“Win the Whole F**kn’ Thing”

The past few years, it has seemed like the Colorado football program has had more than its share of bad breaks.

With the Davis Webb saga finally playing out – adversely to CU’s wishes – I couldn’t help but recall a line from one of my favorite sports movies, Hoosiers. New head coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) was finding it difficult to find converts to his style of play in the little Indiana town of Hickory. Opal Fleener, mother of Hackman’s love interest in the movie (played by Barbara Hershey), had this memorable line:

“Sun don’t shine on the same dog’s ass everyday, but, mister you ain’t seen a ray of light since you got here”.

It certainly seems like the Buffs have been walking around with a dark cloud hanging overhead for what seems like forever. Recall some of these headlines from the past ten years:

– “ ‘Quite simply, it was one of the worst losses in CU history’ ” … Montana State 19, CU 10 – September 2, 2006

– “We waited nine months for this?” … Colorado State 23, CU 20 … September 6, 2009

– “The end of an error?” … Baylor 31, CU 25 … October 16, 2010

– “Dead Dan Walking” … Kansas 52, CU 45 … November 6, 2010

– ” ‘I feel bad that I don’t feel worse’ ” … No. 21 USC 42, CU 17 … November 4, 2011

– “The Shirt of Shame” … Sacramento State 30, CU 28 … September 8, 2012

– “Five Stages of Grief” … Fresno State 69, CU 14 … September 15, 2012

– “Beaten like a red-headed step-child” … Arizona State 54, CU 13 … October 24, 2013

– ” ‘There are no moral victories’ ” … Oregon State 36, CU 31 … October 4, 2014

– “A Brick Too Far, Part II” … Hawai’i 28, CU 20 … September 3, 2015

There are other such headlines. As we all know too well, there have been all too many other such headlines since the last time CU had a winning season in 2005.

It seemed, though, that with Davis Webb coming to Boulder for his senior season, that the sun was coming out again in Boulder. Webb would lead an offense with a stable full of talented running backs and wide receivers, an offense rejuvenated behind new offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini.

Oh, well.

Now, the Buff Nation will be subjected to another June and July filled with preseason magazines bemoaning CU’s chances of a winning season. Where there was once cause for optimism, with reason for pundits to speculate about a resurgence the Buff program, it will now be all too easy to once again put a series of “L’s” next to CU’s schedule.

Still, all is not lost.

First and foremost, all signs indicate that Sefo Liufau will return to play in the 2016 season.

CU strength and conditioning coach Drew Wilson said there have been no setbacks in Liufau’s recovery to this point.

“From my standpoint and from what I do, we’re progressing,” Wilson told the Daily Camera. “From what I’ve seen, there’s no hiccups in our plan and we’re going to move forward and he’s not complaining of anything.”

In the weight room, Wilson said Liufau has been able to squat and do full clean-and-jerk lifts, proving that the foot is getting stronger.

“The fact that he’s able to squat and do Olympic lifting is a good sign,” Wilson said, “because one is stationary strength and one is a dynamic strength/speed movement and both can tell you a lot of things on whether a guy can handle force and impact on his foot.”

Almost as important is the expected return of offensive tackle Jeromy Irwin. A junior, Irwin figures to get his starting spot back in the fall. He started 11 games at left tackle in 2014 and then started the first two games there last season before suffering an ACL injury.

“He’s doing really well,” MacIntyre during spring practices. “I’m excited with what he’s done. He’s just bigger and stronger.”

Irwin is expected to be fully recovered by August. After playing at around 285-290 pounds in the past, Irwin is up to 309 pounds in his 6-foot-5 frame.

The return of Irwin could turn the Buff offensive line from a liability to an asset.

We could spend more time going up and down the projected lineup (and we will over the next three months, believe me), but what concerns me the most here in May is how the team is taking the Davis Webb news.

There are few arenas in sport in which momentum and the psyche play as large a role as they do at the collegiate level. There are no logical explanations for results like Appalachian State over Michigan or Chaminade over Virginia. It’s all heart and will … which is why you see inspirational tweets out of offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini and defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt on an almost daily basis.

So … How will the Buffs take the news that Davis Webb has spurned them for the Bears of Cal?

For the past three months, Webb was a Buff, and talked up his commitment to Colorado.

“I’m very excited to be a part of Colorado football,” said when he committed in January. “I felt the best fit and situation for me would be at Colorado”.

Webb helped to recruit other players to Boulder, came to CU on his spring break, and said all the right things – “I really feel like this place is a sleeping giant that’s about to get back to where it should be and needs to be” … ““I wish I was there right now (he said upon returning to Texas Tech after his spring break). “You go to Boulder and see the Flatirons … it’s a little more scenic view in Boulder than it is in Lubbock” … “I love the Buffaloes and I want to be the quarterback for the 2016 season”.

There are two ways for the Buffs’ locker room to go.

Assuming Sefo Liufau will be back, will the psyche of the team be down? Having lost out on Davis Webb, will the Buff players see Liufau as the player who can lead them to a bowl, or a player with two Pac-12 wins in three seasons at quarterback?

Will it be: “Here we go!!” – with the Buffs playing with a chip on their shoulder?

Or will it be: “Here we go again” – with the Buffs resigned to an 11th-straight losing season?

Let’s hope it’s the former. Let’s hope the CU locker room is a bit like the locker room of the “Cleveland Indians” in the movie, Major League. In the clip below, the team has just learned that their owner not only doesn’t want the team to win, but is taking measures to ensure they lose (so she can move the team to Miami). The players have been told that they are not considered to be of major league caliber, and that, after the team finishes in last place, they will all be released or sent to the minors (I apologize for the profanity, but it’s been that kind of a week):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCxkEPlVLzs

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7 Replies to ““Win the Whole F**kn’ Thing””

  1. I am reminded that Webb was beat out as the starter at TT and that transfers rarely achieve what is expected (especially one year transfers). While I have the greatest of respect for Cal as an academic institution, I am reminded that the Bears lost their veteran receivers. My best guess is that Webb will struggle with Cal’s new receivers. In addition, I have to believe that the number one pick in this year’s NFL draft has left an extremely large shadow.

  2. win the whole f’in thing! Love it. That s the attitude we need. Bring on the movie montage of the offseason. Our guys bustin tail! Get the film team that has been making the great buff videos.

  3. great post and to the point . I have to believe that the Buffs will come out swinging but the season will really test these Buffs this year.

  4. Like all Buff fans I am starved for success but even if it is a full 40 years of wandering in the desert I will maintain my alleg1ance and support. Its not just about football for me. I won big time by attending CU. I wouldnt trade my college experience for all the corn in Nebraska or all the….uh…whatever there is in Alabama.
    But I digress. In my view you have this whole thing backwards Stuart. It is exactly that desperation for success that blew this whole Webb thing way out of proportion and overrated him to the point of being a messiah. I dont think Webb is anywhere near as good as advertised and I dont really care for the concept of a one year mercenary.
    I cant speak for the current players but I know how I would feel if I was one. I would consider it an insult that we needed some golden boy who was actually looking for a home because he was riding the bench and thought he could rake in the big bucks by coming over to save our skin. Add into that
    any bonding the players had with Sefo and there might have been a little resentment that Webb picked up on that might have factored somewhat in his decision.
    California has always been the light at the end of the tunnel for people looking for a new start. It would be even more fitting if Webb was from Oklahoma.

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