2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Remember, Mel Kiper called JaMarcus Russell “John Elway like”

    Thu, April 26, 2012 by David Ramsey with 3 comments

    The NFL Draft is almost upon us. Somehow, the draft has grown into one of the biggest days in American sports. It’s not one of the biggest days for me. It is one of the biggest days for millions (upon millions) of NFL fans. The Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, the men’s and women’s basketball Final Fours, the World Series, the Frozen Four – those are exciting. The NFL Draft? No.

    The draft is all  about speculation. It’s about commentators shouting with great certainty about what a player is going to do when it should be obvious that these commentators are only guessing.

    Here’s Mel Kiper talking about former LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who was on his way to becoming one of the biggest busts in NFL history:

    “Look out,” Kiper told ESPN viewers during the 2007 draft, “because (his) skill level is certainly John Elway like.” Kiper went on to say Russell had a chance in three seasons to become an “elite” NFL quarterback. The Raiders have made many mistakes – countless mistakes – in the last decade. Russell was the biggest one.

    Listen, I don’t want to be seen as picking on Mel Kiper. I believed, for instance, that Ryan Leaf would become a great NFL quarterback. Not good. Great. And we all know how that one turned out.

    I do want to be seen as warning everyone not to pay too much attention to all the excitement during the NFL Draft. It’s all about speculation, and I’d rather watch a real game.

     

     

  • NBA should banish Artest for rest of the season

    Mon, April 23, 2012 by David Ramsey with 3 comments

    First off, in many ways I’m a Ron Artest fan. (Forget about me ever calling him World Peace.) He brings a raging intensity to every game. He plays a stalking, hustling brand of defense each night. The NBA has a problem with players going through the motions, part of the problem of having such a long – too long – season. Artest is a warrior every night.

    I was sitting courtside at Madison Square Garden in 1997 when Artest strolled on the court for St. John’s. He looked then as he looks now. He’s an NFL linebacker on a basketball  court. He attacked the game every minute when he played for St. John’s. He’s never lost his hustle.

    But there’s always been a sinister side to Artest. There’s always an element of  extreme danger, always the chance the intensity boils over, allowing insanity to invade the court.

    Artest’s elbow to James Harden’s neck on Sunday afternoon was frightening.  It was random. It was gratuitous. It was a sudden, shocking, nonsensical display of violence.

    The NBA should banish Artest for the rest of the season, including the playoffs. The most  suspended player in NBA history should be suspended once again.

    Yes, I know Artest says he didn’t realize his elbow would hit Harden. I don’t believe him. If you watch the replay, you can see Artest felt contact with Harden before swinging his elbow. This was not a calculated, premeditated attack. But that’s one reason it’s so disturbing. Artest casually attacked Harden for no reason, as if on a whim. He could have ended Harden’s career. He could have busted Harden’s neck. This could have been so much worse.

    Artest had shown signs he might escape the troubles of his past. He was suspended for 86 games in 2004-2005 after sprinting into the stands to attack a fan. The incident polluted the image of the NBA, most likely forever. Artest has made steps in the right direction since his weird sprint into the stands.

    But the Harden  incident shows that Artest remains basketball’s most unpredictable, most dangerous presence.

    He should be punished severely for his actions. No, should isn’t the right word.

    He must be punished severely for the damage he did to Harden and to the game of basketball.

     

     

  • Air Force’s Pilipovich retains high hopes for Sierra’s Kamryn Williams

    Fri, April 20, 2012 by David Ramsey with 3 comments

    Kamryn Williams, who led Sierra to consecutive state titles, enjoyed a fast start to his Air Force basketball career, moving into a starting job in his freshman season.

    But he faded at the end of the season. In conference play, Williams shot only 27.3 percent while averaging 3.1 points.

    Dave Pilipovich, newly promoted to head coach, remains a believer in Williams.

    “He’s a great kid. He’s such a good person,” Pilipovich said Thursday at his office. “He has a great body. He’s strong, athletic. Maybe he doesn’t know he good he can be.”

    Pilipovich is hoping Williams will become “a little more aggressive,” especially on defense. “Aggressive” is a euphemism coaches often use. Allow me to translate.

    Pilipovich wants Williams to shed his nice-guy approach on the court. He wants Williams to get meaner.

    I share Pilipovich’s optimism for Williams’ future.  He’s a classic team player, more concerned with the teammates who surround him than he is with his own points. He’s not selfish. And, because of his career at Sierra, he knows how to win.

