Thursday’s With Raider: Week One


Editors Note: This is the first edition of Thursday’s with Raider.  Raider Ute is a Wyoming born Ute fan like myself and I essentially consider him a brother.  He’s also been a great and witty contributor to Hoyo’s Revenge from the beginning.  So sit back and Enjoy.  He’ll be here all season folks.

Raider Begins: My apologies for this being condensed and not as long as I normally write them, but after I got married last month, all of the free time I once had magically disappeared.  But if I may be so honest, I have been rather disillusioned with the wonderful world of sports for a little while now.  Consider:

–the Dodgers are probably going to win the World Series this year, and what better cherry on top for that event than for Yasiel Puig to become Kobe Bryant of baseball?  That is, of course, if he hasn’t already.

–a marijuana dispensary in Boulder created a “flavor” of weed after CNN’s Sanjay Gupta.  Why do I get the feeling that Peyton Manning will have cannabis named after him once Denver wins it all this year?

–the Raiders season will be some kind of 2-14 disaster.  If you have seen how bad this team is at important positions and how bad Matt Flynn (or Terrelle Pryor if Dennis Allen gets desperate) has been and probably will be destroyed, not to mention the fact that Mark will likely go through general managers the same way his father went through head coaches, let’s just say I’m going to be spending a lot of time with my wife this fall.  And that doesn’t even mention the fact that we don’t eve know where we’re going to play in 2014 either.  Preparing myself for my own personal football Armageddon where Mark sells the team to Philip Anschutz, moves the team to LA, names them the LA Avengers and removes any and all mention of the Raider name, is what I’m training myself for at this stage.

–and then, there’s the Utes.  Off and on this offseason, I’ve discussed a personality trait of mine known as “Pessimistic Ute Fan”.  One could intimate that I arrived at this mentality due to the fact that we have made ourselves an also-ran in the PAC, or it could be that I am now expecting every year to be like 2004 or 2008.  Whatever the case may be–and I have written about this in the past–I do think a lot of Ute fans get a very Eeyore-ish “we can’t have nice things” kind of outlook and it probably just took me a decade or so to come around to it.  Yes, I know the new football facility is a nice thing, but I just want to start winning in this conference and I just don’t want to have to suffer some kind of Tom Lovat era football.

As for this season, I don’t think talent will be as big of an issue as much as the fact that this a pretty tough schedule.  Between UCLA, USC, Oregon and Stanford, the Utes are going 1-3 at best are they not?  Arizona could still give this defense some problems, and then there is our bitter rivals in Boulder*.  Anyway, I’m already getting excited for the upcoming Warriors season and I never thought that would happen, so let’s get to this week’s games, shall we?

(*-Colorado really isn’t our “bitter” rival.  Yet.  Please use sarcasm on the Internet wisely.  Do not try this at home.  Thank you.)

MAC Responds: Thanks to a Thursday game, doctors apointment for my wife my child and myself and the day just getting away from me, I have the luxury of responding to you after last nights victory over Utah St.  First I hope you’re feeling better as it looks like we have a QB, a kicker and a team that can respond to adversity.  Maybe that 8-4 Kool Aid I was selling won’t be so deadly after all.

As for the rest, I guess I could go all bandwagon Dodger fan because my Angels have been an utter disaster.  But at least I still have Peyton Manning even if the Bronco’s Front Office can’t turn in a contract on time (Dumervil) or Von Miller loves weed.

If you saw any of USC last night, we have to be more excited about that being the 1, although my Lane Kiffin interviews might be over soon.  Right now I’m in the afterglow of last night and I think we’ll get to .500 against the group you named.  A guy can dream.

USC v. Hawaii

Raider: So write down for me some sort of scenario where Lane Kiffin lasts beyond the 2013 season.  I mean it’s not like they return a lot of star—-oh, yeah, Marquise Lee comes back…and so does Silas Redd…again, the whole “we can’t have nice things” thing.

MAC: Again I have the luxury of writing this after the fact, but USC looked the opposite of good last night.  KEEP HOPE ALIVE.

NAU v. Arizona/Nicholls St v. Oregon/E. Washington v. Oregon St/Wazzu v. Auburn

Raider: I’m grouping these four games together because games like these are the college football equivalent of the 1/16 NCAA Tournament games.  No one wants to look like a doomkopf by saying “don’t look now, but Nicholls St has a shot against the Ducks on Saturday”.  Which reminds me, is Appalachian State’s win against Michigan the closest college football will see to that or is that more of a 15 seed beats a 2 seed?

MAC: One question, could Auburn be crappy enough to make that a game? No I don’t think so either.  I actually had an offer of tickets to NAU-Arizona but I’m not cashing in a favor from my wife for that one.

Nevada v. UCLA

Raider: Until Jim Mora Jr. decides to prove me wrong or he takes over for Dennis Allen during the middle of the season, the Bruins are headed to the Pac-12 title game.  Brett Hundley strikes me as a rich man’s Travis Wilson, and you have to figure that they will find a way to beat Stanford or Oregon…eventually.

