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Tony Nelson looks like Lou Ferrigno. It’s March MATness!

Mostly Sheep, week 2! I talk about what St. Paddy’s Day is all about and give my picks for my favorite March tournament. 



 It’s week two of Mostly Sheep, and I’m still trying to figure out what kind of blog this will be. I spent many showers (where I do my important thinking) going over the concept and direction of this thing, and then it hit me: It can be whatever the heck I want it to be each week. Eventually, a format will work itself out, but until then, I’m just going to write what’s on my mind for a given week.

This week, I’ll have two posts: One focusing on the NCAA D1 wrestling national championships, and one focused on the other college tournament thing. I think it’s basketball.

But first, some thoughts on St. Paddy’s Day. Saint Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland back in the day, and I guess the day has to do with bringing Christianity to the country. But we all know it as a day where you wear green and get hammered.

People love to shout out that they’re Irish on this holiday, which is more often than not obnoxious and not true. But everyone loves an excuse to wear a shirt that says “Kiss me, I’m Irish”, so power to them. Has anyone ever had any sort of luck from that shirt? I’d like to know if there are people out there that have to tell their kids this story:

“Well, kids, I met your motha one St. Patrick’s Day in Bohston. It was wicked cold at da pub, but I was wearing my friggin “Kiss me I’m Irish” shirt and I was wasted. Your motha had about 12 Irish cah bambs, and she walked right up to me and friggin’ slapped a sloppah on me. Ever since that we was in love.”

My brother is basically a ginger, and I like potato chips and whiskey, so I guess I might as well celebrate along with them.

Anyway, the NCAA basketball tournament isn’t the only madness that kicks off this weekend, bozos.

March MATness starts Thursday, and features college’s best athletes in 10 weight classes vying for national championships.

ESPN recenlty announced they were beefing up their coverage for the tournament, which is good news for wrestling fans and the sport itself.

My brother and I decided to host a bracket challenge for the championships, which takes a hell of a lot of research and work, and even still our picks are probably gonna be off by a mile and a half.

The rules of the challenge are simple enough: choose your picks for All-Americans in each weight class (1-8), and email them to me ([email protected]). We assigned point values to each of the correct picks, and half a point if you picked a guy that placed, but in the wrong spot. It’s easy until you start figuring out the bottom half of the bracket, the consolation side, and go through who drops where and who wins the first round consolations, which as far as I’m concerned are a toss-up.

If you want to play, we’ll keep the deadline open for picks until Wednesday evening. In the meantime, here are my picks, which should not serve as a guideline for anyone because they’re probably garbage. Thanks for following along.

125 pounds:

1st place- Nahshon Garrett, Cornell over Jesse Delgado, Illinois

Delgado won last year’s tournament to make Nico Megaludis (Penn State) a 2-time runner up. I think Garrett is quicker and tougher this year, and will give Cornell a champion.

3-8 – Megaludis, Patterson (OU), Peters (UNI), Martinez (Air Force), Cox (Wyo), Taylor (Wisc.)

133 pounds:

1st place – Jonathon Morrison, OK State over A.J. Schopp, Edinboro

This is one of the toughest brackets to predict. Eveyrone has beaten everyone, essentially, but J-Mo is my favorite to peak at the right time. He has the benefit of not having Tony Ramos on his side of the bracket, and instead will have to get through Joe Colon, a former JuCo champ. OK State always wrestles big in big situations.

3-8- Ramos (Iowa), DiJulius (OH State), Graff (Wisc), Colon (UNI), Thorn (Minn), Brewer (OU)

141 pounds:

1st place – Logan Stieber, OH State over Pitchell Port, Edinboro

It was a big deal when freshman phenom Zain Retherford (Penn St.) beat Stieber earlier in the year, but the two-time champ got revenge at the Big Ten’s. The two should meet in the semis for a rubber match, but I think Stieber wins every match of this tournament by at least 3 points.

