2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Can Giants rush to Super upset?

    Thu, January 31, 2008 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Joe Collier served as defensive coordinator for the 1977 Denver Broncos, who used their “Orange Crush” to stifle opposing offenses and travel all the way to the Super Bowl.

    Collier, who lives in Littleton, knows the New England Patriots stand as prohibitive favorites to defeat the New York Giants on Sunday. He admires Tom Brady and Randy Moss. He believes the Patriots rank among the most powerful teams in NFL history.

    But the Giants could deliver a stunning upset, Collier said.

    Here’s how:

    Brady has spent most of this season standing calmly in the pocket, unbothered by a rush as he scans the field looking for receivers. If, Collier said, the Giants can hassle him and force him to hurry throws, the Patriots power could be reduced.

    This could happen. The Giants collected 53 sacks this season, best in the NFL. Justin Tuck and Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora are ferocious, perhaps unstoppable pass rushers. A couple vicious hits by the Giants frontline could alter Brady’s mind and transform this game.

  • Air Force hockey woes

    Mon, January 28, 2008 by David Ramsey with no comments

    It’s hard not to feel pity for Air Force’s hockey team. The Falcons soared to one of the biggest moments in the program’s history with a convincing Jan. 18 victory over the University of Denver.

    Next night, though, Eric Ehn suffered a freak leg fracture against Colorado College. Since then, Air Force’s offense has basically vanished. The Falcons have lost three straight 2-1 games, and a season full of promise is falling apart.

    Ehn could return, but it might be beyond the powers of even the most optimistic of fans to believe he’ll return with his full hockey powers intact.

  • Henke’s finest moment

    Thu, January 17, 2008 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Andrew Henke has sometimes been the Mad Gunner of Colorado Springs during his three seasons at Air Force Academy. The man seldom has met a shot he didn’t like.

    But he has superb court vision. He’s an expert at threading passes into cramped spaces.

    He rescued the Falcons Wednesday night at Wyoming, where Air Force nearly kicked away an 11-point lead. Henke found Eric Kenzik wide open under the basket for a last-second, game-winning layup.

    Henke remains a work in progress. His defense is shaky. His shot selection is not always the best.

    He’s still, even after three seasons, finding himself as a player, but one sweet, clutch pass suggests his best days remain ahead.

  • Peyton place

    Mon, January 14, 2008 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Peyton Manning ranks among the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Air Force coach Troy Calhoun goes so far as to place Peyton at the top of the list.

    But Manning’s weakness was on display Sunday afternoon as the Colts surrendered their NFL crown. Facing a fourth and goal late in the game, Manning fell to pieces under the pressure of a strong, yet hardly feroious, Chargers rush. Feeling pressure from Shawn Merriman on fourth down, Manning tossed away his team’s best chance at victory.

    When he’s in the pocket and has time to scan the field, Manning is magnificent. When Manning is forced to scramble, he’s only decent. That’s why I place him behind John Elway and Joe Montana on the all-time list. Elway and Montana were masters at improvisation.

    Manning, leader of the former world champs, can’t thrive on the run.

  • College football fiasco

    Sat, January 12, 2008 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Louisiana State might be your champion. Louisiana State might be the BCS champion.

    Louisiana State isn’t my champion. That’s about the only endearing quality of the wacky, insanely messed-up world of Divison I college football. You can choose whatever champ you want because there’s no logical system to crown a king.

    Kansas is my champ. The Jayhawks lost only once and defeated then-No. 5 Virginia Tech in a bowl game. For their efforts, Kansas finished No. 7 in the final polls, behind six – yes, six – teams with two losses.

    Were the Jayhawks a superior team to LSU? We’ll never know.

    And we can look forward to a repeat of this silly system for years to come. Ohio State president Gordon Gee recently told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “They will pull a playoff system out of my cold, dead hands.”

    Gee was, strangely enough, channeling former NRA President (and underrated actor) Charlton Heston with his words. Heston told an NRA gathering in 2000 that gun-control opponents would have to pull his weapon from “cold, dead hands.”

    I’m not sure how I, or anyone else, can pull a playoff system out of Gee’s hands. I can’t stop Gee and his buddies from ruining college football.

    I can offer this compliment. Gee and his cronies have done a superlative job of turning a great game into a complete joke.

  • The Goose

    Wed, January 9, 2008 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Goose Gossage didn’t waste time on the mound. Almost as soon as the catcher returned the ball, he went into his motion and delivered one of his overpowering pitches. He brought a jolt of fast-paced drama to an often slow, slow, slow game.

    He deserves his induction to the Hall of Fame. He served as one of the pioneers of baseball’s specialty pitching era, when relievers multiplied in importance. He was overpowering. He was clutch.

    Best of all, he worked fast. The powers that be of baseball should seek ways to make every pitcher work rapidly, just like the Goose.

  • A scary start

    Sat, January 5, 2008 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Utah played poorly Saturday against Air Force Academy. Didn’t matter. Utah still won by 22 points.

    The Falcons offense sputtered to only 13 points in the second half. The team looked completely lost.

    It’s far too early in the season to call Saturday’s clash with Nevada-Las Vegas a must victory, but that’s almost what the game is. The Falcons must travel to Wyoming and New Mexico after the UNLV game.

  • This is the Nuggets year

    Fri, January 4, 2008 by David Ramsey with no comments

    If the Denver Nuggets are going to make a splash in the NBA playoffs, this is the year. Tomorrow will soon include a worn-out Allen Iverson. He’s in the twilight of an amazing – if ball hogging – career.

    The Nuggets used playoff-style defending in Thursday night’s victory/mauling over the San Antonio Spurs. The Nuggets showed they could be frightening once the playoffs roll around.

    Dallas and Phoenix seem to have slipped a notch. The Warriors and Lakers lack the inside might to rank as dominating teams. The Nuggets, if they play to their considerable potential, could rank as the second-best team in the West.

    First place, of course, belongs to the Spurs. Don’t be surprised if the Nuggets and Spurs meet in the Western Conference finals.