Friday, October 26, 2007

0-2 is for sissies

Truer than a polygraph, walk with the big staff
But yo I got tricks up my sleeve you never thought I had
Do you like Muhammed Ali doing Liston
Take you to the cleaners like the pants that you pissed in...

Yeah, we're down 0-2. So what? A few big comebacks in Colorado sports history. Oh, and hit the f*cking ball!

1- The 1994 Denver Nuggets vs the Seattle Supersonics- Everyone remembers Dikembe Mutombo rolling on the ground with the basketball like he wanted to make sweet love to it. Few remember the actual series. The Nuggets went to Seattle as the #8 seed and were beat handily by the #1 seed Sonics, lead by Everybody's Daddy, Sean Kemp and a young, brash Gary Payton. Back in Denver for games 3 and 4, the Nuggets seemed a different team. Mutombo blocked everything in site, and Brian Williams held down the Sonic big men. Robert Pack keyed a quick offense and Reggie Williams knocked down everything in sight. The Nugs returned to Seattle and completed the series win, forcing Detlef Schrempf into his next career as Kurt Warner's wife.

2- The 1998-99 Colorado Avalanche vs the Detroit Red Wings- The Wings-Avs rivalry was in full heat, as both sides literally hated one another. All the combatants from the previous years' fisticuffs were present as the two-time defending Stanley Cup champ Wings' beat the Avs on McNichols Arena ice in the first two games. Game One featured an ugly boarding incident between Darren McCarty and Peter Forsberg. Back in Detroit, the Avs' chased Detroit goalie Bill Ranford on consecutive nights to even the series. Even Theo Fluery scored for the Avs with a Rum and Coke in his stick hand. With momentum firmly in hand, Patrick Roy backstopped the next two Av wins and sent Sergie Federov off to the womens' junior tennis circuit.

3- The 1994 Denver Nuggets vs the Utah Jazz- Coming off their historic upset of the Sonics, the Nuggets entered their second round matchup with the Jazz and appeared to be out of gas. Karl Malone and John Stocktons' nut huggers ran pick and rolls around the Nugs in the first two games in Utah and they came back to Denver and won a closer game three. In game four, Reggie Williams hit a last second jumper to avoid a sweep. Mahmoud Abdul Rauf finally played up to his billing back in Utah for Game five and the Nugs stole one like a bad Mormon stealing a sip of beer. Big Mac was in a frenzy as Brian Williams lead the Nugs in Game six to an improbable win, forcing Utah into a game seven. Although the Nugs fell short in the final game, they extended the methodical Jazz and it showed in their WC Finals, which they lost to eventual champ Houston. (note: Houston had lost the season series to Denver; Mutombo played excellent versus Hakeem Olajuwon and the Nugs matched up very well with the Rockets- I still believe the Nuggets could've beat the Rockets in that WC Final.)

4- The 1986 Colorado Buffaloes football team- The Buffs opened the 1986 campaign with high hopes, as coach Bill McCartney had installed the wishbone in 85 and gone to their first bowl game in a decade. But an opening home loss to Colorado State and three additional non-conference losses left the Buffs 0-4 entering Big 8 play. The Buffs rebounded a bit, beating Iowa State and Missouri before #2 Nebraska came into Folsom Field. In one of those "program changing" games, the Buffs jumped the Huskers and their red sweater wearing, acid washed (although maybe acid washing didn't hit Nebraska until five years later) sporting faithful, 20-10. The Buffs' cruised to a 5-4 record before another top ranked team came into Folsom, Oklahoma, with the Orange Bowl berth on the line. Oklahoma won the game, but the Buffs rallied to win their finale and advance to the BlueBonnet Bowl. The season set the table for the "golden years" of Buff football; high powered recruits like Alferd Williams, Mike Pritchard, Eric Bieniemy, and Darian Hagan followed and in four years the Buffs had a National Championship.

5- The 1987 AFC Championship, Denver Broncos vs Cleveland Browns- If your covered in mud, facing thousands of screaming weirdos, and being pelted by dog bones you aren't at Michael Jackson's house. But that's where John Elway and crew found themselves down by a touchdown and 98 yards away from the end zone in 1987. What followed everyone knows: Elway lead the team to a TD, and the Broncos won in OT (although some think Rich Karlis' OT winner didn't not clear the uprights.) Even a real creative name was born: The Drive. I guess, "The plays down he field to tie the game" wasn't catchy enough. The Broncos were on their way to the Super Bowl, Broncomania was reborn, and Pat Bowlen showed the world how a man can rock a full length fur coat.

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