3-8: Retherford, Dziewa (Iowa), Carter (VT), Mecate (ODU), Dardanes (Minn), Vaith (Hofstra)

149 pounds:

1st place – Drake Houdashelt, Mizzou, over Nick Dardanes, Minn

Houdashelt is a grown man doing grown man things. I have returning national champ from Oklahoma Kendric Maple placing right at his seed of fourth. It’s tough to move up a weight class and win it again.

3-8 -Tsirtsis (NW), Maple, Kindig (OK State), Villalonga (Corn), Sueflohn (Neb), Grothus (Iowa)

157 pounds:

1st place – James Green, Neb., over Alex Dieringer, OK State

James Green has benefitted from working out with 2-time world champ and Olympic champ Jordan Burroughs in the Nebraska room. Dieringer is a tough kid that will have to pull the upset of Derek St. John (Iowa), but like I said about OK State, they shine in the big time.

3-8 – St. John, Miller (KSU), Ness (Minn), Taffur (BU), Jordan (Wisc), Realbuto (Corn)

165 pounds:

1st place – David Taylor, Penn State over Tyler Caldwell, OK State

David Taylor is one of the most dominant and decorated wrestlers in school history. He should (mostly) walk/tilt through the tournament for his 2nd national title and 2nd Hodge Trophy.

3-8 – Sulzer (UVA), Moore (Iowa), Monk (NDSU), Mock (Chat), Luvsandorj (Citadel), Yates (Mich)

174 pounds:

1st place – Chris Perry, OK State over Andrew Howe, OU

This bracket features 3 national champs, but Perry and Howe is the match we all want to see. It should be the one that gets flexed as the last match of the night during the finals. It features two national champions (Howe in 2010 with Wisconsin, Perry last year) going at it in what will be the rubber match between the two. Howe has been off the scene after taking an Olympic redshirt, but he comes back with experience and a few grinding bouts with Jordan Burroughs under his belt. Perry is, well, a Perry. Nephew of John Smith, brother of Mark Perry. March is “his time”, he said. Should be a blast.

3-8 – Kokesh (Neb), Brown (Penn St), Evans (Iowa), Storely (Minn), Wilps (Pitt), Hammond (CSB)

184 pounds:

1st place – Ed Ruth, Penn St over Jimmy Sheptock, Maryland

On his quest for his third straight national title, this could be Ruth’s toughest path to the finals and the top of the podium. Gabe Dean from Cornell has beaten him once, and Sheptock has beaten everyone (28-0). Look for Ruth’s championship experience to shine through, he and Taylor will wrap up their illustrious careers with titles.

3-8 – Dean, Thomusseit (Pitt), Lofthouse (Iowa), Steinhaus (Minn), Abounader (Mich), Swartz (Boise St.)

197 pounds:

1st place – Kyven Gadson, Iowa St., over Morgan McIntosh, Penn St.

These two are no sure locks to make the finals, and will have to beat several guys ranked ahead of them to get there. Gadson has been on a mission since the loss of his father last season, and has improved in all areas. McIntosh is one of the slickest 197 pounders I’ve ever seen. I’d like to see these two match up, so I predicted it in hopes that it will happen.

3-8 – Heflin (OH St.), Cox (Miszzou), Schiller (Minn), Rutt (OU), Perry (Blo), Burak (Iowa)

285 pounds:

1st place – Tony Nelson, Minn, over Adam Chalfant, Ind.

These guys had an OT battle in the Big 10 finals that was ultimately decided by a heavy amount of heavyweight sweat. I’d love to see a rematch, and Nelson will likely repeat as NCAA champ. He kind of looks like Lou Ferrigno, BTW.

3-8 – Telford (Iowa), Gwiazdowski (NC State), McMullan (NW), Medberry (Wisc), McClure (MSU), Coon (Mich).

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Denver’s Wes Watkins dynamic new future-funk EP is from another planet




Future-Funk Party Starter | Wes Watkins

Dreams Out from Denver’s best kept secret Wes Watkins wears so many musical hats it needs a rack; downtempo G-Funk homage and sweltering nee-Soul / Rn’B are all over this release, all covered with a thicc pop glaze and a penchant for electronic-sonic experimentation that keep every song fascinatingly adventurous while maintaining a danceability and groove that easily, easily warrants multiple listens. Don’t sleep on this one.

