2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Monday Practice Musings

    Mon, August 25, 2008 by admin with 4 comments

    I thought there was some sloppy play early in today’s practice – some missed throws, drops and missed blocking assignments. But Air Force coach Troy Calhoun seemed pleased with his team’s work.

    “They went after it pretty good,” he said. “It was a pretty physical practice today.” Even though the players were in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts. …

    -Looks like senior quarterback Shea Smith will start – at least the first play of the first series – on Saturday. Smith once again is listed as the starter on the Falcons’ two-deep chart. And Calhoun said he “probably” would play first against Southern Utah. …

    -Check out Tuesday’s edition of The Gazette for an article on Air Force’s special teams. One thing I didn’t fit in the article is that Calhoun thought kicker Ryan Harrison was unfairly left off the Lou Groza Award watch list. The Groza award goes to the nation’s top kicker. There were 30 players on the watch list.

    “I mean, how many of the guys on that list hit three field goals of 50 or more yards,” last season, as Harrison did, Calhoun said. “There aren’t many guys that did that. He should’ve been on it.” …

    -Freshman tailback Paul Weatheroy went down with an injured left knee in Monday’s practice. Calhoun said he’d have a better idea of how serious it is tomorrow.

  • Southern Utah Week Depth Chart

    Mon, August 25, 2008 by admin with 1 comment

    The depth chart for Southern Utah week was released this afternoon.

    Senior Shea Smith remains listed as the starting quarterback with junior Eric Herbort listed as the backup, though Air Force coach Troy Calhoun has said both will play on Saturday against the Thunderbirds.

    The changes:

    -Senior Spencer Armstrong is listed as the starter at X receiver, with sophomore Kevin Fogler the backup. Sean Quintana had been the starter before spending most of the last week at tight end.

    -Sophomore Kyle Lumpkin now is listed ahead of sophomore Savier Stephens as the Falcons’ starting tailback.

    -Sophomore outside linebacker Andre Morris Jr. once again is listed as a starter. Outside linebacker Will Keuchler, who was listed as a starter opposite Hunter Altman on the previous depth chart, now is listed as Altman’s backup.

    -As expected, Nick Charles is listed as the starter at left guard. Charles was not on the last two depth charts because he missed about the first two-and-a-half weeks of practice with a hamstring injury.

    -Sophomores Rick Ricketts, Chase Darden and Stephan Atrice now are listed as the backups at nose guard, right end and strong safety, respectively.


    WR-X     26 Spencer Armstrong (Sr.)

                    83 Kevin Fogler (So.)

    TE           85 Keith Madsen (Sr.)

                    81 Sean Quintana (Jr.)

    LT           79 Keith Williams (Sr.)

                    59 Ryan Gonzales (Jr.)

    LG           57 Nick Charles (Jr.)

                    61 Tyler Shonsheck (So.)

    C             63 Andrew Pipes (Sr.)

                    65 Michael Hampton (Jr.)

    RG           62 Peter Lusk (Jr.)

                    73 A.J. Wallerstein (Fr.)

    RT           60 Chris Campbell (Jr.)

                    77 Ben Marshall (So.)

    QB          14 Shea Smith (Sr.)

                    7   Eric Herbort (Jr.)

    FB           25 Todd Newell (Sr.)

                    42 Jared Tew (So.)

    TB           28 Kyle Lumpkin (So.)

                    2   Savier Stephens (So.)

    WR-Z     4   Kyle Halderman (So.)

                    8   Reggie Rembert (So.)


    LE           95 Jake Paulson (Sr.)

                    51 Myles Morales (Jr.)

    NG          93 Ben Garland (Jr.)

                    90 Rick Ricketts (So.)

    RE           91 Ryan Kemp (Sr.)

                    74 Chase Darden (So.)

    OLB        32 Hunter Altman (Sr.)

                    37 Will Keuchler (So.)

    ILB          48 Brandon Reeves (Sr.)

                    43 Justin Moore (Jr.)

    ILB          47 Ken Lamendola (So.)

