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!

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.

Jeron Johnson, Ryan Clady heading to the Super Bowl

Two former Boise State players are heading to the Super Bowl.  Jeron Johnson of the Seattle Seahawks and Ryan Clady of the Denver Broncos will both be making the trip to New Jersey for Super Bowl XLVIII which will be played on February 2nd.  Unfortunately neither will play as both of their seasons were cut short by injuries, but they get to soak in the festivities and one of them will earn a ring.

 

 

The two will join Rolly Woolsey (Cowboys, 1976), Markus Koch (Redskins, 1988, 1992), Quintin Mikell (Eagles 2005), Kimo Von Oelhoffen (Steelers, 2006), Daryn Colledge (Packers, 2011), and Korey Hall (Packers, 2011) as Boise State players to have played in a Super Bowl.

Koch, Oelhoffen, Colledge, and Hall all won Super Bowl rings.

Good luck to Ryan and Jeron – Bronco Nation is excited for you!

Accepting Goodbye is Bittersweet

Thursday, 12/5-

The coaching frenzy had just begun hitting full stride and my undivided attention was solely to Twitter and any other form of media able to relay instant information. By now, Broncos fans were well-trained to know that anytime a coaching position opened,  Pete’s name would be tossed in, no matter the likelihood. Early in the day, news struck that Coach Pete might have interest in the newly vacant Washington job. UW’s opening was due to a chain of events resulting in the former Washington head coach accepting an offer to his dream job at USC (Southern California). Much like any other head coaching job that has had rumors linked to Pete’s name, I was confident, but had the lingering fear of “maybe this is the one.”

As the day rolled on, more and more rumors surfaced from various outlets stating they had sources confirming Pete was interested, others contradicted it. But one thing was certain, Washington was interested. By late afternoon the rumors were quickly jolted to a higher level—leading to what would become a series of unfortunate events. The speculation was an interview had been scheduled. Coinciding with the rumors, my anxiety was gradually gaining. My biggest fear being a tweet or a sudden Sportscenter clip, stating- BREAKING NEWS: Chris Petersen has accepted a deal to be the next Washington Huskies head football coach.

As evening came, the next rumor brought life into some Bronco fans and took it away from others. It was all but assured at this point Pete was willing to listen to what UW had to offer. Now it was more a question of–was he listening or was he just hearing. Obviously the latter was what we hoped, and hindsight is always 20/20, but I should’ve known the potential outcome. News broke that Washington had sent a private jet with two members of the university’s athletics department hoping to sway Petersen into jumping ship. At first glance of the news, I suddenly became tense, saddened, and filled with irrational thoughts as if I had just been broken up with and didn’t know how to bear the news. Slowly I cooled down and managed to ‘woosah….woosah’ myself until I regained my composure and fully gathered my thoughts. Once again only devoted to Twitter, a few tweets from other Bronco supporters helped me translate the news and spin it into a positive. If Coach Pete isn’t going to Washington and is making them come here—why worry? If he was truly interested, he would fly out there and interview on their terms and their campus. Some might definitely call that foolish or even naïve. Maybe, but at that point, any reason to think the unspeakable was NOT going to happen… was surely enough for me to find it valid.

Bronco Nation patiently waited for an update on what had transpired in the interview. Those of us still awake were on pins and needles, hoping to hear a resounding “All clear”, similar to what you’d expect from a soldier after clearing out an empty room.

Boise State reporters turned into spies, staking out at the Boise airport as if sudden news broke that Santa Clause was making a surprise visit. The writers, reporters, and columnists were all looking to find any tidbit of information that could indicate whether Pete was gone or was yet, once again, refusing a formidable job offer. While it unfolded rather quickly, the angst made the meeting’s length seem more than double. Only two hours after landing in Boise—Washington reps were on their way back home, Coach Pete, not along for the ride. The glimmer of hope suddenly started to shine just a tad bit more.

The last of the news was enough for Bronco fans to sleep with ease.

