Taking a “where are they now” whirl

There’s no shortage of interesting catch-up out there on former Boise State Broncos. There’s no shortage of interesting catch-up out there this week on former Boise State Broncos. First, from the “10 things to know about Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford” feature in the Dallas Morning News last weekend come these forgotten facts. Doctors discovered Crawford had a small heart murmur while he was being evaluated at the NFL Combine in early 2012. He got “Jay Ajayi’d” over it, with at least one NFL team removing Crawford from its draft board. “It’s not rare, and it’s something I can play with and it never will affect me,” Crawford said. Perhaps along those lines, Crawford was the winner of the Ed Block Courage Award following last season. The award goes to an NFL player who best exemplifies the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Other nominees included the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski and the Lions’ Calvin Johnson.

Finally, the DFN reported that “Crawford nearly missed the Cowboys wild-card playoff win over Detroit last season after having an allergic reaction to eating seafood the Thursday before the game. He missed practice the next day after experiencing swelling and dryness in his throat. ‘My throat was really dry,’ Crawford said. ‘I couldn’t really get a lot of air in. If you guys ever see me eating lobster or shellfish again, please slap me in the head.’ He was listed as questionable for the game but played and had three tackles and a pass breakup in the 24-20 victory, even though he threw up on the sidelines and required intravenous fluids at halftime.”

Whatever happened to former Boise State standout Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe? The Dutch defensive lineman by way of Boise High is back on San Diego’s regular roster after spending last season on injured reserve (and, fortunately, drawing a paycheck). Tjong-A-Tjoe, now listed at 6-2, 309 pounds, continues to rehabilitate the knee he injured last August and hopes to be ready for Chargers training camp in two months. He logged 126 tackles and eight sacks during his four-year Boise State career and signed on with the Bolts as an undrafted free agent a little over a year ago. Incidentally, Tjong-A-Tjoe and his wife just became parents to a baby daughter.

Speaking of babies, Jeff Caves talked about this story earlier this week. Boise State product Gerald Alexander, now a graduate assistant at Washington, and his wife Krystina had a wild ride Monday as they became parents of a baby boy. Gerald delivered him in the bath tub. Krystina told the tale well on Instagram: “At 4 pm my labor started. At 4:50 my son was ready to come. My midwife hadn’t made it yet, but my son decided it was his time to come. I did not even push, he pushed his way out on his own after 3 huge contractions…he shot out like a cannon!!! My husband delivered our son at 4:56 pm! He had to react fast, and jumped in the tub with me as soon as I said he was coming! Such a crazy, wonderful story to tell our son as he grows. Thank you God for a beautiful healthy baby boy…Kamari Gerrell Alexander, 7lbs, 12oz, 21in.”

Coming off a Lemony Snicket-type series of unforturnate events, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is now facing a new hurdle. The good news: the 2015 game will be all alone in its time slot and will kick off at 1:30 p.m. It’ll still be kind of light when it ends. The bad news: ESPN has placed it on a Tuesday afternoon—on December 22, three days before Christmas. Getting bodies in the seats will be a challenge, but could it be any worse than last year? Driving rain and wind held attendance to its lowest figure in 16 years at 18,223. And there were less than half that many in the stands for Air Force’s 38-24 win over Western Michigan. Executive director Kevin McDonald and his excellent crew are schemin’ as we speak.

There are two benchmarks in the Mountain West arms race this week. Demolition began Monday on the press box at Utah State’s newly renamed Maverik Stadium. What will replace it is a complex of 24 luxury suites, 20 loge boxes, more than 700 covered club seats and a premium club area for hosting student-athletes. The press box will also be state-of-the-art. And site work began this week in preparation for construction of Colorado State’s new football stadium. The $220 million facility, which will have a seating capacity of 40,085, is scheduled to open in time for the 2017 season.

While Troy Merritt takes the week off, Graham DeLaet has returned to action at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. The former Boise State star is in the middle of the pack after the first round, having shot even-par 70 yesterday. “Even” is a good word for it—he carded 16 pars, one birdie and one bogey. DeLaet did play the weekend two weeks ago at The Players Championship, but he tied for 56th and has missed four of his last six cuts. Elsewhere, Boise’s Kevin Burton has qualified for the US Senior Open next month after winning a tense four-player playoff at Sectional Qualifying in Molalla, OR. The one-time Boise State golf coach has been on this perch before, having played in one US Open and four PGA Championships.

There’s a former Boise Hawk to follow now on the Seattle Mariners roster. He’s what you might call a “fringe” former Hawk, though. Welington Castillo played in three games for Boise in 2006, going 1-for-6 while he was trying to work his way up as an undrafted free agent. Castillo made it all the way to the majors, though, and has been with the Cubs since 2010. The .269 career hitter from the Dominican Republic was traded to the M’s Tuesday for righthanded reliever Yoervis Medina. Castillo made his debut for Seattle last night, going 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in a 5-4 loss at Baltimore.

Northwest Nazarene pole vaulter Payton Lewis is set for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships this weekend in Allendale, MI. Lewis, a freshman from Nampa, also made the Division II Indoor Championships this winter and finished ninth. He won both the Great Northwest Athletic Conference indoor and outdoor titles and will compete tomorrow morning. Also, the College of Idaho’s Amy Pfaff has advanced to tomorrow’s final of the 1,500-meters at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Gulf Shores, AL.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by ZAMZOW’S…nobody knows like Zamzows!

May 22, 1969: The question of alignment in the merger of the National Football League and American Football League is settled. The NFL’s Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to move from their compatriots in what would become the NFC to join AFL franchises in what would become the AFC. The Colts and Steelers would both win a Super Bowl within six years. The Browns have never even been to the Super Bowl—not the original version that became the Baltimore Ravens, nor the current version of the team that was born in 1999.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)