2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Jake’s and David’s Calhoun discussion (mom told me to never argue), Part Four

    Mon, November 30, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

    This is the fourth segment of the premier edition of “Jake’s and David’s Arguments,” in which Air Force beat writer Jake Schaller and columnist David Ramsey discuss an issue on their blogs. The issue in this installment – football coach Troy Calhoun’s viability as a candidate for a head coaching slot at a BCS school. Check Jake’s blog and earlier posts in this blog for previous parts of the argument.

    Troy Calhoun needs to prove several things before he’s ready to vault to another school. And let me be clear that I believe he’ll eventually do the proving.

    Jake,  I appreciate the history lesson about George Welsh and the reminder about Paul Johnson. But Johnson spent enough time at Navy to show – fully show – he was ready to build a winner at George Tech. He didn’t run in and run out. Calhoun hasn’t been at Air Force long enough to earn a comparison with Johnson.

    Here are a few things Calhoun needs to prove:

    A) This season, Calhoun and the Falcons met five superior or evenly matched opponents. They lost all five games. This follows a trend. This season and last season, Calhoun beats the teams he should beat and loses when he battles equal or superior opponents.

    B) Calhoun has lost three times to Navy, AFA’s arch-rival. He could easily have won all three. Each time, Navy looked more poised and, yes, better coached.

    C) Calhoun enjoyed his best season with talent recruited by Fisher DeBerry. He has yet to prove he can deliver big wins (upsets and minor upsets) with his own recruits.

    Again, I believe he will prove he can recruit and beat Navy and craft a high-quality team with his own players.

    But he hasn’t done the proving yet.


    For more from Jake Schaller on this subject, please go to his blog:


  • Jake’s and David’s Arguments (Issue I, Part 2)

    Mon, November 30, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

    (This is the second segment of the premier edition of “Dave and Jake’s Arguments,” in which Air Force beat writer Jake Schaller and columnist David Ramsey discuss an Air Force sports issue on their blogs. The issue in this installment – football coach Troy Calhoun’s viability as a candidate for a head coaching slot at a school in a BCS conference.)

    Troy Calhoun would be a good hire at the University of Virginia or some other school looking for a fresh face.

    He wouldn’t be a great hire.

    Not yet, anyway.

    Calhoun is known as an offensive mastermind, but his reputation took a hit this season.

    The Falcons offense fizzled in their five losses. Against Minnesota, Navy, Texas Christian, Utah and Brigham Young, the Falcons averaged only 16 points.

    AFA played ultra-cautious against a Minnesota defense that allowed more than 30 points five times this season. The Falcons scored seven points in the first three quarters at BYU. The Falcons defense delivered a magnificent performance at Navy, even scoring AFA’s only touchdown, but the offense found a way to lose.

    That lack of offense makes Calhoun a tough sell for any athletic director.

    To see Jake’s side of this discussion, go here:


  • Nuggets: Talk about economical, Anthony scores 50 points on 28 shots

    Sat, November 28, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

    DENVER – I’ve been looking at NBA box scores for much of my life, and there’s no doubt which number is the most important (other than the final score), and the most overlooked.

    Shots taken.

    Carmelo Anthony torched the New York Knicks for 50 points  Friday night, and he only needed 28 shots to do the torching. He destroyed an assortment of Knicks defenders, and he did the destroying the old-fashioned way.

    He  outworked everybody. He ran harder, repeatedly beating everyone down the court for layups. He fought for reb0unds.

    He didn’t force shots. He passed when surrounded by double teams. He delivered an overwhelming, overpowering performance, but also showed wisdom and sublety. Anthony dominated within the flow of the game. He scored 50, but remained a team player, and that doesn’t often happen.

    And he was rewarded for  his efforts with chants of “MVP, MVP, MVP,” from Nuggets fans. I sat in the stands for this game, and on this night Anthony was even more popular than Denver native Chauncey Billups.

    So far this season, no one in NBA has played better than Anthony.

    Colorado fans have waited since 2003 for Anthony to full mature, both as a player and a man.

    The wait might be over.

