Picking the Wolf Pack over the Terps | NevadaAppeal.com
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Picking the Wolf Pack over the Terps

By JOE SANTORO

Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .

As long as Chris Ault stays away from any hot dog or pie eating contests with Ralph Friedgen, the Wolf Pack football team should enjoy a very successful Humanitarian Bowl experience. Everything points to a double-digit Pack victory over Maryland on Dec. 30. The game is in Boise, so it’s a home game for the Pack. Maryland will be without its defensive coordinator and special teams coach, who both have already left for new jobs. The Terrapins are depressed because they aren’t going to the Orange Bowl. The Wolf Pack has scored more points in the second half (260) than Maryland has scored in all four quarters (257) this season. The Terps are limping into the game having lost three of their last four. The Pack has won three of its last four. Yes, their coach can eat our coach but it doesn’t matter. Wolf Pack 42, Maryland 27.

What have we learned about the Wolf Pack men’s basketball team thus far? Well, not much. But we have learned one thing. The Pack sure knows how to get its crowd fired up for a game. Lawlor on a cold December night is the happening place to be. The cheerleaders, the heart-pounding music, the cool video of past Wolf Pack great players and teams is awesome. And if you don’t feel like Braveheart ready to charge into battle after the reading of Rudyard Kipling’s “Law of the Jungle” (“For the strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack”) well, you must be a UNLV fan. It almost makes you forget that the game is against Sonoma State and Arkansas Pine-Bluff.

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Six NBA coaches have already been fired this season and it’s not even Christmas yet. We only have one question. Why, exactly, is it important to even have a coach in the NBA?

Want yet another sign that the world of sports media is headed to complete destruction? The national media has given more attention this week to the free agent situations of Mark Texeira, Manny Ramirez and Rafael Furcal than the death of Sammy Baugh. Baugh, who was the Babe Ruth of football, just might have been the best and most important player in the history of the NFL. He was an amazing quarterback, punter and defensive back for great Washington Redskins teams, once throwing for four touchdowns and intercepting four passes in the same game. He was also the Wilt Chamberlain of the NFL, once averaging over 50 yards a punt in a season. The NFL needs to put Baugh’s No. 33 in patches on all of its players for the rest of this season.

Barry Bonds came out this week and said that he is still not retired. Bonds also thinks the world is flat, man has never really landed on the moon, O.J. Simpson is just misunderstood, the Holocaust was just a movie and the Western Athletic Conference can actually win a national football championship. 

Has there ever been a college football head coach more doomed to failure before he even coaches a game than Auburn’s Gene Chizik? Auburn fans are already heckling him at airports and he hasn’t even lost to Alabama yet. Auburn alum Charles Barkley has deemed him as the symbol of southern racism. Why hire a guy with a 5-19 career head coaching record to replace a guy (Tommy Tuberville) who was 85-40? That’s not racist. It’s just stupid.

Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable showed his displeasure at assistant coach James Cregg this week after Cregg announced he was leaving immediately to accept another job at the University of Tennessee. Cable, acting like a young (and old) Al Davis, said that Cregg “quit on this team, quit on this organization and quit on this head coach.” First of all, the Raiders are not a team. They are simply bunch of guys disappointed that the Arena League won’t play a 2009 schedule because it limits their future employment opportunities. The Raiders are also not an organization. The newspaper and auto industry are in better shape than the Raiders organization. And what head coach is Cable talking about? Do the Raiders have a head coach?

Just a thought: Greg Maddux and Roger Clemens should pitch and Bonds should play left field for the United States in the World Baseball Classic.