We had reportedly won; Coach Pete was in fact just hearing what Washington had to say and ultimately decided to stay a Bronco…. Another team had failed. Boise State, ONCE AGAIN managed to retain their phenomenal coach and even better leader for at least one more year. Until of course, the rumors emerge again, next year. As Boise State fans all over the country went to bed that Thursday night, we felt nearly invincible. Teams can pry and pry to get our head coach but—he was a Bronco—not a Husky, a Trojan, or anything else, only a Bronco. It was seemingly impossible to not be more partial to Coach Pete. In an era where loyalty in sports was no longer existent, Chris Petersen was defying the norm year in and year out. We bled blue and so did he.

 

Oh….

 

 

The reason lengthy careers in sports don’t usually begin and end in one place is simple, because… it is a business. Easily forgotten and more often chosen not to be remembered. We as fans love the stories where a player or coach refuses to leave their hometown team, first team, or team with a long tenure, etc., just because they couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. Unfortunately, that is uncommon and more special than it is customary. Thus, alluding to why those who manage that feat are often remembered as legends and a sports version of a hero.

Friday morning served as the heartbreak Bronco Nation had long dreaded, we lost the legend in the making. And while it was quick and almost painless—truly, it was entirely the opposite. Those who woke up bright and early that morning (such as myself) were greeted, half-awake and squinty eyed with the jarring news. My prior mentioned biggest fear was now a reality—Chris Petersen was gone before I could ever truly soak it in. He had decided to take the next step in his career and depart for the University of Washington.

Bronco fans all over were in utter disbelief. Traumatized of what we all thought could happen someday, yet never truly foresaw, just happened right before our very eyes. The most predictable question came rushing into my head like a freight train, WHY? It’s different when players come and go. They already have a predetermined shelf-life when introduced and there is no changing that. Coach Pete didn’t, his occupancy was infinite, free of charge. One can almost picture Boise State and the city of Boise saying, “Stay as long as you want, take whatever you need, just stay. Promise us you will. Do you promise?” Guilty of desperation, but no doubt, we all would have said it.

I promise.

The national speculation prior to Pete leaving was that Boise State is on the decline, reached their peak, and will falter to succeed at a high level, ever again. With Pete gone, we might as well go back to being a junior college, set our own time bomb and quickly self-destruct. Thankfully, any time bomb in Boise at the moment would freeze itself dull before any destruction occurs.

Surely, Coach Pete deserves enormous praise for everything he has done as Boise State, and his record speaks for itself (92-12), but now it is time to move on. Change is never easy and is always feared; especially when it’s forced upon, therefore, making it twice as difficult. Now, Boise State is faced with another challenge, and certainly should have the ‘Boise State chip on our shoulder’ we’re all accustomed to.

Fiesta Bowls and trick plays may have put Boise State on the national map, but that’s not where it began. Prior to Pete’s days as head coach, the Boise State foundation was being built from the ground up. Boise State was rising the ranks from a little junior college in Podunk; Boise, Idaho, to a quality D1 program. The groundwork was laid by leaders who saw a bigger picture of excellent people off the field rather than just a product on it. Boise State wanted good people before good players, which in turn, ended up leading to excellent players and frequent wins.

Boise State burst onto the scene in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Winning had now started to become a constant. Recognized only by its blue turf, the Broncos were building towards the future and doing so in a time where mid-majors were an afterthought. Boise State was changing the landscape of college football; they just didn’t know it yet. Throughout their rise to success, Boise State stayed focused on specific principals that would present the Broncos in the proper manner. Boise State was building the blue-collar image.

Dirk Koetter was the first to get the ball rolling. He was the Broncos Head Coach from 1998-2000, the beginning years of Boise State’s evolution to dominance. Koetter went 26-10 during his tenure with Broncos. He was the launch that led to the BOOM that was 2000’s for Boise State football.

Next was Dan Hawkins, Hawkins was hired to work under Koetter’s staff and then was promoted to head coach after Koetter left for Arizona State University in 2000. Hawkins posted a remarkable record in five years at Boise State. He was 53-11 and led the Broncos to multiple bowl games. Hawkins moved on to Colorado after the 2005 season and left Boise State in a situation of paranoia similar to today. The Broncos and the fan base were rattled. What had been an incredibly successful run for Boise State was possibly about to poof….. Welcome, Coach Pete.

