2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Are the Nuggets better off without Carmelo? Or do you miss No. 15?

    Fri, March 30, 2012 by David Ramsey with 2 comments

    Carmelo Anthony is The Forgotten Man in Colorado. Or at least it seems that way to me. If you talk about No. 15 now, about 99 percent of Colorado residents are going to think you’re talking about Tim Tebow.

    And when you talk about the trade, again our state’s residents are going to assume you’re talking about Tebow getting shipped to the New York Jets for the shameful price of a fourth-round pick.  You might remember  – or you might not – Carmelo got shipped to New York a year ago for half the Knicks roster.

    Was it a good trade? Do you miss Carmelo? Does he still have a chance to become a true NBA superstar, a franchise player along the lines of Kobe and Dirk and a very few others?

    Let me know. I’m writing a column on Carmelo that will soon appear on Gazette.com and will run in Sunday’s print edition of the Gazette.

    Thanks for stopping by.

     

     

  • This is fantasy football: Raiders coach compares washed-up Palmer to Manning

    Wed, March 28, 2012 by David Ramsey with 3 comments

    New Oakland coach Dennis Allen is following a long-time Raiders tradition.

    He’s delusional.

    He recently talked with the Denver Post’s Mike Klis about Raiders quarteback Carson Palmer in the same sentence as Chargers QB Philip Rivers and Broncos QB Peyton Manning. Allen believes the trio shows that the AFC West is now a destination for elite quarterbacks.

    And that’s true.

    When you talk about Rivers and Manning.

    Palmer is a washed-up, woeful quarterback who threw more interceptions last season than touchdowns.

    Wonder why Manning chose the Broncos? Lots of strong reasons. The wonderfulness of The Front Range. The chance to work for John Elway.

    And, most likely near the top of the list, the chance to compete in the weak AFC West, home of the Raiders and Palmer.

     

     

  • Scott Owens talks about the CC season that got away

    Mon, March 26, 2012 by David Ramsey with 10 comments

    Talked for more than an hour late last week with Colorado College coach Scott Owens. Here are excerpts from  the interview:

    Q: HOW DO YOU SEE THIS SEASON?

    Owens: Overall, I’m disappointed we didn’t get to St. Paul and we didn’t get to the NCAA Tournament. That was a goal of ours. Those were my personal expectations. We wanted to get one of those last four or five spots in the tournament.

    Q: YOU HAVE BEEN CRITICIZED FOR YOUR COACHING THIS SEASON. IS THAT FAIR?

    Owens: I’m the guy the finger gets pointed at, and that’s fine. I get too much credit when things are going well. You process it. You meet with your staff. There’s more to it than just the WCHA and the NCAA. We’re developing these kids academically and socially. There’s a lot more to it than just hockey.

     

    Q: HOW DO YOU SEE NEXT SEASON?

    Owens: Six seniors have graduated. We lose 40 percent of our scoring. It depends on how you define future. Next year could be a little bit of a growing year for us. We’ll have to retool a little bit. We might start out a little slow.

    But if you look beyond one year, I like a lot of our recruits. The big picture is very good, but there are question marks.

    Q: WHAT’S YOUR MOOD?

    Owens: It was not good. I was down I was down because we worked hard for home ice and then it was over so quickly. I felt bad for the seniors. We had a really strong senior class, with good leadership and they high hopes and aspirations to finish stronger. I had the sense that this would be it for Jaden and obviously you want to maximize when you have a kid with Jaden’s ability. I felt bad about it. It wasn’t for lack of effort as a staff.

    Q: SOME FANS WANT YOU TO BE MORE FIERY. WHAT’S YOUR RESPONSE?

    Owens:  You know what, I have a calm demeanor until I really get rattled, and the times I get upset and rattled are not in front of six or seven thousand fans. It’s in the locker room between periods, in individual meetings or staff meetings. I am not a huge believer in ranting and raving and bullying on the bench in a 61/2 month season. Now, for some it works. For the majority, it doesn’t in college hockey. When I get after my players, they listen because I’m not ranting and raving all the time. Certainly times I get after guys, but we have intelligent guys and they will tune you out in a hurry. Yelling doesn’t go very far with them. I think I have a good relationship with officials. They listen to me. They respect me. We seem to get more power-play chances. And that’s definitely because they listen to me and respect rather than tuning out anything I have to say.

     

     

  • AFA’s Troy Calhoun talks about Peyton Manning

    Thu, March 22, 2012 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Air Force football coach Troy Calhoun is a Peyton Manning fan. That took me about 15 minutes to figure out, and I  mean 15 minutes after I first met Calhoun.

