No Apologies

I would like to start my essay on not apologizing … with an apology.

Saturday morning, I got up to write my essay for the 2017 Rocky Mountain Showdown. Writing a post-game article on CU football games has been a ritual of mine since the start of the 1996 season, so it’s hardly a new routine.

There have been some games when I dreaded having to sit down to rehash the Buffs’ effort from the previous day (Montana State in 2006 immediately springs to mind), but there have been certainly been other games when I have relished the opportunity to revisit and delve into the minute details a CU victory.

Saturday morning should have been one of those times.

After all, the Buffs, after spending a long off-season hearing about how they over-achieved in 2016, and how they would fall back after losing eight defensive starters, held an opponent without a touchdown in an opener for the first time since 2010 (also CSU, 24-3).

After all, the Buffs, after spending the previous week hearing about how great Colorado State had been in their 58-27 thrashing of Oregon State in their opener, and seeing the betting line go from eight points this past spring to three points at kickoff, won by two touchdowns, 17-3.

And every, and I mean every, victory over Colorado State is to be enjoyed, if for no other reason than not having to hear it from the Ram Nation (and Denver media) for the next 51 weeks.

But CU’s 17-3 win over the Ram did not bring with it that same sense of satisfaction. It was almost as if, sitting down Saturday morning to write about the game, that I was writing about a loss.

The essay, “We’ll Correct It. We’ll Move On“, was, in itself, almost an apologetic reaction to the game. Yes, there had been several questionable calls go against the Rams. Penalties which called back touchdowns. Penalties which had a direct affect on the outcome of the game.

Sorry about that effort, college football world.

Sorry the Buffs didn’t do a better job on offense. Sorry that the Buffs didn’t take advantage of opportunities in the second half which could have allowed the Buff Nation to rest a little easier late in the game.

I tried to justify the seemingly lackluster performance by the Buffs by pointing out that other Pac-12 teams, while victorious, were also less than stellar in their opening games. By pointing to the explanations/justifications/rationalizations of other Pac-12 coaches for a “not-as-good-as-expected” performance, I was explaining/justifying/rationalizing CU’s win over Colorado State.

It wasn’t an upbeat essay, and it should have been … and for that I apologize.

The muted celebration of the Buffs victory over the Rams brought back memories of the 1991 Orange Bowl.

Sure, Colorado beat Notre Dame, 10-9, to claim its first national championship.

But … the CU offense only scored ten points in the game, and the game was, by any objective standard, boring.

But … the Buffs almost lost the game on a punt return for a touchdown by Rocket Ismail, only to have the Notre Dame winning score called back on a penalty.

Buff fans went to sleep that night not knowing whether CU would be crowned national champions, even though CU came into the Orange Bowl ranked No. 1, and won the game.

But … CU was 11-1-1, and no team had ever won a national title with two blemishes.

But … CU still had the lingering effects of the Missouri “5th down” game casting a shadow on its accomplishments.

The next day, sure enough, the celebration was muted when Colorado won the AP vote, but lost the UPI Coaches title by one point to Georgia Tech (thanks to Mr. All-American, Mr. Clean Cut mid-western values Tom Osborne, who voted the Buffs No. 6).

We didn’t get to enjoy a convincing win in the Orange Bowl.

We didn’t get to enjoy a unanimous vote as the No. 1 team in the nation.

We spent our time … explaining, justifying … apologizing.

We’re doing the same thing with the 2017 Rocky Mountain Showdown results. Instead of celebrating, we’re explaining, justifying … apologizing.

To Hell with that.

The Buffs won the game. The final score was 17-3.

If the Rams didn’t like some of the calls, they could have walked off the field and forfeited the game.

Both CSU coach Mike Bobo and CU coach Mike MacIntyre refused to point to the officiating at the deciding factor of the game. “Our standard is “E-D-G-E”, said CSU coach Mike Bobo, “and the last ‘E’ in that standard is ‘Excuse Free’. Don’t make excuses, or have others make excuses for us. We didn’t win the ball game. We didn’t come here to do what we wanted to do”.

“Calls can go either way all the time,” said MacIntyre. “I’ll watch it on film. You never complain about officiating. We have a quote on the walls at CU: ‘No excuses. No regrets.’ You have to just keep playing.”

It may just be coach-speak, but there is certainly more than a thread of truth there.

There’s an old saying, made popular by “Dandy” Don Meredith in his stint as a commentator on ABC’s Monday Night Football decades ago: “If ‘if’s’ and ‘buts’ were candies and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas”.

