NIAA needs to take record book more seriously

Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association needs to start taking its so-called record book a little more seriously. One of the state's most cherished records - the boys basketball career scoring record -- has been broken and tied too many times to count in the last two years by three players (Hug's Armon Johnson, Western's Prince Fowler and Galena's Luke Babbitt) and each time there has been mass confusion. The latest installment in the sitcom known as the NIAA's Record Book Follies involved Babbitt this past week. The Galena senior supposedly broke the record on Jan. 12 in Las Vegas. Galena coach Tom Maurer, though, discovered two days later that Babbitt was still 21 points short. That information, though, was not made public until Jan. 19, one day after Babbitt actually broke the record again. The bottom line is that the NIAA record book, which relies on coaches and school officials' contributions, is extremely incomplete and should not be made public in its present form. It's just not fair to the athletes involved who are subject to a roller coaster of emotions.

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New York and Boston in the Super Bowl? Say it ain't so. The hype for the East Coast Super Bowl is going to be unbearable. Actually, it has already started with film of Tom Brady carrying flowers to his girlfriend Gisele Bundchen while walking in a protective boot on the streets of New York. What's next? Eli Manning caught dunking his Oreos in milk rather than licking off the frosting first?

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Don't feel sorry for Brady. Yes, he has to deal with paparazzi cameras like he is the male version of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. But this is the life Brady has chosen. If he didn't want people snapping his picture, he would be dating that cute little girl who works in men's wear at Wal-Mart instead of a super model and he'd make his off-season home in some far-off Massachusetts suburb in the middle of a thousand wooded acres lined complete with 12-foot-high fences and Michael Vick dogs instead of living in downtown New York. Hey, nobody knows who Alex Smith is dating, do we?

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The Brady situation sort of brings to light how we treat the Super Bowl as compared to college football's BCS title game. People make plans for their Super Bowl party a year in advance. Nobody even knows what day they are going to play the BCS game until you happen to see it channel surfing that night. And we now know that Brady and his gal pal like to go dancing at a club in New York called "Butter." In the BCS game nobody could even name the two starting quarterbacks.

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OK, I admit it. I'm sick of this Super Bowl already. Right now I'd rather watch a replay of the New Mexico Bowl than have to deal with another 10 days or so of hype for this east coast Super Bowl. Couldn't they just switch the game from Arizona to somewhere in Connecticut so all those New Yorkers and Bostonians don't have to come anywhere near Nevada?

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Don't give up yet on this Wolf Pack men's basketball team. This group can still win the Western Athletic Conference and go to the NCAA Tournament. Coach Mark Fox has done a remarkable job with this young bunch. And don't forget that this was supposed to be a transition year between Nick Fazekas and Luke Babbitt. Next year's group, when Babbitt joins the likes of Armon Johnson, Brandon Fields, Lyndale Burleson, JaVale McGee and others, is going to be special.

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The key to this Pack season is going to be whether or not Fox can find a starting lineup he can feel comfortable with for more than two weeks. If this team is going to make a run in the WAC Tournament and postseason, players are going to have to settle into well-defined roles and that is hard to do when the starting lineup keeps changing.

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Deion Sanders, who now yells at viewers from the NFL Network, questioned the toughness of San Diego Chargers' running back LaDainian Tomlinson this week. Isn't Sanders the guy who used to run to the men's room every time he was asked to make a tackle? Deion is the last guy who should be questioning a player's toughness.

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Golf Channel anchorperson Kelly Tilghman recently said on the air that other PGA Tour players should get Tiger Woods and lynch him in a back alley. ESPN's Dana Jacobson was heard making tasteless religious comments concerning Notre Dame during a roast of colleagues Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic. What does this all mean? Well, it means that women can say things as tasteless, insensitive and racist as men.

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The NFL needs to play its meaningless Pro Bowl on the Sunday between the AFC and NFC Championship games and the Super Bowl. Just leave out all of the Super Bowl players. Those guys are always coming up with lame excuses to get out of the game anyway. Nobody will miss them. The NFL needs to do something to fill the void during the two-week Tom and Gisele Report. They should play the Senior Bowl and Pro Bowl in the same stadium on the Saturday and Sunday, you know, so all of the Pro Bowlers can tell the future NFL players what clubs to go to when they are in New York, Chicago and Jacksonville.

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Jason Garrett, a young coach who really hasn't won anything of note in the NFL, is being treated as the second coming of a young Vince Lombardi, George Halas, Tom Landry, Don Shula and Bill Belichick. But Jimmy Johnson and Steve Mariucci, two guys who are proven head coaches, can't get an interview and must be content with sitting in a TV studio with the likes of Deion and Howie Long. Funny how the NFL works, isn't it?

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The NHL needs to do away with giving teams a point for losing in overtime. A loss should be a loss. There should be no reward. Take away that consolation point and you'd definitely see the action in the third period of a tie game pick up.

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Jose Canseco needs to just dry up and blow away. Talk about Bash Brother. All the guy does is bash players. His latest victim in Magglio Ordonez. Canseco, it seems, has threatened to name Ordonez in his next steroid tell-all book (due out in March) unless Ordonez invests in a movie project Canseco is promoting. You have to wonder why the players don't team up and politely tell Canseco to knock it off. Can you imagine what would have happened if someone threatened Ty Cobb?

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By the way, if I'm Rambo or Rocky Balboa, I'd be a little nervous about Canseco getting involved in the movie business. If Canseco doesn't win an Oscar in a few years, he might just come out with another tell-all book.

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