Category Archives: Boise

I Had A Dream

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(Continued from yesterday.)

Quote from the movie Bronco Billy:

Bronco Billy McCoy: You should never kill a man unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Here is Louie’s dream:

The mob down at Billy Bronco’s quickly grabbed Louie. He struggled to try for the door. Someone slid a table in front of the door to bar his escape. They pushed him around in a little game of cat and mouse.

“Take that!” someone said.

“How does that feel?” someone said.

“Not so good is it?” someone said

“We’ve had it with you?” someone said

Louie cried out, ‘Is there not one of you with a sense of decency?”

“We’re a mob. We hide our decency,” someone said.

“He’s calling us indecent,” someone said. “You heard him boys. Lets string ‘im up.”

A rope with a noose was tossed over a beam. It dangled and swung ominously. A chair was grabbed and placed under the rope. Louie was hoisted upon the chair. The rope was slid down over his head and pulled snug around his neck.

“What did I do? What did I do? Louie cried out.

Everyone stared in sort of a gleeful trance.

“For what crime am I being hung?” Louie said tearfully.

“You mentioned Kellen Moore and an unspeakable term in the same sentence,” someone said.

“I never said ‘n-word.’” Louie said.

A collective gasp filled the room. Fright fell upon their faces. There were screams of horror. Some held hands over their ears. Some fainted.

“What is the ‘n-word?’” someone said temptingly.

“Noodle arm,” Louie said. “I never said Kellen Moore and noodle arm in the same sentence, ever.”

“Blasphemy!” someone said.

“Heresy!” someone said.

“Apostasy!” someone said.

“Sacrilege!” someone said.

“Profane!” someone said.

“Irreverent!” someone said.

“Disgusting!” someone said.

Louie begged. “Mercy, please.”

“No one ever says Kellen Moore and ‘BW’ (Bad Word) in the same sentence,” someone said.

“Is there need of any further proof?” someone said.

“Somebody kick the chair and let’s watch him dangle,” someone said.

“What if we just don’t pay attention to him?” someone suggested.

“We got another rope and more chairs for you!” someone said. “This is mob mentality, no one thinks independently.”

“Keep silent and do what the mob says,” someone said.

“But I didn’t know ‘noodle arm’ was a BW,” Louie cried out.

“Well, it is here!” someone said.

“Let him hang!” someone said, but they all kicked the chair.

Louie swung silent, alone, and a tear dripped from his lifeless body.

Louie awakened from his dream. Immediately he thought of names, words and phrases he should not mention in the same sentence.

“Grant Hedrick and happy feet.”

“Jay Ajayi and fumblitis.”

“Shane Williams-Rhodes and small.”

“Don’t confuse Petersen with Peterson.”

“Brotzmen and choked.”

“Billy Bronco’s and sense of humor.”

 

 

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The Kellen Moore Selfie At Billy Bronco’s

Things have been so quiet down at Billy Bronco’s you can almost hear the blue turf grow.

Kevan was behind the bar doing what he could to keep interest alive, but Billy Bronco’s hasn’t been this quiet sense the Nevada loss or the Northwest Mortician’s Casket, Hearse, and Embalming Convention in 03.

Louie was at the bar and has been nursing the same Guinness for three days. It’s about as tasty as warm mug of spit. He was just itching to say something outrageous and set everybody on their ear.

“Okay,” Louie piped up, “whose gonna be the first Bronco to come out?”

“Man!” Blue said. “Everybody knows D-Law came out early. He had another year of eligibility.” Blue headed for the restroom. “Hold that thought. I’ll be right back.”

“No, no,” Louie said. “Like out of the closet.”

“Let’s have that discussion when it happens,” KC said.

“I got a better idea,” Sailor Sam said, “Let’s not even discuss it if it does come up.”

Nobody was in the mood to mix it up.

“I heard Boise State ordered rainbow Astroturf ,“ Louie said, “and it will be installed during the summer. Every ten yards will be a different color of the rainbow.”

“Will you stop with the coming-out stuff,” Sailor Sam said. “It ain’t got no traction here. We just don’t care.”

“Hey, it‘s what I heard,” Louie said.

“And where did you here that?” KC said.

Louie squirmed in his seat and sipped his warm Guinness.

“Well,” Blue said. “Answer the man.”

“I made it up,” Louie said. “I just wanted to start a dialogue.”

“Conversations start naturally,” Broadway said. “They don’t have to be forced. You can’t go making up crap and expect people to take you seriously. Before long nobody will believe anything you say. Haven’t you ever heard about the fable of the little boy who cried wolf.”

It got deathly quiet.