Lo-Fuzz Folkie | Hoi Ann

The beauty of Hoi Ann’s Tangenier lies in both what you can hear and what it may want you to not hear. Lo-fi folk and bedroom-pop are easily tangible on its surface, but the buzzy electronic tones that sparingly flourish the 5 songs of this release lie low and create a unique aural atmosphere for listeners, like hidden secrets for your ears only.

Indie-Punk Sweeties | Gestalt

The pop-punk shred-bois in Gestalt are back at it again; The irresistible combo of the Get Up Kids earnest midwestern-emo and smart pop-punk wit of the Wonder Years is strong on the tracks that encompass LongBoix, as is an acute fondness and growing appreciation for the finer indie rock of yesteryear. Well I guess this is growing up.

Psych-Rock Screamcore | Gone Full Heathen

On their criminally good self titled EP, Fort Collins heavies Gone Full Heathen friggin dare you to try and trap them in a single genre. Nice try, but they’ll just chew right through your puny ropes using a gnashing blend of crushing stoner-rock laced hardcore punk and overdriven psych-rock / post-metal induced bite like the righteous rock and roll wolves that they are.

All releases available for purchase now thru Bandcamp. Go Local!

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The Haze Craze for Lazy Days



There are many different styles of beer. Ranging from light lagers (think Bud Light) and ales to sours, stouts, and IPAs.

Within those styles, however, are varying styles.

For example, one would think a sour beer is a sour beer, right? Wrong. According to the Beer Judge Certification Program, which defines every style of beer, there are six recognized European sour styles.

For IPAs, there are seven. American beers have four; stouts have three… You get the point.

Even with viewing the list of recognized styles, it’s not a complete list.

Take New England IPAs (NE IPA), as a prime example. Many breweries are currently mass producing this style of beer, and it’s selling like crazy.

You may have heard one of your annoying beer loving friends talk about drinking a “juice bomb,” or a requesting a “hazy IPA” at the pub, and shrugged it off. It turns out, they (sometimes) know what they are talking about.

What makes NE IPAs so popular when compared to a more traditional, West Coast IPA? NE IPAs have all of the hop flavors, without an overabundance of bitterness.

Instead of constantly adding hops throughout the boil to achieve a fruity flavor balanced by bitterness, the NE IPA has a small hop addition at the begging, and then nothing else until after the boil has finished.

That translates into a beer with very little bitterness, and plenty of hop aroma and flavor. Hops like Citra, Mosaic, Mosaic, Galaxy, and El Dorado are most common in NE IPAs, according to the Homebrewers Association. Those hops tend to impart a fruity, and dare I say, juicy flavor profile.

Between the juicy flavor and the seemingly natural haziness to NE IPAs, it’s not far fetched for an NE IPA to look like a tall glass of orange or grapefruit juice, only carbonated and full of alcohol.

NE IPAs are starting to gain momentum here in Colorado, with breweries turning their focus to the haze craze. Specifically, Odd13, WeldWerks, and Epic Brewing coming to mind.

Odd13 is based in Lafayette, Colo. and has a long list of NE-inspired IPAs constantly rotating through the tap room and distributed throughout the state. Codename: Super fan and Noob are two beers that are found in cans, and both offer a different approach to the haze craze.

WeldWerks is based in Greeley, Colo. and has accumulated a cult-like following in just a few short years for its Juicy Bits NE IPA. The brewery just started self-distributing locally, so you’ll have to make the trip to the brewery and pick up a crowler or four. Be sure to check the WeldWerks Facebook page for availability and limits. Yes, they have to place per person limits on how much you can purchase.

Epic Brewing recently announced its NE IPA, which will rotate between four different flavor profiles throughout the year. The cans will look the same but will be different colors as a quick way to tell identify which version you have.

So the next time you walk into a brewery or liquor store, it’s OK to ask for a hazy or juicy IPA. It’s a thing, and, frankly, they are damn good.

