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The Denver Nuggets have work to do

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Your Denver Nuggets are maddeningly, tantalizingly close to being a winning squad.

The made-up story I tell myself: Mudiay is trying to explain a turnover and Malone is trying to remain calm
The made-up story I tell myself: Mudiay is trying to explain a turnover and Malone is trying to remain calm
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The evening started with 32 ounces of Everclear. It ended with a concussion, several bumps and bruises, and a promise.

Tuesday night’s election coverage and the Nuggets last-second loss to Memphis? No, but I get why you’d think that. Had that been true, I’d only hope that karmically, somewhere in Memphis, someone was as equally overjoyed about both outcomes, and may have celebrated with Everclear.

Sadly, my high-octane story was from my late teenage years. Said Everclear was followed by a few beers, a fall from a second story balcony, a bit of belligerence, and me exiting a car. A task I perform quite often, but this car happened to still be in motion. I’d missed that fact, and somehow still managed to get both feet outside the vehicle. I left my mark on the lawn I rolled up into with a ridiculously stupid blood-and-bile combo. Not my finest hour.

I’d also forgotten that I was singing solos in all three sessions of church the next morning, the first of which started promptly at 7:45. I do not remember getting into bed, but it has been rumored it that may have happened sometime around 4:30. My father woke me at 6 to find a kid with a bloody pillow rolling over and hurking into his trash can. My dad’s single, and care-filled query:

"You gonna sing for ‘em, or you gonna puke on ‘em?"

Dad’s language tended to get monosyllabic when he was trying not to get pissed, so I affirmed my intentions to sing, though I mentally reserved puking as a possibility. My father’s advice was simple. "Get up. There’s work to do, Mike." He was right, and I’d made a promise. I followed my instructions to get up and grabbed a ridiculously painful shower. Dad was smart enough to drive me back and forth to church, my latin was piss-poor at best, and I had more than a few extra chores that week. But I learned something simple that day. No matter how the previous night hurt, there’s work to do the next day. This is true if you were stupid, lucky, or both.

Denver Stiff’s Adam Mares threw out a telling tweet yesterday, in that the Denver Nuggets have been so close in three of their four losses as to be scant seconds from a 6-1 record. That’s exciting stuff for Denver Nuggets fans, but doesn’t change the reality of a 3-4 record, in either its glimmer of hope or worries of mediocrity, depending on which set of lenses you use to view this Nuggets team and staff.

Tuesday night’s game against the Grizzlies was no exception. It was exciting to be hanging close with a team who sits on the first rung of a ladder we’re trying to climb. It was frustrating to see another winnable game slip through our grasp in the closing seconds. Players and coaches have each had a moment to take a look in the mirror after some very questionable moments in some very winnable games of late. Conversely, three out of six on the road isn’t too shabby, Nuggets fans. Had we won five of our first six road games, we all might be saying some irrational things of our own right now. The list of Denver teams whose road record stayed at .500 or above for a season is very short.

Home games have been a rare sighting indeed, with the Nuggets playing their second homer of the season tonight against the Golden State Warriors. No easy game to come home to after a long trip to start the season. Denver’s first home game against the Trail Blazers was another gut-wrencher, with a few easy opportunities to close out the game botched away, only to lose it all in overtime. Success seems tantalizingly close, but that sort of itch can also be maddeningly difficult to scratch. There will be some compelling moments in the Denver Nuggets next few weeks, no matter what the outcomes. Thank goodness there’s not been anything else dramatic going on in anyone’s lives.

So, simply a friendly reminder for our community, both large and small. Players, coaches, fans, Stiffs, and casual readers alike. Maybe you feel hungover from a close Nuggets loss or worried about the minor flubs that are keeping this team in the losing column. You may be drunk with celebration or pain over politics, family, friends, or the fellow Stiff who called you something unkind yesterday. It could be you’re pained by the guy on the other side of the aisle’s idiotic opinion. Remember, he’s not clear on your idiocy, either. Maybe you simply read "Everclear" in that first paragraph, got way out ahead of us all, and are seeing this last sentence blur before your very eyes…

Get up, guys. There’s work to do.