Saturday, September 29, 2012

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 180 - Warm Greetings from the Napkin Making Machine

Everything was turning up Craig's way this week as he won club level Broncos seats, was preparing for a trip to see the Wildcats next week, and was weighing in at his lowest weight in years...naturally he was excited. 

The Whale filled in as the most regular caller of the week with Face unavoidably detained, and indiesarah helped out by providing the hurt Packer fan's perspective on the Monday night Green Bay robbery in Seattle as we did the Magnificent Seven - Top 13 Most Ridiculous Replacement Referee moments. (Doing 13 items in a 7 item list feels like a fitting tribute to the men who determined that Monday Night's game was a Seahawks win.)

We then welcomed in Face halfway through the show and handed out tickets to deserving wankers as well as providing a Man of the Match award to Kim Constantinesco of for allowing Craig to win Broncos-Raiders tickets. 

 The show wound down with a very important and seminal flatulence discussion and then a wonderful story about an old man's garden. We then wrapped up with a musical recommendation of two songs from Mumford & Sons new album "Babel". The two songs were "Broken Crown" and "Below My Feet".

Monday, September 24, 2012

Random Broncos Thoughts - Game 3 - vs Texans

Texans 31 Broncos 25

I'm not ready to give up and throw in the towel, but let's just say the early returns on the Peyton Manning era are less than favorable. Make no mistake, for the first three quarters plus today, Manning was cover-your-eyes awful. His arm strength just isn't there, so the defense doesn't respect the deep ball causing the entire offense to jam up. The running game is doing him no favors by averaging 2.8 yards a carry today, and the downside to going to a no huddle is that if you end up going three and out...your defense gets thirty eight seconds to rest before going back out on the field without enough time to rest or strategize.

Manning's mind still seems very sharp, and his decision making seems as exceptional as ever, however his body just is betraying him. Despite my hopes that he'd be all the way back, it seems fairly clear that he's not. The Broncos have made it quite clear that there is no Plan B, so a suddenly nervous Bronco fanbase is now left hoping that the rust will shake off, that the problem is correctable with more playing time and not a thirty-six year old quarterback at the end of his run. I wish I had the answer to the question of how much is left in the tank, but only time can answer that question. As a Broncos fan, I can just sit back and hope. And I'm not ready to stop hoping, as there was so much promise in the opening win against Pittsburgh.

While things feel bleak three weeks in sitting at 1-2, let me make it clear that I do not believe that all is lost. Consider that these two losses came to two of the remaining three undefeated NFL teams. (Unbelievably, the third is Arizona.) The schedule doesn't get easy, but it gets easier. And although it is true that the Broncos have started the past two 4th quarters down by 20 points, they have rallied in both games. Granted, they haven't rallied enough, but they aren't lying down when they're getting beaten, making valiant efforts from behind each time.

It's okay to worry, Lord knows I'm worried, but don't give up hope. I have to believe that the longer Peyton plays the better he will look, barring someone re-injuring him. I'm still clinging to the hope that it's rust, and that very solid defenses the past two weeks are more to blame for his struggles than his declining physical skills. While it doesn't look great, that doesn't mean it can't get better, and three games is too small of a sample size to draw too many strong conclusions from. I'm discouraged, but remaining hopeful because for better or for worse...there is no Plan B.

And now, your regularly scheduled thoughts from today's game:

-Third down defense was slightly better this week than it has been, but the Texans still converted half of their attempts, which it too many. They also converted all the important ones, which is why this one is in their W column tonight.

-Jack Del Rio's defense sure feels quite blitz happy. I don't have the numbers to prove this, but sitting out at Invesco today, it seems like rushing just four linemen isn't getting it done, and Del Rio has decided to bring the house more than may be prudent. Of course, just sitting back and letting Matt Schaub just pick you apart isn't all that tasty an option either. Bottom line, the defensive line needs to get more success getting into the backfield, or the defense is going to continue to struggle.

