2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Tim Tebow in NFL peril … again

    Sat, August 31, 2013 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Tim Tebow says he “will remain in relentless pursuit” of playing quarterback in the NFL. He better be plenty relentless.

    Tebow’s NFL career is in serious peril.

    Again.

    The New England Patriots cut him on Saturday. Here’s why Tebow fans should be extremely worried about his future:

    The Patriots signed Tebow to be their third-string quarterback. After watching him practice and play, Bill Belichick decided he’d rather have a backup at another position.

    “I would like to thank Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick, Coach McDaniels and the entire Patriots organization for giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a classy organization. I pray for nothing but the best for you all,” Tebow wrote in a series of Tweets on Saturday.

    Once again, Tebow exits with class. He’s an admirable human being. There’s no doubt about that.

    Is he a legit NFL quarterback?

    No matter how relentless he is, the answer appears to be no.

     

     

  • Will Air Force vs. Colgate provide great football drama? History says no

    Fri, August 30, 2013 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Air Force opens each football season against Football Championship Subdivision opponents, once known more simply as 1-AA. FBS is a step down from Division I. This FBS habit, a bad one, extends Air Force’s summer vacation by a week each season. Reality – and Utah State – arrive at Falcon Stadium next Saturday.

    The Falcons have defeated their last seven FBS opponents by a combined score of 361-93.

    Another beatdown is expected for Saturday when Colgate, of the FBS, invades Falcon Stadium. Colgate has a strong chance to score points, but the visitors’ defense will not be able to stop Air Force’s tricky option attack. Expect the Falcons to win by three touchdowns. At least. 

    I’m not a fan of the Air Force-FBS series. I have not met a fan of the FBS series, and that includes various members of the Air Force athletic staff.

    Wait. There is one fan of Air Force playing tomato cans:

    Coach Troy Calhoun.

     

  • Has Hillman fumbled his way out of Broncos starting job?

    Tue, August 27, 2013 by David Ramsey with no comments

    I’ve long been a big believer in  Ronnie Hillman, largely because I watched him shred Air Force’s defense during his days with San Diego State. He runs bigger than his 195-pound frame. He’s tough. He can gain yards up the middle with his power and outside the corners with his speed.

    But …

    He has a fumbling problem. He’s traveled, rapidly, from probable starter in the Broncos immensely powerful offense to probable bench sitter.

    Is he doomed to watch from the bench this season?

    I retain faith, even if I must concede reality. NFL quarterbacks can throw a multitude of interceptions – even ones when they seem blind – and still strut around as starters. Brett Favre and Jay Cuter are recent examples of this trend.

    NFL running backs do not enjoy this margin of error. If a running back struggles with fumbles, he’s going to get banished to the bench. Hillman has his career in his hands, and we’re talking literally.

    If he can learn to better grip the ball, he will start. He’s the most gifted of the Broncos halfbacks. I realize that’s not a tremendous compliment.

    When Hillman fumbled on Saturday night at Mile High, one of my buddies in the pressbox teased me a little about my belief in Hillman. I deserved the teasing.

    And yet …

    I still think he has a chance to shine. Playing halfback beside Peyton Manning is one of the choice gigs in sports. Hillman must realize this. He has tremendous incentive to banish fumbling from his life.

     

  • As Tebow teeters, consider these revealing numbers

    Thu, August 22, 2013 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Tim Tebow is fighting for a roster spot with the New England Patriots, and it’s not looking promising. This is almost certainly his last stop, his last chance.

    I’ve heard this week  from several Tebow supporters. Not all of those supporters were friendly, but this is no surprise. Tebow fans are among the most fierce fans around. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate fierce. Fierce is part of what makes life fun.

    Heard from one Tebow fan who suggested his problem is with receivers dropping his passes. In other words, NFL receivers who play for the Broncos, Jets and Patriots have jeopardized Tebow’s career. That’s an interesting conspiracy theory.

    Consider these statistics when considering the merits of Tebow’s left arm:

    In 2011, Tebow completed 46.5 percent of his passes as the Broncos starter.

    In 2012, Peyton Manning completed 68.5 percent of his passes as Broncos starter.

    And Manning was throwing to essentially the same set of receivers.

     

     

     

     

  • A bad day – another one – for Tim Tebow and his stubborn believers

    Sat, August 17, 2013 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Tim TebowTim Tebow completed 1 of 7 passes in an exhibition battle with the Bucs. His passing yardage total? Well, he didn’t have a total really. He had one negative yard.

