Get ready for a “Broncos Drive-In Theater Night’ with Boise State a week from Wednesday. Head for Albertsons Stadium’s west parking lot and re-live “Out of the Blue,” the documentary by Hollywood director and Boise State alum and Rhodes Scholar Michael Hoffman. The film, of course, details the 2006 Broncos football team and the leadup to the legendary 2007 Fiesta Bowl. It’ll show on a screen outside ExtraMile Arena. Thirteen years later, the perspective is fascinating. I remember I saw Hoffman at church one time a few months after the game and asked him if he thought the Fiesta Bowl story could become a theatrical release. He said it was possible—but that it would have to happen in a hurry. Sometimes it takes a long, long time for these things to percolate, though. Never say never.
WHEN ‘POSITIVES’ AREN’T POSITIVE
Boise State announced last week that there were “multiple positives” in testing for COVID-19 among the first group of students returning to campus. “Student-athletes will continue to undergo daily health screenings,” the university said. On Monday Boise State told B.J. Rains of the Idaho Press, “We tested an additional 60 student-athletes this past week, but as stated previously, we will not be providing numbers of positive cases.” Presumably there’s a solid plan in place. And hopefully it’s better than Houston’s. The Cougars announced Friday that they were suspending voluntary football and basketball workouts after six players tested positive for the coronavirus. Houston, like Boise State, allowed students to reconvene beginning on June 1.
THINGS THAT ARE OUT OF BOISE STATE’S CONTROL
Next season is supposed to be the big one for Boise State men’s basketball—not only on the court, with a plethora of transfer prepared to up the Broncos’ ante, but also at the gate. Under ordinary circumstances, season ticket sales would be up, with the added boost of first dibs on seats for the 2021 NCAA Tournament. But the circumstances have become extraordinary. How ExtraMile Arena will be configured next season is to be determined, as is the question of how many fans will err on the side of caution and stay home. Then last week came the curve ball, with the push for the NCAA to move the NCAA Tournament out of Boise next March due to the state of Idaho’s new law banning transgender women from playing on women’s sports teams.
How Monday’s Supreme Court ruling on LBGTQ rights affects things remains to be seen. Idaho could hold out as long as it can—until such time as the courts declare the law unconstitutional. That would take too long for the NCAA Tournament’s visit to Boise to be saved. Carrie Westergard, director of the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau, told Heath Druzin of BSU Radio that when March Madness came to Boise in 2018 it brought $15 million to the state. The tournament games accounted for about 2,000 hotel nights. Plus dinner and drinks.
WILL THE BRONCOS BE DUE FOR A DEWBERRY-TYPE?
Here’s a late-bloomer to watch. Could a successful two-year stay at College of Southern Idaho lead to a spot with the hometown Boise State Broncos someday? That’s some way-down-the-line speculation. But Borah High’s Isaac Dewberry is in a good place at CSI after helping the Lions to back-to-back state championships. Dewberry moved to Boise from Chicago before his junior year. As a senior, he averaged 14.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game at Borah. “Isaac will bring a toughness and grit to our program that will be felt from day one,” said Golden Eagles coach Jeff Reinert. “His ability to defend and use this athletic ability at the rim will make a positive impact on our team.” Dewberry joins former Vallivue High star Amoro Lado on the Twin Falls campus. How about Lado as a Bronco, too?
BOYCOTT, THE SEQUEL
A quarter of a century ago, I was just a regular ol’ sometimes-sportscaster sometimes-advertising guy. And when Major League baseball came to a halt in August of 1994, wiping out the World Series and sitting idle until late April, 1995, I was not happy. I decided I was boycotting the majors in 1995. I was successful with the exception of one game—when Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played. I got my fix announcing Boise Hawks games that summer. If the big leagues don’t play in 2020, I’m going to do it again in 2021. And at my age, I might not be back.
STAND BY FOR MINOR LEAGUE FINALITY
The Northwest League is letting Hawks fans down easy. Instead of announcing the 2020 season has been canceled, the league acknowledged Friday that the “season is being delayed indefinitely” due to the pandemic. The other inevitable announcement will follow soon. You have to feel badly for the Hawks and all minor league organizations around the country, sitting as they are at the mercy of Major League Baseball’s ongoing stupidity that is threatening to put it in a permanent backseat among major sports. All this while MLB floats its idea of eliminating 8½ percent of minor league teams. Then again, would the Hawks even be able to play games in Oregon, with the state banning sporting events with large crowds through at least September? (Guess you’d have to define “large crowd.”)
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June 16, 2015, five years ago today: The Golden State Warriors win their first NBA championship in 40 years with a 105-97 victory in Cleveland. The Warriors took the Finals four games-to-two despite a game effort in the series by Cavaliers superstar LeBron James. The matchup between James and the Warriors’ Stephen Curry, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, was overshadowed by Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, whose first start of the entire season didn’t come until Game 4 of the series. Golden State coach Steve Kerr, in his first season, was credited with finally gluing together a very talented group of guys.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)