Jussel: Now is a great time to hit the links

Bits ‘n’ pieces ...

A couple of milestones to note: Most fantasy baseball leagues have concluded, as has the first high school sports season, boys golf, which wound down Tuesday.

I should tell you that my “money” fantasy baseball team earned the first pick in the spring draft, and I chose Troy Tulowitzki. Nuf said.

The finale of the prep golf season was certainly bright for locals as Grand Junction High’s Donny Kinnaman led after the first day of the state tournament in Golden on his way to a fourth-place finish in the 5A tournament, and Dave Fox’s Fruita Monument team finished ninth in the 14-team field. A number of Western Slopers also fared well in the 4A state tournament held at Cobble Creek in Montrose.

■ While we’re chatting golf, if you haven’t had the opportunity to get out and play of late, make the time. This is the best time of the year to play, just before all the leaves have fallen and just after the heat has let up.

Many of the courses have some form of late-season rate in effect, and most have reached the point where they aren’t forced to water 24 hours a day to stay green, and most are in superb shape.

Recommendations from a poor wandering soul who has played most of the courses in the area this summer: Try Devil’s Thumb in Delta (it’s in immaculate condition and the traffic is light) and/or take on Battlement Mesa before the winds kick up as the temps drop (not a blade of grass out of place, nor a dry spot).

■ From a fan’s viewpoint, I’m happy my alma mater, Colorado State University has given the preliminary OK to build a new football stadium on campus. It will, if indeed it is built, help the football team win more games down the road.

New Athletic Director Jack Graham has been very aggressive in trying to upgrade the athletic program with the recent hirings of Jim McElwain to lead the football program and the ultra-successful Larry Eustachy in men’s basketball.

The people of Fort Collins, however, are certainly not unanimous in supporting the stadium proposal (more like 50-50) because of the anticipated $250 million cost and the construction mess that would be created on the south end of the campus over several years.

But CSU President Tony Frank said he will recommend it to the university’s board of governors today, with the stipulation that half of the funding can be raised privately prior to starting construction. And that folks, is a big “what if,” considering CSU alums have been notoriously slow in going to the wallet to help the school’s athletic programs.

■ Can’t go much farther without beaming just a bit more about the Broncos and their romp over the Raiders on Sunday. It’s been a while.

Yes, Peyton Manning was superb and is getting better by the week as he works his way back to what he was.

But even more impressive to me was the performance of the defense, which literally beat up on the Raider offense, especially quarterback Carson Palmer. Palmer was battered all day, being iced down on the sidelines before the end of the first half and looking like he couldn’t wait to get into the locker room as the clock wound down in the fourth quarter.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see that same face on New England quarterback Tom Brady this coming Sunday evening as the game winds down in Foxborough, Mass.?

■ Final thought: Hurray for the Colorado Rockies! They avoided losing 100 games when they defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.

Not much to cheer about, is it?

This is a story very much worth following over the offseason. Questions abound, and many of those will be answered prior to the opening of spring training in mid-February. Will manager Jim Tracy return?

Will Todd Helton give it another try, and, if so, how will the team’s brass deal with a situation that might hamstring the entire makeup of the team? Will Dexter Fowler and/or Michael Cuddyer be traded?

Will the team find anyone who can pitch?

Stay tuned. Much more to come.


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