“You guys wanna here a story?” Louie said.

There was a collective “NO!”

Louie continued as if everyone was waiting with bated breath. “I was pumping gas at a Jackson’s. Guess who pulls into the handicapped spot in a big hurry?”

KC rolled his eyes. “Chris Petersen.”

“Close,” Louie said.

“Steve Georgiou,” Sailor Sam said. “Now, there, if I buy you a beer will you shut up?”

“Well I’m not telling,” Louie said.

Kevan sat a Guinness in front of Louie. “Now, tell us.”

Louie was about to latch hold of the Guinness shaking like a BSU field kicker down by two with 3 ticks remaining. Kevan pulled it away. “Tell us who you saw going into Jackson’s”

“It was Kellen Moore,” Louie said.

There was a collective groan and Kevan pulled the beer beyond Louie’s grasp. “I’m pouring this down the drain.”

“No!” Louie said. “I got it all on my phone.” He pulled out his cell phone, reached across the bar, and showed it to Kevan.”

“That’s a guy taking dump,” Kevan said and passes the phone around. “His hand is over his face. We can’t tell who it is.

Everyone agreed with Kevan.

“Look here’s the story,” Louie said. “I was pumping gas. Moore drives up like he’s chased by a blitzing safety. He gets out of the car and runs into Jackson’s. I count to five and go in after him. I held my phone under the commode door and snapped the picture.”

“That ain’t him,” Blue said.

“If it is him,” Sailor Sam said. “That’s voyeurism.”

“No it isn’t,” Louie said. “It’s photo journalism.”

“That’s paparazzi,” KC said.

Everyone ordered up and the discussion ensued.

Louie leaned over to Broadway. “Is that how you start a discussion? Sailor Sam said it starts natural.”

Broadway smiled. “Who is the picture really of?”

“It’s me,” Louie said.

“Why did you take a picture of yourself taking a dump at Jackson’s?” Broadway said.

“It wasn’t taken at Jackson’s,” Louie said. “It was taken here about 15 minutes ago. My wife called and accused me of hanging out with the lowlifes at Billy Bronco’s. I snapped a selfie and told her I was at Jackson’s and had sushi today and it didn’t settle well.”

“That’s disgusting,” Broadway said.

“What’s disgusting is things like this starts conversations and guys drink to it,” Louie said.

“Won’t your wife smell beer on your breath?” Broadway said.

“The natural carbonation settles the stomach,” Louie said.

“That’s not true,” Sailor Sam interrupted.

“Then come up with something better,” Louie said.

“I got it!” KC said. “My dog hangs his head out the window with his mouth open when I drive. He’s got good breath after that.”

Blue came back from the restroom. “How did we get from D-Law coming out to doggie breath in one pit stop? And by the way, who wrote Jackson’s above the commode?”

 

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Subliminal Messaging At Billy Bronco’s

Subliminal Messaging At Billy Bronco’sth[9]

Kevan, in order to keep the conversation rolling about the new Boise State coaches, made a roster of them on a chalk board that hung over the back bar. The chalk board usually consist of what is the kitchen that’s about to go bad. Instead the list of coaches were printed on the board. “Mike Sanford, Marcel Yates, Kent Riddle, Steve Caldwell Junior Adams, And Avolos, Julius Brown, Elijah Drinkwitz, Scott Huff, and oh yeah, Bryan Harsin.

Well, all was going fine. There were good and lively discussions, no disagreements, and the beer flowed, which made Kevan happy.

Kevan made a check mark beside the coach to be discussed for the night. He breezed right through the first five and then slipped all the way down to Scott Huff. This did not escape the notice of Dawg Breath.

Then one night it happened the most furious exchange at Billy Brono’s since “taste great, less filling.”

“Kev, man,” Dawg Breath said. “You can’t do that.”

“What?” Kev said.

“You can’t go out of order,” Dawg Breath said. “It’s list. Lists have to go in order.”

This guy named TommyT from nowhere, his face buried in the mug of beer. With his face still dripping of suds said, “Hey, if it ain’t numbered ya don’t have to go in order.”

Dawg Breath was in no mood to give in. “It’s still a list. You start at the top and work your way to the bottom, one name at a time. That’s the only way.”

It wasn’t this quiet since Broztman’s missed field goal at Nevada.

“Whoa,” Louie said. “Let’s say you go to a grocery and you make a list of what you need; milk, beer, eggs, chips, salad dressing, ham, beer, and laundry detergent. You don’t get the milk and go over and get the beer because it’s next. You pick up the eggs because it’s close. You don’t crisscross and zigzag all over the store to get things in the order you have them on the list. It’s what ever comes next. Doesn’t that make sense?”

