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Boise State football: And the hits just keep on comin’

I’ve been writing this column for almost 20 years. There’s been more history woven into it in the past five months than the previous two decades combined.
Credit: Otto Kitsinger/AP Photo
Tailgaters fill the parking lots at Albertsons Stadium before an NCAA game between Washington and Boise State in Boise, Idaho, on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. Boise State won 16-13.

BOISE, Idaho — Tuesday, August 11, 2020.

Every roundhouse right we’ve absorbed this year in the college football world has kind of prepared us for the next one. Slowly but surely it’s sinking in, but there will be no Boise State football in 2020. This came four whole days after the Mountain West unveiled its revised plans for the season. If you had been told on St. Patrick’s Day this would happen, it would have been knee-buckling—in an “are you kidding me?” kind of way. But we’ve been mentally preparing for this. What a huge void that leaves during everybody’s favorite time of the year in the Treasure Valley. And what a gut-punch for Broncos seniors like Jalen Walker and John Bates, who are NFL prospects. If the Mountain West does opt for a spring season, does it make sense for them to go through with it or just prepare for the NFL?

It's hard to put your finger on what this does to life in the Treasure Valley. You need a pretty big finger. Boise State has been an increasing part of the fall fabric here since first playing as a four-year school 52 years ago. What is now Albertsons Stadium has been expanded five times to accommodate the growing fan base. The 21st century has been especially electric. The Broncos average 33,000 fans per game, but countless more people follow the program, watching on TV from home whether the team is on the blue turf or on the road. Boise State is unique as a Group of 5 program. It’s a national brand, and it’s off the table for months to come.

PARADIS PROTECTING A NEW QB

The NFL is full speed ahead, right? We talked a lot about Matt Paradis when he was a Denver Bronco, earning a Super Bowl ring in his second season. When he signed with Carolina as a free agent in 2019, the former Boise State star was kind of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. (That can happen to offensive linemen.) Turns out Paradis’ first season as a Panther was uneven. He was part of a line that tied for the most sacks allowed in the NFL with 58. But Cam Newton is gone now, and Teddy Bridgewater is in at QB. “(Bridgewater’s) a reassuring presence—very calm and collected,” Paradis told Panthers.com. “He’s sharp, he’s moving quick, commanding in the huddle. The Council High grad is also excited to be reunited with two of his former Denver linemates this year, Russell Okung and Michael Schofield.

WAIT – IT’S ALBERTSONS BOISE OPEN WEEK?

Did this sneak up on us, or what? Must be 2020. The 31st annual Albertsons Boise Open tees off Thursday morning at Hillcrest Country Club. This year the Boise stop is the second of the four tournaments making up the revamped Korn Ferry Tour Finals, so there’s a lot at stake for the players in the field. This is the definitive route to the PGA Tour, just like it has been the previous four years. There will be no fans, of course. “It’s not something that anybody wanted to do,” said tournament founder and director Jeff Sanders Monday on Idaho SportsTalk. “It’s something that was necessary to do.”

HEALTHY BEGINNING FOR HUGO

Boise State’s Hugo Townsend was strong out of the gate in stroke play Monday at the U.S. Men’s Amateur in Bandon, OR. Townsend, a sophomore from Boden, Sweden, fired a two-under 69 on the Bandon Trails course and is tied for 16th. A couple of Eagle golfers are also in the field. Graysen Huff, a senior at Auburn, shot a one-over 72 and is tied for 56th. Carson Barry, a sophomore at Oregon State, carded a four-over 75 and will be hard-pressed to make the cut today. The top 64 golfers after today’s round advance to match play at the famed Bandon Dunes Resort. Huff and Barry were seen on a tweeted photo during Sunday’s practice round with Spuddy Buddy stuffed dolls attached to their bags. Nice touch.

SLOCUM SISTERS’ CAREERS – 3,924 MILES APART

When Destiny Slocum’s marvelous and widespread college basketball career ends, Trinity Slocum’s will begin in a land even further away. Trinity, a senior-to-be at Mountain View High, announced on Twitter Sunday that she has committed to play for Hawaii. She helped the Mavericks to the state 5A championship in February. Destiny, a two-time Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year for Mountain View, will be playing for her third school when she suits up at Arkansas as a graduate transfer next season. She heads there after two All-Pac 12 seasons at Oregon State. Destiny was the 2017 Big Ten Freshman of the Year at Maryland.

EAGLE’S BODILY IN THE BUBBLE FINAL

It would require an odd set of circumstances to get Eagle native Blake Bodily into the championship game of the “MLS is Back” tournament tonight. But Bodily will get a ring (or whatever comes with a title) if the Portland Timbers defeat Orlando City FC. Bodily did play one minute in the Timbers’ 3-1 win over New York City FC in the quarterfinals last week. The Eagle native is pretty far down the bench. That wasn’t the case during Bodily’s career at the University of Washington, where he was Pac-12 Player of the Year while scoring 12 goals with six assists as a junior. The entire tournament has been played at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney World, so it’s kind of a home game for Orlando City. But without fans, who cares? Interestingly enough, the MLS resumes its regular season on Wednesday—outside its bubble.

THIS DAY IN SPORTS…August 11, 1991:

John Daly wins the first of his two major titles in dominating fashion at the PGA Championship in suburban Indianapolis. Daly gripped it and ripped it to the tune of a three-stroke victory over Bruce Lietzke. It was remarkable in that Daly had been the ninth alternate to get into the tournament at the beginning of the week. But a series of withdrawals allowed him to qualify. Daly’s career has been a wild and sometimes controversial ride. He won the 1995 Open Championship. He also played in the 2011 Albertsons Boise Open at Hillcrest Country Club and missed the cut.

(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.) 

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