Still looking for a rooting interest and/or drinking game for Sunday's national holiday? We combed through the roster and coaching staffs of the Colts and Saints to find Colorado connections. Because you should always root for Colorado, regardless of the circumstances. Including when two teams from Indiana and Louisiana play each other in Miami. There are three players/coaches from the Colts with a line from Colorado on their resume, and, conveniently, three from the Saints. You know Mike Bell is on the list, but you might be surprised who else is on there.
Because the connections are split evenly, we've taken the liberty of assigning a point value between one and ten to each one to bring your rooting interest numerical certainty. We've also invented a drinking game, because, well, this is Westword, and any reason we can find to drink is cause to celebrate (yeah, like we ever need a reason).
1. Jim Caldwell: Head Coach Connection: CU Wide Recievers Coach, 1982-1984 Value: In his present role, Caldwell is far and away the highest profile person on either list. He'll actually get significant screen time on Sunday, unlike... pretty much everyone else. On the other hand, he was Wide Receivers Coach for three awful CU teams in the 80s. They had one win in his final season with the team. 7 Points Drink every time you see Jim Caldwell call a play. So that's two drinks, give or take. It's a marathon, people. 2. Gijon Robinson: Tight End Connection: Born in Denver October 12, 1984 Value: Thus far this season, Gijon Robinson has 9 receptions for 69 yards and no touchdowns. But tight ends do a fair number of non-statistical things, so he's definitely a contributor. A contributor they wouldn't miss, probably, but still. As for his Colorado roots, he didn't even play high school ball here. So they aren't very deep. 3 points Drink every time you see Gijon Robinson throw a block (he's number 47). We reward the attentive with drunkenness. 3. Rod Perry: Special Assistant to the Defense Connection: CU Defensive Back, 1972-1974 Value: Rod Perry is a random member of the Colts coaching staff -- Assistant to the Defense? What is that? Some sort of Dwight from The Office situation? That said, Perry was a stud at Colorado, earning All Big 8 honors in his senior season. He went on to a Pro Bowl career with the Rams. We value contributions to Colorado far more than contributions to current teams in this game, so 6 points. Drink every time An announcer says, "This defensive staff for the Colts..."
Total Points: 16
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New Orleans Saints
1. Mike Bell: Running Back Connection: Broncos Running Back, 2006-2007 Value: The honeymoon was pretty short here in Denver, but for his first season, Mike Bell was the Broncos' annual awesome back. We've got a fond memory or two. Presently, he's playing third fiddle to Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. But platoons are all the rage, and being a third option is good for 654 yards and 5 touchdowns this season. 8 points Drink every time Mike Bell runs the ball. Duh. 2. Billy Miller: Tight End (reserve) Connection: Broncos Tight End, 1999-2000 Value: Billy Miller won't even be putting on pads this weekend. He's had some productive seasons in his ten-year career, but this might well be his last hurrah (and it's a quiet hurrah). He played his rookie and sophomore years in Denver, and he managed to get on the field pretty consistently. He didn't have a ton of catches, but he played in eight of Denver's eleven wins in 2000. We have a soft spot for role players. 5 points Drink every time the Saints win the Super Bowl, as a toast. 3. Mike Mallory: Assistant Special Teams Coach Connection: Father Bill Mallory was head coach at CU, 1974-1978 Value: Weirdly, Bill Mallory would have coached Rod Perry in 1974. So that means... something. Mike's got coaching staff job only barely less random than Perry, and we do not have a soft spot for inheritance. Daddy can't get you more than 2 points Drink every time the Saints get past the 40 as the return team or pin the Colts behind the 10.
Total Points: 15
So the Colts take it by a hair. Too bad we're actually rooting for the Saints.