew what they were getting when he was invited this year. But this is what NFL experts, and media are saying now that he is currently in step 3 of the cycle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, if you missed Demarcus run the coveted 40 yard dash, you can see it below.

The Writing Is On The Wall – Do Superstitions Help?

The only thing more agonizing than being a fan, willing their team to win while watching live, is being a fan, willing their team to win, and having to totally ignore the game because they’re convinced they have become a jinx. I had a good couple hours last night to ponder what exactly good it might do to be superstitious at all, since recently discovering that my eyeballs on a basketball game will cause the Broncos to lose.

Since all animals form habits, which can be construed as superstitions without magical thinking, it follows that from the first time that an ancient human hit a rock with a stick and laughed because it was fun, sports superstitions have likely followed. Lots of athletes have them – watch the next few times a Bronco is at the foul line and see if they have a very specific dribble/ball spin sequence that they follow each time. To this day I always put on left sock, right sock, right shoe, left shoe. I don’t do that because it’s fun, I do that because one time I performed really well after putting on my shoes that way. It’s lucky.

Scientific research has proven that superstitions can bring people a positive result. A few studies have been done, and it was concluded that while it’s probably not the superstition itself that is bringing good fortune, the power of confidence and positive thinking can improve performance. For example, a group of people being tested were in a putting contest. There was a group told that their ball was a “lucky ball,” and they regularly outperformed those who had a regular ball. People who carried talismans of some sort were able to surpass their unlucky counterparts on memory tests. People who were told that the person administering a puzzle test was crossing their fingers for the participant’s good performance in another type of hand-eye coordination test outdid the control group as well.

Fans can take this to extremes – lucky clothing, lucky food, and lucky spots on the couch. Like the ad told us, “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.” Last night, I was the basement guy on the Bud Light commercial, watching bad reality television and willfully ignoring my phone while the Broncos stomped on Colorado State in an epic show of threesmanship. I wasn’t alone – at least 3 of the awesome people who I follow on Twitter avoided the game for the same reason I did – fear of jinxing that win.

So why do we persist with these little actions, even when they probably will make no difference in the outcome? Because we believe in our team. Sure, third-party superstition so far has proved nothing whatsoever scientifically, but if it works first hand, and fan support can help athlete confidence, would it be so much of a leap to think that a few chumps doggedly hanging on to superstitious nonsense could help fans that are actually AT a game feel better about the team’s chances and therefore cheer louder?

I dunno, but I’m not going to test it. Y’all have fun watching the guys play UNLV on Saturday.  I am going to hide with a blanket over my head until my phone notifies me that the Broncos are still thundering toward their victorious destiny and the win has been secured.

This Week at the Diggity’s – Episode 5 (I’m Opening That 5th Snowflake As I Write This)

It’s been another week and I know you’ve been patiently waiting for another TWatD (My very own acronym for this fun little column.). I usually finish it up early Sunday morning and you get to start your week off right.  I’ve failed you when it comes to that. There’s no real reason besides the fact that I just ended up watching more Olympics coverage than I should have. Team Figure Skating and Cross-Country Skiing should never take up my morning. Regardless, here it is. Have a great week!

Here’s the first pet peeve of the week – people who spell Super Bowl as one word. I know. It’s a bit nit-picky but this game is close to 50 years old. Please figure it out, “football fans”….I am not quite sure whose idea it was to send Bill O’Reilly to the White House to interview the President during the Super Bowl pre-game show but I think it was an ill-conceived notion. No matter what your politics are, it’s a non-partisan day unless you’re a Seahawks or Broncos fan. You failed Fox….About the Super Bowl – Last episode I picked the Broncos to win 28 – 17. Boy was I wrong. I never expected a Peyton Manning-led offense to get dominated like that. The Seahawks deserved that win. Mrs. Diggity isn’t ever going to let me root for her team again….Papa John’s has a cheeseburger pizza now. That sounds kind of ok in theory. Now let the fact that there will be pickles on your pizza sink in. I’ll pass. Better ingredients? I say better ideas, Papa John’s…Speaking of food – no thank you, Subway, for a chicken enchilada sub with Fritos on top. That doesn’t sound like a sandwich. That sounds like a soggy-bread mess….There’s a University of Idaho commercial with a graphic proclaiming how great their Return On Investment over a fair amount of schools is.  I stopped the DVR just so I could make sure they didn’t slip Boise State in there. They didn’t. See for yourself….

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If you’re a child, don’t read this next part. I heard the same commercial on the radio a couple of times and I don’t know but giving someone a gift certificate for a massage and a facial doesn’t sound right even for Valentine’s Day….The first recruiting class under Coach Harsin has me, and the rest of Bronco Nation, so excited about this new year. They made casual fans into fanatics and that is awesome….For National Signing Day, I took a trip down to Twin Peaks to hang out. I was pretty disappointed. There were no signed pics of Fox Mulder anywhere. There were a bunch of half-dressed women and the beer almost froze into a slush in my beer glass. What kind of man wants to be distracted by all of that when they’re trying to learn about the newest recruiting class? (There’s no sarcasm font so you’ll just have to believe me when I say I was being sarcastic.) A big shout out to ESPN Boise for putting on their little shindig for LOI DAY. By the way, I met a lot of great people I had only “met” on Twitter so that was the REAL highlight….What can I say about the men’s basketball game against San Diego State? I think that says it all.  Finish the season strong, guys….I do not, repeat, DO NOT, ever want to see “Vampire Academy”. But “The Lego Movie” did come out this week. I’m excited for that….There’s no real American Idol moment this week. As horrible as it sounds, I like to see when the 15 and 16 year olds claim that their lives are over. No. Your life isn’t over. When you turn 41 and you work in a call center, talk to me. Gosh, I sound bitter….My favorite tv show is “The Big Bang Theory” and you may have heard a rumor that I had an emotional response to something that happened on that show. I can neither confirm or deny that I cried when Sheldon kissed Amy on this week’s episode….The 22nd Winter Olympics have started. Who’s excited? I kind of am. These are the sports that I don’t watch except for every 4 years. Well, I watch hockey on a somewhat regular basis.  And the X-Games.  But you won’t catch me watching figure skating, cross-country skiing, and probably not even bobsledding at all until the Games come on….Let’s hear it for Sage Kotsenburg on bringing home the first Gold Medal of the Games.  Not just for the United States but the whole Games. Put that in your babushka and smoke it, Russkies.  Check out this video out of Golden Boy being himself before the games….

I have tried to think of a song for the week. Usually, it has something to do with the main theme of the week but I probably am just going to give you something random. I hope you don’t mind. Shout out to all my old school hip hop heads!