Carney Column: And we’re off and running | PostIndependent.com

Carney Column: And we’re off and running

Friday marks the official start of high school football season, and I couldn’t be more excited. When football starts back up, especially at the high school level, it gets the competitive juices flowing once again, even if I’m nearly 10 years removed from playing high school football.

Rifle hosts Grand Valley Friday, and Olathe travels to New Castle to take on the Coal Ridge Titans, so the first week will be pretty busy locally, at least for football.

That said, it’s time for me to take some vacation time with my wife and son. We’re traveling back to the east coast Friday and won’t be back until Sept. 9, so the sports coverage will look a bit strange while I’m gone. This isn’t a spontaneous vacation for me and my family; we’ve had this in the works since my son was born last fall, because we’re traveling home to see family and celebrate his first birthday.

I know it can be frustrating to not see certain games in the paper, but the rest of the staff is going to do its best to cover for me while I’m gone. Jerry Raehal, John Stroud, Kyle Mills, and Mike Vidakovich will provide as much coverage as they can outside of their daily responsibilities, while Chelsea Self will shoot photos for as many games as she can get to.

The whole point of this is to ask for patience. It’s early in the season, and I’m really only going to be out about a week from work. Hopefully this is all understanding and there won’t be any hiccups while I’m away.

GIVE LUCK A BREAK

Former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck broke the Internet Saturday night, announcing his surprising retirement from the NFL at just 29 years old.

Luck said he was mentally and physically worn down from an endless cycle of rehabbing multiple injuries over the past four years. With him saying that, and the timing of the retirement, tons of fans, media personalities, and the average Joe are crushing the Stanford graduate, saying he is mentally weak and didn’t love the game enough.

What a crock.

It’s hard for me to question a pro athlete’s level of desire, considering what they had to go through physically and mentally to reach the highest level in that sport. It’s also not the “millennial way” as Fox Sports analyst Doug Gottlieb referred to Saturday night after news dropped that Luck was walking away. Yes, rehabbing and going through the mental grind to get back onto the field are some of the hardest things pro athletes will do. Luck didn’t take the easy way out; he opted for smart. That’s something Gottlieb doesn’t know anything about, considering he was broke in college and decided to steal his roommate’s credit card while at Notre Dame and charge a number of purchases to it. Classy guy.

I wish Luck the best and hope he can get healthy and live the life that he wants.

LET LLOYD KICK IT

U.S. Women’s National Team member Carli Lloyd is making headlines this week after kicking a 55-yard field goal at Eagles camp. Lloyd said she’d love to kick in the NFL, yet there are those in the sports media world that think its a silly notion that a woman can kick in the NFL.

Not only have we seen women kick in football in the past, Becca Longo recently signed with Adams State as a kicker and has a real shot at kicking in the NFL down the road. Lloyd, 36, could absolutely hold down a kicking job in the NFL. It’s not like it’s the most physical position in the game. If she just focused on kicking field goals and not worrying about tackling returners on kickoffs, she could be really successful at it.

It’s foolish to say in absolute certainty that she couldn’t kick in the NFL. I’m all for giving her a shot. It’s not as if every kicker in the NFL is amazing.

It shouldn’t matter if the kicker is white, black, orange, yellow, male, female, or an alien: if they can put the ball through the uprights consistently and score one or three points for my team, I’m all in.

WHERE DO THE ROCKIES GO FROM HERE?

Currently, the Rockies are 59-74, have the third-worst record in the National League, and can’t seem to find any semblance of consistency on the mound. So, where do they go from here?

That’s the million-dollar question, since the Rockies have spent so much money in the last two offseasons and appear to be hamstrung financially for the next few seasons.

Hard decisions and major backlash could — and probably should — be on the horizon.

Nolan Arenado is safe from any sort of trade, but it sounds like Charlie Blackmon isn’t since the Rockies need to sign Trevor Story to an extension. It’s great that Colorado put such an emphasis on offense, signing Arenado and Blackmon to extensions, and Ian Desmond and Daniel Murphy to big free agency deals, but the pitching has been an abject disaster, thanks to steps back from Kyle Freeland in the rotation, and Wade Davis and Bryan Shaw in the bullpen. This was supposed to be such a promising year for the Rockies, but it’s been one major problem after the next. Maybe it’s time for drastic changes.

BRONCOS ARE BETTER THAN PEOPLE THINK

I’m all in on Vic Fangio as the Broncos’ coach, and if you aren’t at this point, you should be.

While I’m not a fan of Joe Flacco at all at this point in his career, I think he’s a great fit for what the Broncos want to do, which is run the ball, take care of the football, take the occasional deep shot down the field, and play smash-mouth, violent defense. As currently constructed, it looks like it’s going to be a fun year in Broncos Country.

Sure, the Chiefs are the class of the division, but lets not forget how well the Broncos played them last year. With an upgrade at quarterback and within the coaching staff, don’t be surprised if the Broncos give the Chiefs a run for their money for the division crown.

With Luck retiring, the Ravens being a relative unknown in the first full year of Lamar Jackson under center, the Chargers missing Melvin Gordon and Derwin James for extended periods, at least a Wild Card spot appears wide open for Denver.

Josh Carney is the sports editor of the Post Independent. For information regarding prep sports, or to ask Josh general sports questions, please email him at jcarney@postindependent.com


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