                    55 Clay Bryant (Jr.)

    OLB        36 Andre Morris Jr. (So.)

                    52 Caleb Konemann (Fr.)

    CB           22 Brenton Byrd-Fulbright (Jr.)

                    5   Anthony Wright (Fr.)

    CB           8   Reggie Rembert (So.)

                    6   Kevin Rivers (Sr.)

    SS           34 Chris Thomas (Jr.)

                    21 Stephan Atrice (So.)

    FS           23 Aaron Kirchoff (Sr.)

                    30 Luke Yeager (Sr.)

    Special Teams

    PK           13 Ryan Harrison (Sr.)

                    94 Zack Bell (So.)

    P              13 Ryan Harrison (Sr.)

                    98 Brandon Geyer (Jr.)

    DS           50 Scott Howley (Sr.)

                    40 Ryan Southworth (So.)

    H             98 Brandon Geyer (Jr.)

                    14 Shea Smith (Sr.)

    KR          8   Reggie Rembert (So.)

                    26 Spencer Armstrong (Sr.)

    PR           8   Reggie Rembert (So.)               

                    5   Anthony Wright (Fr.)

  • MWC Coaches’ Salaries

    Mon, August 25, 2008 by admin with 1 comment

    Lya Wodraska, The Salt Lake Tribune’s excellent Utah football beat writer, wrote a good article about Utes coach Kyle Whittingham that you can find here. To run with the article, she compiled a list of the salaries of the Mountain West Conference head coaches.

    Air Force coach Troy Calhoun’s base salary ranks seventh among the nine coaches in the league.

    When Calhoun first was hired, prior to the 2007 season, he signed a five-year deal with a base salary of $500,000 that was to increase by 5 percent each year.

    But the academy restructured his contract after the 2007 campaign, bumping his base salary to $560,000. Athletic director Hans Mueh at the time said he had offered Calhoun a larger raise but Calhoun turned it down because he wanted to make sure his assistants received raises too.

    Calhoun’s deal is now structured as a “rolling” contract that will renew automatically each year so he always will have five years remaining. Calhoun’s base salary ranks seventh among coaches in the league. The total value of his deal, when factoring in benefits, is $646,000.

  • More Q and A with Calhoun

    Mon, August 25, 2008 by admin with 2 comments

    As promised, here is more of my interview with Air Force coach Troy Calhoun. The initial part of the Q and A appeared in Sunday’s edition of The Gazette. (See it here).

    Q: Last year you and your staff were new, but players had experience. This year your staff is entrenched but there’s not much experience among the players. Which season was harder for which to prepare?

    A: They both certainly are filled with a tremendous amount of challenges, but you’re always going to have challenges at an academy. That’s part of working at one of the three academies.

    Q: What would constitute a successful 2008?

    A: Always for us at our place, you always know what the mission is. And the mission is to turn out the world’s best leaders. That means they’re extremely well educated and character-wise they are strong young men and young women at the academy. That’s where I think no matter where you are you want to do that, but here at the academy that’s always where it starts.

    Q: The day after the Armed Forces Bowl, you mentioned the possibility of using two quarterbacks during the 2008 season. When did it become a reality?

    A: I’ve done it before. Now how much, maybe it was for only one or two series a game. It varies from year-to-year. We did it last year at a bunch of positions. Even safety, where (Aaron) Kirchoff would come in and (Chris) Thomas would be out for a series or Kirchoff would come in and maybe play a couple series for Bobby Giannini. I just think that’s part of developing young people. And I like to have a lot of guys involved. I think it’s great for morale, I think it’s tremendous for depth whenever someone gets hurt or dinged up. There were points last year where we go play at Notre Dame (with Travis Dekker injured) and because (Keith) Madsen had a chance to play a good bit you’re still able to function. When Caleb Morris gets hurt later in the season, you’re still able to move the ball well in the last couple games when maybe he wasn’t completely healthy. That’s something I want to do. I think it makes it a better experience for our players the more guys that are involved. It’s just got to be proven that you’re ready for that kind of responsibility.

