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Showing posts from August, 2014

2014 Broncos Season, Preseason Week 4

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The preseason is over! The regular season begins Thursday! It's time for football that counts! But between now and then, some heart-breaking and difficult decisions have to be made. And the way some of these Broncos played last night in Dallas will make it tougher. Final cuts, where the Broncos have to shed 22 players, must be made by tomorrow afternoon. Then, on Sunday, the Broncos can create a Practice Squad. I hope some of the young Bronco contributors who played well last night can make that Practice Squad!

Preseason Week Four: Broncos 27, Dallas Cowboys 3
Preseason Record: 3-1 (1-1 Home)
Key Play: Following a Tony Carter interception, in a scoreless game late in the first quarter, Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler connected with Andre Caldwell on a 34-yard strike that took the ball to the Cowboys' one yard line. On the next play CJ Anderson punched the ball in for a touchdown, giving Denver a 7-0 lead. The Broncos never looked back, dominating the final three quarters for …

Now Playing

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Here's a look at the new movie I saw this week.

When the Game Stands Tall
Starring: Jim Caviezel, Laura Dern, Michael Chiklis, and Clancy Brown
Synopsis: ABC sports famously depicted the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. But when watching “When The Game Stands Tall,” a biopic about a high school football team that saw its record-setting win streak snapped, you get the feeling they could have appreciated those two points as well. We are in the midst of the another football season. The NFL preseason is ending and the regular season is less than a week away, the college football season begins this weekend and many high school teams have already begun playing games. It feels like the perfect time to release “When The Game Stands Tall,” a film that’s about football but at the same time isn’t. That’s because the characters depicted understood football was just a game, and life is about so much more than a game. It’s a beautiful story that follows the end of one season and the …

2014 NFL Preview, AFC West

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Today I continue my 2014 NFL previews with the AFC West. This is the last of the AFC divisions, and I think the best. Below I have the teams in the order I believe they finish.

1. Denver Broncos
About: This team has been 13-3 the past two seasons, and has won the division the last three seasons. With Peyton Manning, a host of weapons, and a decent defense this team will once again be near the top of the heap in the AFC. There appears to be no Super Bowl hangover (arguably they had the hangover in the actual Super Bowl), as the Broncos' first-team offense has been sharp this preseason. I think this is going to be a good team that will make a run again. As always, it's the post season where you start to wonder if the Broncos are good enough to win it all. Again, too, it comes down to health. The Broncos, on paper, have a really deep team. But if the injuries pile up, that will be tested. And a key injury could cripple the team. But for now, this should be an easy division win fo…

2014 NFL Preview, NFC South

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Today I continue my look at the upcoming NFL season with a preview of the NFC South. I'm tackling the divisions in order of how good I think they are, and we're over the half-way point. As always, the team's are listed in the order I believe they will finish.

1. New Orleans Saints
About: The Saints remain the class of the division. They have Drew Brees at quarterback and a lot of talented players on offense, including tight end Jimmy Graham. I think the Saints will be able to put up points, but I also think their defense will be better. The splashed a lot of money out on Jarius Byrd at safety, to pair with Kenny Vaccaro, and if nothing else Champ Bailey will bring a veteran presence and make the younger players better. I think the Saints are good for 11 or 12 wins, and that will be good enough to win the division.

2. Atlanta Falcons
About: The Falcons had a horrific year last season. Before that, they were Super Bowl contenders. I don't think either will be the case in …

Summer TV Roundup, Week Sixteen

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Here's a look at the new shows I saw this week. In these weekly posts I review the pilot and second episode of new shows. If you don't see a new show from this summer listed below, check previous weeks. Summer is almost over, so the pickings are getting thin.

