FRIDAY FODDER: Big weekend for Fallon teams | NevadaAppeal.com
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FRIDAY FODDER: Big weekend for Fallon teams

Joe Santoro
For the Nevada Appeal

Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . . The Fallon Greenwave’s phenomenal state tournament success last week is one of the best stories to hit Nevada high school sports in a very long time. The Greenwave went through two decades of frustration and futility in Class 4A, moved to Class 3A this past fall and now is one of the top athletic schools in the state. Everyone involved with the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association realignment the past few years should be applauded. The changes have paid off quicker than anyone expected and pumped life, confidence and pride back into the athletic programs of many schools around the state, none more so than Churchill County High. The Greenwave won four state titles — boys golf and track, baseball and softball — in a span of five days last week. It might be time to change the name of Fallon, Nevada to Titletown, Nevada.

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Say what you want about Barry Bonds, his tainted home run records, his personality and his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. What he has done for the family for San Francisco Giant fan Bryan Stow is nothing short of amazing. Stow is the Giants fan who was savagely beaten in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium in April and Bonds has promised to pay for the college education of Stow’s two children (ages 12 and 8). Bonds didn’t have to do that. Few athletes would have even thought of doing it. Athletes and celebrities will always go around asking other people to donate money for causes and charities. Few of them actually care enough to spend their own money. Bonds is a true Hall of Famer just based on what he did for Stow’s family.

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Another former Ohio State athlete (wide receiver Ray Small) admits he sold some of his Big Ten championship rings while he was a student. This news comes after a handful of current Ohio State athletes were caught selling some of their memorabilia. Here’s an idea. Why don’t schools hold off giving athletes rings, awards, bowl game swag, etc., until the athlete’s eligibility runs out? That way nobody gets in trouble when they sell it. It’s also time the schools hold their coaches to the same standards as the athletes. No deals on new autos from shady car dealers. No free use of cars. No shoe deals. No free dinners, drinks or clothes. No TV and radio deals. The only compensation a coach should earn while he is coaching is his paycheck from the university.

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Mariano Rivera reached an incredible milestone on Wednesday. The New York Yankees’ future Hall of Famer became the first pitcher to appear in 1,000 games with one club. Only one other pitcher, in fact, ever appeared in as many as 900 games with one club (Trevor Hoffman got in 902 games with the San Diego Padres). Just 15 pitchers in history have ever appeared in 1,000 games in their careers. Odds are we’ll never see another guy pitch 1,000 games for one club again. Ever. Few players in baseball history have done their jobs as well as Rivera. Nobody has done it better.

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Mike Brown as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers doesn’t make a lot of sense. First of all, he’s a defensive coach. How is that going to fly in Showtime, USA? Do you think Jack Nicholson and Justin Bieber are going to get excited to watch a bunch of 84-79 games? From all reports, most of the Laker players wanted Phil Jackson assistant Brian Shaw to get the job. Why risk alienating a veteran group? LeBron James complained about Brown’s offensive strategies in Cleveland for years. Wait until Kobe Bryant sinks his teeth into him.

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The Dallas Mavericks winning a NBA title would be a nice story. Veterans like Jason Kidd, Peja Stojakovic, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Brendan Haywood, Tyson Chandler and Dirk Nowitzki have done an amazing job this postseason. If you love pure basketball, you have to love the Mavericks, a team that finally learned how to play defense this year to go along with all of the offensive skill. But is a Mavs’ title sexy enough for commissioner David Stern? The Mavs winning would be like the San Antonio Spurs winning. The country will forget about it by the Fourth of July. But if the Miami Heats wins, well, the national media won’t ever stop talking, writing and tweeting about it.

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said this week that he senses fans are starting to get turned off by the lockout. Imagine that. Well, if Goodell thinks fans are getting upset now, he doesn’t want to see what would happen in August if this lockout is still going on. Nobody except the billionaires and millionaires fighting really cares about a NFL lockout in May. Yeah, sure, the TV ratings for the NFL draft were down last month. But that is minor compared to what would happen if the NFL is still dormant in late August. Wait until they start to mess with NFL betting and fantasy football and then see what happens.