Get over yourselves, Ram Nation (and Denver media). Are you really trying to argue that the only thing standing between the vaunted CSU offense and 58 points against Colorado was the officiating? Any chance that perhaps – just perhaps – the Colorado defense had something to do with your team not reaching the end zone?

Colorado State had four major penalties in the game which called back big plays. In the game, the Ram offense ran a total of 80 offensive plays. What stopped the Ram juggernaut on those other plays?

Sure, the Buffs could have played better. Sure, the offense struggled for much of the final three quarters (apparently, fan favorite Darrin Chiaverini called the plays in the first quarter, while co-offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren took over after that. Love that logic).

This just in … CU won the game!

I give you Herm Edwads, then coach of the New York Jets …

In my first essay for the 2017 Rocky Mountain Showdown, I gave advice to Buff fans who were to be facing Colorado State fans in their office come Tuesday.

I gave you book and verse on the history of the rivalry … CU has won three straight in the series … Mike MacIntyre is 4-1 v. CSU at Colorado (6-1 all-time, counting two wins while at San Jose State) … CU has now won 8 of the past 11 Rocky Mountain Showdowns, is 11-6 in games played against the Rams in Denver, 22-8 since the series resumed in 1983 … and owns a 65-22-2 mark overall.

Yada. Yada. Yada.

I would like to add to that advice.

For those of you who have attended games against Colorado State in Denver, you are familiar with some of the chants coming from the student section. Some are vulgar; some are creative (e.g., “If you can’t go to college, go to State!”).

After victories, as fans are making their way down the vast ramps of Sports Authority Field, the CU Fight Song is often heard. There is also a chant, one which I give you to tell your CSU friends and co-workers (and to do so without apology):

“It sucks, to be, a CSU Ram! … I say it sucks, to be, a CSU Ram! .. I say it sucks, to be, a CSU Ram!”.

The Buffs are undefeated; the Rams are not.

No apologies required.

—–

 

11 Replies to “No Apologies”

  1. I’d like to hear about the 2 consecutive calls made against our center before he’d snapped the ball on either one! We were backed-up and this put CU near it’s goal line. Those struck me as odd calls as well, but they haven’t been mentioned by the press or CSU.

    1. Yo DenverBuff,
      You can add in that non-call when Montez was hit late out of bounds. I watched several games this weekend when the call was made if the players first foot had just touched the sideline, yet Montez was beyond the sideline when he got hit and no call. Also, Buffs had a long gain called back for a penalty way away from the play. All I hear are birds chirping and sour grapes from CSU and the idgets at the Post.

      Mark
      Boulderdevil

  2. Well said Stuart!!!

    PAC 12 went 12-0 this past week, NOT a single other FBS Conference can make that claim!! No Apologies Needed or Offered!

    Buff’s are 1 of 11 PAC 12 schools still with a chance of going undefeated this year! No Apology.

    As stated, Buff’s beat the Rams, NO Apology EVER!! So, Ramnation when you finally earn your sheepskin, You(sp) too can GET a Life. GO Buffs!!!

  3. Yo Stuart

    Nice

    Buffs

    MOVING ON

    GO BUFFS

    1-0

    Gonna be 3-0

    Offense please don’t be overrated

    Oline please don’t be overrated

    Defense please be underrated

  4. Yo Stuart,

    No apologies necessary.

    The key to this game and this season is the defense. Defense wins championships. It’s how the Buffs won the Pac-12 South last year. I feel much better going forward after holding the Rams and their loudmouth fans to 3 measly points.

    For those counting, the high powered Rams have scored a total of 10 points in the last two meetings. Yeah, right, it must of been the referees.

    Surely, since they can’t beat us, they are rationalizing that the Rams are averaging more than 30 points a game to CU’s 17. So, therefore, they must be almost twice as good, right? If it just weren’t for those pesky games where they lose to CU at 4 or 5 times the rate of the betting line, everything would be perfect.

    Look at the bright side Ram fans, in two weeks you’ll be 2-2 if you’re lucky, and then you can get back to playing the other wanna-be’s in the Mountain West and pretending you deserve to be in a Power 5 conference.

    There was lots of big talk from CSU and Wyoming going into the weekend. Combined, the big dogs of the Mountain West scored a total of 6 points while getting smoked by Colorado and Iowa. You know, by the real schools in real conferences.

    Go Buffs.

    Mark
    Boulderdevil

  5. Hey Stu, in response to your rhetorical question (since you know I like answering rhetorical questions) “Colorado State had four major penalties in the game which called back big plays. In the game, the Ram offense ran a total of 80 offensive plays. What stopped the Ram juggernaut on those other plays?”

    It was Jim Leavitt. Had to be, right? Bwaahahahahahahahah.

    Go Buffs.

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