Wednesday Nights:
Legends, Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on TNT
About: This TNT drama borrows some of its plot and character names from a spy novel. That's about all it has in common with its source material. Instead, this feels very much like a procedural with weekly spy missions. Sean Bean, the show's star, is a good actor, and he brings a lot of likeabillity to the part, but I still am not sure what the point of the show is. His lead character — Martin Odum — appears to be suffering some kind of cracks with reality. The show has hinted as some larger conspiracies, but through two episodes that hasn't really panned out. Nor have we really seen Martin fully invested in a cover identity, or Legend. That appears to be …

Emmy Picks

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The Emmy Awards are on tonight — yes, on a Monday. Below is my quick guide to my picks.

Best Drama:
Will Win — "Breaking Bad"
Should Win — "True Detective"

Best Comedy:
Will Win and Should Win — "VEEP"

Outstanding Mini Series:
Will Win and Should Win — "Fargo"

Best TV Movie:
Will Win: "The Normal Heart"
Should Win: "Sherlock: His Last Vow"

Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
Will and Should Win: Matthew McConaughey, "True Detective"

Lead Actress in a Drama Series:
Will Win: Julianna Marguiles, "The Good Wife"
Should Win: Lizzy Caplan, "Masters of Sex"

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Will Win: Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
Will and Should Win: Julia Louis Dreyfuss

Lead Actor in a Mini Series or Movie:
Will Win: Martin Freeman, "Fargo"

Lead Actress in a Mini Series or Movie:
Will Win: Jessica Lange, "America Horror Story"

Supporting Actor in a Dram…

2014 Broncos Season, Roster Predictions

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Three preseason games are in the books, and the Broncos have made their first round of roster cuts. The roster currently sits at 77 players. Two more will be cut before Tuesday, then the Broncos will have to cut 22 players from the active roster to get down to 53 following Thursday's final exhibition game. The starting positions are (mostly) set, but here's my guess at some of the players who will make the active roster and could be part of the practice squad.

Quarterback:
* Peyton Manning
* Brock Osweiler

I like Zac Dysert, and so do the Broncos. They kept three quarterbacks last season, but it feels like the team is going to need extra roster spots.

Running Back:
* Montee Ball
* Ronnie Hillman
* CJ Anderson
* Juwan Thompson

The top three here appear set. With Ball out, Hillman and Anderson split first team reps, and all three played in the first half with Manning Saturday night. Thompson has been the best of the rest, showing a lot of burst. I think he'd be a good additio…

2014 Broncos Season, Preseason Week 3

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Here's my recap of the Broncos latest preseason tilt.

Preseason Week 3: Houston Texans 18, Broncos 17
Preseason Record: 2-1 (1-1 Home)
Key Play: With under two minutes in the game and the Texans trailing 17-10, rookie quarterback Tom Savage connected with tight end Ryan Griffin on a 31-yard touchdown pass that made it 17-16. Savage then converted the two-point conversion, and the Texans took an 18-17 lead with under a minute to play. The Broncos couldn't answer.

Recap: No one likes to lose a game, but in the grand scheme of things a preseason game doesn't really hurt that much. In fact, according to stats regarding the preseason, it's not a great benefit to go undefeated in games that don't count. And given the sloppy practices that followed the Broncos' 34-0 beat down of San Francisco last week, maybe this will provide motivation. After all, the first team offense and defense left the field leading 17-7. It wasn't a great performance, but it was a good perfor…

Mile High Memories

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Since I was little, my dad and I have watched the Denver Broncos. I don't know why I was first drawn to them, though my mom thinks it was the orange uniforms. That's probably it. But either way, they've been a lifelong obsession.

Almost since that time, my dad and I have talked about getting to see the Broncos together at Mile High Stadium. I've now been to the Stadium three times, and each has been memorable. The first year we moved, Lindsay and I took the stadium tour. There was no game, but I got to tough the field.

Last summer, Lindsay and I took the plunge and went to a game. Being in the seats, seeing the Broncos on the field, and being surrounded by a throng of fans was overwhelming. I will probably always treasure that memory — it was the first NFL game for Lindsay and for me, and we did it together.