    Q: When did you use two quarterbacks before where you gave a lot of reps to the second guy?

    A: I’ve done it probably in 2002, or actually in 2001 (at Wake Forest) I did it a good bit. I think it’s possible to do. And I think it’s certainly the way we’re going to begin, especially the first few ballgames this year.

    Q: How much have the injuries to Z receiver Ty Paffett and tight end Travis Dekker hurt the team?

    A: It’s the reality of football. One of the toughest parts of coaching is you’ve got a young man that’s done absolutely everything the way that it could be done. At this place, the military part of it, the leadership responsibilities, academically and lifting and running. Just their dedication, you know how much they’ve put into it – their hearts. You want those guys to be able to experience their senior year of football. And first and foremost your thoughts are with the kids. And yet you’re going to have to be able to adapt as you go along. We need to get to a point where in three years you’re extremely deep and you realize, OK, you can be able to adjust. And yet we’ll be able to adjust this year. We’ll still be able to adapt. You’ve got to do it in different ways.

    Q: You were named the No. 5 most influential sports figure in Colorado Springs by The Gazette. What does that mean to you?

    A: Every single day you work at the academy, you’re here for one reason, and that’s to help young men and young women develop and grow and be prepared as leaders. That’s our mission. Every day you walk down the hallway you know that’s our mission. Our best chance for young people to be successful when they leave the academy, our best chance to be competitive as a football team, and our best chance to enjoy working at the academy is when it’s completely a team and it’s an ‘us’ approach. And that’s the only way we’re going to do it.

    Q: Who has told you that Air Force can’t be consistently competitive in a conference?

    A: I’ve heard it a number of times – in fact at graduate functions this summer I was asked that – is it realistic for the Air Force Academy to be able to do this in football. And, again, I know that it’s tough and you’ve got to have incredible support at this place. And then the other thing, I want to see if just, strategically, if there are things we can do for the academy. Instead of having a $95 million stadium project, whether or not it can come to fruition, can we find little things here or there to always do to enhance the well-being of the academy? Is there something you can do with the tunnel walking down into the stadium? Is there something you can do with the perimeter fence around the stadium? Is there something that you could do with as you drive onto the base on game day, just have things that say this is an Air Force football day. In a way where it brings more spirit to the school, and it’s helpful to the way you work from a football standpoint, but more importantly it reflects extremely well on the academy.

    Q: You did some of that in the hallways of the football offices, right?

    A: We did. At this place, I just think that’s part of growth and development. And they don’t have to be unreasonable. They don’t need to be greedy, they don’t need to be demanding, they don’t need to be multi-million dollar projects. But just simple little things. The thing we don’t want to do, we don’t want to operate from a mindset of, ‘Hey, if it was good enough 15 years ago, then it’s got to be good enough now.’ I think that’s part of growth, that’s part of development and I just think it’s great for morale. For employees around the academy, I think especially for the cadets, for what you’re trying to teach them here at the academy for what they do one day. And you realize that it doesn’t have to be anything that’s extravagant and extremely fancy, but just something that’s classy. And really it helps the institution.

  • Practice Wrap – 8/23

    Sat, August 23, 2008 by admin with 1 comment

    Air Force capped its preseason today with a scrimmage at Falcon Stadium.

    Final score (according to my tally – the scoreboard stopped keeping score late in the first half):

    First and second teams 57, Scouts 13.

    Just like with the NFL preseason, you can’t judge much from a scrimmage that pits starters and backups against scouts – most of whom are freshmen. But there were some things to like.

    Air Force’s offense was effective, scoring on its first seven drives (Senior quarterback Shea Smith led the offense to touchdowns in each of his four drives, while junior quarterback Eric Herbort led the Falcons to a touchdown and a pair of field goals).

    I liked what the tailbacks did. According to the stats I kept (it had been a while since I charted high school games, but I did OK), sophomore Kyle Lumpkin rushed for 50 yards and a score on seven carries, and sophomore Savier Stephens rushed for 59 yards on eight carries.