At this point Kevan is happy for somebody defending him bypassing a couple of coaches on the list, but more importantly another round of beers had been ordered to further fuel the discussion.

Dawg Breath is not one to toss in the towel. He tossed down the bottom of his glass and motioned for Kevan to replenish. Then he retorted, “What good is a list if you don’t go in order.”

“The purpose is to get everything done,” Louie said, “Not necessarily in order.”

Dawg Breath completely ignored the counter argument. Something said earlier wrestled his attention. “Wait a minute some one said zigzag. Why are we talking about pot?”

“Because it’s legal in Colorado and Washington,” some guy named Blue said.

The next thing you know the whole place is into a discussion about marijuana legalization.

Kevan filled Dawg Breath’s tankard and along with everyone else whose a part of the discussion. Kevan smiles because he knows where now the discussion is going. It now has left football. He’s in for a long night of drawing beer and wrangling about natural selection and quantum physics – and more beer.

Kevan started to draw another one for Louie.

“No thanks,” Louie says.

“Shhh,” Kevan said. “It’s on the house.”

“Some other time,” Louie said.

“I noticed when you gave the example of the list you mentioned beer twice,” Kevan said.

“It’s called subliminal suggestion messaging and positive reinforcement,” Louie said.

“I think it’s working,” Kevan said. “Dawg Breath’s glass is empty already.”

 

 

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A Night At Billy Bronco’s

thH6YOQQNPBilly Bronco’s is a bar where all the faithful Boise State fans on the east side talk about their passion – Boise State football, wet their whistles, talk about their passion – Boise State football, fill their bellies, and talk about their passion – Boise State football.

February is the worst time of the year for college football fans; the previous season has been replayed hundreds if not thousands of times, there’s not much to speculate about on the upcoming season, and National Signing day occurs the first part of the month leaving nothing new for a beer to wash down.

One of the bartenders, Kevan, likes to toss a bone out there every now and then, if you know what I mean; something for the boys to chew on. The more they chew the more they drink. It’s called job security. Anyway, it’s mid February and beer sales are as low as cleats on natural turf. Kevan thinks it would be a good idea to start a conversation about each of the new coaches. This is perfect. Nobody really knows anything for sure about the new coaches so it’s a time to let the creative juices flow and nothing lubricates creativity like beer (so I’m told).

One night everyone is settled into there favorite hitching post and Kevan says, “What do you guys think of Caldwell?”

Butch (he’s a little thick) says, “I got ran out of their one night.”

“No,” Kevan said. “Steve Caldwell, the Broncos new defensive line coach,” (And it’s a good thing he said that, conversations have a way of going astray. One night he said what do you guys think of Harper and the first comment was about the writer Harper Lee. What ensued was a literary discussion comparing Harper Lee to Margaret Mitchell. Well whose going to drink beer over that? But they did.)

A guy named Reno says, “I think the first order of business is move Horn to stud.”

There’s some agreement noted by a simultaneous lifting of classes and the sound of them placed back on the bar with the same precision as a Marine honor guard.

There’s silence.

There’s this guy they call Jittery. (Here’s his story: Some accuse him of inviting the regulars over to his place to have a beer, but he says, “I can’t hold that much beer in my basement and besides my place don’t have near the ambiance.”) Anyway Jittery pipes up with, “I think the second order of business is to not listen to fans.”

Reno can’t let this go. So he fires back with, “Hey if you don’t like this place and the diversity of opinions go home.”

Jittery waits in silence. He seldom has supporters. Everyone is suspicious of his motives, not withstanding his comments are usually stupid.

Then from nowhere a guy known at Trav says, “Hey, that is diversity. Yeah, he gets under my skin, but maybe he makes sense this time, not really, but maybe, so don’t quote me.”

“Reno,” Clever Clyde says. “It was tongue in cheek, chill.”

“Hey, Reno,” Jittery says. “I was trying to be funny. I meant no offense. You offered an opinion, I offered one. You drink Bud Light, I drink Guinness.”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Reno says.

“It means if you drank Guinness it would cost me more to buy you a beer,” Jittery said. He looked over at Kevan. “Get Reno a beer on me.”

“Nah, nah, Jittery,” Reno said. “Let me buy you one. Kevan set one in front of Jittery.”

“I got the next round,” Trav says.

“Don’t forget me!” Clever Clyde says. “The next round’s on me.”

Kevan smiles. He’s drawing beers faster than a one handed diary farmer at milking time.

“Now this is fun,” Reno says. “I ain’t had this much fun since that discussion about Harper and Mitchell. Didn’t Mitchell go to California and set the bench until he got busted for possession?”

