Joe Santoro


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August 1, 2013
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Joe Santoro: Who's scared of UCLA? Nevada will pull off a stunner


Sports fodder for a Friday morning ...

Just four weeks remain until the Nevada Wolf Pack football team opens the Brian Polian era with a stunning victory over the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl. Not much has really changed at Nevada, despite all the offseason hype and the switch from Chris Ault to Polian. All the Pack has done, after all, is go from The Little General to Na-Polian. The tradition of beating mediocre Pac-12 teams will continue. The Pack, don’t forget, went to California last year in the season opener and stunned the Fool’s Gold Bears. UCLA lost to that same awful Cal team later in the season. The Pack has a better offense than UCLA, and their defense will be much-improved in 2013.

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The San Francisco Giants seem content to become the first team since the 1997-98 Florida Marlins to go from winning the World Series one year to finishing last in their division the following year. The Giants did nothing at the trading deadline. This is a team that can’t score runs and doesn’t know what it’s going to get from its starting pitching from one week to the next. And they still did nothing. It’s time for Giants fans to focus on the San Francisco 49ers.

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Buck Showalter has a point. The Baltimore Orioles’ manager is upset because the New York Yankees won’t have to pay Alex Rodriguez’s ridiculous salary should A-Rod get suspended. Baseball should listen to Showalter. Teams should still be responsible for the salaries of the players who get suspended for performance enhancing drug use. They should be required to either give the money to charity or simply put it in a general fund that would benefit the small-market teams. If teams had to pay the salaries of all of these PED users even when they get suspended, then maybe they wouldn’t be so willing to give huge salaries to suspected cheaters.

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The NFL is trying too hard. The Pro Bowl, they game nobody wants to play or even watch, is going to become even more of a joke. It will no longer be AFC versus NFC. It will just be a hodge-podge mix of players picked by ceremonial captains Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice as well as two goofballs who have won an NFL.com fantasy league. You sometimes will have teammates in the regular season playing against each other in the Pro Bowl. Giving World Series home-field advantage to the league that wins baseball’s All-Star Game doesn’t sound so stupid now, does it?

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It is time we eliminate all-star games. They serve no purpose other than for the networks to sell some more ad time. All of the all-star games are a joke (the NFL’s is the biggest comedy) and none of them even remotely resembles the game that is played during the regular season and postseason. Nobody plays hard. Nobody cares who wins. All-star games were interesting in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s because they gave fans a chance to see all the great players. But now, given that every game in every sport is available on television every single day and night, All-star games are meaningless and the most boring event of the year in all of the sports.

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Nevada Wolf Pack men’s basketball coach David Carter has assembled quite a collection of bodyguards and enforcers around guards Deonte Burton, Marqueze Coleman, Michael Perez and D.J. Fenner for this coming season. The latest muscle added is 6-foot-11 center Chris Brown. But the names are meaningless. All you have to know is that they are big and strong and, in theory, won’t curl up in the fetal position when opponents enter the paint and shots bounce off the rim. Carter, it seems, is determined to never let what happened last year, when everybody on the roster thought he was a shooting guard, ever happen again.

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Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson says Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is the best quarterback in the league. There’s a good chance Smith won’t even be the best NFL quarterback in Missouri this season. He certainly wasn’t even the best quarterback on the San Francisco 49ers’ roster last year. Just ask Jim Harbaugh. There are about a dozen other teams in the NFL (that number could be as high as 20) on which Smith wouldn’t be the best quarterback. Alex Smith is a serviceable NFL quarterback. Nothing more. Let’s just say that Deion, Jerry and the two fantasy geeks won’t be picking him for the Pro Bowl this January.



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The Nevada Appeal Updated Aug 2, 2013 12:50AM Published Aug 1, 2013 09:31PM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.