2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Monday Morning Links

    Mon, February 8, 2010 by admin with 3 comments

    Once again, must give must respect to the BlogDog.

    Of the four prognosticators in The Gazette, only BlogDog correctly predicted New Orleans would topple the Colts yesterday.

    The man. I should have listened to him.

    Anyway, back to Air Force athletics. The Falcons suffered the worst loss David Ramsey has seen in seven years of covering the team on Saturday. Ramsey wrote in today’s edition of The Gazette that head coach Jeff Reynolds is overseeing a team that no longer runs the Princeton offense. And I wrote for the paper about how Grant Parker is playing hard despite being at, according to Reynolds, “65 percent.”

  • Ramsey Interviews Mueh

    Fri, January 22, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Gazette columnist David Ramsey interviewed Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh about a variety of subjects on Thursday. Excerpts from the interview – touching on former defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter, football coach Troy Calhoun and men’s basketball coach Jeff Reynolds – are available on his blog (http://daveramseysez.freedomblogging.com).

    Also, Ramsey set the stage for his upcoming competition with the BlogDog. The BlogDog is joining Ramsey, Gazette Broncos beat writer Frank Schwab and Gazette sports editor Jim O’Connell in predicting the NFL conference championship games this weekend.

  • No Break for The BlogDog

    Wed, December 30, 2009 by admin with 5 comments

    The BlogDog thought he’d get some time off while I was on paternity leave.

    Fat chance.

    I’m disposable. The BlogDog is not.

    So for the last several days he’s been studying stats and reading the Armed Forces Bowl coverage provided by Gazette columnist David Ramsey from Fort Worth.

    Anyway, as he was going over the key matchups in tomorrow’s Air Force-Houston game, I realized The BlogDog has several things in common with Air Force coach Troy Calhoun.

    Like Calhoun, The BlogDog has a close-to photographic memory.

    Like Calhoun, The BlogDog has earned national recognition and accolades for his performance the last three seasons.

    And, like Calhoun, The BlogDog still is searching for his first bowl victory.

    The BlogDog misfired on his predictions for the last two Armed Forces Bowls, taking Air Force to defeat Cal in 2007 and then Houston in 2008. The Falcons lost both games.

    This year, either Calhoun’s or The BlogDog’s streak of futility will end. If The BlogDog’s streak ends, he’ll continue another streak. He nailed six straight picks to end the regular season and salvage a third straight season with at least eight correct predictions.

    Getting back to Norm’s memory, he must still remember what BYU and Max Hall did to the Air Force defense because he’s picking the Cougars to rack up some points on the Falcons.

    Happy New Year to all.

    Norm’s Pick: Houston 37, Air Force 21
    Norm’s 2009 Season Record: 8-4
    Norm’s Overall Record: 25-13

  • Ramsey from Fort Worth

    Mon, December 28, 2009 by admin with no comments

    Just a reminder to check out Gazette columnist David Ramsey’s blog (http://daveramseysez.freedomblogging.com) for updates from Fort Worth as Air Force prepares to face Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl.

    Ramsey will have posts from bowl practices and other observations. Currently on his blog is an excellent retrospective look at the standout 2007 squad and how much the seniors on that team meant to its success.

    By the way, The BlogDog will be making a pick for the game against Houston. He’s hit six in a row, so he can’t take a break even if I can.

  • BlogDog Pulling a ‘Montana’

    Fri, November 13, 2009 by admin with no comments

    During a July 2007 trip to Fabulous Las Vegas, I coined a phrase that still is used by my friends today.

    The Montana.

    It’s homage to the greatest quarterback in football history, Joe Montana, who had a knack for leading his teams to comeback victories thanks to his skills, savvy and – most importantly – his cool demeanor.

    I came up with the term while walking back to the Venetian after a monster blackjack rally at Harrah’s. I began screaming, “Montana, baby!” at the top of my lungs. (Before I was scolded by security).

    See, I had been down to my last bet – just about to lose my “limit” for the day – when I finally won a hand to snap a streak of losers. I doubled up my next bet and won again. Doubled that up and won. And within about 10 minutes, I was back up to a little above even.

    Now, by no means had I gone on a run like Raymond and Charlie Babbitt did at Caesar’s. No pit bosses were alerting the eye in the sky to check out what I was doing. And I’d won far more money in the past. But there was a special satisfaction in being way down but coming back.

    Why am I telling you all this? Because The BlogDog has pulled a classic “Montana.” After a 2-4 start (by far his worst record through six games in his three seasons), Norm has ripped off four straight victories. And he’s been pretty darn close on the scores.

    But here’s the thing about The BlogDog. He’s not going to get up and walk away from the table after getting back to a little above even. And not just because he doesn’t have a furious wife that he’s nearly an hour late in meeting at the Venetian pool. No, the BlogDog loves the taste of winning. Even more than his Pup-peroini treats.

    This week, appropriately enough, the Falcons take on UNLV. And The BlogDog likes the Falcons – big. Watch his final choice here.