Kevan smiled. “Yeah, I guess you could say he was gone with the wind.”

(Posted as a Daily Prompt.)

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Quarterback Situation At Boise State: Once Dark Now Dazzling

Grant Hedrick

Grant Hedrick

The once bleak quarterback situation at Boise State seems to have rounded out the past week or so.

Grant Hedrick is obviously the leader of the pack. He has a half-year experience as a starter. He plays well, in fact he plays exceptionally well. The bar for quarterbacks at Boise is set very high; there have been some great ones. Hedrick is probably the most athletic quarterback Boise has had.

It will be the first time at Boise State he will play the role as a front-runner. He’s always been chasing, now he’s being chased. It’s amazing how some horses don’t run well from behind, but when they take the lead they just don’t maintain the lead they increase it. They run faster than they do when trying to overcome the leader.

Thomas Stewart

Thomas Stewart

Thomas Stewart was a good pick-up. He is skilled coming to Boise State with junior college experience. He may likely line up as Grant Hedrick’s backup. Stewart looks as if he could slip into Hedrick’s uniform and you’d never know the difference.

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Ryan Finley

Ryan Finley, who comes to BSU with good credentials is a red-shirt freshman with a healing shoulder injury. He’s a different type of quarterback; tall and comfortable in the pocket. Could he move in behind Hedrick? It’s hard to say, he hasn’t taken any college snaps.

Alex Ogle

Alex Ogle

This past week Boise picked-up a high school senior, Alex Ogle. He is regarded as a sleeper and may well be the diamond in the rough. It’s difficult to project how soon it will take him to adjust to the college game and college life. Most likely he may be red-shirted. That has been Boise’s modus operandi.

Thomas Sperbeck

Thomas Sperbeck

Boise State also has Thomas Sperbeck on the roster who is a wide receiver, but quarterbacked in high school. (He can flat out fly. In the future there will be some wide receiver sweeps with Sperbeck launching some deep ones.)

Richard Hoppe

Richard Hoppe

The one quarterback that seems to escape mention is Richard Hoppe. He’s no slouch. He’s nimble on his feet and has a decent arm with a nice touch on the ball. He’s a walk-on. Those guys turn out to be the guys who have the greatest motivation to succeed. If he was good enough to be given a number he must have sufficient skills to play. Last year he red-shirted. (I’m giving him another paragraph.)

From watching some high school video he looks poised and comfortable. He’s Boise State; undersized, underrated, under recruited and if called upon will over achieve.

That makes a possible six quarterbacks roster. I think Boise State can live with that.

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Lame-Duck Coaches

"Hey, Petersen, you can have my job in a few months. It's gonna be open." "Dang! Now that's all I'm going to be able to think about."

“Hey, Petersen, you can have my job in a few months. It’s gonna be open.”
“Dang! Now that’s all I’m going to be able to think about.”

The importance of the loss to Oregon State in the Hawaii Bowl is coming into focus. The peegate debacle led to a complete melt-down in morale and took the focus from the game. It could not have been orchestrated better.

The loss to Oregon State was huge. It may have cost a few of recruits, especially the ones that went to where nearly the entire Boise State coaching staff went – University of Washington.

The BSU coaches had no incentive to win at the Hawaii Bowl. Does that mean they rigged it to lose? Absolutely not! But the incentive was clearly not there.

Coaches are fierce competitors by nature, but they were a lame-duck coaching staff. They knew their future was not with Boise. They knew that a Boise win might make it a little more difficult to flip a recruit their way when they took up residency in Seattle.

Going to the Hawaii Bowl is like getting $2 tickets for a Broncos Basketball game; (not the basketball team’s fault, the fans) you’re there to just fill the seats. There was nothing to be gained in the final rankings; only the prestige that goes along with winning a bowl game and possibly attracting better recruits as a result of a victory.

If the head coach stays (which he didn’t, he had recruiting for UW to do) he would have at least tried to pad his resume with another win. Since the rest of the coaching staff was heading to UW what do they have to prove. Likely all of them knew they had jobs waiting for them at UW… except for one.

And coincidently the only bright spot was the coach who didn’t go to UW, Robert Prince. Grant Hedrick and the Boise State offense out-passed the heralded Beaver passing attack 382 yards to 259 and beat them in total offense. Prince didn’t fumble two balls ran back for TDs and checking the highlights he didn’t miss one tackle.

All agree that the last two years with the exception of a few bright spots BSU’s performance has been less than stellar. It starts at the top. At times, especially this past season, Petersen looked disengaged on the sidelines. Something like that is like the pebble in the pond; the ripples spread outward.

