2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Best win of the Reynolds era as Falcons stomp Rams

    Sat, February 26, 2011 by David Ramsey with 5 comments

    Air Force followed its worst performance of the season – well, worst performance since the loss to Colorado College – with a hustling, inspiring rout of Colorado State.

    CSU marched into Clune with a strange strategy. The Rams shot an endless array of 3-pointers, which makes no sense. Instead of pounding the ball inside against Air Force’s undersized defense, CSU repeatedly fired away – and missed – from long range.

    Still, this was the most impressive win of the Jeff Reynolds era at Air Force. The Falcons played suffocating defense and intelligent offense.

  • Best half of Reynolds era as Falcons lead Rams by 9

    Sat, February 26, 2011 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Air Force played hustling defense that verged on stalking and intelligent, patient defense.

    This is the best half I’ve seen during the four-season Jeff Reynolds. The Falcons, led by Todd Fletcher’s 11 points, have a legit chance for an upset win over Colorado State.

  • George Karl speaks the – gasp! – truth about Carmelo defense

    Fri, February 25, 2011 by David Ramsey with 2 comments

    George Karl offered his honest – and accurate – opinion of Carmelo Anthony’s defensive attitude. Karl spoke to TNT before Thursday night’s Nuggets win over the Celtics.

    He said he was disappointed by Carmelo’s general approach to defending.

    “Defensive focus, his demand of himself, is what frustrated us more than anything,” Karl said.

    Anthony apparently did not appreciate Karl’s words. The truth does have the tendency to hurt. He responded on Twitter with a tweet noticed by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post.

    “Damn, are u serious. Some people never seize to amaze me. Unbelievable.”

    Unbelievable, but true. Anthony is a sensational offensive player, largely because he’s so driven to score. He’s a mediocre, at best, defender, largely because he’s thinking about having the ball in his hands anytime someone else has the ball.

  • Former Gazetteer Jake Schaller is blogging on college football

    Thu, February 24, 2011 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Jake, who’s in law school at University of Maryland, still finds time to blog about college football for versus.com.

    Here’s his look at the woeful history of college quarterbacks who win the Heisman Trophy. (Be sure to check out the section on Matt Leinart. Good stuff.)

    http://www.versus.com/cfb/will-heisman-be-a-curse-for-cam-newton/

  • AFA’s Reynolds observes that winning is an important thing for college coaches

    Wed, February 23, 2011 by David Ramsey with 2 comments

     
    JEFF REYNOLDS

    At his weekly press conference Monday, Air Force’s Jeff Reynolds said college coaches need to have “thick skin.”

    Why?

    Because, he said, their livelihood is based on “one word.”

    And what’s that word?

    “Winning,” Reynolds said.

    Hate to contradict Reynolds, but he coaches at one of the most patient destinations in college sports. He might not be the best person to moan about the pressure of winning.

    He was given an extension to his contract after finishing 0-16 in 2008-2009. This extension was a loud – a thunderous – expression of belief in his future.

    He wasn’t winning, but he was still earning his livelihood. He convinced Air Force leaders better times were ahead. Give him credit. He’s now delivering those – relatively – better times.

    But make no mistake about this:

    Reynolds is a lucky man.,

    He’s been offered a surprising level of mercy by Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh.

    He’s been blessed by 1,500 or so fans who refused to flee even when the Falcons stumbled to the very bottom of college basketball. These fans remained loyal while thousands of good-time fans found other things to do on game nights.

    He should even be thankful for the patience of local media outlets. Reynolds lost 31 of 32 MWC games over two seasons, but there was never a call for him to be fired. He and his staff should consider themselves fortunate.

    If Reynolds’ livelihood had been based solely on winning, he would have been standing in an unemployment line.

    Sure, coaching is a tough business, but there are not a massive bundle of easy jobs out there.

    If you get, say, 16 orders wrong in a row at McDonald’s, you might be looking for a new job.

  • Jimmer’s dominance of Mountain West is astonishing

    Tue, February 22, 2011 by David Ramsey with 1 comment

    BYU’s Jimmer Fredette averages 31.0 points per game in Mountain West games.

    His nearest competitor for the scoring title, Utah’s Will Clyburn, averages 17.4 points per game.

    If Jimmer sat down for the rest of the conference schedule, he would still win the scoring title. He has collected 372 points to Clyburn’s 209. Clyburn would have to score 163 points, or nearly 41 per game, to catch him.

    That’s amazing.

    I’ve never seen anything close to Jimmer’s dominance of the MWC. Not saying Jimmer is delivering the greatest season ever, but am saying there’s seldom been such a gap between the best scorer in a conference (Fredette) and the second-best scorer.