    I thought the defense looked good, though it gave up one big play – a 74-yard touchdown run by Devon Ford Jr.

    “We did give up the one really long run, really on a basic run, on a power play, and we should have had that fitted, because it was one of our base calls,” Calhoun said.

    Special teams were mostly good. Ryan Harrison hit all his field goal and extra point attempts and came up with a perfectly placed sky kick on a kickoff. His one low moment was putting a sky kick out of bounce.

    Who Stood Out: Reggie Rembert.

    I warned readers of this blog earlier that they’d probably have to suffer through some analogies to the Washington Redskins’ teams of the 1980s. (The Skins were the team of my youth, and my father and I went to just about all the home games from 1982 through 1991).

    Anyway, here’s another: When Rembert gets the ball in his hands, it just feels like something exciting is going to happen. Kind of like when former Redskins’ corner Darrell Green got the ball.

    Now, I’m not saying Rembert is Green, a first-ballot Hall of Famer. (Though Rembert, like Green, is a fast, undersized corner who also returns kicks). But it’s just that feeling when he gets the ball.

    On Saturday, in addition to playing cornerback, Rembert played Z receiver and carried the ball twice for 16 yards and a score (it was the third consecutive Saturday he scored while playing offense). He also returned a punt for a touchdown (though a flag brought it back) and recovered a “sky kick” kickoff.

    After the scrimmage, Calhoun talked about Rembert.

    “We’ve got to keep a close eye on how much he’s involved,” Calhoun said. “I think the kid’s in pretty good shape. He works hard in practice, he’s attentive and he goes hard in all your conditioning stuff. We’ve just got to make sure that we don’t kill him.”

    At that point, Jimmy Arthur, the Falcons’ radio play-by-play man, asked where Calhoun defined the “kill threshold.”

    “We’re gonna find out,” Calhoun said. “We’re gonna push that edge a little bit.”

    Other standouts:

    -The running game.

    Lumpkin and  Stephens both looked very good, but I decided to recognize “the running game” as a whole, because I know the offensive line had a lot to do with Lumpkin’s and Stephens’ yards. The offensive line, as I wrote about for today’s edition of The Gazette, really has a chance to be a strength of this team.

    That said, I think Lumpkin and Stephens make a nice one-two punch. They took turns with the first- and second-team offenses on Saturday and will split time this fall. Both run well – Stephens kind of glides and deliberately finds his way through a defense, while Lumpkin bursts through holes.

    -Sean Quintana.

    The receiver has been playing tight end in recent weeks because of injuries to Travis Dekker and Steve Shaffer. And he’s adapted almost seamlessly to his new spot. On Saturday he hauled in three passes for 26 yards.

    “You’re going to see him line up in both spots (wide receiver and tight end), especially the first month and a half of the season until we get Dekker back,” Calhoun said. “You find if you’re willing to be versatile with different guys and put them in different spots, match-up-wise, now all of sudden you get a chance to work him on a linebacker or a safety. … He’s a tough kid and a great competitor.”

    Lasting Image: Strength and conditioning coach Matt McGettigan firing passes at Dekker and Ty Paffett.

    At halftime and then in the latter stages of the scrimmage on the sideline, McGettigan stood about five yards away from the players and beamed the ball at them to help them work on their hands.

    Dekker (fractured ankle) still is on crutches, and Paffett (back) still looks like he’s a long way from getting back on the field. It’s too bad, as both are seniors. You can’t help but feel for them. Said Dekker of football as he left the stadium: “It’s amazing how much you love it when you don’t have it.”

    QB Corner: Both Smith and Herbort moved the team, but Smith was a bit sharper. Calhoun noted that Smith ran all his plays with the first offense, which helps. But he didn’t make any mistakes. And was great on the option. He made on-target pitches, good reads and even ran twice for 25 yards. (He also completed 4 of 6 passes for 58 yards).