    Will he become a major star at Air Force?

    No. I don’t think so.

    Will he keep improving?

    Yes.

     

     

  • Demaryius disses Tebow? No. Demaryius states the obvious about Tebow

    Mon, April 16, 2012 by David Ramsey with 4 comments

    Last week, The Gazette ran a headline that stated Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas had  dissed the dearly departed Tim Tebow.

    Let’s get this straight:

    Thomas said what any receiver would say,  if that receiver was talking honestly, about Tebow. A receiver wants the ball  in his hands, and playing  with Tebow means the ball will be in his hands and in running backs’ hands. That’s not a scenario any receiver wants. Yes, Tebow and Thomas combined for the 80-yard, walk-off game winner against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was the single-most important play in Broncos history.

    “You gotta go back and look at the rest of the games,” Thomas said. “I wasn’t getting no balls and you had to make some of these plays where some players were open and he is not making the throws, but I don’t want to talk bad about Tim. But, hey, I am happy we got Peyton.”

    That’s not a diss. That’s Thomas speaking the truth. What receiver on the face of our earth would rather play with Tebow than Manning?

    Let me answer that question.

    None. Zero.

    I give Thomas credit for being honest, and I believe Thomas  is headed to big-time stardom now that Manning has arrived in Colorado.

    Thomas later sought to clarify his remarks.

    “I wasn’t trying to go in the interview and just put Tebow down as a quarterback,” Thomas said. “I was just answering questions, you know?”

    I know, Demaryius, and it’s  always a good idea to answer questions honestly.

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

  • CSU basketball makes solid hire in Larry Eustachy

    Thu, April 12, 2012 by David Ramsey with no comments

    I’m on record as saying Mike Dunlap would have been the best choice for CSU’s basketball vacancy.

    But I have to admit the Rams made a solid – and perhaps much more than solid – hire in Larry Eustachy, who led Southern Miss to 25 wins and the NCAA Tournament this season.

    Eustachy inherits a talented team, and he’s a proven winner. His personal struggles at Iowa State were a long time ago. He’s shown he can win in an unlikely location. Southern Miss is not exactly a basketball hotbed.

    I expect him to show he can win in Fort Collins, even if it’s not exactly a basketball hotbed, either.

    CSU athletics appear to be on the rise. New football coach Jim McElwain has all the tools required to build a winner in Fort Collins.

     

  • Mike Dunlap would make superb basketball coach at CSU

    Tue, April 10, 2012 by David Ramsey with no comments

    CSU needs a basketball coach. Mike Dunlap needs a chance in D-1. It would be an ideal marriage.

    Dunlap coached Denver’s Metro State College to two Division II titles (and three trips to the final) while winning 248 games and losing only 50 from 1997-2006. He should have been given his chance to lead a D-1 team years ago.

    One of the main reasons CSU should hire Dunlap is he would arrive in Fort Collins with plans to stay. Tim Miles did strong work at CSU, but you had the feeling he started thinking about his next step on the coaching ladder the minute he arrived in Colorado. (Miles is now working at the University of Nebraska.)

    Dunlap might leave. It’s a possibility.

    But it’s not a probability. He’s done superb work at Metro State and solid work with the Nuggets.

    “There is absolutely no one better,” said Nuggets coach George Karl.

    Dunlap should be CSU’s next basketball coach.

     

     

  • Tim Tebow compared to John the Baptist

    Fri, April 6, 2012 by David Ramsey with 2 comments

    Arthur Cavazos recently read a column on Tim Tebow’s exit and Peyton Manning’s arrival and made this comment:

    “David, in retrospect to Tebow’s time in Denver, I guess he turned out to be John the Baptist and was merely prepping you for the One who would come after him.”

    I like it, Arthur. Thanks.

     

  • Will the Rockies be mighty? Or mediocre? Or worse?

    Wed, April 4, 2012 by David Ramsey with no comments

    The Rockies marched into last season with the burden of grand expectations. There was talk of a return to the World Series.

    Then the Rockies finished 73-89. The Rockies have often been bad during their days in Colorado, but this ranked near the top of their disappointing seasons.

    This season, the expectations aren’t so grand. Sports Illustrated picks the Rockies to finish fourth in the NL West with a, yes, losing record at 79-83.

    That sounds about right to me. The Rockies lack the pitching might to compete for the playoffs.

    Your thoughts?