On Tap: By the time this hits newsstands, ThunderZone Pizza & Taphouse will have opened on the CSU-P campus. Located at 2270 Rawlings Blvd., the ThunderZone features 32 taps, a carefully curated tap list, and is locally owned.

At the opening, the tap list includes tasty brews from the likes of Florence Brewing and Lost Highway.

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Senators upend GOP health care bill in true Trump style… Twitter



WASHINGTON — When Sens. Mike Lee and Jerry Moran decided they were in ready to disrupt the GOP rewrite of the health care law, they chose President Donald Trump’s favorite medium.

They could not support Senate Republicans’ plan, the somewhat unlikely pair of conservatives tweeted at 8:30 p.m. Monday night, giving no heads up to the White House or Senate leaders before pressing send.

The story behind the statement reveals two senators willing to be branded as bill killers and seemingly unconcerned with trying to soften the blow with party leaders.

The announcement, coming after some 10 days of conversations between the men, stunned official Washington and left Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at least two votes short in the closely divided Senate from being able to move forward with the GOP bill, effectively sinking the measure. It landed shortly after Trump dined with a group of senators to discuss strategy – unwittingly plotting a plan that would immediately become outdated.

Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican leader, found out about Lee’s defection after the White House dinner of rosemary-grilled rib eye and summer vegetable succotash. He “had no idea it was coming,” Cornyn said.

Another Republican, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, found out from TV news.

Moran, a second-term lawmaker from Kansas who isn’t known for making waves, and Lee, a two-term senator from Utah who has clashed with Trump, have been talking over the past 10 days about the health care legislation and agreed the GOP bill did not go far enough to repeal Obamacare or address rising health-care costs. They decided to announce their position to make the bill’s fate clear and allow senators to move on, Moran said.

“It could have been prolonged for days or weeks while no one said anything,” Moran said in an interview.

Moran, who oversaw the Senate Republicans’ 2014 election campaigns, concluded last week he wouldn’t vote for the latest version of the bill but “gave myself a weekend in Kansas to think about it,” he said.

Lee had helped draft an amendment, along with fellow conservative Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would allow insurers to sell skimpy plans alongside more robust ones to lower costs. Cruz agreed to some changes in wording by GOP leaders, but Lee thought the new language allowed too many Obama-era regulations to remain in place.

After talking again, Moran and Lee agreed Monday night on a statement drafted earlier in the day. They issued their statement shortly after a White House dinner attended by seven GOP senators – all likely yes votes on the health care bill. Neither Lee nor Moran attended.

A Lee spokesman said the statement – and its timing – “had nothing to do with the White House dinner. It was not a reaction in any way.”

The statement was made public as soon as it was ready, the spokesman said.

Neither Trump nor McConnell received advance warning about the statement, although it’s likely that neither the president nor the Senate leader was completely surprised.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spent the weekend calling lawmakers, including Lee and at least seven other GOP senators, according to the administration. Trump talked politics, while Pence discussed policy.

Trump called Lee on Saturday, and Lee told the president he was leaning against the bill, for the reasons he later made public.

Lee told Utah’s KSL Newsradio that he had a great conversation with Trump, when he told the president his “consumer freedom” amendment had been weakened and that he wasn’t sure that he could support the bill.

“He was encouraging to me and said, you know, ‘Just see what changes you can make to it,’ ” Lee said.

Lee and McConnell did not talk over the weekend, but Lee spoke twice to Cornyn, R-Texas, the majority whip.

Trump, who frequently takes to Twitter to announce proposals or denounce opponents, was blindsided by, of all things, a tweet.

He told reporters Tuesday he was “very surprised when the two folks came out last night, because we thought they were in fairly good shape. But they did. And, you know, everybody has their own reason.”

Moran said while he remained committed to repealing the health care law, Congress needs to make a “fresh start” on writing a replacement bill in an “open legislative process.”

“We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy,” he said, in a statement that followed the tweet.

In his own statement, Lee said the GOP bill does not repeal all the Obamacare tax increases and “doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”

Both explanations were issued on social media.

“Twitter is a nice medium to get your message out,” Lee’s spokesman said.

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