2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Are we near the end of the Bronco soap opera?

    Tue, March 31, 2009 by David Ramsey with 3 comments

    It looks as if we’re coming to the end of an entertaining,  fascinating soap opera. Broncos owner Pat Bowlen issued a statement Tuesday night saying the team is seeking to trade disgruntled quarterback Jay Cutler.

    This makes me sad because this has been a great show.

    For the past month, Cutler has superbly played the role of confused, spoiled, self-centered modern athlete. If he’s this sensitive and this clueless, he will suffer through a sad ride in the NFL.

    Broncos coach Josh McDaniels is, in my mind, the secondary villain in this drama, but he’s also made his share of mistakes. He inherited one of the game’s best young talents, and he almost instantly alienated him. McDaniels has been offered a painful lesson. Let’s hope he learned from his mistake.

    For Broncos fans, it’s been a month  of bizarre fun. There’s something weirdly interesting about watching two grown men act like children.

    What do you think? Who’s the bad guy? Is it Cutler or McDaniels?  Or both?

  • Bad times continue for AFA basketball

    Mon, March 30, 2009 by David Ramsey with 3 comments

    Trevor Noonan was the best thing about Air Force basketball this season. He offered hope during a bleak season. He could have become the foundation for winning teams in the future.

    He could have.

    Noonan told the Gazette’s Jake Schaller he’s leaving AFA and will transfer. Several sources have suggested Noonan’s next destination will be the University of Denver, where former AFA coach Joe Scott now works. Noonan played high school basketball at Broomfield, a Denver suburb.

    Even with Noonan, AFA coach Jeff Reynolds faced a rugged job of climbing out of this season’s 0-16 finish in the Mountain West. It was an excruciating collapse for the Falcons, who had enjoyed five straight winning seasons. You can make a strong argument this was AFA’s worst-ever basketball team.

    Without Noonan?

    Oh, my.

    Next season might be even worse than this one.

  • Taking a brief break

    Sat, March 21, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Thanks for taking at look at the blog. I’m taking a break from posting until March 29. We’ll talk then.

  • Owens talks about Bachman

    Thu, March 19, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

              The 2009-2010 Colorado College Tigers have a chance to become a stingy defensive team.

    The Tigers will return five of their top six defensemen, if Brian Connelly stays in school.

               That’s not the only if.

              Coach Scott Owens remains unsure if goaltender Richard Bachman will return for his junior season.

              “I think he was sensational last year,” Owens said of Bachman’s play as a freshman. “This year he had some big games for us,  but he also had some average games.

             “We counted on him a lot – maybe more than we should have – and he had nowhere to go but to back off from what he did as a freshman.

              “…This season, he was maybe a little better than mediocre. He came back to earth. It was a B season, a B-plus season. That’s my opinion, and maybe that’s too high.

               “You give him the benefit of the doubt because of everything that happened last year. He’s a warrior. He won us some big games.

              “I fully expect him to rebound and to get better. I’m hopeful that he will recognize the benefits of staying one more year. It’s probably a 50-50 deal.”

               Bachman did not respond to an interview request.

               He was named the 2007-2008 Western Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year. He recorded a 1.85 goals against average as a freshman, and a 2.63 average as a sophomore.

               He was a fourth-round pick of the Dallas Stars in 2006.

  • Reaction to Cutler-McDaniels soap opera

    Thu, March 19, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Enjoyed an avalanche of reaction yesterday to a column on Jay Cutler and Josh McDaniels and their struggles to get along.

    A few observations about the reaction:

    1. Many readers didn’t like The Gazette’s presentation of Cutler as “Public Enemy No. 1.” I was told a couple times that I should be ashamed of myself, but I had nothing to do with the headline. I don’t write headlines. I have written many a headline during my journalism career and know it’s a tough job. You want to seize attention. You want to be witty. The Public Enemy idea did both, but it also angered several readers.

    2. Many readers don’t like Bill Belichick, the grumpy genius who taught McDaniels all about the NFL during their time together in New England. “This is Colorado,” one man said. “This is not New England. That kid (McDaniels) has a lot of work to do, a lot to learn.”

    3. Many readers dislike McDaniels as much – or even more – than they dislike Cutler. Many readers were upset by my suggestion that Cutler needs to make the first move by making an apology. McDaniels, these readers said, needed to make the first move because the situation is mostly his fault.

    “He already acts like  he’s God-almighty,” one reader said. “He’s not God-almighty. He’s just a young football coach.”

  • Mountain West and NCAAs

    Tue, March 17, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

    For most of the season, I heard fans of Mountain West basketball talk about the conference’s high quality. Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds talked often along these lines, which made sense. He lost to every team in the MWC.