    The coach has long admired Manning’s think-man’s approach to the game.

    I talked with Calhoun about Manning after Monday’s AFA practice.

    “He’s the greatest football player of the 21st century,” Calhoun said. “Hands down. ”

    Calhoun watched from the sidelines as an assistant coach with the Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans as Manning picked defenses apart.

    “He was beyond superb,” Calhoun said.

    Calhoun talks vividly about the experience of watching Manning warm up his receivers before games. After the warmup, those receivers were covered with sweat. Manning’s work ethic is one of the best in NFL history.

    But what about his health?

    “That’s the question,” Calhoun said.  “If he’s at, or very close, to how he played only 18 months ago, then he’ll be incredible.”

     

  • Tebow trade to Jets is bad deal: Tebow loses, Broncos lose

    Wed, March 21, 2012 by David Ramsey with 32 comments

    The Broncos failed to get fair value for Tim Tebow. Remember, he was a late first-round pick just two years ago. Remember, he carried the team to the playoffs this season. Remember, he’s one of best running quarterbacks in NFL history. He’s worth more than a fourth-round pick. The Jets pulled a steal on this one.

    But this is not just a bad deal for the Broncos. It’s a bad deal for Tebow. He goes from clear backup in Denver to clear backup in New York. Yes, it’s possible Tebow could unseat the underachieving Mark Sanchez, but it’s not probable. In Denver, Tebow would have been learning, if only by watching, from one of the all-time greats. In New York, Tebow will be sitting while learning very little from a young quarterback who is almost as flawed as he is. Plus, Tebow will be paying enormous amounts in rent.

    Tebow has potential. He might someday gain control of his unruly left arm. If he can become a mediocre passer – and I’m talking by NFL standards – he could easily become a superstar.

    It would not have been easy for the Broncos to keep Tebow. It’s not his fault, but a circus follows him everywhere. His fans are never satisfied. They believe he’s virtually perfect in every way.

    The Broncos should ignored the circus. The Broncos should have bet on Tebow’s potential and kept him as a backup.

     

     

  • Serratore won’t lie; he’s happy to see Jaden Schwartz gone

    Tue, March 20, 2012 by David Ramsey with 34 comments

    Air Force hockey coach Frank Serratore isn’t going to kid you, or me, or anyone else.

    He’s glad Jaden Schwartz had departed Colorado College. Schwartz, only 19, has jumped to the St. Louis Blues. Schwartz scored in his first appearance with the Blues.

    “You’re happy for the kid and you’re happy, to be honest with you, as a competitor.  He’s gone. Any opposing coach who says he’s sad that Jaden Schwartz signed is a liar.”

    That’s what DU’s George Gwozdecky said, by the way, in my column this week.

    “Everybody is trying to gain advantage and one of the ways is attrition with the teams you play.  I’m happy for him and happy we don’t have to play him again, you know?”

    We know, Frank.

     

     

  • With Manning on the way, Demaryius Thomas could become NFL’s next superstar

    Mon, March 19, 2012 by David Ramsey with 9 comments

    We’re all – and I mean Colorado sports fans – facing a huge change in our lives as Peyton Manning prepares to join the Denver Broncos. This is the franchise’s biggest move since the trade of trades that brought John Elway to Colorado in 1983. This is the biggest risk the franchise has ever made. Manning might still be the NFL’s best quarterback. Or he might be a stupendously expensive broken-down 36-year-old. Memories are wonderful, but memories don’t always mean much in the present tense.

    But the biggest change will come to the life of one Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos mega-talented 6-foot-3, 225-pound wide receiver who turns 25 on Christmas Day.

    Thomas has almost all the gifts required to become  an NFL superstar.  Except one. His hands are somewhat suspect.

    Manning could lift Thomas to the heights. Manning could help Thomas become the NFL’s best receiver. He could catch 90 passes next season for 1,500 yards. Thomas is that talented.

    Of course, there’s a question about what version of Manning will arrive in Denver. I’ve talked to several dozen fans who believe Manning will be the 2006 version. Utterly dominant. One of the best players in NFL history. The kind  of player who can lift the Broncos to their first trip to the Super Bowl since the 1990s.

    And that’s a possibility.

    But he might be a weary, flawed, tattered version of Manning. Sports history is filled with tales of the greats – Michael Jordan, Joe Namath, Willie Mays – who stayed too long and ended up tainting their legacies and making everyone who watched them feel old and depressed.

    We’ll see. We’ll soon see.

    A revolution is coming to Denver. For those of us who enjoy sports, life is about to change.

    The revolution will touch us all, but nobody will be changed as much as Thomas.