    Norm’s Pick: Air Force 34, UNLV 10
    Norm’s 2009 Season Record: 6-4
    Norm’s Overall Record: 23-13

  • BlogDog Takes Air Force – Taking Notes, Corso?

    Sat, November 7, 2009 by admin with 6 comments

    The BlogDog has been dealing with a family issue this week, so he didn’t have time to unleash any more trash talk to ESPN College GameDay’s Lee Corso, who will be unveiling his Air Force-Army pick shortly on TV.

    However, I did speak to Corso yesterday. He gave the BlogDog some props, saying his overall record of 22-13 is “terrific.”

    “That makes him a special picker,” Corso said. “That’s great.”

    However, Corso said he didn’t feel any pressure going head-to-head with Norm.

    “No. No pressure,” he said. “You think it’s pressure? You ought to be at Ohio State and pick Southern Cal. That’s real pressure.”

    Of course, Lee hasn’t come face-to-face with Norm. If he saw this photo, he’d feel pressure.

    dscf4357

    Norm’s Pick: Air Force 20, Army 6
    Norm’s 2009 Season Record: 5-4
    Norm’s Overall Record: 22-13

  • BlogDog Defends Turf, Challenges Corso

    Fri, October 30, 2009 by admin with no comments

    When The BlogDog and I go for walks, he never so much as growls at a passing dog, let alone barks.

    He just ambles by, maybe gives a friendly sniff and goes on his way.

    It’s a different story when he’s at his post on his couch, at the east end of the BlogHouse.

    When another dog comes into sight, he’ll start with some growls, and as the dog gets to the front of our house, the growls will crescendo into a torrent of barks.

    The lesson is simple: BlogDog doesn’t like anyone on his turf.

    Why am I telling you this? Because Air Force announced this week that ESPN’s popular College GameDay program will broadcast live from the academy on Nov. 7 before the Falcons’ game against Army. And each week on that program, analyst Lee Corso picks the winner of the game that will be played at the site from which the program is broadcasting.

    You know the drill – he takes out the head of the mascot from the team he picks, and the crowd behind him cheers or boos.

    Great times, right?

    Not for The BlogDog. Norm reacted to the news that Corso would be making his pick at the academy about the same way he reacts to a dog strolling across the lawn in front of the BlogHouse.

    I can tell when Norm’s barks are expletives. He let loose with a few of those.

    So The BlogDog decided to throw down the gauntlet. BlogDog vs. Corso, Nov. 7. Whoever picks the right team (or the closer score if both pick the same team) wins dinner. BlogDog likes pizza and red wine.

    What you got, Lee?

    As for this week, BlogDog is trying to climb back above .500 by nailing his third straight pick. He obviously has heard that Colorado State has blown some leads lately. Because he went to the Rams helmet first and then the Air Force helmet three times in a row (here’s video of the third of his three straight Air Force choices).

    Norm’s Pick: Air Force 24, Colorado State 13
    Norm’s 2009 Season Record: 4-4
    Norm’s Overall Record: 21-13

  • BlogDog Banks on Routine

    Fri, October 23, 2009 by admin with no comments

    Earlier this week in The Gazette, I looked back at Air Force’s 2007 upset of Utah.

    Falcons defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter called it “a watershed moment,” for the Air Force program, and senior guard Nick Charles called it “pivotal.”

    It was both those for The BlogDog too.

    The BlogDog was making just the second pick of his career. And when he correctly predicted an Air Force upset victory, it put him on the map. He went on to post a 9-4 mark in his initial season and an 8-5 record in 2008.

    This season stared out in disappointing fashion, as The BlogDog fell two games below .500 for the first time in his career. But last week he guaranteed an Air Force victory over Wyoming. And when the Falcons beat the Cowboys, 10-0, it seemed to give him his mojo back.

    As you know, Norm makes his prediction by choosing between a mini-replica Air Force helmet and the mini-replica helmet of the Falcons’ opponent (best three out of five times). This week he went to the Air Force helmet first, then the Utah helmet twice, then back to the Air Force helmet. On his fifth and deciding choice (watch the video here), Norm picked Utah.

    In the video, I note that Norm seemed a bit distracted and not too interested in making his pick. But upon further review, I think it was quiet confidence.

    Now, The BlogDog isn’t going to go out and guarantee his pick like he did a week ago (you can’t go to that well too often). But I can sense he feels good about his selection.

    The reason? The Air Force quarterback situation.

    Norm, as I’ve mentioned before in this space, likes a set routine. If he doesn’t get his morning walk, his afternoon nap with the BlogWife, an evening wrestling bout or his Sunday trip to Wash Park coffee shop La Belle Rosette (where he mows down three or four treats while I enjoy a coffee and the paper), he’s out of sorts.

    Kind of like how the Air Force offense has been in recent weeks with an unsettled QB situation. Bouncing back and forth between quarterbacks is kind of like moving Norm’s couch from the front of the BlogHouse to the back every other week. Sure, it might work for a while, but eventually he’d feel unsettled.

    Norm’s Pick: Utah 21, Air Force 13
    Norm’s 2009 Season Record: 3-4
    Norm’s Overall Record: 20-13