During his weekly news conference Tuesday, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun had a pretty fantastic exchange with venerable veteran Denver Post reporter Irv Moss, who like me, was piped in via teleconference. I had to mute my chuckles toward the end. Good stuff. Here it is, in its silly glory.
(Calhoun had just noted that, in his opinion, Boise State is one of the 15 most talented teams in the country)
Moss: If Boise is that highly regarded as you just said, then is it going to be kind of a gauge as to where your team is right now?
Calhoun: It's a long haul, it's a full season. You're still in September — but golly, you get a chance to play one heck of an opponent.
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Moss: As far as where we are in the season, then would it be a gauge where your team is right now?
Calhoun: There's something clearly you want me to say. Can you send me that quote, so I can read it for you? they're a very good team, Irv.
The tailback is a no-doubter NFL player if he's healthy, the one receiver absolutely is too - No. 2, ironically. Defensively, both those safeties - you look around college football, that's a pretty impressive tandem that they have at safety. One corner, tremendous quickness no doubt was an all-Mountain West Conference player last year. The linebackers have played a lot. No. 8, the defensive end, reminds me almost to a T the kid they had last year that was picked early in the second round by the Dallas Cowboys, Lawrence. Just because he's active, you watch his high school film they're a very, very talented team.
Moss: It sounds like maybe you should maybe not play the game.
Calhoun: We should play the game.
Moss: When you're facing an opponent like that, and your players, they know what's going on and everything, they know the kind of team you're facing - what do you do in practice to keep it in perspective?
Calhoun: Here's what we do, Irv. We just got an email yesterday - it was a base-wide email. If you leave some food out, bears are here all over the academy grounds. What we do is we left some peanuts out yesterday, we're going to leave a bunch of food on the field today. Those bears will be there, in the evening you have all the deer — five-, six-point bucks you see — they'll line up at some of the skill spots, then I'm going to play quarterback, just to complete it.
Moss: You've got uniforms big enough for those bears?
Calhoun: We do, they're made of elastic, so they do stretch.I thought we had a really good practice yesterday, and truthfully we'll need one each day this week. When you go to the Air Force Academy, you like challenges. Nobody asked Jimmy Doolittle to have everything perfect for him when he led his raid in Japan in 1942, so I don't think here at the Air Force Academy our football players or our coaches or anybody should ask for anything like that either.
Moss: In other words, you're not afraid of them?
Calhoun: Irv, you think of some of the things these guys are going to have to do down the road. Courage is a strength.