    Tomorrow: Air Force’s Jeff Reynolds observes that winning is important for coaches.

  • Will Nuggets fans boo Carmelo when he returns to Colorado?

    Mon, February 21, 2011 by David Ramsey with 1 comment

    Yes.

    And they’ll boo him forever, or at least until he retires. When Carmelo Anthony returns to downtown Denver as a creaky reserve forward in, say 2021, Nuggets fans will rise in unision and boo him.

    Carmelo will not be as unpopular in Colorado as Jay Cutler.

    He’ll only be close to as unpopular.

  • Hans offers support for Jeff Reynolds, with a few reservations

    Thu, February 17, 2011 by David Ramsey with 15 comments

    After Air Force lost to Colorado College in November, Falcons athletic director Hans Mueh told The Gazette’s Frank Schwab “we’re going to have to watch this.” He was talking about the status of coach Jeff Reynolds. Mueh said he wanted to make sure players on the team were having “fun.” Mueh was clearly shaken by the loss to the Tigers, and he wasn’t alone. The defeat worked with the power of a 8.5 earthquake in the Air Force athletic department.

    Mueh’s announcement was a startling one. He had previously been unwavering in his support of Reynolds.

    Since the loss to CC, Reynolds has won four Mountain West games, which might not seem momentous until you consider those four wins quadruples his total for the previous two seasons, when he finished 1-31 in MWC competition.

    On Tuesday morning, I asked Hans to update his view of Reynolds:

    “I think it’s better,” Mueh said. “I don’t think he’s there yet, but I think it’s better. He’s letting them play a little bit, and they’re having a little more fun.

    “I’m not sure Jeff is totally comfortable yet in this environment but it’s getting better every day. I still believe strongly in Jeff and his staff. I think he’s a brilliant basketball coach, so we’ll see.

    “I’d love to see him get more comfortable in his position. He’s a glass half empty kind of guy. It’s part of my job to inspire  him and motivate him as well, to go down there and motivate him and say he’s doing a great job and to help him smile and enjoy this and have some fun doing this. I think he puts a little too much pressure on himself. He just needs to open up and let it go. 

    “Next year will be better than this year. He just needs to get comfortable with this job. I’d love to see him smile on the bench. I haven’t seen him smile on the bench. He’s so passionate and intense.

    “I’m  still  commited to him. He will keep getting better at this. He will keep getting better at this as he grows into this place.”

    Your thoughts on Mueh’s thoughts? Let me know.

  • Got something to say? Positive or negative, hope you’ll share it here

    Tue, February 15, 2011 by David Ramsey with 2 comments

    Recently celebrated the 1,000th comment on this blog. The best part of this blog – and I’m sure everyone will agree with me on this one – is the discussion. When readers jump in and attack, and even sometimes agree, with my points, that’s when the fun really begins.

    Sure, part of the fun is when readers start calling me names. That’s fine. You don’t have to call me a name to get my attention, but if you just can’t help yourself, don’t worry about it. With a very few exceptions, the attacks have been reasonable and usually make me feel better about myself.

    For example: BYU fans have consistently accused me of being a hopeless homer in favor of Air Force. Meanwhile, Air Force fans consistently accuse me of not being kind enough to the Falcons. Falconsis has called me “jerk” more times  than I want to remember.

    The message? I stand somewhere in the middle, which is where I want to stand.

    I’m only beginning the discussion on any subject in this blog. My recent thoughts on the practice of North Dakota fans shouting “Sioux” at the end of the National Anthem ignited a storm of protest from UND fans.

    I was, several angry readers stated, trying to silence them! A few even brought up the First Amendment! They would shout “Sioux” until the day they died! And I couldn’t do anything to stop them!

    Guess what? I already knew that.

    I was not trying to silence anyone. I was – and I make no apology for this – criticizing those who shout “Sioux.” This practice pollutes the National Anthem. (Bringing up the First Amendment was completely ridiculous, by the way.)

    The discussion that followed was a worthy one, full of interesting twists. I didn’t agree with many of the points made by UND fans, but I did read each comment and so did many others.

    So keep commenting as we move, together, toward 2,000 comments.

    I’m on Twitter. Hope you’ll join me:

    http://twitter.com/davidramz

  • Former Gazetteer Milo quoted in Sports Illustrated article on Plummer

    Mon, February 14, 2011 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Here’s an interesting feature on The Man Who Walked Away, Jake Plummer.

    And check out the quote from former Gazette columnist, and my good friend, Milo F. Bryant.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1181772/index.htm