Saturday was something different. My dad moved to Colorado on February 1, just in time for the Super Bowl that shall not be named. Now, six months later, we final…

2014 NFL Preview, NFC East

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Today I continue my 2014 NFL previews. I'm reviewing one division at a time in order from worst to best. Today we get the NFC East, the first of the NFC divisions, and arguably the hardest one to call. You could easily make a case for any of the four teams finishing first and for any of them finishing last. Below I have them listed in the order I think they'll finish. In six weeks, we might have to pretend this post never happened.

1. Philadelphia Eagles
About: The Eagles won the division last year. In most pre-season polls, that wasn't who people picked. But Chip Kelly's offense clicked, the defense was just good enough, and the rest of the division swooned. So why would it be different this season? Well, for one, it's all on Nick Foles. He was a surprise hit last season after the Eagles started with Michael Vick under center. Now this is Foles' job, and he has Mark Sanchez behind him while Vick is mentoring Geno Smith for the New York Jets. The Eagles also lo…

Now Playing

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Here's a look at the new movie I saw this week.

Let's Be Cops
Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans, Jr., Nina Dobrev, Rob Riggle, Keegan Michael Key, Andy Garcia, and James D'Arcy
Synopsis: On Tuesday nights during the TV season, Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr., ply their comedy talents as Nick and Coach in the FOX sitcom “New Girl.” You might rightly be asking what that has to do with the new movie “Let’s Be Cops.” Well, fans of that show appreciate the rapport between the actors and their characters. They work well together on screen, so it makes some sense they’d tackle a movie together. That movie, “Let’s Be Cops,” feels very much like those two characters branched off to have their own adventure. Johnson plays a character somewhat similar to his TV alter-ego, while Wayans plays a character that feels like a hybrid of the characters he played in “New Girl” and another popular sitcom, “Happy Endings.” Somehow their natural charisma and talent elevates a pedestrian p…

2014 NFL Preview, AFC East

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Today I continue my 2014 NFL previews by division with the AFC East. I am going in order of weakest to strongest division in the NFL. This is the third straight AFC division. So why the AFC East over the AFC North, where arguably the teams might be stronger in the middle? Because the AFC East still has a dominant team, whereas the AFC North doesn't. I have the teams listed below in the order I think they finish this season.

1. New England Patriots
About: Every year people wonder if the Patriots will take a step back, and every year the Patriots seem to be there late in the AFC playoffs. I think this year will be no different. This isn't the same team that had an undefeated regular season, and the Patriots certainly have holes, but they also have a will to win. People have questioned the strength of the Patriots backs and receivers, but they are no worse than last season when the team made it to the AFC Title game. With a healthy Rob Gronkowski back, this offense might be impro…

Summer TV Roundup, Week Fifteen

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In these weekly posts I review the pilot and second episode of new shows this summer. As summer's winding down, the new shows are getting thinner. If you don't see a new show listed below, check previous weeks! Just a couple more weeks of summer reviews then we start the review of new fall shows!

Wednesday Nights:
Legends, Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on TNT
About: Sean Bean is a talented actor that is known for one very important thing in most of his roles — he dies. Many still haven't gotten over seeing Bean, as Ned Stark, beheaded in the penultimate episode of the first season of "Game of Thrones." TNT, in promoting its new spy drama "Legends" starring Bean, has had a lot of fun with this. They've created hashtags about saving Sean Bean, etc. to generate interest in the show. The fact that marketing campaign might be the best thing about the show is a big part of the problem. "Legends" is based on a novel, but the TNT series has shed most of th…

2014 Broncos Season, Preseason Week 2

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In this space each week I chronicle the 2014 Broncos season. Here's the recap of week two of the preseason.

Preseason Week Two: Broncos 34, San Francisco 49ers 0
Preseason Record: 2-0 (1-0 Home)
Key Play: Already up 3-0, early in the second quarter on the second possession for the Broncos, Peyton Manning connected with tight end Julius Thomas on a 17-yard touchdown strike to make it 10-0. The Broncos' starting offense came out after that play, and the team never looked back. The Broncos led 17-0 at the half, and won 34-0.

