Just another Weekend at Al’s | NevadaAppeal.com
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Just another Weekend at Al’s

By JOE SANTORO

Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .

 Start engraving his Wolf Pack Hall of Fame plaque. Set a date three or four years from now for the ceremony to retire his No. 10 jersey. And, by the way, when is the next election for mayor of Reno? Is it too late to get him on the ballot for this November? By the time he plays his last college game, Colin Kaepernick will be the best quarterback to ever play for the Wolf Pack. He is already the most exciting quarterback to ever slip on silver & blue. If you are looking for a reason to go watch the Wolf Pack play New Mexico State, Utah State and San Jose State at Mackay Stadium Oct. 11, 18 and Nov. 15, go watch No. 10.

The Wolf Pack has been blessed with some outstanding quarterbacks. Nobody ran the offense better than Chris Vargas and Eric Beavers. John Dutton and Mike Maxwell could sit in the pocket and destroy any defense. David Neill and Fred Gatlin, at times, played as well as any Pack QB. Jeff Rowe overcame great odds, learned a new offense midway through his Pack career and ended up in the NFL. Stan Heath led some of the best teams in school history and a kid named Ault, we’ve heard, did all right for himself. But Kaepernick is an eye-opening, hold-your-breath, skip-a-heartbeat type of quarterback. After just 15 games (a mere 12 starts), he has thrown and passed for just under a combined 4,000 yards and 36 touchdowns. His 240 yards rushing and 176 passing, not to mention his five touchdowns (two passing, three rushing) against UNLV, have to rank as the greatest single-game performance in the 40-year rivalry. You might want to bring an oxygen tank to Mackay over the next two-plus years.

Do the Oakland Raiders really believe a former Idaho Vandal head coach is the answer? The Wolf Pack tried that a few years ago with Chris Tormey and, well, let’s just say that the 2000-03 era isn’t a favorite topic of conversation up on North Virginia Street. Al Davis’ latest mistake, Tom Cable, actually is the guy who replaced Tormey at Idaho. Hmm, let’s see . . . if Cable replaced Tormey at Idaho and Chris Ault replaced Tormey at Nevada then it only makes sense that Ault will replace Cable at Oakland, right? Or maybe Ault will replace Al Davis. The Raiders should be so lucky. Anyway, start the rumors. Hey, it makes as much sense as anything else that has happened in Oakland the past five or six years.

Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, one of many coaches fired by Al Davis, made a point to tell the media this week that Davis gave him 582 days to coach the Raiders and Lane Kiffin got 616 games. “I guess that means Al Davis liked Lane Kiffin more than he liked me,” Shanahan said with a straight face. “I won three more games than Lane Kiffin but Lane Kiffin got 34 more days. That’s unfair.” Nah, he’s not still bitter about his time in Oakland. Ya think? But who can blame him? Why would any coach want to coach for Davis? That press conference with Davis at the podium this week was Weekend at Bernie’s without Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman. How many Weekend at Al’s coaching eras can the Raiders survive?

Davis said this week that the reason he fired Kiffin was because “I didn’t hire the person I thought I was hiring.” Uh, Al, these days we have this little thing called a driver’s license. They have a person’s name, address and photo and you need one to operate this crazy new horseless carriage the kids like to call an automobile. You might want to ask your next Weekend at Al’s visitor to let you check his driver’s license, you know, so you hire the guy you think you’re hiring. And, by the way, Al, resumes are actually printed on paper these days and not chiseled on stone tablets. Most job applicants will bring one to an interview. It’s OK to check one out.

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We’ve been telling you since last March that the Chicago Cubs will beat the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. So we’re not going to change now. There are quite a few intriguing possible World Series matchups : Cubs. vs. White Sox, Angels vs. Dodgers, Fenway Park vs. Wrigley Field, Dodgers vs. White Sox in a 1959 rematch, Rays vs. Anybody and the eastern series ESPN is dying for, Phillies vs. Red Sox. See how great baseball’s postseason is when no New York teams are involved?

Before you know it, the Wolf Pack football team will be 6-2 and on its way to a turn-the-program-around game at Fresno State on Nov. 7. Fresno fans always fill the stands at Mackay. It’s time Nevada fans pack the stands in Fresno.

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The only serious questions facing the Wolf Pack over the next three weeks against Idaho, New Mexico State and Utah State is whether or not the offense will score a combined 150 points (easily), the defense will allow less than a combined 75 points (probably) and how many snaps Ault will give backup quarterback Nick Graziano, who just might be the second best QB in the league. Isn’t WAC football fun, folks?

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 It’s official. After a thorough investigation, it is now certain that all of those young Chinese gymnasts in Beijing this summer were indeed at least 16-years-old and eligible to compete in the Olympics. The world can now finally sleep at night.