• Ron Artest is one of basketball history’s greatest all-time defenders; he’s also one seriously strange individual, maybe the strangest in basketball history

    Fri, August 26, 2011 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Say this for Ron Artest:

    The man is never boring.

    Last season, I asked Artest what he thought of Carmelo Anthony getting booed in Denver after he had just lead the Nuggets to a dramatic victory over the Thunder.

    Ron offered a deeply philosophical response.

    “Booing,” Artest said. “That’s part of life. Sometimes you get booed and sometimes you go into a fast food restaurant and they don’tserve you  tomatoes even if you want tomatoes. It’s just part of life.”

    Thanks, Ron.

    Today, Ron learned he will have to wait to chance his name to “Metta World Peace.” I’m not kidding.

    Here are the detail:

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2011/08/ron-artest-metta-world-peace.html

    Next: Fisher DeBerry talks about fighting at football practices, and Troy Calhoun admits he just might have been in a few scuffles at practice when he was an AFA quarterback.

  • Is it important to you for Air Force to play CU in football? Let me know

    Thu, August 25, 2011 by David Ramsey with 28 comments

    I’m working on a column and/or blog entry about Air Force renewing its football rivalry with the University of Colorado.  I’m in favor – strongly in favor – of the schools meeting on the football field.

    CU and Air Force played 16 times from 1958 to 1974,  with the Buffs winning 12 of the games. But this was not a state school picking on a service academy; five of the AFA losses were by 10 points or less and two were by only one point.  Craziness in Boulder, where anti-military behavior was rampant, inspired AFA leaders to cancel the series.

    But that’s ancient history.

    Colorado is surrounded by states where college football creates a huge buzz, but the buzz is lacking here. I know there are all sorts of reasons for the teams not to play.

    But the game would pack a stadium.  The game would ignite interest. The game would introduce CU fans to Air Force football and Air Force fans to CU football.

    The teams should play. The sooner the better.

    That’s  my view.

    What’s yours?

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

  • Tebow the Broncos No. 4 quarterback? Maybe so, contends Yahoo! Sports

    Wed, August 24, 2011 by David Ramsey with 1 comment

    Warning:

    This story is a little over-the-top, even if it is undeniably entertaining. In this report, Yahoo’s Michael Silver suggests free-agent QB Adam Weber has outplayed Tim Tebow in the Broncos training camp.

    Let me know what you think.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AiTmatmKqn29I4l1g8VLdDJDubYF?slug=ms-silver_denver_broncos_quarterbacks_082311

  • Can Tebow fans handle reality? Orton named starter for season opener; meanwhile Tebow is 3rd-string QB on one of NFL’s weakest team

    Mon, August 22, 2011 by David Ramsey with 1 comment

    Kyle Orton had always struck me as a boring guy.

    Until this summer.

    As he eased his way back into the starting job as Broncos quarterback, Orton has shown impressive zing in his verbal sparring with Tim Tebow fans.

    Orton has announced he doesn’t care if he’s not a fan favorite.

    And Saturday night, after he clinched the starting job for the season opener, Orton took another shot, only slightly veiled, at Tebow and his legion of supporters.

    “Well, I don’t have any endorsements …” Orton told The Denver Post. “That’s all right. I’ve got the respect of my teammates, and that’s all I’m looking for.”

    Tebow is in a weird place. His followers offer him complete support. To them, he’s poised to become the mightiest force in the NFL. He earns a massive pile of money for various endorsements. His jersey is  one of the most popular in the NFL. He’s 23, and he’s already written his life story.

    But he’s also the third-string quarterback on one of the NFL’s weaker teams.

    And his fans are not the only ones with an outsized view of Tim Tebow. He shares the view. These have to be tough, tough times for the NFL’s most popular bench sitter.

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

  • Can Air Force’s smallish offensive line protect Jefferson when he passes?

    Thu, August 18, 2011 by David Ramsey with 9 comments

    When I talked with Troy Calhoun about the need to pass more – and more imaginatively – against the mightiest opponents on his schedule, he briefly brought up the question of pass blocking.

    And it’s a troubling question.

    Air Force has one of the most athletic offensive lines in the country. One of the pleasures of watching the Falcons option, run-first offense – notice I did not say triple-option – is watching the team’s athletic linemen leap to their feet after one block and then sprint downfield for a second block. This dedication and hustle is one of  the main reasons the Falcons should again be able to run over most of their opponents.

    But Air Force also has one of the smallest offensive lines in the country.

    And this lack of  girth will be a problem when the Falcons try to pass.

    Calhoun did not dwell on the point, but it’s a valid one.  It will be difficult for the smallish Falcons offensive line to keep massive, marauding hulks away from Tim Jefferson.

    The supreme test of the line’s ability to protect Jefferson will come early. TCU’s linemen will be itching to smack Jefferson upside the head when the Horned Frogs invade Falcon Stadium Sept.  10.

    Would like to hear your thoughts on the Air Force offensive line and its ability – or inability – to pass block.

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

  • More thoughts on Air Force passing more often in 2011

    Wed, August 17, 2011 by David Ramsey with 4 comments

    Recently wrote a column about the need for Air Force to pass more often – and more imaginatively – in 2011.

    (Here it is: http://www.gazette.com/sports/ramsey-122796-force-way.html

    A few more thoughts about the need to go to the air:

    1. We’re not talking about every game.

    In other words, I’m not suggesting the Falcons need to fill the air with passes against, say, New Mexico. I think Air Force will do just fine sticking to the ground game against South Dakota and Vegas and the various other lightweights/tomato cans on the schedule.

    2. We are talking about passing  more against mighty opponents.

    Tim Jefferson and his friends will need to do serious damage through the air against Navy, San Diego State and, especially, against TCU, Notre Dame and Boise State.

