This Week at the Diggity’s – Offseason Episode #1 (Into the Abyss)

Sorry about the lack of a column last week. I got caught up in holiday festivities and basically that’s my only excuse. It’s been a busy week for Bronco Nation. A Fiesta Bowl win, Jay Ajayi leaving for the NFL (we knew that was coming), & Mike Sanford not leaving to be the OC at Ohio State (thank goodness).  Now we wait. We’re in the great void between the end of the season and Letter of Intent day.  Hold on, Bronco fans.  We’ll be ok.

Great job to the Broncos for winning the Fiesta Bowl. I had no doubts but I was worried just a little bit

FiestaBowlChamps

 

The wifey and I decided to catch the premiere of “Worst Cooks in America” There is a guy on the show that has six fingers on his left hand. I tweeted about it. I wasn’t rude or anything but that guy favorited my tweet. I don’t know if I’m horrified or not… I woke up Sunday morning and heard that Stuart Scott had died. I don’t really have an inspirational story as to why he meant so much to me but I honestly bawled my eyes out. It hurt me like it did when Tony Gwynn died…  I wouldn’t be a good chef because my knife skills are dangerous. Not to others. To me. I’m surprised I have fingers left… We tried quinoa for the first time. It looks kind of odd and tastes like nothing. So it’s obviously healthy… It looks like someone has started a petition on Change.org to change the state bird of Oregon to the mallard duck. The beaver is already their state animal. I wonder when TVCC will want the chukar to be considered… Jimmy Fallon had puppies predict who the National Championship Game winner would be. One of the pups peed in the Ohio State bowl of food. I think, by default, Oregon wins (the majority of puppies chose UO)… Degree has a “dry spray” now. What exactly is a dry spray? That seems to me like its nothing but a can of air with a scent. You’re paying for nothing, people!… I’m not the biggest Oregon fan (or not one at all) but I think they are too fast tempo-wise for Ohio State. I think the Buckeyes used all their juju to beat ‘Bama. The Ducks win the Natty, 45-20… Two of my favorite shows are back on now, “Archer” and “Portlandia”. The humor is absolutely different on both shows but I appreciate it just the same.

I usually use the song of the week to suggest how we should feel.  I think the song this week is a pretty good representation of that. We’ll make it through the offseason just fine.  Only 4 months until spring ball.

I’ll try to keep a consistent weekly column going even though football season is over.  We do have our basketball teams going and both should be doing well.  There should be Bronco news abound, right?  Have a great week.  If you can’t wait to get some Diggity’s vitriol, follow us on Twitter:
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Fiesta Bowl Legacy – In Photos

We are lucky as fans, we have seen 3 of the best Fiesta Bowls any fan base could hope for. Not to mention, we have won all 3 of them. Here are pictures from each game to relive these historic moments.

QB Fiesta Legacy

2007: Zabransky 2010: Moore 2014: Hedrick

Legacy RB Fiesta

2007: Johnson 2010: Martin 2014: Ajayi

WR Fiesta Legacy

2007: James 2010: Young 2014: Sperbeck

DB legacy Fiesta

2007: Tadman 2010: Thompson 2014: Deayon

Coach Fiesta Legacy

2007 & 2010: Petersen 2014: Harsin

Celebration Fiesta Legacy

Why This One Was Special – The Coaches Bleed Blue

635523439815040361-USP-NCAA-FOOTBALL-BOISE-STATE-AT-WYOMING-68949140Take out the records, take out the stats, take out the implications for the program. Seriously take all of those things out, and this one is still special. Perhaps even more so than the previous two Fiesta Bowl wins. Before this season however I would have never even thought that possible. Then, I rushed the field, I heard Harsin speak after winning the MWC Championship game, and it all started to line up. This season really meant everything to this program. And maybe to the outside world this is just another bowl game, another moment Boise State upset the big boys. But when you listened to Bryan Harsin on the mic after winning another Fiesta Bowl, you knew this one was special for a lot of different reasons. This game keeps Boise State relevant yes, it keeps Boise State in the discussions for all those important topics like expansion, and playoffs. But more than that, this was a win by a bunch of guys and coaches who truly “bleed blue”.

