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Just 15 minutes ago I turned off the TV at home and came to work immediately after watching Super Bowl 50. What a joy! What a feat! What a great way for Peyton Manning to possibly wrap up a career. And what a fitting tribute to the Denver Broncos to have Von Miller be named the Most Valuable Player of the game.
Live by defense; win by defense!
I can’t say it was the best overall game I have ever seen the Broncos play. But it might be easy to say that it was the best defensive game I have ever seen played—particularly by the Broncos.
Cam Newton is good. He is darned good. He deserved the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award by leading the Panthers to a 15-1 record on the regular season and a 17-2 record on the year.
Then he ran into the Denver Broncos.
For the Denver defense to shut Newton down like they did and, except for a lapse when Denver let Ted Ginn Jr. get his excellent receiving hands on the ball, Denver was really pretty close to remarkable.
If it wasn’t for Peyton Manning’s fumble and interception, the Bronco offense was actually pretty productive as well. They didn’t score but one touchdown but they moved the ball enough for Brandon McManus to kick four field goals, which alone would have been enough to win the game.
While no one can say that Manning had one of the best seasons of his career, one can remember that the 39-year-old signal caller did more than his share during the season to get the Broncos to where they could go to the Super Bowl.
Denver undoubtedly got to Santa Clara on the backs of the defense, but the combined efforts of Manning and Brock Osweiler all played major roles for the Broncos to have won the Super Bowl.
And, after Sunday, I’m not sure I don’t believe that Von Miller might have the ability to walk a bit on water, but he alone wasn’t the Denver defense. He had lots of help from Aqib Talib, DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward, Danny Trevathan, Bradley Roby and a few others whose stars shined at various times.
Manning also received help—thank God—from the likes of C.J. Anderson, Ronnie Hillman, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Owen Daniels as well as a few others on the offensive squad who also came through when it was needed.
And, perhaps one of the most important men on the squad who came through time and again when the pressure was on, was place kicker Brandon McManus. McManus probably scored half the Bronco’s points during the season, and he certainly played a role in the team winning more than half of their games.
All along, the Broncos have espoused the philosophy of teamwork being the key. How right they were. There were several standouts on both sides of the ball this year, but the Most Valuable Players on the Denver Broncos roster was the entire time.
Teamwork got things done offensively. Teamwork controlled the season defensively.
And teamwork won Super Bowl 50—decisively.
Congratulations also to John Elway and Gary Kubiak. You got your Super Bowl win.
And congratulations to Pat Bowlen. He may not have been there mentally or physically on Sunday, but he certainly set the tone for the Broncos over the year, being the owner—through thick and thin—who did bring three Super Bowl victories to Denver.
Some really interesting facts pertinent to Rio Blanco County and Northwest Colorado were released last week by “Fast Facts,” which is put out by the Yampa Valley Data Parners, which covers Rio Blanco, Moffat and Routt counties:
Some of those facts are:
Employment: Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties maintained record low unemployment rates in December with Moffat and Rio Blanco trending upward and Routt dropping to 2.4 percent by the end of the fourth quarter. Labor shortages may worsen through the first half of 2016.
Industry: Mining dominated as the top sector by wages in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, distributing nearly $21 million (a quarter of all wage income) in the second quarter of 2015. Health care and social assistance continues to rank in the top three industries for all three counties.
Wages: Moffat’s average weekly wage rose in 2015 to $834, a level not seen since 2011. Rio Blanco and Routt’s average wages were lower in 2015 compared to 2014. Accommodations and food services brought in the lowest average wages in two out of the three counties.
Precipitation: This year’s snow depth was greater at Rabbit Ears, Buffalo Mountain, Burro Mountain and Ripple Creek sites compared to the same period in 2015. Snow-water equivalents are below the 10-year average at Buffalo Pass. Rabbit Ears, Ripple Creek and Burro Mountain came in above their 10-year average.
Coal: Through November 2015, year-to-date coal production at Twentymile mine in Routt County was running 39.4 percent behind 2014. At Deserado mine in Rio Blanco County, year-to-date production was up 37 percent, and Moffat County coal production for the year was up 6.3 percent.
Oil and Gas: Gas production in Rio Blanco County through the first 11 months of 2015 lagged 32.2 percent behind 2014 figures. Gas production also was down in Moffat (18.3 percent) and Routt (22.0 percent) counties while year-to-date oil production in Rio Blanco County showed a decline of 7.7 percent.
It was an interesting event on Saturday night, crossing the county to attend the Rangely Chamber of Commerce’s annual Crab Crack all-you-can-eat Alaskan king crab fest, which raises funds for the chamber and its projects and events.
First of all, it was an incredible event.
The food in its entirety was quite good, but the huge crab legs were massive, running about the size of a woman’s wrist. I have seen some large king crab legs, but these were larger than any king crab legs I have ever run across, and the legs were also as sweet as can be.
The knuckles, which were also huge and very succulent, just didn’t compare to the actual legs, which were world class, as was the event, which was most enjoyable.
The conversation of the night centered around the Rio Blanco County commissioner’s race between incumbent Jeff Eskelson, who was present for the crab, and former county sheriff Si Woodruff, who was not present at the crab feed. (Both had been at the Rio Blanco County Stockgrowers annual meeting and dinner earlier in the day).
Since Si announced that he was running for commissioner, the Meeker folks were saying, as I reported last week, that they like the heck out of Si but don’t necessarily want him to be commissioner.
They also did not fail to point out that Si certainly has a larger base of support in Rangely since he spent quite a bit of time there as sheriff whereas Jeff Eskelson is there on occasion but is not as well known as Woodruff.
“Everybody in Rangely loves Si,” I have heard in Meeker and I also heard it quite a bit over the weekend in Rangely, where I spent Saturday, Saturday night and Sunday morning.
But I also heard a lot of folks say, “…but I’m not sure I want him as a county commissioner.” That stunned me because I had heard how beloved Si is in Rangely.
There is obviously some widespread concern in Rangely about the difference in what it takes to be a sheriff and what it takes to be a commissioner.
There is quite a difference between the two in so many ways. I like both men. I see problems with both men being elected as commissioner, but I am just happy to at least perceive that the voters out there are wise enough to sit down and think for a few minutes on what it takes to be a county commissioner.
A commissioner needs a well-rounded knowledge of all things Rio Blanco County and a public, outgoing persona that likes to and needs to deal with all persons in the county.
And the voter needs to make a wise decision based on who is better for Rio Blanco County; not who is your best friend!
There appears to be a lot on the plate for a commissioner the next four years from the Better Cities programs with the county and both cities; the broadband project with the county and both cities; the sage grouse issues; the coal mine issues; the wild horse issues; severance tax issues; economic development projects and plans; issues with predation of livestock; budgeting issues, etc.
Decisions are going to have to be made. There is no such thing at this level for “make everybody happy.”
Yep, as the old saying goes, this election for county commissioner could be “a real barn burner.”