Petersen probably saw himself becoming anemic. He may have felt he needed a jolt; a new challenge to stimulate his ego and competitive spirit.

The BSU program needs a jolt, a wake-up call. Nothing magic happens when a recruit comes to Boise. The blue turf does not suddenly infuse a player with super powers. It is hard work and heart, maybe just maybe Petersen and his staff forgot that. Not the hard work, but the incentive to go out and prove you’re as good if not better than your opponents.

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Whadda We Gonna Do, Whadda We Gonna Do, Baltazar And Patti Are Gone?

 

To date, Ryan Finley has been Boise State's highest rated quarterback coming out of high school.

To date, Ryan Finley has been Boise State’s highest rated quarterback coming out of high school.

Over the last two years there was so much hype about Nick Patti that his leaving is second only to Petersen’s exiting to Washington. Now we know how the Soviet Union felt when Barnyshnikov defected.

Aaron Baltazar bolting for who knows where was a tough one also. It looked like he and Patti would be seniors together at Boise.

Does this all mean a program in crisis? Not really. You build the possibility of crisis into a program. I think we’re secure at quarterback and running back. Sure we don’t have the back-ups we thought we would have, but great programs find a way to win without all the pieces in place. (Just picked up JUCO standout Thomas Stuart)

Thomas Stuart, a JUCO transfer who will add some depth to the quarterback position.

Thomas Stuart, a JUCO transfer who will add some depth to the quarterback position.

This past season was one of the first times in recent Bronco history that a quarterback went down with an injury. Hedrick stepped in and the argument can be made he was equally as effective as Southwick.

Anemic play calling can’t be blamed on anybody but the coaches.

It might be added that Kellen Moore would have had a difficult time with the offensive structure instituted the past two years. Southwick and Hedrick both looked uncomfortable at times with what was called. At times I wondered if OC Prince was watching the same game I was at.

Likely Patti coming into his red-shirt freshman year thought of himself as the heir apparent to Joe Southwick. In fact many during the 2012 year were asking for Southwick’s head on a platter in favor of Patti. Hedrick was never a part of any discussion by any of the local pundits, fan blogs, watering holes, or the airwaves.

Southwick’s brilliant performance in the MAACO bowl against UW in 2012 sealed Patti’s fate and positioned him as a back-up this year. Did anyone really think Hedrick was going to roll over and play third?

We don’t know much about Ryan Finley, but it could be that Patti might have envisioned him as too much of a threat as the starter after Hedrick‘s graduation? Did the recruiting of Jalen Green send a message that Boise was going to go out and find a top-notch q-back and forget the plans they had for Patti?

Green is gone. He‘s committed to three schools that I know of. (He’s burned more bridges than the Nazis did retreating over the Rhine in WW II.) Can you imagine Green calling audibles or running an option, he’d never make up his mind.

All the hand-wringing about the loss of Patti presupposes Hedrick might sustain an injury and we don’t have anyone to turn to after the 2014 season.

Finley was a highly sought-for recruit. He was recruited by only PAC 12 and Big Ten schools, that’s impressive. Indiana and UCF were the biggest programs besides Boise who recruited Patti. Finley was rated far better than Patti. It appears losing Finley would have been far worse than losing Patti.

Anyway the reason for Patti leaving may have been something as simple as the inversion.

Aaron Baltazar is the mystery. Boise fans seemed to really take to him like they did Ian Johnson. He was starting over Ajayi because of his fumblitus. When Baltazar went down with a season ending injury Ajayi turned it up a notch. He clearly became the Bronco’s No. 1 running-back again and looked like nobody was going to take it away from him.

Baltazar came to school ready to play. No way was he going to red-shirt. He may have seen himself playing behind Ajayi for two more years leaving him only one year to shine.

Losing Baltazar is a jolt. Next year Boise State may have had two running backs with more than a thousand yards rushing each.

Without Baltazar we are still very deep at running back. Returning will be Devon Demas, Jack Fields, and Derrick Thomas. It also looks like a recruit from Norco, California will be on the roster next year. If Charles Bertoli improves as much from 2012 to 2013 he will be a force by which to be reckoned. That said, I think his work ethic and determination will give the other backs something to emulate. He leaves it all on the field.

As far as the q-back situation is concerned, Boise State has garnered a reputation that allows them to pick and choose top-rated recruits. There is plenty of talented high school talent who want to come to The Blue. Between now and the National Signing Day Boise State coaches will be taking a look at a lot of q-back prospects. They won’t be latching hold of the first ones that come along. He’s going to have to be the right one.

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