     

  • Serratore agrees with my Air Force hockey column

    Thu, March 15, 2012 by David Ramsey with 30 comments

    Heard from more than a few Air Force hockey fans, who wondered why I didn’t appreciate the Falcons wondrous effort in their weekend Atlantic Hockey Association tournament quarterfinals against Connecticut.

    Air Force, the AHA’s No. 1 seed, struggled mightily to vanquish UConn, the No. 8 seed. I wrote that the Falcons will not survive this weekend in Rochester if they don’t improve.

    “You obviously do not understand playoff hockey,” a reader named Steve wrote.

    A reader named T.D. accused me of having a “grudge” against the academy.

    Interestingly enough, a reader named Frank Serratore was pleased with the column. Told me he agreed with virtually everything I had written. Told me he had told his team – the Air Force hockey team – that he agreed with what I had written.

    “You know what?” Serratore said. “Your article was right.”

    He told me thank you.

    And I told him, “You’re welcome.”

    There’s no good reason why Air Force had so much trouble with UConn. The Huskies scored nine goals over the weekend, same as Air Force. According to Serratore, the Falcons led for only 30 minutes the entire weekend.

    That’s not acceptable.

    At least it’s not acceptable to me and Frank. Apparently it is acceptable for many Air Force hockey fans.

    The Falcons play Friday in Rochester in the AHA semis against Mercyhurst. If the Falcons don’t improve, Serratore said, they will not be playing in the AHA finals.

    “I’m not worried about Mercyhurst,” Serratore said. “We know the enemy and the enemy is us. Against Connecticut, we had to overcome the opponent and overcome us. And one guy up in the stands, the only one who is not getting caught up in the emotion and joy, wrote about us barely surviving against a lower opponent, and he told the truth.”

    The one guy up in the stands is me, by the way.

    Next: Serratore talks about Jaden Schwartz’s departure from Colorado College.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Tebow believers continue to amaze me

    Tue, March 13, 2012 by David Ramsey with 32 comments

    It’s out there. On Twitter. On Facebook. On The Gazette’s editorial page.

    There’s this thought that Tim Tebow is being treated unfairly because the Broncos are courting Peyton Manning, who is only one of the five or six greatest quarterbacks ever.

    Poor Tim. He led the Broncos to a 9-9 record, and he might actually face serious competition to keep his job!

    I worry about Manning’s health. That’s the risk that’s on my mind.

    But the Broncos have strong reason to take a risk on Manning. Anyone paying attention to the Broncos this season saw a greatly gifted but greatly flawed young quarterback. Tebow supporters act as if he’s the second coming of Joe Montana.

    Let me ask this:

    Did you guys watch the Broncos final five games? And, yes, I’m including Tebow’s masterpiece against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Broncos lost four of their final five, and Tebow leads the reasons for the defeats. His performance in the regular-season finale against the Chiefs ranks as one of the most pitiful in Broncos history.

    Going after Manning is a risk. Yes, that’s true.

    But sticking with Tebow is a risk, too. Tebow supporters assume he’s going to add NFL-quality passing to his spectacular running.

    That’s an awfully big assumption. The evidence behind the assumption is slight.

    Tebow is a competitor. He understands the nature of the NFL. It’s daily Darwinism, survival of the fittest. He won’t be griping if the Broncos bring Manning to Colorado.

    His supporters will be moaning to the heavens, though.

     

  • Bzdelik’s bad times continue; Buzzy has struggled to fly since abandoning Air Force

    Fri, March 9, 2012 by David Ramsey with 8 comments

    Since abandoning Air Force in 2007, Jeff Bzdelik – or Buzzy as he’s known to friends- has compiled an atrocious record of 65 losses with only 15 wins in conference play. He struggled at Colorado, and now he’s struggling – mightily – at Wake Forest.

    In the two seasons before Bzdelik’s arrival at Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons won 20 games and lost 12 in the ultra-tough Atlantic Coast Conference. For reasons that will remain forever mysterious, Wake Forest athletic director Ron Welman fired Dino Gaudio and hired Bzdelik, who had compiled a less-than-dazzling 10-38 conference record at CU.

    In two seasons, Bzdelik has finished 5-27 in the ACC. He recently had to apologize for cussing out a Miami fan, and the home crowds at Wake are fading fast.

    Wellman remains, despite massive evidence to the contrary, a true believer in all things Buzzy.

    “He’s building a great program,” Wellman said to the Winston Salem Journal. “A lot of people can’t see that now … I couldn’t be more excited about our future.”

    Couldn’t be more excited? Just how excited will Wellman get if, say, Wake wins more games than it loses in the ACC? The man seems to get excited quite easily.