    Herbort ran three times for 10 yards and completed 2 of 5 passes for 11 yards, including a four-yard touchdown pass to fullback Todd Newell. But he had the offense in the wrong play once and made a bad pitch that Stephens had to recover.

    I think we’ll see Smith at the top of the two-deep chart on Monday, and I expect him to get the first couple series next Saturday against Southern Utah.

    Freshman Tim Jefferson looked like a freshman Saturday, losing a fumble and throwing a pass that was picked off by safety Chris Thomas.

    Quote to Note: “If they’ll be clean with the ball and get us in the right play, we’re going to move the football.” – Calhoun on his quarterbacks. He’s right. The Falcons signal callers don’t have to make tons of highlight-worthy, game-winning plays this season. If they can protect the ball, manage the game and not make mental errors, Air Force should be able to move the ball. Especially on the ground.

    Other Stats: Since I kept them, here were some other notable stats:

    Jon Warzeka: Four carries, 43 yards, one touchdown.

    Asher Clark: Three carries, 24 yards, one touchdown.

    Paul Weatheroy: Five carries, 22 yards.

    Kyle Halderman: Three carries, 31 yards.

    Spencer Armstrong: One catch, 29 yards.

  • Practice Wrap – 8/22

    Fri, August 22, 2008 by admin with 2 comments

    The Falcons practiced in helmets and shoulder pads for about an hour and a half today.

    While it was a lighter day (there will be scrimmaging tomorrow), coaches got after players to keep their intensity and pace at high levels.

    “Just because you’re not wearing pants doesn’t mean you can’t practice well,” one shouted.

    Who Stood Out: SS Chris Thomas.

    He made some nice breaks on balls today, and I liked watching him on blitzes. I think he’s got a chance to be a terror for the Air Force defense this season.

    Lasting Image: Defensive players dropping what seemed to be sure interceptions.

    Cornerback Kevin Rivers let one bounce off his hands. So did linebackers Justin Moore and Andre Morris Jr.

    Whenever I’m watching football with my buddy Gav and a defensive back drops what could be an interception, he always says, “That’s why he’s not a wide receiver.”

    Air Force, however, does have talented guys with good hands on the defensive side of the field. So maybe it was just a bad day. But the Falcons will need to hang onto potential turnovers if they want to have a good season. Turnover ration was a big key in 2007.

    QB Corner: For the second straight day, both quarterbacks looked sharp. Senior quarterback Shea Smith hit sophomore receiver Kevin Fogler in stride down the sideline on a deep pass. And junior quarterback Eric Herbort floated a really pretty touch pass over a defender to senior receiver Spencer Armstrong for a big gain.

    I’ve got to say that both guys look a lot more settled now that they are getting most of the practice reps.

    Also – and I’m not quite sure about this yet, but I’m throwing it out there – maybe they both feel a lot more relaxed now that Calhoun has said he’s going to play both of them. Ever since Calhoun said that he wasn’t going to name a starter because it’s not like “you crown the homecoming queen,” both guys seem more comfortable. Something to watch during the next week.

    Quote to Note: “Don’t be afraid to catch that.” – Air Force defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter after one of the aforementioned drops by a defensive player. Reminds me of one of my favorite coachisms. A friend of mine told me that his head coach, whenever a receiver would drop a pass, would yell, “Way to knock those down, son.” I’ve got about 1,000 other funny coachisms that I’ll try to sprinkle through the blog. Football coaches are hilarious – much of the time when they’re not trying to be. I seriously spend a lot of practices just chuckling to myself about what they say.

  • Saturday’s Practice

    Fri, August 22, 2008 by admin with no comments

    Air Force will practice tomorrow in Falcon Stadium starting at 9 a.m.

    Like last year, the practice will not be the traditional Blue-Silver Game. Instead the Falcons will scrimmage in various situations.

  • Practice Wrap – 8/21

    Thu, August 21, 2008 by admin with 3 comments

    Air Force began preparations for Southern Utah today, and the entire practice seemed pretty crisp.