Petersen was the offensive coordinator at the time and filled the “next man up” mantra, perfectly. The greatest of the three by far, but each one equally contributed to the overriding theme, leaving the Broncos in a better state than prior to their arrival.

Flash forward to 2013, the Broncos are still here, pushing to better themselves on and off the field; still standing by the same fundamentals a decade later. Only difference now is the recognition that comes with winning. Boise State has received the shiny equipment, fancy buildings, Nike contracts, and ESPN deals. Certainly, Coach Pete had an enormous impact on making Boise State who it is and why it is as successful as it is today, but the blueprint was already in place, he just put the cherry on top.

The Broncos have been prepared for this moment, as they’ve experienced it before. Boise State is ready to once again prove their worth, and continue the tradition of success.

Chin up, Bronco Nation, neither plateaued nor peaked is a word used here at Boise State.

 

Welcome, Coach ________, you’re turn.

 

 

Bleed blue.

No Need for 5 Keys- This Week it’s About the Seniors

Normally I would sit down and write about the “5 Keys” to the game, Boise State vs (insert opponent here). But this week, there is just no need. Not that New Mexico can’t beat Boise State, anything can happen… Just ask Fresno, (sorry had to do it). But tonight it is more NCAA Football: New Mexico at Boise Stateabout the 16 seniors who play their last game at home. No, this season did not go the way we had all hoped it would. But tonight, none of that matters. What matters tonight is that these men who dedicated their blood, sweat, tears, and lives to Boise State get to leave the way they came to the Blue. With excitement, celebration, and of course a win. This team has a chance to to end the season with another undefeated season on “The Blue”, a shot at another bowl game, and who knows if Wyoming pulls off the upset maybe a shot at the Mountain West Championship. No, this team did not compete for a BCS bowl this year. But if they can can protect “The Blue” one more time, and enter a bowl game things really aren’t that bad.

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Image Courtesy: usatoday.com

For each person, this class will present different memories. For myself, I have a couple that come to mind. First, I think of Kellen to Kirby, Moore to Moore, not a particular play, but just how much fun it was to watch those two play together when they did. It is a rare thing when you get to see family play together in college football. Even rarer, when those two players end up meaning so much to your program. For Kirby, I am sure it was and is not easy being Kellen’s “little” brother. But together, they forged a path that will likely never be recreated. Kirby was a part of the Fiesta Bowl, he had 4 catches that game, and for his career he has never had a season with less than 20 catches.

The Second memory that comes to mind is Gabe Linehan and his flexing of tattoos in Moscow. Gabe has had somewhat of a injury plagued, silent statistical career while at Boise State. However, few have been louder with their looks and energy when they put on the blue uniform. And when he played Idaho (a team his family is heavily connected to) he let that energy show in 2010. He had one 1 catch for 21 yards that also went for a touchdown. In that game he made his famous gesture showing off his “Wild One” tattoo which pays tribute to his father and former Vandal, Ron Linehan. Whether it was pre-game warmups where you can see Gabe headbanging in the huddle, or up in Moscow scoring a big touchdown. Gabe’s energy will always be something I remember.

With that, I leave you with this. There are no need for 5 Keys this week because in the end the Bronco’s should win easily. These seniors have one last chance at home to protect their sacred home-field. And no matter how you feel about this season as a whole, that is something pretty special. I hope if you read this, you have a chance to think back to your favorite memories with this group of seniors. GO BRONCOS! BLEED BLUE!

Follow Me on Twitter: @HeathBTN

 

Broncos in the NFL Week 10

Here is how all of our former Broncos did last week.  Unfortunately, Doug Martin was placed on season ending injured reserve, so we wont be seeing him any more this year.  Chris Carr was re-signed and played significantly for the Saints against the Cowboys.  Click a thumbnail to start the gallery.

Broncos in the NFL week 9

Here is how our Broncos fared in the NFL last week.  Click a thumbnail to start the gallery.

Broncos in the NFL week 7

Sad news as it looks like Doug Martin will be out for a while.  Here is how all of our former Broncos did this week.  Click on a thumbnail to start the gallery.

Broncos in the NFL week 6

Here is how our former Broncos performed in week six of the NFL season.  Click a thumbnail to open the gallery.