Two controversies dominated the sports landscape this week to the point of almost exhaustion: the LSU-Odell Beckham Jr. fiasco and the Houston Astros (and by proxy the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets) sign stealing scandal.
Clearly, both stories are full of jeer-worthiness. But the Colorado Rockies didn’t really make it close to the World Series in either of the past two years and OBJ’s shenanigans don’t really affect the Denver Broncos or any Front Range college team.
So, let’s focus on the abundance of things to praise and criticize that happened this week in our own back yard.
CHEERS | The Avs finally get off the schneid
With a brilliant effort against the San Jose Sharks, Philipp Grubauer stopped 27 shots for a shutout Thursday, ending the Colorado Avalanche four-game winless streak.
With a 4-0 victory, the Avs, hopefully, will put a forgettable week behind them — one wherein the team blew third-period leads in back-to-back home games that turned into overtime losses.
Here’s to Thursday’s result being a sign of things to come for Colorado rather than an aberration.
JEERS | The Pro Football Hall of Fame voters
With 10 shots to right one of the biggest wrongs in professional football, the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters failed on a level of epic proportions by not selecting Denver Broncos Ring of Fame linebacker Randy Gradishar for enshrinement with the 2020 Centennial Class.
Pro Football Reference has a metric that measures a player’s likelihood of earning a spot in the hallowed halls in Canton. And among those rankings at No. 12 sits Gradishar, higher than Hall of Famers Willie Lanier, Harry Carson and Sam Huff.
Gradishar is one of 10 linebackers in NFL history with seven Pro Bowl selections, 20 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries. The remaining nine are Hall of Famers.
The best player on the vaunted Orange Crush defense, Gradishar is one of five players who earned at least seven Pro Bowl nods during his NFL tenure (1974 to 1983). The others? Hall of Famers.
But, by all means, let’s elect a few more Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, because they’re definitely not well (or overly) represented.
CHEERS | Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton
At least some good news befell the Broncos this week, as wide receiver Courtland Sutton earned a trip to the 2020 Pro Bowl as an alternate for Houston Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins.
Sutton, who led the Broncos with 72 receptions for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns, is the first receiver in team history to earn a Pro Bowl nod in just his second season.
With Sutton’s selection and Phillip Lindsay’s nod last season, Denver’s 2018 rookie class is just the second in team history to feature multiple Pro Bowl players within their first two NFL seasons.
JEERS | The Colorado Rockies 2020 offseason
OK, so let’s push aside the fact that the Rockies haven’t really done anything this offseason. That’s a topic all of its own.
But, specifically, two big things stand out as worthy of jeering: the continual trade rumors surrounding all-star third baseman Nolan Arenado and the potential alienation of all-star shortstop Trevor Story.
The hot stove kicked up a few notches this week regarding Arenado’s future in Colorado, especially with former MVP Jos Donaldson signing a four-year deal with the Minnesota Twins.
Perhaps more frustrating, though, is that Story and the Rockies are headed to arbitration over $750,000. The star shortstop filed at $11.5 million while Colorado did so at $10.75 million.
It seems like an unnecessary risk for the Rockies to potentially upset Story over less than $1 million, especially if his partner on the left side of the infield may very well be on his way out of Denver.
CHEERS | Front Range college basketball
The last week has been good to the CSU Rams and the CU Buffs on the hardwood.
First, on Wednesday, Colorado State blew away one of the top teams in the Mountain West Conference, the New Mexico Lobos, by 33 points. On the night, the Rams landed 19 total 3-pointers, besting the school record of 17 set in 2000, on a ridiculous 68 percent from behind the arch.
Then, on Thursday, the 20th-ranked Buffaloes took down Arizona State on the road after having lost its previous six games in Tempe to the Sun Devils dating back to Colorado’s first season in the Pac-12 conference.
CU will look to break and 0-7 road streak against Arizona on Saturday.
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