# 81

 

Justin Adams came to Artificial Turf from the natural grass surface at Folsom Field where he toiled as a tight end for the Colorado Buffaloes. Justin, who also worked at Fox Sports Rocky Mountain, wore uniform number 81, hence the title of this webpage. Justin will share his opinions and thoughts on sports, and whatever else is on his mind, right here...on page # 81.

 < Justin's Pal Ralphie.

Who Will Replace Elvis Dumervil??......8-6-10

Now that the dust had settled and the reality has sunk in that last year's NFL sack leader Elvis Dumervil is most likely out for the season, let’s look at the options the Broncos has in finding Dumervil’s replacement.

Aaron Schobel (32, DE, 9th Season) Last Season Sack Total: 10 Career Sacks: 78

This longtime Buffalo Bills DE was released earlier this week as Schobel mulled over retirement. Schobel’s has 78 career sacks with his season best of 14 being in 2006. Schobel still has something left in the tank with 10 sacks last season, but unfortunately he’s not a big fan of the 3-4 defense which is what the Broncos run. The Houston Texans are showing strong interest in Schobel’s services if he chooses not to retire.

Leonard Little (35, DE, 12th Season) Last Season Sack Total: 6.5 Career Sacks: 87.5

Leonard Little similar to Aaron Schobel as he’s also considering retirement. Little’s best season came when he racked up 14.5 sacks in 2001. Recently Little had 13 sacks in 2006. The Broncos would use Little as a situational pass rusher similar to last years in-season signing of DE Vonnie Holiday.

Greg Ellis (34, DE, 12th Season) Last Season Sack Total: 7 Career Sacks: 84

Greg Ellis once said last season that the Raiders were the “laughing stock of the NFL.” Just a guess, but that’s probably why he’s no longer in Oakland.  Despite the comment, Ellis is a consistent sack gatherer having 7 last season including 2 against the Broncos in the Raiders 20-19 shocker at Invesco. Ellis is familiar with the 3-4 defensive scheme, playing it with the Cowboys under current Head Coach Wade Phillips.

My pick: Greg Ellis. Yes, Ellis cannot replace the top sack leader in Dumervil, but he can give the Broncos the pass rushing threat they sorely need off the edge. I’ll be interesting to see what Josh McDaniels chooses to do as Camp Dove Valley continues.
Go to fullsize image < GM Justin says, "Sign Ellis."


 

JUSTIN'S UPDATED NHL PREDICTIONS (4-29-10) 

Alright folks! The quarterfinals are not a thing of the past. Surprises? Of course, who would of guessed that Montreal of all teams would come back from a 3 to 1 deficit to shock the top ranked Capitals in 7. As for my record, I was 4-4, just average. So just for you, here's a review of my first round picks!

Eastern Conference
Capitals in 5 - Canadiens in 7
Devils in 6 - Flyers in 5
Sabers in 7 - Bruins in 6
Penguins in 7 - Penguins in 6

Western Conference
Sharks in 6 - Sharks in 6
Blackhawks in 5 - Blackhawks in 6
Kings in 7 - Canucks in 6
Red Wings - Red Wings in 7

So now for my picks in the semi's, hopefully I can do better this time....

Eastern Conference
Pittsburgh vs Montreal - Penguins in 6
Boston vs Philadelphia - Bruins in 7

Western Conference
San Jose vs Detroit - Red Wings in 7
Chicago vs Vancouver - Blackhawks in 6

 
Alright folks! The quarterfinals are not a thing of the past. Surprises? Of course, who would of guessed that Montreal of all teams would come back from a 3 to 1 deficit to shock the top ranked Capitals in 7. As for my record, I was 4-4, just average. So just for you, here's a review of my first round picks!

Eastern Conference
Capitals in 5 - Canadiens in 7
Devils in 6 - Flyers in 5
Sabers in 7 - Bruins in 6
Penguins in 7 - Penguins in 6

Western Conference
Sharks in 6 - Sharks in 6
Blackhawks in 5 - Blackhawks in 6
Kings in 7 - Canucks in 6
Red Wings - Red Wings in 7

So now for my picks in the semi's, hopefully I can do better this time....