    And he threw an interception. He almost threw another one.

    For Tebow true believers – and, trust me, there are legion of them lurking out there – his performance has to be extremely discouraging. I believed – and I’ll admit this – that Tebow would earn a roster spot on the Patriots and serve as a valuable player in a limited role that would concentrate on his running ability.

    Now I’m not so sure.

    A few months ago, Tebow’s NFL career looked over after the Jets dumped him.

    It’s starting to again look over.

  • Air Force football fails – so far – to land player in conference top 50

    Thu, August 15, 2013 by David Ramsey with no comments

    SBNation is naming the top 50 football players in the Mountain West. This is a day-by-day countdown – one a day – on the way to the first kickoff. With 14 days to go, no Air Force player has been named to the conference’s top 50. (And I don’t expect a single Air Force player to make the top 50.)

    Running back Jon Lee, receiver/running back Ty MacArthur and defensive end Alex Hansen have already been named to the SBNation’s honorable mention list.

    If you want to follow, go to www.mwcconnection.com and look for the top 50 players link.

  • Shrinking talent pool threatens Air Force basketball revival

    Sat, August 10, 2013 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Air Force’s basketball team surprised virtually everyone – and this includes members of the team – with an 8-8 finish this season in the Mountain West, which included home victories over New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV and thrilling losses to Colorado State and Final Four-bound Wichita State.

    When the season ended, it looked as if the good times would continue. The Falcons didn’t look on their way to another 8-8 finish, but a 7-9 or 6-10 record looked possible. (If those sub-.500 records sound disappointing, you don’t know much about Air Force basketball history. It’s been, for the most part, a long, dreary road, jammed with defeats.)

    The departures of Cameron Michael and Justin Hammonds are a severe blow to this program, still recovering from the wreckage of the Jeff Reynolds era. Michael and Hammonds almost certainly would have been starters and would have been in the conversation for the team’s best player. (Hammonds plans to remain at the academy to concentrate on academics.)

    Now, coach Dave Pilipovich must construct a team from what’s left. He lost five senior starters, including Michael Lyons, the team’s best player of this new century.

    With Hammonds and Michael lost to the program, Pilipovich faces a massive task.

  • 49ers QB Kaepernick praises former Air Force star Chad Hall

    Mon, August 5, 2013 by David Ramsey with no comments

    Count 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a fan of former Air Force star Chad Hall, who is seeking to earn a roster spot in San Francisco.

    “He gets open,” Kaepernick told 49ers writer Eric Branch last week. “He’s quick, he’s shifty, he knows how to read defenses and he finds the soft spot … He’s someone that’s easy to throw to. Most of the time he’s open and it’s by quite a bit. As a quarterback, that’s something you love.”

    Hall, who is 5-foot-8 (maybe) and 187 pounds, caught 14 passes in limited action for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He gained 1,470 yards rushing for Air Force in 2007 along with 50 catches for 524 yards.

  • Former CU football coach Dan Hawkins, once a rising star, fired in Montreal

    Thu, August 1, 2013 by David Ramsey with no comments

    When the University of Colorado hired Dan Hawkins as football coach late in 2005, I believed it was a virtually perfect hire. Hawkins had just led Boise State to a 53-11 record in five seasons. He was charismatic, funny and appeared to be blessed with a brilliant football mind, especially when it came to offense. He had won 31 straight Western Athletic Conference games.

    Could he revive the Buffs? Sure, he could. The biggest question in my mind was how long Colorado could keep Hawkins. He seemed, at the time, a can’t miss coach, destined for whatever he wanted out of his business. Tad Boyle, currently CU’s basketball coach, appears to have that brand of virtually limitless potential right now.

    Was the “The Hawk,” as he referred to himself, a little prideful? Sure, he was. But a touch of arrogance is expected from a successful football coach.

    Hawk’s time in Boulder, as we all know, was a disaster. That offensive mind wasn’t so brilliant, and his charisma turned to paranoia and bitterness when the Buffs stumbled to loss after loss. He was dismissed by CU in late 2010.

    Still, I’m stunned to hear the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League have fired Hawkins after only five games as head coach. On June 27, Hawkins won his first CFL game and a coaching comeback seemed possible. After three losses in his next four games, the powers that be in Montreal dumped Hawkins.

    On Thursday, any coaching comeback by Hawkins was squashed.

    Most likely forever.