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 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…]

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…]

Justin Upton Can Save the Rockies

I have written thousands of words on the fate of the Colorado Rockies in 2012.  Their fate is not good.

In the midst of writing another 2,000 word manifesto about the failure of the Rockies and the imminent demise of general manager Dan O’Dowd, I realized that topic is tired.  I have read dozens of columns with the same theme – burn down the house and start over with new management and (hopefully) players.

If the Rockies are truly concerned about becoming a sustainable model for consistent pennant contention, one trade prior to July 31st could solve their problems. [Read more…]

Enough Already – The Post-Mortem of Your 2012 Colorado Rockies

Seems like a lifetime ago.

ROOT Sports mercifully took a day off of broadcasting the Colorado Rockies on Thursday. It’s about time. The Rockies pitching staff took yet another day off, giving up eight runs (“only” six earned) against the hapless Oakland A’s offense. The defense did not help, tallying three errors in yet another indication of the mess that is the 2012 Colorado Rockies.

In the three-game homestand against the A’s (not exactly the ’27 Yankees, let alone the ’04 A’s), the Rockies have blown two early leads, have been simply blown out, and have given up no fewer than eight runs in a game. As of EOB on Thursday, and with exactly 100 games remaining in the Nightmare of 2012, the Rockies are 24 – 38, 15 – 21 at home, and 9 – 17 on the road.

Stick a fork in it. This season is over. [Read more…]

Farewell, Jamie Moyer

As recently as five weeks ago, Moyer was the most accomplished starter in the worst rotation in Major League Baseball.  On Friday, he was deemed an unnecessary burden for the worst rotation in Major League Baseball and was designated for assignment. On Sunday, the 49 year old left-hander was officially released.

When the Rockies signed Moyer to a free agent contract this past offseason, I was a strange combination mystified and excited.  I remembered Moyer as a piece of one of the worst trades in Cubs history (Rafael Palmeiro, Moyer, et al to the Texas Rangers for The Wild Thing prior to the 1989 season), and as one of the game’s best pitchers in his time with the Seattle Mariners.  The acquisition of Moyer seemed like a low-risk signing that could help the Rockies bridge the gap until their prospects were ready to assume the full burden of carrying the rotation.

The prospects are not ready, and Moyer is gone. [Read more…]

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