    Here’s the box score from the game:


    Here’s Chris Dempsey’s game story from The Denver Post:


    And here’s a quick Carmelo highlight reel from the game:


  • CU basketball: Is Buzzy turning the corner with the Buffs?

    Fri, November 27, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

    It was strange to listen to CU athletic director Mike Bohn talk with such excitement … about two losses.

    Yes, Jeff Bzdelik’s Buffs played tough against Gonzaga and Arizona in Maui. (Bzdelik wasn’t there because of illness in his family.)

    But the Buffs lost.

    Still, when you look at the recent state of the CU basketball program, it’s easy to understand why Bohn was encouraged. The Buffs have tumbled to the depths of college basketball, and Bzdelik has done nothing to stop the slide.

    He’s seemed out of place in the world of college basketball. His recruiting, both at Air Force and Colorado, has been dicey, and his inspirational efforts have failed. (Bzdelik inherited a talented team at Air Force, won 50 games in two seasons and then skipped away to Boulder for a bigger challenge and a much bigger paycheck. The fact that gloomy days were on the horizon at AFA might have had more than a little to do with his decision to flee.)

    Bzdelik is a strong,  improvisational bench coach. If given the right players, he’ll win. Maybe this is the season the Buffs turn the corner and become … mediocre.

    That would be a giant jump for Buzzy’s team.

    To see Ryan Thorburn’s report from the Daily Camera on the new CU optimism, go here (Bohn’s comments are at the end of the story): 


  • Broncos: Big drive makes big statement against Giants

    Fri, November 27, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

    The Giants were creeping back into the game. Scary memories of recent second-half collapses were creeping into the minds of Broncos fans.

    As the third quarter ended, the Broncos led, 16-6, but the lead looked shaky.

    Then the Broncos marched 64 yards to a touchdown, sealing the victory and making a statement.

    The Broncos offense has seldom been overpowering this season, but it was mighty on this drive.

    The drive ended when Kyle Orton found Brandon Stokley – who was as wide open as Wyoming – for a 17-yard touchdown.

    And, suddenly, the Broncos were again cruising after a four-game vacation.

  • Pine Creek football: Players, coaches, fans try to recover from tough loss

    Thu, November 26, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Kicker Armon Golabi isn’t the only member of Pine Creek’s football team struggling to accept last Saturday’s 42-41 defeat to Longmont. Golabi missed an extra point with a little more than a minute left that would have tied the game. You can read his story here:


    And  other stories follow:


    Bill Chance, Pine Creek’s defensive coordinator, has coached his son Josh for years. Josh, a senior, was the Eagles star running back this season.

    “I’ve watched him play since he was a young kid,” Bill said.

    And even as Pine Creek repeatedly crushed opponents, Bill reminded his son that a rugged game awaited the Eagles.

    “We talked about this all year,” Bill said. “How tough it was going to be.”

    That tough game finally arrived.

    And Pine Creek came up just short.

    A few seconds after the game ended, father and son embraced. Both men were openly weeping.

    “I’m sorry,” Josh said to his father, knowing their quest for a state title was over.

    “I love you, son,” Bill said. ‘You don’t have a thing to be sorry about.”

    “I didn’t want it to end like that,” Josh said. “I wanted to give that title to my dad.”


    Coach Miller spent much of this week at home, making for time he’s spent on the football field.

    And he’s been wishing he had gone for two instead of seeking to tie the game with an extra point.

    “Wish I had gone for two,” he said. “Then if we don’t make it, everyone would be looking at Coach Miller.

    “I wish I would have been the person to miss the extra point.”


    “After the game, about five of us went over to Coach Chance’s house. I was kind of shocked by the game. I didn’t really know how to respond, other than being shocked.

    “We hung out, made a big fire and just talked. We tried not talking about the game very much. We talked about the season. We watched ‘World’s Dumbest Criminals’ all night. It’s a TV show.

    “We were trying to keep my mind off it.

    “Off the game.”