    Falcons coach Troy Calhoun had said his team’s execution would improve once he reduced the number of players getting reps, and he was right. It was mostly the first and second units going on Thursday, and players looked good.

    Who Stood Out: WR Spencer Armstrong.

    The senior is the Falcons’ deep threat, and he excels at running posts and fades and catching the home run ball. But he said earlier in the preseason that he has to be more consistent. He was Thursday, catching everything thrown in his general direction.

    Early in practice Armstrong laid out to grab a deep pass thrown by senior Shea Smith. In one-on-one drills he ran a quick out and dove to haul in another pass from Smith. And later in practice he made a pair of catches in traffic. One came when he ran a quick slant and held on to the ball even as he was sandwiched by Air Force linebackers Ken Lamendola and Justin Moore.

    Lasting Image: Players on the sideline marveling at the long field goals being made by senior kicker Ryan Harrison. Kickers often are the butt of jokes at practices – and they make an easy target. But you can tell Air Force players realize and respect what kind of weapon they have in Harrison.

    QB Corner: A decent day for both Smith and junior Eric Herbort. As has been the case most of the preseason, neither one really distanced himself from the other.

    After practice, Calhoun elaborated on the strengths of the Falcons’ top two signal callers.

    “With Shea Smith, it’s he’s been here for a while. I think it helps being a senior at the academy. I just think you figure out a little bit the daily routine with academics, with things that you have to do within your squadron. And I think he’s got a real good grasp of what we do offensively. Eric runs quite well, and you can see he’s got some flashes of being able to do some things a little bit more dynamic.”

    Quote to Note: “Quit bein’ soft! You’re gonna get hit anyway.” – Graduate assistant coach Shaun Carney to a freshman receiver who had a case of alligator arms when going across the middle. I know the academy has graduate assistants every year, but I’ve gotten a kick out of watching this year’s two – Carney and Drew Fowler. Maybe that’s because it’s my third year on the beat, and I got to know Carney and Fowler during their junior and senior seasons. But I also think it’s because both of them are going to end up in the coaching profession after they get out of the military. Both have it in their blood. Fowler’s father, Gary, is a longtime high school coach in North Carolina. Shaun’s brother, Mark, coaches in college.

    One More Thing: As mentioned two posts earlier, Tony Desiere is back doing a radio show. It’s on line and you can hear it here. Tony D had me on his show today to talk Air Force football. You can download our conversation by going here and looking on the right side of the page.

  • Practice Wrap – 8/20

    Wed, August 20, 2008 by admin with 3 comments

    A productive day for Air Force.

    The Falcons scrimmaged – “live” blocking and tackling with refs – for much of the session. They didn’t keep score, instead putting the offense in specific situations – third-and-1, third-and-5, third-and-8, starting from the one-inch line, two-minute offense, etc.

    “We just got to cover a ton of situations,” Falcons coach Troy Calhoun said.

    Most notable in my opinion was the offense – for the first time in these scrimmage situations – held its own. More than held its own.

    Who Stood Out: TB Kyle Lumpkin.

    The sophomore ran hard between the tackles but also busted a few big plays. He broke outside and went about 60 yards with a handoff before being chased down by Anthony Wright (who made a great play to get Lumpkin), and he also took a pair of screen passes 20 and 23 yards.

    Lasting Image: The Falcons’ offense practicing its end-of-game knee-down play.

    I might have written about this last year as a “Lasting Image,” but it just stood out to me again. As I said above, Air Force put its offense in a bunch of different situations on Wednesday, including “Running out the last four minutes of the game with a lead.” In this situation, the offense needs one first down (at least) and has to run out the clock. That includes putting the knee down to finish the game

    Seems pretty simple, right? Quarterback takes the snaps and puts his knee to the turf. But this goes back to Calhoun’s attention to every detail involved in the game – no matter how small.


    “You’ve just got to do it,” he said. “I just think you’ve got to cover all those things. It’s not that they’re a huge deal, but you’ve got to put them through it.”