Eastern Conference
Pittsburgh vs Montreal - Penguins in 6
Boston vs Philadelphia - Bruins in 7

Western Conference
San Jose vs Detroit - Red Wings in 7
Chicago vs Vancouver - Blackhawks in 6

 

Justin Adam’s Presents his 2010 NHL Playoff Predictions!
With 2009-10 regular-season now in the books, it’s time for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. You know the deal, first one to 16 wins will have their names etched on the Stanley Cup forever. Here’s my take on who will be advancing to the semi-finals.
Quarterfinals
Eastern Conference:
#1 Washington Capitals vs. #8 Montreal Canadiens (Season Series tied 2-2)
The Capitals won the Presidents Trophy, led the league in scoring with 318 goals, and have Alexander Ovechkin. The tradition laden Canadiens will need goalie Jaroslav Halak to have the series of his life or this will be over quickly.
Capitals in 5

#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #7 Philadelphia Flyers (Season Series 5-1 Flyers)
The Flyers needed a shootout victory over the Rangers to set up this 2 on 7 matchup. This series will be a favorable matchup for the Flyers because they hold a 5-1 regular-season lead on the Devils. But it will be hard to go against the likes of Martin Brodeur and Zach Parise in this best of seven series.
Devils in 6

#3 Buffalo Sabres vs. #6 Boston Bruins (Season Series 4-2 Bruins)
This is one of the most intriguing series. This will be a battle between two of the best goalies in the NHL in Bruins Tuukka Rask (1.97 GAA) and Sabres Ryan Miller (2.22 GAA). With scoring being a premium here, look for Sabres Derek Roy to lead them to the second round.
Sabers in 7

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #5 Ottawa Senators (Season Series tied 2-2)
The Ottawa Senators look to keep Pittsburgh Penguins centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in check during this first round series. But in a series that looks to go the distance, look for Penguins right-winger Bill Guerin to be the difference.
Penguins in 7

Western Conference

#1 San Jose Sharks vs. #8 Colorado Avalanche (Series tied 2-2)
The young Avs face off against the veteran led Sharks. Other than Phoenix, Colorado has been one of the most surprising teams in the league. Even though San Jose is known for not showing up in the second season, it’s hard to pick against them. Mainly because the Avs enter this series with two huge injuries in center Matt Duchene and right-winger Peter Mueller, also they finished the season with dismal 3-7-3 record.
Sharks in 6

#2 Chicago Blackhawks vs. #7 Nashville Predators (Season Series 4-2 Blackhawks)
In this matchup between these Central Division rivals, Chicago looks to use their speed to outskate the Predators. Look for Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews and Right-winger Patrick Kane to have a huge series.
Blackhawks in 5

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs. #6 Los Angeles Kings (Season Series 3-1 Canucks)
Vancouver has a batch of brothers that can flat out score in Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin. They face the Kings who haven’t seen the postseason since 2002. I don’t know why, but something is telling me that LA will advance to the semis.
Kings in 7

#4 Phoenix Coyotes vs. #5 Detroit Red Wings (Season Series tied 2-2)
The Red Wings have become the team no one wants to face in the playoffs going 16-3-2 since coming back from the March 1st the Olympic break. Phoenix is one of the 4 teams to achieve 50 wins this year. But even with that said, I look for Hockeytown to advance to the second round over the Coyotes.
Red Wings in 6
 
 
This is what they play for.


 

TWENTY YEARS LATER
Sal Aunese still means the world to CU....By Justin Adams 10-30-09
 
It was a hot and humid September afternoon in 1988. The #19 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes had won their previous six home openers at Kinnick Stadium and they were poised to make it seven. The visiting Colorado Buffaloes were down 21-17 with 5:36 left in the game. Unranked. In front of 67,000 screaming Hawkeyes fans. The young Buffs looked toward their leader, a quarterback who needed drive the offense 85 yards to pay dirt if the fortunes of his team were to change. With a gleam in his eye, the junior signal caller did just that - 85 yards and 11 plays for the 24-21 upset victory.
 
“In the biggest stage it was the first time that we really knew that this kid was special,” says then CU head coach Bill McCartney.
 
The Buffs were 2-0 and the framework of a future national championship team was developed. But the quarterback who led them to victory would never witness that day.

Siasau Pepa Aunese or Sal Aunese for short, was an All-American quarterback at Vista High School in Vista, Cali. Aunese was heavily recruited by many programs, including the University of Nebraska. At 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, Aunese didn’t seem like an imposing figure, but he had the natural ability to inspire others with his play. On his first play under center, he took the snap and glided right of the wishbone formation for 32 yards. He would end the day rushing for 185 yards on 22 carries. A legend was born. Aunese would become the starting quarterback for the rest of the season and earn the Big 8’s Newcomer of the Year Award. In the 1988 season, he led the Buffs to an 8-3 record and a bowl birth with thrilling comeback victories over Colorado State and Iowa.