-I love it when a game opens with a safety. A 2-0 score is one of my favorite dopey things that can happen in a football game. Then adding a field goal makes it even goofier, as a 5 spot on the board is just weird.

-DeMaryius Thomas has had better days. Between dropping key throws and failing to get both feet down in the end zone, he was struggling tonight.

-Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy has me scratching my head tonight. Too many running plays late in the game when the clock was as big an enemy as the Texans were. McCoy was praised for his efforts in keeping the game plan conservative for Tim Tebow last year, however, that may be the only way he knows how to play. You need to unleash Peyton Manning a bit, especially when trying to come back from down 20 in the fourth quarter.

-You probably had to be at the game today to appreciate this, but there appears to be a pigeon infestation at Invesco. At multiple points in the game there were people trying to shoo the birds from the field, a few of those moments saw field crew people on the field as plays were getting underway. It was awkward, yet hilarious.

-I really love Arian Foster's little bow celebration after he scores. It's simple, quick, and feels like it should be relatively respectful, and yet when he does it all you can think is that he's flipping you the bird. It's an understated arrogance that I really dig.

-Manning had best be thankful that the Texans secondary can't catch. It felt like about 5 interceptions were bobbled to the ground.

-I know often that quarterbacks underthrow their receivers intentionally as a technique to allow the receiver to get themselves open.  I legitimately wondered on a few throws if that was what Peyton was doing, or if he just lacked the arm strength to get it further down the field as necessary. Let's just politely say that his accuracy left a bit to be desired...which is a lot more polite than saying his throws sucked. Either statement is pretty much true.

-Kudos to Wesley Woodyard for a tremendous interception near the end of the second quarter. Heck of a play by a guy who has made the team the past several years based largely on heart. I commend the effort while also saying that was quite an athletic display.

-So this Andre Johnson character is pretty good, eh?

-Have you ever taken a spoon out of the dishwasher right after it has finished it's cycle and then eaten ice cream with it? If so, you have a general idea of what Arian Foster was doing to the Broncos run defense. By the third quarter I was referring to the Texans first down plays as "the traditional five yard first down run." That is not a good thing if you're a Bronco fan.

-I will not be surprised if the Texans represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. That is a good team that plowed through the Broncos this afternoon.

-Lance Ball is not a legit NFL running back. If Willis McGahee is seriously hurt, that is a huge blow to the Broncos.

-The Broncos secondary is bad. We're seeing wideouts get behind them far too much lately. With the D-line not providing much pressure, they're even worse.

-Invesco can still get loud. On the third down play where Andre Johnson beat Champ Bailey to pretty much ice the contest, that stadium was rocking.

-I'm completely confused as to why Jim Leonhard is returning punts. Traditionally, teams like to have fast guys do that job, right? If everything breaks the Broncos way, it feels like Jim might be able to break one...for seven yards. You know how punting to Devin Hester puts the fear of God into your heart? This is the complete opposite. I'm not sure Jim could run back the kick to the house against a Pee-Wee football team.

-For Broncos fans looking for a silver lining to today's action...I give you the San Diego Chargers, who were eviscerated at home against the Falcons worse than the Broncos lost in Atlanta. Clearly, no one is running away with the AFC West...which is a bonus for Denver.

-Huge thanks to my brother Bruce for hooking me up with a ticket to today's game. Even though it was a loss, it's still good to hang with my brother...something I don't get to do nearly enough since he moved to Arizona.

-I leave you with a look ahead to next week. I'd like to remind any Broncos fans taking the Raiders lightly that the silver and black have a four game win streak in Denver going right now, including a 59-14 shellacking of the Donkeys in 2010. Since we haven't beaten them here since 2007, let's bring our A game to Invesco next week, shall we? I hate losing to this team above all other teams, let's put an end to that unsightly streak. Go Broncos!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 179 - 09-22-12 - There goes Borat

After spotting Borat at the Denver Zoo, Craig had to start the show an hour late. When Face made his appearance he was so wrapped up in the Miami Hurricanes game that we ended up watching the game. The guys cheered the Canes to overtime victory live on the air while talking a bit of football over the top of it.

