2-It’s a Clinch. A nippy Fall day game in October set forth another Rocktober as it saw the Rockies beat the Brewers 9-2 and clinch their second Wild Card in three years. Rockies’ pitcher Aaron Cook pitched a decent game versus a stout Milwaukee lineup before giving way to a lights out bullpen and the Rox erased a 9 ½ game Wild Card deficit the team faced in May.
3-Beat LA. The Nuggets headed into Game Four of the Western Conference Finals down 2-1 but realistically could’ve been up 3-0 or even 2-1 after some misplays on inbounds plays. They responded to a crazy crowd by throttling the Lakers and evening the series. The Nuggets and JR Smith out hustled, out rebounded, and out worked the Lakers all night with an ailing Melo and his stomach.
4-Standing Pat. The Donks surged to an early undefeated record but a chorus of “who have they beat” hung over their heads. Enter the Patriots into a throwback Invesco Field and a come-from-behind win over McD’s former employer left the mustard and brown home team at 5-0 and the young head coach practically break dancing on the sideline.
5-Cut Cutler. After getting all whiny and bitchy about the coaching change new head coach McD traded Cutler, his bad haircut and bad attitude to the Bears. In return the Donks got current QB Kyle Orton, some draft picks, and a healthy new hatred for the Bears’ QB.
6-Crashed Hurdle. With the Purp struggling in the first two months of the campaign, the Brothers Monfort gave Clint Hurdle and his soul patch the old heave ho. His replacement, Jim Tracy, stabilized the clubhouse and lineup and lead the Rox to the postseason with a 71-36 record and won the Manager of the Year award.
7-Can-a-shan. If any coach in the NFL seemed eternally safe in his job, it seemed Mike Shannahan was the one. Pat Bowlen thought otherwise, as he canned his twice Super Bowl Champ coach (although sent him packing with major bucks) and installed Josh McDaniels from the Patriots as the whiz kid hoodie sporting head coach.
8-Rock Chalked. For one day, it was a damn good time in Boulder. The nationally ranked Kansas Jayhawks came to town and met newly installed QB Tyler Hansen and a frenzied crowd (thanks to a late start and - ahem -“pregaming.”) A few iffy plays and late heroics sent the visitors home with a loss and CU one of their three wins and a spat of hope for an other wise miserable season.
9-Tip Drill. The Broncos went into the opener in Cincinnati with zero expectations for the season. Over the next 59 minutes the Broncos’ D played hard, limiting the Bengals until late in the fourth, until the home team made what appeared to be a game winning drive. Enter a last gasp pass to Brandon Marshall tipped by the Bengals, caught by Brandon Stokley and taken to the house for the game winner.
10-Late Night Spilly. The Rox were in the thick of the NL race going into an August series vs the Giants. The teams went into extras before the Giants took a 4-1 lead into the 14th inning. The Rockies improbably loaded the bases with walks, a hit batter, and a pitcher getting walked before a run walked in. Then Ryan Spilborghs uncorked a grand slam that had announcers, remaining fans, and the team simply euphoric.