The Last Candidate Standing

Dear Mike Bohn,

Since your impulsive and short-sighted decision to fire Jon Embree, my disillusionment with your leadership of the University of Colorado athletic program has grown by the hour.

Thus far, you have offered virtually no insight into the reasons for Embree’s firing other than:

  • It was your idea, conceived in isolation, over the course of the past week or so; and
  • The program trajectories were headed in the wrong direction.

I anxiously await some clarity of your analysis of the Embree era.  Frankly, I would settle for an acknowledgement that Embree was hired to make a U-turn in a sinking, archaic, Soviet-constructed battleship, that he was hired to do so as the lowest paid head coach in a BCS conference, and that the school failed to alleviate any of the unnecessary baggage it heaps on the desk of its head coach.  [Read more…]

The Candidates

The Glorious People’s Republick of Boulder

Day #3 of the aftermath of the Jon Embree firing is on the books in Boulder, and with the exception of some comments from university president Bruce Benson very few glimmers of clarity have been shared with Buff fans. The most important order of business remains – hiring a new head football coach to be the face of the wayward athletic department.

In consideration of the criteria that athletic director Mike Bohn has shared, your faithful correspondent is left to conclude that the only remaining realistic candidates are:

  • Utah State head coach Gary Anderson;
  • Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter;
  • San Jose State head coach Mike MacIntyre; and
  • Former California head coach Jeff Tedford.

Given Bohn’s stated objective that the new Colorado head coach has previous head coaching experience, it seems unlikely that the school will be interested in Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, San Francisco 49ers (and former Stanford) offensive coordinator Greg Roman, and Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason.

[Read more…]

Unanswered Questions in the Land of the Buffalo

Well, I wanted to say it, and Jon Embree alluded to it earlier.  Neither Embree nor I needed to, because Colorado football coach emeritus and living legend Bill McCartney said it.  And Bill McCartney IS NOT WRONG.

I will not accuse failed athletic director Mike Bohn of racism.  But I do not trust him, and you probably should not either.

In the last four days, Mr. Bohn has:

  • Unceremoniously fired a proud alum and committed Buffalo;
  • Set the CU’s massive rebuilding program back at least two years; and
  • Failed to articulate his vision to turn things around.

On top of that, Mr. Bohn rolled out this zinger at the Embree termination press conference.

“I think every AD has a list of candidates that they’d love to have in the event there is a change.  We do, but we’ll see if we can pull it off.”

Sounds like a dishonest man … with a plan.  [Read more…]

The Time For Accountability Is Now

Before the University of Colorado can move forward with hiring a new head football coach, a lot of questions need to be answered. The primary one remains: What self-respecting candidate is going to be willing to take over this program?

Colorado just fired a lifelong Buff, and while tribal loyalty is not a good reason for maintaining a failed coach, it ought to justify giving the coach his rightful third year on the job. Embree was a great player and assistant coach for the University of Colorado, and he accepted a five-year contract (at a discount) to resuscitate his once proud program. Make no mistake – the program was in shambles upon Embree’s appointment as the 24th head coach in school history in December 2010.

Your faithful correspondent only wishes that these realities merited a third year at scenic Folsom Field. [Read more…]

Logan Is No Buffalo

The University of Colorado announced the firing of head football coach Jon Embree on Sunday evening.  I am not tuned into 850 KOA at the moment, but I imagine a multitude of local callers will share their strong conviction that the man to replace Embree is none other than KOA employee, high school football coach, and CU alum Dave Logan.

Dave Logan has led successful football programs at four area high schools (Arvada West, Chatfield, Mullen, and Cherry Creek).  He has won multiple state championships, hundreds of games, and coaching awards.  Prior to beginning his coaching career in 1993 Logan was an all-time great Buff and a successful NFL football player.  Today, he is the popular radio play-by-play voice of the Denver Broncos and a talk show personality on local radio.

The hiring of Dave Logan as the head coach of the Colorado football program would be a bigger mistake than firing Embree after only two seasons.  Despite his status as a successful high school coach and local legend, Logan lacks the requisite coaching, recruiting, and organizational experience to run the University of Colorado football program.

