Joe Santoro: Vick creates hairy situation over Kap | NevadaAppeal.com

Joe Santoro: Vick creates hairy situation over Kap

Joe Santoro

Joe Santoro

Sports fodder for a Friday morning … We can now add the name of Michael Vick to the list of people who should be banned from ever commenting on Colin Kaepernick's job status in the NFL. Vick said this week Kaepernick should cut his hair if he wants to land a job in the NFL. Not surprisingly, that prompted Kaepernick to Tweet a definition of the Stockholm Syndrome. Kaepernick's response was a bit too harsh but, hey, one silly comment deserves another. Of course, the length of Kaepernick's hair has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not he's on some NFL roster. The reason Kaepernick isn't playing is not because he refused to stand for the national anthem. It's not because he let his hair grow long and tall. It's not because he has become a political activist. It's not because of his inconsistent play. And it's not because he seems indifferent about whether or not he ever plays in the NFL again. It's all of those things. Right now he just isn't worth the media circus he would bring to your team.

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The San Francisco Giants are seemingly going to add Pablo Sandoval to their sad roster this summer. That's all well and good. Just seeing Sandoval on the field in a Giants uniform will make Giants fans feel warm and fuzzy. They can now bring all of their Panda costumes out of storage. And the Giants, whose season is a mess, have nothing to lose by bringing an overweight, injury-prone, washed up former hero to the roster. But why stop with Sandoval? Why not just turn the final two months of this awful season into a glorified World Series parade? Bring back Tim Lincecum, Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff, Barry Zito and Brian Wilson, too.

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Why do we still care about O.J. Simpson? We don't. But the media needs something to get excited about in the middle of July so we're getting ridiculous coverage of his parole hearing this week. It's been 20-plus years since Simpson was found innocent of killing his ex-wife. He spent more than a decade after his famous trial as a free man doing what he always does, playing golf, signing autographs, writing books and enjoying life as O.J. So why do we care he might be a free man once again? We don't.

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The Nevada Wolf Pack football program needs to spice up its non-conference football schedule. The Wolf Pack plays at Northwestern and Washington State and will host Toledo and Idaho State this fall. It's not a horrendous schedule but it does lack the star power of some non-league schedules around the conference. UNLV will go to Ohio State. Wyoming is going to Iowa and will host Oregon. Air Force heads to Michigan and Navy. Fresno State and Colorado State are going to Alabama. Colorado State will also play Oregon State and Colorado. Utah State is going to Wisconsin. San Diego State is going to Arizona State and hosts Stanford. Hawaii heads to UCLA and San Jose State is going to Texas and Utah. All of these games, of course, have nothing to do with competition. The Mountain West will lose at least three-fourths of these games. They're just about paying coaching salaries and buying that third or fourth uniform combination and new helmets.

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver said this week he believes sports betting will be nationwide in the near future. Silver even seemed excited about the idea, saying it would increase fan participation and interest. Finally, a sports commissioner who's intelligent. Betting in all of its forms (fantasy sports) is the only reason to even watch sports anymore. Would you even care about the NCAA basketball tournament if you didn't fill out a bracket, hoping to win your office pool? Would you even care about 90 percent of the NFL games if you weren't in a fantasy league? And don't get me started about baseball. Without fantasy baseball there would be almost no interest in the sport in the dog days of the summer. There's nothing evil about sports betting. It won't poison the world. It's about time a commissioner of one of the major sports leagues embraces sports betting.

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There are now rumors of LeBron James eventually heading to the Los Angeles Lakers. It seems inevitable James will leave the Cleveland Cavaliers in the next year or so. The Cavaliers muddled through the regular season last year, losing 31 games, and were totally outclassed in the NBA Finals by the Golden State Warriors. The best they can hope for in the 2017-18 season is a repeat performance. Anything short of a championship is a disappointing season for James. He can't be happy with the Cavs' off-season. They aren't any better than they were last year. They're just older. Imagine a Lakers team next year of Lonzo Ball, LeBron, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle. Bet on it. You know Adam Silver is dreaming about it.

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Don't look now but the Oakland A's are better than the San Francisco Giants. The A's also have a better future than the Giants, too. Their roster is full of promising talent such as Bruce Maxwell, Ryon Healy, Khris Davis, Jaycob Brugman, Chad Pinder, Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton, Matt Chapman, Franklin Barreto and Marcus Semien and others. The Giants are adding the Panda.

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How's the new face of major league baseball doing? Well, since the All Star break, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees has gone 3-for-27 with no extra base hits and just one RBI. He has struck out 10 times and scored just two runs. Judge has a strike zone as big as Washoe County and he still can't hit a curveball. He's certainly fun to watch and he can crush a baseball out of Yellowstone Park. And baseball is fortunate to have him. But, no matter what ESPN tells you, he's only the face of the sport in New York.

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Joe Lunardi of ESPN is in favor of expanding the NCAA basketball tournament to 96 teams. That, of course, is an excellent idea. Nobody cares about college basketball until the NCAA tournament starts so why not make it bigger? In fact, why stop at 96? There are plenty of bad teams in the NCAA tournament right now and it's only at 68 teams. So why not let everybody in? Cut the regular season down to about two dozen games. Eliminate the conference tournaments and just start the NCAA tournament in the third week of February. Six weeks of unbelievable NCAA tournament action. Two dozen or so Cinderella stories going on at the same time. A bracket that would take up three conference rooms in your office. It would be glorious.

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