    Come  to think of it, he lost twice to every team in the MWC.

    The NCAA, the logic went, would reward the MWC with four bids in the tournament.

    But the clear-eyed selection committee only offered two bids – to Brigham Young and Utah – and that’s depressed and confused some MWC enthusiasts.

    No one should be surprised. The MWC has won eight games and lost 20 in the tournament since 2000. In a new century filled with underdogs traveling to the Final Four, no MWC team has traveled to the final eight.

    Happy talk about the conference’s great might is fun to listen to, I guess, but that view is exposed as a fraud every March.

    The only way to change the low number of bids is for BYU and Utah to win games in this tournament. MWC supporters – and this includes Reynolds – can talk about the might of the conference, but the talk sounds empty when teams take quick, often instant, exits.

    The NCAA committee didn’t show an improper level of respect for the MWC.

    They showed the right level of respect.

    Start talking about the MWC’s power after several NCAA victories.

  • More from AFA’s Olson and Serratore

    Thu, March 12, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

    “Everybody from northern Minnesota has a nickname,” Air Force coach Frank Serratore told me this week. “Nobody I went to school with didn’t have a nickname. I mean, everybody had a nickname. Mine was Monk. I got that because I had my wisdom teeth taken out when I was young and my face blew up kind of like a chipmunk. So they called me Monk. They still call me Monk. I go to a bar in my hometown and everybody shouts, ‘Hey, Monk!’”

     

    Like Serratore, AFA senior forward Brent Olson hails from northern Minnesota. And, of course, he has a nickname.

    “It’s Bubba,” Olson said. “I don’t know how I got it. I guess it was it from my neighbor. He had an outdoor rink, and when I was a kid I was bigger than everybody else – taller and fatter – and I bullied my way around and he started calling me bubba. Ever since I can remember, people have called me Bubba. For the most part, people out here call  me Ollie, but everyone back home called me Bubba, even my mom and dad. It’s just one of those things that sticks.”

    Derek, Brent’s brother, played for the Falcons and graduated in 2002. Of course, Derek has a nickname, too.

    “They called him The Shadow,” Brent said. “Just because he was always so quiet. I don’t know, he was like a shadow. Kind of invisible, never really there.”

     

     

  • Rewarding failure

    Wed, March 11, 2009 by David Ramsey with 7 comments

    Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh plans to extend coach Jeff Reynolds contract. Mueh will roll over Reynolds contract so he will, once again, have five years left on the deal, according to Gazette AFA beat writer Jake Schaller.

    It’s a baffling move. It’s a bad move. It’s a weird move.

    It’s not time to dump Reynolds, even if he lost 17 straight games, finished in the basement of the Mountain West Conference and ended the Falcons recent run as a respectable college basketball team. Reynolds showed last season he can coach, if he has a decent collection of players.

    It’s also not time to reward Reynolds.

    Mueh’s plan to extend Reynolds contract serves to reward failure. Mueh is calling failure success, which is always a dangerous approach. 

    Can Reynolds turn this team  around?

    Maybe.

    Did this team spend the season sprinting in the wrong direction?

    Definitely.

    And who led this utter collapse?

    The man who will soon sign an extension to his contract.

    I’ll say it again: This is a bad, baffling, weird move.

    What do you think?

  • Nuggets collapse

    Tue, March 10, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

    The same Denver Nuggets who were roaring along as one of the NBA’s best, most generous teams have skidded into a slump.

    Here’s why:

    The Nuggets, who lost Monday to the Houston Rockets, are playing give-me-the-ball-and-get-out-of-my-way basketball. The Rockets basically dared the Nuggets to drive into the middle Monday night, and the Nuggets foolishly took the dare. Sharing was virtually non-existent.

    For months, the Nuggets played basketball the right way. For the past couple weeks, they’ve been losing because they play the game the wrong way.

    Selfish won’t take this team anywhere special.

  • Jay Cutler’s fan base

    Sat, March 7, 2009 by David Ramsey with 2 comments

    Wondering if Jay Cutler is the least popular man in Colorado.

    After writing a column this week criticizing Cutler for his reaction to trade rumors, I expected to hear from Cutler supporters.

    I didn’t. Instead, I heard from a couple dozen boys, girls, men and  women who told me they believe Cutler is immature, self-centered and underachieving. No one stood up for Cutler.

    But here’s the encouraging thing about Cutler:

    You can teach maturity. You can’t teach talent. He has a chance to grow into a better leader. He has the talent to become one of the top two or three quarterbacks in the game.