After the game was over on TV, I quickly went to my car to listen to the post game show. I am glad I did, because everything I was starting to believe about this game, this win, was solidified when Mike Sanford was interviewed by Bob Behler. The emotion that ran throughAnne-Marie-Sanford-2014-3-425x425 his words was palpable, his tears of joy noticeable, even on the radio. He stated it made him proud to sing HIS fight song, to represent the school that “made him a man”. It was these words, this emotion, this understanding that very well might have saved a program. These coaches instilled the values that make Boise State special. From day 1, this coaching staff knew that to be a Bronco, you have to work hard, have that blue collar mentality, and earn everything that is presented to you. This is a program that has continued to rise despite all the odds, and this game, this season was no different. That is why this game was so pivotal, why this win matters so much, why these coaches are so important, and why this Fiesta Bowl win is so special.

Congratulations players, coaches, and Bronco Nation! Have a Happy New Year, and enjoy the win!

BTN Predictions: Fiesta Bowl vs. Arizona

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Derek

Here we are.  Game day for the Vizio Fiesta bowl has arrived, and I can not believe we are here.  Before the season began I thought we had a chance at a NY6 bowl.  After the Ole Miss loss I was still optimistic.  Then came the Air Force debacle and I thought all hope was lost.  But what do you know, Harsin gets our team on a run and we are back to where all the magic happened in 2007 and 2010.

This game is a tough one to predict.  I can go off all the stats and look at the match-ups and go from there, but it seems like all that goes out the window during bowl season.  At this point I think the most prepared and focused team will win. Based on everything that I am hearing about Boise State, I think they are that team. The Bronco defense will struggle to slow down Arizona, but the Wildcats will have the same problem stopping Grant Hedrick, Jay Ajayi, SWR and The Weapon. I do think it will be close though.  Vegas says Arizona will win by 4 with a score in the mid 30’s for both.  I say the same but with Boise State edging out a win on a late field goal.  Boise State 34 Arizona 31

Noel

This will be my last time this season, and this calendar year, to get this right.  I’m going to agree with Derek on this and say it will come down to the more focused team.  The Broncos have run off 8 straight wins and the Wildcats just took a beating from Oregon.  I think that translates to the field 3 weeks later and causes an incredibly slow start from Arizona.  They won’t survive the initial deluge of awesomeness and will succumb to a final collegiate dose of the Jay Train being forced down their throat.  Final score – Boise State 42 Arizona 27

Tami

This game is going to be stupid close. The match-up is a nightmare. The teams are both highly focused, very talented, and capable of winning this. It’s going to come down to want and preparation…and Boise is a dangerous group of young men when they want to win and have nearly a month to get ready.

Hold on to your sombreros and flat screens, boys, this is going to be just as wild as the rest of the Fiestas. There are many touchdowns in our collective future! Boise wins a close one with an epic final college performance by both Grant Hedrick and Jay Ajayi. Broncos – 49, Wildcats – 48

 

Heath

Last prediction of the season, and I don’t know where to start. I feel like this game is going to be close, I feel like this will emulate Fiesta’s past. The 3-5-5 is a thorn in Grant’s side that he has one more shot to fully conquer, question is will he? I hope so, and I think he will have a solid game. I actually think the game rests on Grant’s arm and not Ajayi’s legs like many believe. Jay is going to get touches, what he does with those won’t decide the game unless he goes off on a historic fashion. The thing that will decide this game is whether or not we can convert 3rd down. I think we will, and I think we win this game and take home our 3rd Fiesta Bowl Trophy. My final score – Boise State 28 – Arizona 17.

Gage

Oh joy! It’s finally here. The match up previews can only contain my anxiousness for so long and my usual limit is three. Then I start thinking … I am tired of talking about, can it just be game day already. No.More.Talking…. It.Is.Go.Time !!!

