Friday Fodder: 10 wins not out of the question for Nevada Wolf Pack | NevadaAppeal.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Friday Fodder: 10 wins not out of the question for Nevada Wolf Pack

Joe Santoro
For the Nevada Appeal

Sports fodder for a Friday morning … This could be a watershed, momentous and, yes, even historic season for Nevada Wolf Pack football. Great home schedule that includes California, Colorado State, Boise State and four other homecoming-type victory parties. A realistic chance at 10-plus victories. Colin Kaepernick’s senior season. But will you be there? Well, you probably weren’t there last year. There were more tumbleweeds and stray cats wandering through Mackay Stadium’s gates last year than fans. Want some perspective? Michigan just increased the capacity of its football stadium to 109,901. You could put the entire Wolf Pack home attendance (104,999 for six dates) last year into Michigan’s Big House and still have room to stretch your legs.

•••

But that was last year. This year could be a rebirth of Wolf Pack football. Hey, you can get season tickets for less than $100. Stop going to Starbucks every morning for a month before work for that Venti latte macchiato and you can afford Pack season tickets. Expect attendance at Mackay this season to swell to the neighborhood of 150,000-plus for the seven-game schedule. Yes, as usual, much of that depends on the Pack winning key games. The key game of the year, as far as attendance is concerned, is against Cal in Week 3. That is the game that will get the attention of Northern Nevada. The Pack beats Cal and, well, Michigan will need to expand its Big House capacity by about 50,000 to fit every Pack fan comfortably.

•••

The television ratings for this week’s baseball All-Star game were the lowest in history. That really shouldn’t surprise anyone. All-Star games in every sport just don’t have the appeal they once did. They are the most boring and meaningless game of the season. Why watch an All-Star game when every single game played in the regular season (and most in spring training) can now be seen by every fan all over the country and world who owns a satellite dish or computer? Baseball is simply overexposed. Interleague play has also destroyed the National League vs. American League rivalry in the All-Star game. It might be time to kill the All-Star game and just give everyone a nice mid-season vacation.

•••

If the San Francisco Giants sit back and do nothing before the trade deadline at the end of this month, you can start preparing yourself for a fourth-place finish. San Diego is not going away. Colorado is poised to make another second-half run. Los Angeles is getting Manny Ramirez back soon. The Giants need a burst of energy. You can’t, after all, expect Andres Torres, Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe to continue to hit like they are Bobby Bonds, Willie McCovey and Jim Ray Hart. If it means trading a young pitcher like Madison Bumgarner or Jonathan Sanchez to get a middle-of-the-order slugger like Adam Dunn or Corey Hart, the Giants need to pull the trigger.

•••

There has never been an owner in American professional sports like George Steinbrenner. Mark Cuban, Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones are just Steinbrenner wannabes. When you factor in the championships and how much he cared about winning, you could argue that Steinbrenner was the greatest owner ever in pro sports in this country. Nobody really wanted to work for him, but under Steinbrenner the New York Yankees became stronger financially than most countries of the world.

•••

LeBron James and Chris Bosh joining Dwyane Wade in Miami is good for the NBA. No question. The NBA has always been about hype and James, Bosh and Wade signing with the Heat might be the most hyped event in NBA history. Every sport needs a team that everyone hates. Baseball has the Yankees, football has the Dallas Cowboys, golf has Tiger Woods, college basketball has Duke. The NBA now has the Heat.

•••

Derek Dooley should have waited for another offer. The former Louisiana Tech head football coach has only been on the job at Tennessee a few months and he already has to deal with two (and counting) of his players getting arrested during a bar brawl. Last year three Vols were arrested under Lane Kiffin’s watch and the year before eight were arrested when Phil Fulmer was the coach. That’s 13 players arrested in three years under three head coaches. Dooley has about 1.8 million dollar signs every year to enjoy his six years (if he’s lucky) at Tennessee, but you have to wonder if he’s already longing for the days of finishing 5-6 every year at La Tech.