    The Gazette’s Brent Briggeman covered the loss with a strong story and superb video. You can read and watch here:


  • CU football: The Hawkins and their sad father-son saga

    Tue, November 24, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Coach Dan Hawkins now says it was a mistake to recruit his son, Cody, to play quarterback at the University of Colorado.

    Coach Hawkins took an enormous risk. If Cody had been the right man for the job, if he and Dad had revived the CU program, if victories instead of losses had become the norm in Boulder, this would have been one of the great stories in college sports. A happy story. An inspiring story.

    That’s what could  have been.

    Instead, it’s one of the most painful. Coach Hawkins is 16-32 at CU and on his way to a fourth straight losing season.

    And Cody is sitting the bench. That’s right, Benched by his own dad.

    Count me as one who believed Coach Hawkins was a great hire. He has charisma. He placed the foundation for Boise State to soar as a national power. He appeared to have a keen offensive mind. He was a persuasive recruiter.

    Now, it’s all falling apart.

    For a father.

    And a son.

    This is one football story that’s almost unbearable to watch.

    Here’s Dave Kreiger of the Denver Post on Dan and Cody:


    Here’s Kyle Ringo’s Boulder Daily Camera story on Dan and Cody. (Ringo, by the way, is an always solid, entertaining reporter) :


    And here’s video of Coach Hawkins talking about the scenario. This is good stuff:


  • Air Force basketball: Is one bad night an indicator of things to come?

    Mon, November 23, 2009 by David Ramsey with 1 comment

    Northern Colorado crashes into Clune Arena and beats Air Force by 24 points.

    Give UNC credit. The Bears might be the best  college team in Colorado.

    But the way the Falcons lost should offer a scare to any AFA basketball fan.

    Coach Jeff Reynolds runs a system that emphasizes outside shooting.  Last season, the Falcons stumbled to zero wins and 16 losses in the Mountain West largely because the team simply couldn’t shoot.

    Against the Bears on Saturday night, AFA missed all 17 of its 3-pointers. The Bears outscored the Falcons 24-0 from the 3-point line, which, interestingly enough, was their margin of victory. (Air Force shot a solid 14-of-26 from inside the 3-point line.)

    Last season, many Falcons who couldn’t make 3s never let that truth bother them. They kept shooting – and missing – 3s.

    I’ll leave you with this question:

    Why is a group of players who misses 17 3-pointers taking 17 3-pointers?

    Be sure to check out Jake Schaller’s AFA blog. Today, he asks where AFA football fans want to go bowling.


  • Halftime notes from Invesco: Moreno scored and other thoughts

    Sun, November 22, 2009 by David Ramsey with no comments

    A) The Chargers lead, 13-0, but the score should be 13-7.

    Knowshon Moreno scored on that dive over the goal line. Don’t know how officials could look at video for five minutes and miss the truth of the play.

    B) Nice to see Brandon Marshall up to his old, disruptive ways.

    Marshall immediately began to talk to Moreno after the fumble, and the conversation obviously wasn’t going well.

    Soon, the players had to be separated on the sideline.

    It’s never the right time to criticize a teammate on the field.

    Marshall should know this.

  • Is fourth place good enough? Every Falcon I talked to said no

    Sat, November 21, 2009 by David Ramsey with 4 comments

    More on this in my column later, but there was an encouraging sign from Air Force players after their 38-21 loss to Brigham Young.

    Fourth place, they all said, isn’t good enough. They want to climb. They expect to climb.

    Yes, the Falcons earned a winning record and a third straight trip to a bowl game.

    But that’s not enough, according to Anthony Wright Jr., Tim Jefferson and Jon Davis.

    They want more. Next season, they’ll get the chance to grab more.

    A couple other thoughts:

    1) Max Hall was magnificent early, completing 19 of his first 22 passes and that includes a pass he threw away to avoid a sack and a dropped pass.

    Here’s the big question for BYU fans:

    Will Max deliver a big game and a victory next week against Utah?

    (Max’s history suggests the answer will be no.)

    2) The BYU line is massive, scary and effective.

    I’ve lived in houses that aren’t as big as BYU guard Terence Brown, who’s listed at 340.

    He looks about 580.