    No way the Falcons run over TCU, Notre Dame and Boise. Points will have to be delivered by the passing game if the Falcons want to shock the football nation with wins over the Frogs, Irish and those guys who play on the bright blue carpet.

    3. The Falcons will  need to do this damage early in the biggest, toughest games on their schedule.

    Air Force must place a scare into the hearts of defensive backs early against TCU, Notre Dame and Boise State. That way, linebackers and defensive backs will spend the rest of the game worrying that maybe this play that looks like just another option will actually turn into a long pass to Zach Kauth.

    That way, the Falcons will have a chance to outscore their most intimidating opponents.

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

  • Chad Hall is once again battling – and beating – the odds

    Fri, August 12, 2011 by David Ramsey with 1 comment

    The odds are against Chad Hall.

    But then …

    The odds always have been against Chad Hall.

    The former Air Force star is seeking  to earn a roster spot with the ridiculously and for him frighteningly stacked Philadelphia Eagles. It’s  not going to be easy.

    Do not bet against Hall.  Don’t ever bet against him. When he finished his high school career, he struggled to find anyone who believed he could succeed for a major college team.  The struggle ended when Hall met Richard Bell, then Air Force’s defensive coordinator, and Fisher DeBerry. Both men believed a 5-foot-7 (maybe) 155-pound quarterback could find happiness as a college running back.

    As a senior, Hall delivered one of the most dominating performances in Air Force football history – and in service-academy football history.

    His show isn’t over. He caught five passes for 82 yards in the Eagles’ win over the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night.  Hall is not fast, even by college standards, but he managed a 32-yard catch.

    Eagles coach Andy Reid obviously is a fan of Hall, which only increases his chances to make the roster.

    Here’s footage of Hall making a 48-yard grab against the Dallas Cowboys:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3BwtRRlTKg

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

  • It’s obvious; Tim Jefferson has been talking to Calhoun about expectations

    Thu, August 11, 2011 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Was talking with Air Force senior quarterback Tim Jefferson about the upcoming season. I did not speak the word “expectations,” but Jefferson started talking about expectations anyway.  This makes sense. The 2011 Falcons face the grandest expectations since at least the 2003 team. (The 2003 team did not earn a bowl bid, by the way.)

    “We can go 12-0 this season,” Jefferson said. He took a slight pause. I think he could tell he had startled  me.

    “Or we can go 0-12.  It’s not about how good we look on paper or what people make of us off the field.  It’s about what we do on the field.”

    All true.

    And I’m sure Troy Calhoun is proud of every word Jefferson spoke.

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

  • Congrats to Andy Dalton as he prepares to start for NFL’s worst franchise

    Wed, August 10, 2011 by David Ramsey with no comments

    TCU quarterback Andy Dalton faces virtually no competition for the Bengals starting quarterback job. He’s a rookie, and there are all kinds of questions about his arm, but the position has been cleared out for him. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I’m not one of the leaders of the Bengals.

    You might remember I’ve expressed my doubts in the past about Dalton’s ability to develop into a quality NFL starting quarterback. You also might have noticed the Bengals stand alone as the NFL’s worst franchise.

    So it looks as if Dalton, who led TCU to 42 victories, will be starting this season for a downtrodden, hope-deficient team.

    Congrats, Andy, and best wishes to all my good friends at TCU, which is, by the way, my brother’s alma mater and one of my favored trips in the Mountain West circuit.

    Sorry – and I’m serious about this – to see the Horned Frogs slithering away to The Big East. Their departure from the Mountain West means I won’t be able to eat at the Cattlemen’s Steak House in Fort Worth next football season.

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

  • Tebow isn’t entitled to anything; he must prove he deserves starting job

    Tue, August 9, 2011 by David Ramsey with 18 comments

    Been out of the country for three weeks and spent much of my journey very literally in the middle of nowhere in Africa. This meant I missed the continuing drama in the saga of Tim Tebow.

    It looked as if he would be handed the Broncos starting job when it looked as if Kyle Orton was being shipped  to Miami.

    But the deal fell through, leaving  him as just another  NFL backup.

    And he’s not happy.

    “My dream since I was a young boy of being a starting quarterback in the NFL seemed to be coming true,” Tebow told Woody Paige of The Denver Post. “Then I felt like it was grabbed back away.”

    Here’s what I don’t understand – and don’t like – about Tebow’s attitude and the attitude of his multitude  of followers.

    I don’t understand his – and their – sense of entitlement.

    (One thing I should make clear: My sense of Tebow’s entitlement does not come solely from his brief remarks to Woody Paige. I’ve been around Tebow several times, asked him questions, listened to his answers, and have sensed a strong sense of, yes, entitlement. This, in many ways, is understandable. He is one of of the most successful college quarterbacks in football history, but there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of superb college quarterbacks who flopped in the NFL. Thanks to readers who made comments that let me know I needed to clarify why I believe Tebow acts overly entitled.)

    Tebow enjoyed a superb college career. He’s as diligent a worker as I’ve seen. He’s a dangerous, reckless, powerful runner when he bolts out of the pocket.

    But he has not proven himself worthy of a starting job. He hasn’t even come close.

    The Broncos look ready to take the safe route in 2011. Orton will, once again, seek to bore opponents into losing to him. He will not lead the Broncos to a winning record.

    But Tebow has to get it through his head that he’s not entitled to the starting job because he won a couple titles at Florida or because he’s a national celebrity or because millions of fans adore him.

    He has to earn the job.

    And he hasn’t done that yet.

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

    Tomorrow: Thoughts on the emergence of my good friend (and former TCU star) Andy Dalton as the Bengals probable starting quarterback.