MILE HIGH MONDAY

Long-time Buffs fans have one thought: Thank you, Coach Prime

Sep 4, 2023, 10:48 AM

The Colorado Buffaloes kicked off their college football season in a big way over the weekend. Let’s hope the Denver Broncos can do the same thing this upcoming weekend as their season begins with a home opener against the Las Vegas Raiders.

I like when college football has kicked off and pro football is ready to get underway. It’s a special time as a sports fan, and it seems like there’s always something to look forward to.
I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep Wrangler TJ! The following is a result of those trips during the week.

Buckle up, let’s take a ride through my thoughts.

***

Thank You Deion

I love Deion Sanders. I always have, and I always will. Ever since he was with the Atlanta Falcons and “Prime Time” was born even earlier than that at Florida State, I have been a fan of Sanders. I loved him so much that I bought his rap album in the mid-90s four times (cassette, two compact discs, mp3)! So when Sanders was hired as the head coach at the University of Colorado, I was over the moon.

There has been plenty of hype around the Buffaloes since Sanders was hired. The Buffs have a “cool” factor now with Sanders running the show, but the naysayers kept shouting from the rooftops that it didn’t matter if the team didn’t win when the season began. Well, Sanders’ Buffaloes were almost three-touchdown underdogs against TCU but came away victorious on Saturday by a score of 45-42.

This win had everyone in their feelings. The haters were going on and on about how TCU played in the National Championship Game last year, but they were waxed by Georgia and lost 17 starters before this season. They just can’t give Sanders credit. Instead, those doubters keep making excuses even though CU shocked the college football world with their victory over the Horned Frogs.

I was in my feelings because for the first time in a long time, I had FUN watching the Buffs. I’ve been a fan of CU dating back to the 90s when I was in high school. In the six-man state championship, I wore Sal Aunese’s name on my wristbands and cleats. I was inspired by the likes of Alfred Williams, Mike Pritchard, Eric Bieniemy and the team that won it all back in 1990. I remember where I was when Kordell Stewart hit Michael Westbrook on the Hail Mary play against Michigan. I’ve got so many great memories of cheering on the Black and Gold, but it’s been about 20 years with none of that.

In one Saturday, those feelings returned – and I just want to say “thank you” to Deion.

Beating TCU was amazing – and I don’t want to get greedy – but winning in Boulder against the Nebraska Cornhuskers would be even better. Just know I believe…and you should too.

***

Defining a Rivalry

In addition to being Cornhuskers week for the Buffs, it’s Raiders week for the Broncos. This rivalry used to mean something when both teams were good – and even great. However, since the Raiders moved from Oakland to Las Vegas, things have not turned out in favor of the Broncos. In their final game as the Oakland Raiders, the Broncos beat them in their place. Since then, the Broncos have not won against the team now residing in Las Vegas.

So, how do you define a rivalry when it’s been one-sided over the last few years? Well, it may make some upset, but this is not a rivalry like it used to be. The Broncos have to at least get one win against the Raiders before we start calling this a rivalry again. The Raiders aren’t great with head coach Josh McDaniels trying to prove that he is a good head coach. The Broncos have the ability to be much better under Sean Payton, but it’s time to get it done on the field.

The Raiders are going to try and run the ball down the throat of the Broncos’ defense with RB Josh Jacobs. Denver needs to be ready for such an attack. On the flip side, the Broncos must contend with an incredible Raiders pass rush working against OT Garett Bolles and OT Mike McGlinchey. If they can protect QB Russell Wilson (more on that in a bit), by helping their tackles out, I think Denver can come out on top. A win to open the season will get this rivalry back on track.

Payton will have his team ready. The Raiders are in the same boat as the Broncos – they are fighting for respectability in the league’s toughest division – but I feel the Broncos have many advantages. They have a better quarterback, they have a better defense, and they certainly have a better coach. Like the Buffs won close against the Horned Frogs, I think the Broncos will win close against the Raiders in Week 1.

***

Please Stand Up

Last week at Broncos practice, I was frustrated. Don’t get me wrong, I saw some good football, but I wasn’t able to report anything I was watching per Broncos’ media policy. The last week of practice before the regular season is always frustrating as training camp (and the laxer reporting guidelines) is over, and we get to see them practice like they do in the regular season. Now that the regular season is here, I will see the Broncos practice, but that’s more individual drills and some walkthrough drills.

Last week, I saw the real Broncos, and they were quite different than they were the week before. That’s not only because this team is getting sharper in what they’re tasked to do, but mainly because they were actually running their offense. This wasn’t the watered-down version we saw in camp and the preseason, the Broncos looked like the Payton offense you remember from the 2021 season with the New Orleans Saints.

It was great to see what the team is going to look like during the regular season. They were sharp in their execution of the plays, and there are going to be wrinkles and designs that Payton has not yet shown with Denver. I’ve seen them before with the Saints, and it is fun to see the Broncos working through their version of the Payton offense. Some fans had questions about the Broncos offense in camp and the preseason. I believe those questions can be answered when you see what Payton has been cooking up behind the scenes.

Will the real Broncos offense please stand up (please stand up)? I have a feeling that against the Raiders, fans will see something different than they witnessed during training camp – just like I did last week at practice.

***

Vatos Locos Forever

I have always been a big fan of the movie “Bound By Honor: Blood In, Blood Out.” It’s an absolutely epic movie about Latino culture in Los Angeles back in the 80s. For Mexican culture, this movie depicts what many Latinos and Latinas had to go through after they came to the United States of America.

I won’t give the movie away, but it’s a story of three brothers bound by blood – two biological brothers and their cousin. The brothers are Mexican, and their cousin is Chicano (half white, half Mexican). The journey these three take together, and the changes for each character are full of triumph and tragedy. As a Chicano myself, I find a lot of truth in my personal journey and my family history within the frames of this movie – and I’m not the only one.

The New York Film Festival is going to honor “Blood In, Blood Out” for the 30-year anniversary. I can’t believe the movie has been out that long, and I can’t believe it’s not available on any streaming services or available to purchase on digital platforms. To see this movie, you have to either watch dozens of clips on YouTube or purchase the DVD. That’s what I had to do, and I was glad to buy it because it’s one of my favorite movies.

What is one of your favorite movies that is not on streaming or digital? Hit me up on social media and let me know!

***

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Long-time Buffs fans have one thought: Thank you, Coach Prime