Recap: Winning 34-0 is impressive, especially on the road in the opening game of a team's new stadium. That being said, it's the preseason, so let's not get too excited here. It was good to see how the Broncos would respond after a rough week. There were fights in practice, training camp ended, and Danny Trevathan — the Broncos starting linebacker — broke a bone in his knee, the first major injury of the season. So when the Broncos came out, executed…

The Meaning of Life

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"If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning." — C.S. Lewis

Our current Sunday School material is challenging and dense. Case in point — this week's lesson was on the meaning of life. It started with the Atheistic perspective, which states life has no meaning. It quoted an atheist philosopher which said the atheistic worldview provided no redemption, no salvation, nothing beyond our life, and no hope for those who'd ruined their one life on earth.

What a bleak outlook. What the chapter centered on was that God provided the meaning for life through the person of Jesus Christ. But one of the more interesting, and difficult discussions, was the assertion that the world would be a dark, bleak place if everyone was an atheist. William Lane Craig, the theologian and Bible scho…

Contrasting styles

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This past week I went to a special leadership conference called The Global Leadership Summit. There are always great messages, and big ideas at this conference, and this year was no exception. But there was one idea that really resonated with me.

Susan Cain wrote a book called "Quiet." She's an introvert, and she did some research about introverts, what makes them tick, and how they can be productive in a world that doesn't value that. Since I scored a 10-0 on the Meyers Briggs when it came to Introvert vs. Extrovert (10-0 toward introvert), I was fascinated.

A big part of her talk was about how many introverts aren't recognized as such by peers and co-workers because they have learned to adapt to a world that wants people to be social and outspoken. This, too, resonated with me. As I told a co-worker at the conference, I'm a left-handed introvert, so I've had to adjust to the world a lot.

While I think it's good that work places start to value peopl…

2014 NFL Preview, AFC North

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Today I continue my NFL previews by division. I am looking at one division at a time, going from weakest division to strongest division in the NFL. I began with the AFC South on Monday, and now I'm moving to the AFC North. Below I have the teams listed in the order I think they finish in their division this season. At the end, I'll attempt to guess the season records for all 32 NFL teams. Let the laughing begin…

1. Cincinnati Bengals
About: This is a tough division to read for a lot of reasons. The Bengals won last year, but they didn't really improve themselves this off season. In fact, one of the differences between the AFC North and the AFC East is the lack of a dominant team. That being said, one team has to win here. The Bengals have essentially the same big pieces on offense. Andrew Hawkins is gone, but the team still has A.J. Green and enough to make the passing game decent. Giovanni Bernard should continue to grow, the Bengals will be OK on that side of the ball. …

Now Playing

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Here's a look at the new movies I saw this week.

Into the Storm
Starring: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, and Matt Walsh
About: Eighteen years ago, the world got a tornado disaster movie classic in "Twister." In that time, plenty of improvements have been made in terms of special effects. So it makes sense that people in Hollywood would go to the well again. This time it's about tornado chasers and local residents caught in a string of super storms. You don't go into a movie like this expecting greatness — either in terms of acting or story. You hope for some interesting characters, a decent and easy to follow plot, and some good special effects. On those terms, "Into the Storm" is simply OK. Some people have complained about the characters and story, but I thought it was OK. I was annoyed by the found footage feel of a lot of the film, which is all the rage still and needs to die quickly. The special effects were pretty good here, and there was…

Summer TV Roundup, Week Fourteen

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In these posts every week I look at the new shows that have premiered this summer. I review the pilot and second episode of as many new shows as possible. If you don't see new show from this summer below, please check previous weeks.