I am skeptical to believe that Grant Hedrick can carry us through a game of this magnitude. I should have no reason to believe he can’t do his consistent performance from the past 8 games, but turnover Grant looms in the back of mind and I always fear he may reappear. With just about three weeks to prepare for the Broncos, I can guarantee Arizona has their defense ready to stop Jay Ajayi at all costs. I don’ see Arizona allowing the Jay-Train to beat them, thus placing the burden on Grant’s shoulders. If Grant is able to be turnover free and continue his stellar play as of late – we win. If not – we lose. I truly think it is simple as that. So… closing my eyes and throwing all my chips in on Grant Hedrick. And it wouldn’t be a Boise State Fiesta Bowl if a trick didn’t alter the game somehow. *wink wink* to you Mr. Sanford. Boise State 31 Arizona 27

 

Arizona’s Blue Home

Boise, Idaho – my birthplace and where I spent the first four years of my life. It’s where my families from and where my parents grew up. Yet, I never had the chance to call it home or truly invest in it.  My parent’s jobs’ took us away from Boise shortly after I turned four. I remember crying as we packed up and left. Of course I was just a little kid, so I may have been crying because my parents said no to stopping at McDonald’s. Who knows. Either way, next stop … Oregon.

It would have made sense  for me to be a Duck fan; we lived a mere 5 minutes away from Autzen Stadium. You could nearly see it from our house. We heard the roar of the crowd on game days. Green and yellow painted the town. Duck pride was strong and well spread and I …. could care less. As a little kid I was not enamored with football or the Ducks. My life was basketball. I lived it, breathed it, and spent all my time doing it. I was a Portland Trailblazers fan and my passion for sports lied there. Just four years after moving to Oregon, my family and I had decided the dreary and wet Eugene climate was not for us. Why not move to the state with the complete opposite weather?

Phoenix, Arizona was my new home and where I’d unknowingly spend the next 14+ years of my life. I was raised in Phoenix, a city that has a population of more than 1.5 million people, a state that has a pro team for every major sport. The similarities between Boise and Phoenix are faint and the differences are apparent. Despite spending more than three quarters of my life here, I have never felt Phoenix to be my home, just where I currently reside.

After leaving Boise I continually visited once a year during the summertime until reaching high school. My knowledge of BSU was minimal, the only information I possessed: my mom attended college there and the football field was blue. With each passing year my appetite for football grew exponentially as so did my curiosity for Boise State. Every time I visited, I felt myself gravitating closer and closer to becoming a Bronco fan. It didn’t take long to realize that Boise and Boise State are one in unison. A feeling I longed for.

Phoenix didn’t provide the hometown sports feel and still doesn’t. Arizona natives are few and far between; of those natives, the ones that cherish Arizona sports are even harder to find or may not exist. It is more common to locate diehard sports fans that enjoy ridiculing the likes of the: Suns, Diamondbacks, Coyotes, Cardinals, Arizona State, or Arizona.

The onslaught of blue and orange at my arrival every summer had me hooked. Boise residents paraded around their pride and joy ­­- Boise State – with unconditional love. Conversations began and ended with the Broncos: Did you see who we got for next year’s recruiting class?  What did you think of last week’s game? What bowl do you think we’ll go to this year?  I was flabbergasted that educated sports conversations existed between complete strangers. You can understand how this caught me off guard if you caught a glimpse of my typical sports conversation with a Phoenix resident: Me – Can you believe the Cardinals have 10 wins?  Them ­­­­­– The season started? …..

Despite having a plethora of pro teams and two Pac-12 universities at my disposal, I naturally cling to the Broncos. There is no overwhelming reason for me to be a Bronco fan and every reason to favor an Arizona school, but the fan base, the hometown feel, and the little school that could mentality swayed me to bleed blue.

The context I have included above has little to do with me and is just background information to the central thesis: Boise State is special, everything about it. ‘The Blue’ is special. The Bronco fan base is special. The culture is special. All of which is undeniable at this juncture. Bronco Nation is widespread and gaining more and more supporters each year. Boise State attracts an array of fans from all over that can’t help but respect what the Broncos have been able to accomplish without the funding or resources your typical ‘power conference’ school receives.

I like many others, ranging from many states, fell in love with everything BSU embodies. The iconic blue field paints the image, but it does not tell the whole story. The behind the scenes of Boise State and its blue collar attitude is a fantastic representation of BSU’s rise to success. As other storied programs have had their major highs and low since 2000, Boise State has been a model of consistency; winning the right way. The Bronco way.

Needless to say as the Broncos prepare to take on the Wildcats; my allegiance with Boise State will stand strong. On the 31st my family and I will be decked out in orange from head to toe at the Fiesta Bowl.

What do you say Bronco Nation, let’s paint Arizona orange. My blue home intends to.