Logan’s resume does not add up to the necessary skill set required to lead a major Division I college football program, especially in the challenging conditions in the People’s Republic.   [Read more…]

The Buffaloes Roam, Again

A Division I college football coach deserves at least four years to turn around a moribund program, especially when living within the confines outlined by the same University of Colorado administration that deposed one of its own: former Buffalo tight end and now former Buffalo head football coach Jon Embree.

Colorado’s decision to fire Mr. Embree less than two full years after his hiring is abhorrent and short-sighted. Consider:

  • The conditions of the Colorado Buffalo football program at the time of Embree’s hiring were disastrous.  The program had not been nationally relevant for at least the previous five years, arguably longer;
  • The existing roster lacked both talent and depth;
  • The recruiting classes of the previous five years were generally failed, a result of poor talent evaluation, development, and retention;
  • The 28-member senior class of Embree’s first campaign lacked distinctive talent to lead the program into its augural season in the Pac-12; and
  • The eight-member senior class of Embree’s second and final season lacked just about everything that a successful college football program needs from its veterans.

The administration’s firing of Embree is a devastating blow to the near and long-term future potential of the program and a sad reflection of what has become of the Colorado Buffaloes. [Read more…]

The Next Ex-Manager of the Colorado Rockies

The joke that was the 2012 Colorado Rockies season grew quite a bit funnier late Wednesday night, when the organization announced the hiring of Regis Jesuit High School head coach Walt Weiss to serve as manager on a one-year contract. In spite of my admiration for Mr. Weiss and my misguided hope for the improved future prospects of the Local Nine, the organization’s managerial hiring can only be received with skepticism, disgust, and doubt.

As a seven-year old raised in Northern California, my favorite local organization was the Oakland A’s and my favorite player was Walt Weiss. Down in the dilapidated basement of the Casa Casablancas, I store a baseball collection that must have at least ten Walt Weiss baseball cards, undoubtedly cumulatively valued at 35 cents. Weiss and I moved to Colorado for good in 1994, and his contributions to the Rockies are well documented. I admired Weiss’ steady defense, quality at-bats, and contributions to winning franchises at every stop. I expect that Weiss will find great success as manager, someday. Sadly, it will either require him to move to a new location, or return to the friendly confines of Regis Jesuit.

[Read more…]

On Freedom and the Loathsome 2012 Campaign

On Sunday night, I sat patiently and with an open mind, watching 60 Minutes as journalists at the newsmagazine program interviewed America’s two presidential frontrunners, former Taxachusetts governor W. Mittens “Mitt” Romney and acting president B. Hussein Obama.

Each candidate was asked to identify the “big idea” that he would pursue as president. Governor Romney reported that his big idea was “freedom,” to which I did in fact scream at the television set the following:


I wish the esteemed Scott Pelley at 60 Minutes would have offered the same counter, though I imagine he was on a previously established script that he had to follow to gain the participation of the two candidates. For the love of all things sacred, at what point did we resign ourselves as a nation to hear the most powerful men in the world speak to us only on preconditions established by their own camps? [Read more…]

Five In, Five Out: Casablancas Style

The NFL has achieved the dream of every professional sports league – unbridled parity. If the NBA had it, the Sacramento Kings would not be looking up and down both coasts for a new home. Should Major League Baseball ever achieve parity, the Pittsburgh Pirates wouldn’t be pursuing their first playoff berth since Andrew McCutchen’s fifth birthday, and if the NHL had it, people would watch. I will leave college football alone.

In honor to the well-conceived dreams of Peter Rozelle, Paul Tagliabue, and Roger Goodell, my five-in, five-out predictions: [Read more…]

Is Phelps Now The Greatest American Olympian?

The last two days of Michael Phelps’ competitive swim career are upon us, as the swimming program of the 30th Summer Olympiad concludes Saturday.  Phelps will retire from the international stage as the greatest swimmer in the history of the world.  In the midst of Phelps’s highly successful farewell tour, a reasonable and fair national debate over the greatest Olympians in history has developed.

With all due respect to the enormous accomplishments of Jesse Owens in the 1936 Berlin Games and Al Oerter’s four-peat in the Olympic discus, the metric for Olympic greatness should be based upon:

1)      Competitive greatness

2)      Diversity of accomplishments

3)      Dominance of the athlete’s sport

By this method, the debate for greatest American Olympian boils down to two candidates:  track star Carl Lewis and Michael Phelps. [Read more…]

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