    QB Corner: Both senior Shea Smith and junior Eric Herbort played very well.

    Smith’s highlights: He avoided the rush and made a nice pass to Luke Hyder for a first down; He threw a strike to Sean Quintana for a 13-yard gain; He moved out of the pocket and hit Spencer Armstrong for 23 yards; And he made a pair of good runs.

    Herbort’s highlights: He took back-to-back quarterback draws 31 and 34 yards during a two-minute drill situation; He stayed in the pocket and – just before absorbing a hit – delivered a pass on the money to tight end Chaz Demerath for a 12-yard gain.

    “They both executed pretty decently today,” Calhoun said. “Just poise-wise, being aware of the clock in a four-minute situation, when you don’t want to snap the ball until there’s two seconds left on the (play) clock. The two-minute drill, knowing what they needed to do to get us in a position to kick the field goal. They both did some good things.”

    And they’re both going to play in games this season. Calhoun isn’t going to anoint one starter. Check out tomorrow’s edition of The Gazette for more on Calhoun’s plans to use a platoon at quarterback.

    Quote to Note: “We need to have somebody emerge as a backup kicker.” – Calhoun. The candidates, Calhoun said, are sophomore Zack Bell, freshman Erik Soderberg and freshman Garrett Jack.

    One More Thing: A reader of the blog asked for some information about Caleb Konemann, a freshman who was added to the most recent two-deep chart as a backup outside linebacker. I asked Calhoun about the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Konemann after practice.

    “He’s just been very active,” Calhoun said. “He’s been physical, and right now he’s been one of our four best outside linebackers. Now, every kid’s got to know that that never holds static. But he’s got a decent-sized body and I think he’s going to be a pretty good player.”

    Another One More Thing: Congrats to tight ends coach Ben Miller and his wife Meghan on the birth of daughter Quinn Kearney Miller.

  • Tony D is Back!

    Wed, August 20, 2008 by admin with 5 comments

    Here’s some great news for Air Force fans and the Colorado Springs sports scene in general.

    Tony Desiere is broadcasting once again – now on the internet.

    For four years, Desiere – better know as “Tony D” – hosted a popular afternoon radio show in Colorado Springs. But he lost his job in June when his sports-talk station KKML (1300 AM, also know as “The Sports Animal”) changed its format to classic country.

    (Like we needed another country station – but that’s a subject for a different blog).

    Anyway, the format switch left Colorado Springs without a sports-talk station, which is ridiculous for a city the size of The Springs, one that has several prominent college programs (Colorado College hockey and Air Force football and men’s basketball).

    The change especially hurt local teams as Desiere took an active interest in the academy and CC hockey. Sure, he talked Broncos, Nuggets and Avs, but he made an effort to talk about the local guys too. You don’t find that too much on Denver stations – and those stations are tough to hear in The Springs as it is.

    Well, Max Performance, a sponsor of Tony D’s show when it was on the radio, heard he was let go by the station. It knew that the numbers for people listening to his show on the web had been high, so it put together an internet studio and hired Tony D to do his show on the web.

    Tony D has been back for a few days and told me in an e-mail that things are going well so far. He wrote that he plans to do “the same show that I did on ESPN 1300,” which means Air Force athletics will get more publicity.

    You can find the show at www.tonydradioshow.com, and you can contact Tony D at tonyd@tonydradioshow.com.

    While listening on the internet might be a shock to the not-so-technologically inclined (and I include myself in that group, by the way), it does offer some benefits. Not only will you be able to listen to the show live (from 2-5 in the afternoon, Monday through Friday), but each hour can be downloaded (so you can listen to the entire show later). Plus he’s planning to separate interviews with different guests so people can pick and choose what they want to hear.

    (Quick programming note: I’ll be on Tony D’s show tomorrow afternoon at 4).

    In addition, there’s a forum and chat room on the site, and the chat room will allow people to send in questions to guests as they are on the air.

    Congrats and best of luck to Tony D, who I know for a fact – from talking to people at Air Force practices – has been missed.