After the football ended, the guys finally got to the news which was highlighted by a woman hijacking a ferry and announcing she was Jack Sparrow and an update on our favorite Spanish Fresco Artist. We then talked a tiny bit to Elevation who called in to try and convince Craig to watch this season's Survivor.

The abbreviated show wrapped up with Craig and Face dueling head to head over a Magnificent Seven list as the guys did Top Seven NFL Logos. Then the proceedings were finished up with a music recommendation of "Do It Anyway" by Ben Folds Five.

I'm telling you...Borat was at the Denver Zoo today!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Random Broncos Thoughts - Game 2 - at Falcons

Falcons 27 Broncos 21

-I'm not about to say the refs are the reason the Broncos lost on Monday Night, but enough with these replacements. That performance was a joke, but the kind of joke that your Dad tells that isn't funny and makes everyone groan and makes you wish there was a way to get out of the situation without laughing yet still avoiding making him feel bad because you are not laughing. It's just getting awkward.

-Call me a traditionalist, but I think the team that recovers a fumble should get to have the ball. Apparently, the replacements disagree, as even though Orlando Franklin recovered Knowshon Moreno's fumble in the final moments of the 1st quarter, for some reason, the Falcons got the ball.

-There are two ways to look at Peyton's disastrous first quarter. The pessimist approach which says he's washed up at worst and super rusty at best or you can take the optimist approach which says although he threw 3 picks, he still led a comeback which would have given the Broncos a chance to win if they could have gotten off the field at the end of the game. Personally, I'm in the middle of those two, but it's not ALL bad.

-That was maybe the ugliest first quarter in the history of Broncos football. Somehow the Broncos were only down 13 at the half, when it should have been about 30.

-I have to say it. Peyton Manning was atrocious in the first half. Just terrible terrible terrible. Hopefully he has gotten it out of his system.

-The refs are terrible at making calls, but more disturbing is their lack of control over the players. That fumble pile at the end of the first quarter was thisclose to turning into a brawl. The lack of certainty in the referees calls is causing the players to have zero respect for the people making those calls and things are getting chippier and chippier each week. Someone is going to get hurt if the real refs don't come back soon, as the players are taking far too many liberties and getting away with it. Please NFL, just get the real refs back. Make it happen.

-I just want to forget Monday night happened. Fortunately, the Broncos only have six days before they get a chance to wash the taste of that loss from their mouths. Unfortunately, that chance comes against the Texans, who are clearly in the upper echelon of teams. This is a huge game for the Broncos to establish that they are legit contenders. The first half of Denver's schedule is brutal, and they need to get this one. Go Broncos!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 178 - 09-15-12 - Extolling the virtues of 500 and the Spork!

The Vertically Striped Radio boys solve all sorts of issues on this episode including reclaiming the name Bruce, making an official declaration of the worst holiday, and declaring necessary evolutions in the progress of flatware. It was a busy show!

Face and Craig debunked Dameshek's theory of Labor Day being the worst holiday, discussed weird ways September 11th changed the world, and talked over the first week of NFL football. The guys were joined by The Whale just in time for a momentous edition of "Something to Think About".

Craig wrapped up the show by dedicating the music recommendation to @BestGirlBetty who lost her two year battle with breast cancer in the early hours of September 11th. The recommendation was Civil Twilight's "Quiet in my Town" and was preceeded by an amazing clip from American Beauty. Safe Home, Julie.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Random Broncos Thoughts - Game 1 - vs Steelers

Broncos 31 Steelers 19

-That game is going to be hard to beat. Epic start to the season. It's good to be 1-0.