Going into the Freedom Bowl against BYU, everything seemed set for a 9-3 final record, a best for Coach McCartney at CU. But Aunese didn’t seem right. His passes weren’t as crisp. He didn’t glide around the wishbone formation like his coaches and teammates were accustomed to. Something was noticeably wrong. He was pulled for Darian Hagan and the Buffs eventually lost the game 20-17. The season ended with an 8-4 record but more importantly, that would be the final college football game in Aunese’s career.

During the off-season, Aunese would take himself out of workouts and drills. He began to cough violently, spiting up blood in the process. At times he refused to drink water or eat food. He saw a doctor, and on March 30, 1989 was given the grim news: he had developed an incurable stomach cancer. Doctors surmised he had “several months, to several years” to live.

“From the time he took sick in the spring nobody knew that he was dying for sure,” says McCartney.  “But when the team gathered again that fall; he was just a shell of his former self. It was just obvious. Sal was dying and all you had to do was look at him and you could see that.”

Sal would be driven to the practices, but he was too weak to stay long. It hurt too much. He would come to the first three games of the 1989 season, but during the bye week on September 23, 1989. At just 21, Sal Aunese succumbed to cancer. He left behind his family and friends and also his 5-month-old son Timothy Chase McCartney.

The rest of the ’89 season was dedicated to Aunese. The left sleeve of the Buffs’ game jerseys had a gold band with “SAL” inscribed in large, black, block letters.  The players gave an emotional tribute to Sal with a point to the heavens before the game at Washington. They would make it to the Orange Bowl against Notre Dame, but lost 21-6. The next year the Buffs would meet Notre Dame once again in the Orange Bowl, but this time they granted Aunese’s wish; they were 1990 National Champs.
 
Today, Sal’s son T.C. McCartney is a reserve quarterback at LSU playing for the same coach that recruited his father, Les Miles. T.C. was with the team in 2006 when they won the national championship. T.C. is following after his father’s footsteps, so it’s not surprising that he wants to become a future coach someday.

20 years later, the story of the life and death of Sal Aunese and his determination to fight off cancer, which brought a community and a team together like never seen before in Boulder, is still being told.  
 
“Anytime that you get a guy that is whole-hearted, a tremendous competitor, unselfish, - particularly in a sport like football, where that guy is your signal caller - those guys are going to leave an impact and leave a mark,” says McCartney, more than two decades after coaching the young man who changed his life. “And he did that.”   

 

EFFA MANLEY…(3-8-09)

She kept the scrapbook full of legends.  Names like James “Cool Papa” Bell, Satchel Page and Josh Gibson were some of the names included in the book.  But for Effa Manley, her scrapbook was also filled with names that are not so easily recognizable to the common fan.  Names like Toni Stone one of the three African American women to play in the Negro Leagues, feared right-handed hitter Jim “Japper” Japp and James H. “Lefty” Turner.

Her Black roots were instilled into her early as a child, so much so that Effa was considered to be a light-skinned Black woman, despite the fact that both of her parents were White.  As she grew up from adolescence to womanhood another love became apparent about Manley, she was infatuated with the game of baseball.

In 1935, Effa married Abe Manley, which was a man that she met at a Yankees game, and two years later they became owners of the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues, which played their games at Brooklyn Dodger's Ebbets Field.

During a time when women were considered second-class to men, Manley was the first and only woman to become an owner in the Negro Leagues. Manley did it all by actively managing the team, calling the plays, positioning the players and rotating pitchers.  She went on the road trips with the Newark Eagles, demanding and getting respect.

Manley worked to improve the condition of the players in the entire Negro League by advocated better scheduling, pay and accommodations. Her players traveled in an air-conditioned Flexible Clipper bus, which was considered extravagant for the Negro Leagues.

Manley also made a major impact in the Civil Rights Movement as she served as the treasurer of the Newark chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or the NAACP, for short.  In 1939, Effa held an "Anti-Lynching Day" at Ruppert Stadium often using Eagles games to promote civic causes.
Manley was as unique as the League she owned.  Once there was a story that said that she gave the bunt sign to her players during the game by crossing and uncrossing her legs.
As Effa Manley turned the pages of her old scrapbook, she told a reporter "People say, don’t live in the past, but I guess it depends on how interesting your past is."  Effa Manley understood that the past isn’t something to be lived through, but to be learned by. 

And she is teaching us about an importance of the Negro Leagues in American History, one page at a time.

Effa Manley was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2006 and her gravestone fitly read, “She Loved Baseball”.

 

One nice summer day, young Justin was taking a stroll, minding his own business when he happened upon...lo and behold, a green and gold football helmet. A Colorado State Rams helmet to be exact.  >

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Justin did what any responsible, former Colorado football player would do. He put the helmet in its rightful resting place (below). Once a Buff....always a Buff!