It’s a Saturday morning in September, and one day from now we’ll have a Broncos game in Pittsburgh followed a few hours later by a Nuggets playoff game against the Lakers in Florida.
This is the weird we’re here for, 2020.
More of this, less of all that natural disaster/public health emergency/social unrest stuff.
Garett Bolles — A-
We’re just going to throw this out there: Did you think about Garett Bolles once during Monday night’s game against the Titans?
The Grading the Week staff sure as heck didn’t — at least not until there was about four minutes left and the thought occurred to us that we hadn’t once cursed the Broncos starting left tackle’s name. That, dear readers, is progress.
Not that we should be completely surprised by it. Bolles was actually solid-to-good during the second half of the 2019 season. Unfortunately, all of those penalty flags in games 1-8 (nine to be exact) really stuck in Broncos’ fans collective craw. Once general manager John Elway declined to pick up his fifth-year option, that only added to the public’s clamor for the Bolles’ era to end.
We’re here to tell you: Things could be a lot worse.
Bolles’ biggest sin on Monday night, according to Ryan O’Halloran’s excellent game charting, was allowing one quarterback knockdown. And keep in mind, Bolles was matched up opposite former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney for a few snaps.
All in all, that’s a pretty solid evening for the 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman.
Perhaps Broncos fans won’t have Bolles to kick around anymore. Well, at least until Sunday.
CHSAA — B
The back and forth is over.
We will have high school football in Colorado this fall. Or, at least some schools will.
The Colorado High School Activities Association split the baby, as it were, by voting to allow school districts to choose which season they wanted their teams to play — fall or spring. (And telling us about it at 10 p.m. Wednesday, not that we’re bitter.)
This seems like the best possible compromise, and a great win for prep athletes across the state — even if they had to endure several weeks of hope followed by crushing disappointment.
Is it the right thing to do? The Grading the Week staff’s medical credentials aren’t substantial enough to answer that question with total certainty. There’s always the fear that holding games could unwittingly spread the virus to other parts of the community that are more vulnerable, which is presumably part of the reason Denver Public Schools isn’t as hot on the idea.
But there is one thing we can all agree on: Everyone wants to see Friday night lights.
Now we just have to cross our fingers and hope it all works out.
Michael Malone + Tim Connelly — A+
It does not matter what happens from here on out.
Whether the Lakers win in four or the Nuggets stampede all the way to the Larry O’Brien trophy, this season can only be seen as an unmitigated success for Denver’s NBA franchise. Whether it was rallying his team from down 3-1 (twice!) or making the necessary adjustments in each series to turn the tide, coach Michael Malone has come out smelling like roses in these NBA playoffs.
And suddenly, the world is Denver’s oyster.
If a prominent free-agent hits the market looking to be the missing piece for a title contender, or a star wants out of a bad situation, who do you think gets the first phone call? Tim Connelly and the Nuggets.
Of course, thanks to the loaded roster assembled by Denver’s top executive, the Nuggets may not have to do anything at all. They could just wait for potential future stars Michael Porter Jr. or Bol Bol to blossom next to current superstars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, and let everyone else engage in the NBA rat race.
Take notes, Jeff Bridich. This is how it’s done.