-After a full offseason of people wondering if he still has what it takes, it had to be gratifying to Peyton Manning to prove that while he may be older there is still some hitch in his giddy-up.

-Orange balloons are more fun than they should be.

-It's hard to express just how much I dislike Ben Roethlisberger. I was reading Twitter, and one tweeter described him as a giant jellyfish. Something humongous yet impossible get a firm grasp on. I'll grant you that he's good if you grant me that he's impossibly unlikable.

-Did Steelers fans have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder flashbacks seeing Demaryius Thomas dashing towards the end zone on a long TD?

-Broncos defense failed on eleven of nineteen 3rd downs. Got to get off the field on third down, and the Broncos were struggling WAY too much with that last night. 3rd and 18 shouldn't feel as difficult as the Broncos were making it in the third quarter. The pass defense was covered up by Peyton's mastery and a critical pick six by Tracy Porter, but if they can't get more pressure at critical times, it will cost the Broncos this year.

-Did I mention that Peyton Manning looked okay?

-Huge thanks to my cousin Tawni who surprised me Sunday morning with a call asking if I'd like to go to the game. I had to think about it for about six milliseconds.

-Tailgating with Greek people is an experience. Ouzo shots are dangerous but they do get one loosened up quickly. Oddly I dislike black licorice, yet still enjoy Ouzo. Opa!

-Manning was a surgeon at the line. There are few things more fun than being at the game when Peyton Manning steps to the line, reads the defense, and audibles to the perfect play FOR YOUR TEAM! I can totally get used to this.

-Yes, it is possible to sit BEHIND the jumbotron. I had no idea.

-No, just because you're sitting in literally the last row, it doesn't mean you can't have fun. There are no bad seats, only bad fans.

-That stadium was ORANGE on Sunday night. I've attended Steelers-Broncos games in Denver where it felt like thirty percent of the stands were yellow. The Steelers percentage was miniscule. I was so proud.

-When they announced the attendance, there were only 181 no shows. I can't remember the number ever being that low, and I've been going to games since 1984.

-I can talk a big game about how I was super confident the Broncos would win, but with three minutes to go, I was terrified that the big jellyfish was going to lead Pittsburgh to a 1 point win. Thank God that Tracy Porter ended the drama with minimal distress.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

First day of football season!!

Why the first Sunday of football isn't a national holiday is one of the great mysteries of our time. This is maybe my favorite day of the year. So much hope, so much enthusiasm, so much bean dip! At our house, a tradition that I really love is that my daughter and I take a picture every year on the opening day of Broncos football. It provides a cool time capsule effect that gets cooler every year.









Saturday, September 8, 2012

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 177 - 09-08-12 - I'm sorry I didn't hit you

Vertically Striped Radio took off an hour later than normal thanks to yet another birthday party which left Craig feeling slightly awkward. He shook it off and dicussed K-State's 52-13 beadown of the Miami Hurricanes with Canes fan Face Ventura. Face took the weasel suit loss very well, and helped out the news.

The boys welcomed in The Whale and together dicussed their picks for Super Bowl 47 and the show finishes off with The Week in Wankery as Craig tickets some very deserving wankers and we all resolve to be excellent to each other.

The show wraps up with a music recommendation of "Upon this Tidal Wave of Young Blood" by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Rejoice people! Football is back!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 176 - 09-01-12

With Face scheduled to attend a musical and Craig taking his kids to another in an unending series of birthday parties, Saturday wasn't going to work for a live show, so instead, we have a prerecorded episode for your perusal.

What can you find in Episode 176? Face's love of Rodgers and Hammerstein, a Magnificent Seven of the Top 7 Names for Groups of Animals, and delving into the dark and weird side of craigslist among other things.

Come for the show tunes, stay for the bathtub of noodles. It's a prerecorded edition of VSR wrapping up with a recommendation of "Settle Down" by Kimbra. Sit Down, Relax, and enjoy the Vertically Striped Radio experience!