Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 22 December 2009 20:00Watching the Texas-Penn State volleyball championship match Sunday night on ESPN2, I found myself wondering whether it would ever end. And then, almost as suddenly as it caught my attention, it was over. Boom, done.
I suppose life is like that: three and a half years ago, I set my nose to the grindstone at the Free Press. Now, I've accomplished every goal I set for my first year-round full-time job. It is time for me to move on.
I don't have enough space to single out every single person who helped me out along the way, and it wouldn't be fair to name a few names without running down the whole list of people who have contributed to my success during this time. Putting together a good sports section requires input from many, many...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 08 December 2009 20:28Excitement is hard to quantify, but it has been easy to see and hear surrounding the Tabor College football program since the announcement of the return of coach Mike Gardner.
If common sense suggests expectations dipped after his departure, history says otherwise. Recall that in August 2006, the Bluejays were picked fourth in the preseason polls despite a media day presentation by Robert Rubel that one of the other conference coaches called a “snow job”—meaning that, despite Rubel’s attempt to lower expectations, at least one person being paid to understand Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference football believed the Bluejays would continue to excell in the KCAC despite the graduation of many members of one of the greatest teams...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 24 November 2009 13:48A lot has changed since the second week of October. For a while there, it really looked like I might have to eat my words about both the Denver Broncos and the Colorado Avalanche—I had opined that both teams would be unspeakably bad.
While it looks to me like the jury is still out on both counts, there are a few certainties I should own up to.
I was definitely wrong about the number of wins the Avs would have. I expected “maybe not even 20” but it is clear that Colorado will exceed that number. The Avs have won 13 games already, and are on pace for a total in the mid-40s.
Much of that success can be attributed to rookie players I did not expect to make an impact—but I should have known better than to imply that Milan Hejduk...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 13 October 2009 14:01Being young has advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include instinctively understanding Facebook, ultra-high metabolism and the ability to accept peers (and their egos) despite their misguided, self-important hopes and dreams. The single biggest disadvantage is the lack of a sense of history.
Enter Louis Zamperini, an All-American and a two-time NCAA champion who was the first American 5,000 meter finisher in the 1936 Berlin Games.
I’d never heard of Louis Zamperini before this week, even though the man, now 92, was a World War II hero.
He was also an avid skateboarder. He converted to Christianity and was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame for his work counseling others about the importance of...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 29 September 2009 13:20A once-great team in full decline? That hurts, ESPN.com’s NHL power rankings. That hurts a lot. Ouch.
It’s been a year or two or seven since The Decline began, but this is no less than a new frontier for Avalanche fans. It’s uncharted water. And worse, there is no Magellan in Colorado’s minor league system.
There’s not even a Sir Francis Drake. And while Pierre Lacroix was Amerigo Vespucci in 1995, it seems like a thousand years have passed since the Avs were on the map.
Maybe it’s more to do with being in Kansas—so very far away from The Can—that makes Colorado’s prospects look so bleak. But I’ll forget the prospects for a second, and remember that none of the first-liners scored 60 points in 80 games last...
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