Thursday Nights:
The Honorable Woman, Thursdays at 10 p.m. on Sundance
About: This is a co-production of the BBC and Sundance. It follows a Jewish woman in England whose a successful business woman and a member of the House of Lords. She is trying to make a difference in Middle East relations, while hiding some family secrets. And she ends up pulled into some of the ugliness of that region. The first two episodes of the show were, for the most part, a struggle. It seemed to move at a glacial pace, it was hard to see what was going on, and it wasn't that compelling. At first, I thought some of that was due to being set in the world of British politics, a system that's unfamiliar. As the second episode went on, I thought it became a little more …

Remembering a Legend

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"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" — John Keating, "Dead Poets Society"

It's been a hard year for fans of the movies, as a number of talented people have passed away. Yesterday, we lost another of those talented people in Robin Williams. The facts surroundi…

2014 NFL Preview, AFC South

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In honor of the coming NFL Season, I'll be doing my previews by division. I am going in reverse order (in my opinion) from worst to best division. Hence, we're beginning with the AFC South. I will be chronicling teams in order of how I think they finish in their division. I will have a post at the end of the previews where I will (attempt to) guess the records for teams in 2014.

1. Indianapolis Colts
About: There is really only good team in this division. The Colts will be in the playoffs, but I'm not sure if they are strong enough to really compete for a title. Andrew Luck is a great quarterback, and likely he will continue to improve. But on offense, the Colts are counting on Trent Richardson to carry the running game, something we didn't see after the trade last year. It's hard to believe he's going to be a lot better, despite the Colts' optimism. The receivers are deep and will improve. the Colts added Hakeem Nicks from the Giants, and Reggie Wayne is …

Reconsidering 'Joshua'

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"Remind them that I love them. That I died for them. Tell them that my love is real. That if they open their hearts to it, I will fill that emptiness and that they will be able to love one another. That's the message. Hasn't changed. Tell them. Tell them…" — Joshua, "Joshua"

Sometimes watching a movie many times over many years can refine your feelings and take on a topic. I thought about that with "Joshua," a Christian movie that came out in 2002. I've seen it nearly a dozen times, and over the years I think I've refined my opinion of the film and its contents.

Right now in Ignite we've introduced movie days, a time when we'll look at a movie and its worldview. We just finished a faith foundations unit, so it seemed like a good time to tackle the movie "Joshua." It has a lot to say about what it means to be a Christian, the point of the Bible, and how we relate to the world.

Written as a novel by Joseph Gizzone, a retir…

Examining America's cultural problems

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"Well, even to this day, if I smell a Big Mac, I'm like Pavlov's dog. My mouth starts watering immediately, like, 'Man, that is so good,' but I can't take a bite of it." — Morgan Spurlock

A few years ago, I saw the documentary "Super Size Me." Some have been critical of it because it feels like an attack on a single company, but I always felt like it was an attack on America. McDonald's was a recognizable choice, but the film could have worked with a lot of different options.

The basic point was the quick, easy, and cheap food in our country is killing us. But the problem is that eating healthy is expensive.

Things haven't improved much in the time since that documentary. Now, Spurlock is back with a seven-part mini-documentary series called "The Seven Deadly Sins." The idea being this sins, while famous, are applicable in tangible ways to the issues we're currently dealing with as a society.

The first episode aired on Thu…

2014 Broncos Season, Preseason Week 1

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In this space each week I offer my thoughts, analysis, and impressions of the Denver Broncos in their quest to reach, and win, the Super Bowl.

Preseason Week One: Broncos 21, Seattle Seahawks 16
Preseason Record: 1-0; 1-0 Home
Key Play: Trailing 16-14 in the fourth quarter, and facing a Third and 14, backup quarterback Brock Osweiler was forced to scramble, running for 15 yards and a first down. One play later, Osweiler connected with wide receiver Jordan Norwood on a 34-yard touchdown strike, winning the game.

Recap: This was the first preseason game of the year, and it looked like it. The game was sloppy — with both teams committing a number of penalties and missing plays. That's to be expected. Of course the early part of the game was interesting to watch as the starters locked horns for about a quarter. Peyton Manning looked to be in good form, leading the Broncos to a touchdown drive in his two possessions in the game. Otherwise, it was a chance to get a look at some players, so…