MAC: With USC looking as bad as they did last night, I’d have to say its UCLA or Arizona St. unless… (I take another sip of the Kool Aid) I think UCLA has some defensive issues, not that it will matter against the Kapernickless Pistol.

Boise State v. Washington

Raider: This has to be a quandary for you.  On the one hand, you have BSU, who may be heading into the 14th minute of their Warhol approved 15 minutes of fame.  Chris Petersen seems perfectly fine being the undisputed king of Boise, similar to folks in Provo wanting to chisel LaVell Edwards’s profile in granite on Y Mountain.  But then you have the Huskies, which I know you love like a child you haven’t had yet.  I’m not sure I want to take phone calls from anyone in my family if they find a way to beat Washington for a second time.  It might be the most obnoxious thing to come out of Seattle since those stupid Ryan Lewis & Macklemore songs that get stuck in my head all the time.

MAC: This is year five of the Sark era.  He’s 26-25 and 19-17 in the Pac-12.  Isn’t this a game that Washington simply has to win.  I mean if you can’t beat Boise by year five, don’t you have to wonder? Like if we’d lost last night, wouldn’t we all have had some serious doubts about Kyle today.  What if when Nick Saban returns to the NFL, Alabama calls Petersen?  What about and NFL team?

Northwestern v. Cal

Raider: The cheapest joke I have here is this one: what did the Wildcats say their philosophy was when asked if Cal could beat them on Saturday?  “No, they Kant!”  Anytime I come up with jokes like this, my wife looks at me, pauses, and says “there is something wrong with you”.  Yet, she still married me.

MAC: This is like the 1 percenter game.  Everyone involved will come out fine in life, so screw them.

Colorado v. Colorado State

Raider: In honor of this game, I feel I must mention that many years ago, CSU had an athletic director named Thurman “Fum” McGraw.  With all of the things we give credit to Chris Hill for, he doesn’t have “singer/songwriter” on his resume.  And so I present to you, “Fum’s Song”

I’ll sing you a song of college days, and tell you where to go.
Aggies, where your knowledge is, and Boulder to spend your dough.
C.C. for your sissy boys, and Utah for your times,
D.U. for your ministers, and drunkards School of Mines.

Don’t send my boy to Wyoming U. a dying mother said.
Don’t send him to old Brigham Young, I’d rather see him dead.
But send him to our Aggies, it’s better than Cornell.
Before I’d see him in Boulder, I’d see my son in hell!”

Okay, I don’t mean to belittle this, but I have a few questions regarding this song:

1) I’ve never been to Boulder, but there has to be other places to spend money in the State of Colorado.  I don’t go to Provo on purpose, but I also understand that it’s a difficult comparison to make.

2) You can tell this is from a different era, because of how Fum takes shots at Colorado College, DU and the Colorado School of Mines.  And I’m not sure how to define “Utah for your times” in this context.  Does it mean something like “you’re sitting in the Salt Lake airport because you missed your connecting flight to JFK”?

3) If you had said to your Dad in your youth “hey, I want to go to CSU!” would he have said “sweet Jesus my son’s a fairy?”

4) “Before I’d see him in Boulder, I’d see my son in hell”.  If the Peyton Manning Weed I foresaw earlier in this email comes to fruition and they do it just to annoy me for a decade, there are things in this world worse than hell.

MAC: My dad knew the Fum song but he used to change the lyrics to make them more pro-Wyoming.  As for my college decision, the Utah decision was taxing enough for him, if I’d decided CSU, it would have killed him.  I think older Wyoming folks like my dad are the only people who have/had an irrational hatred of Colorado St.  I mean I’m not sure Colorado fans hate CSU really.

As for the Boulder thing, it actually makes more sense today as Boulder is full of crafty shops that sell a lot of crap that now human actually needs.  Maybe Boulder was for rich folks then, and Ft. Collins smelled like Logan does now.

Utah State v. Utah

Raider: Yesterday I log onto Twitter only to find out through third hand info that USU fans are talkin’ noise and actin’ the fool.  In normal times, this would be something we as Ute fans could just laugh off and move on to whoever we are playing next week.  But these, my friend, are not normal times.

Take the knucklehead who said on Twitter yesterday that USU had “the best LB corps in the state”.  What if the unthinkable happens and USU beats us again?  What if that nob is right?  Do you see where Pessimistic Ute Fan has taken the reins here?  This is bigger than Independent George v. Relationship George!  Sure, Travis Wilson will start out the year in grand style, we may end up winning going away.  But Pessimistic Ute Fan just might kill me.

Maybe some Peyton Manning Weed will cure my mental illness?

MAC:  As I said, I have the luxury of writing this post game.  I will say around halftime I was starting to have some serious doubts.  But then a funny thing happened on the way to shame town.  We have a kicker and a quarterback.  I can now say I respect Chuckie Keeton, but I’m pretty sure Utah St. will fade when he leaves and the Gary Anderson era becomes more and more history.

As for Aggie fan saying anything, its best that reality hit them in the face now.  They were all out of hand.  Basketball will be here soon enough and they can go back to pretending they’re good at that sport.