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Pack football ready for a new campaign

Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .

Was that Chris Ault standing at the podium in Chicago’s Grant Park late Tuesday night? “The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep…,” said the man at the microphone. “This is our moment. This is our time. This is our chance to answer that call . . . Yes, we can. Yes, we can.” Barack Obama must have been channeling his inner Ault when he addressed the nation this week. So, go ahead, Chris. Steal a few lines from Obama’s victory speech. This is your moment, Wolf Pack Anything is now officially possible. You can indeed go to Fresno and beat the Bulldogs. Yes, you can, Wolf Pack. Yes, you can. Change is coming to Western Athletic Conference football.

In case you were wondering, the Wolf Pack is 7-16-2 in its first game after a presidential election since 1900. But don’t be discouraged, Pack fans. Since 1972, the Pack is 6-3 in its first game after an election and Ault is 4-2 as head coach. If you don’t care about silly coincidences that have nothing to do with football, you can base your Wolf Pack optimism tonight on the fact that the Pack has had two weeks to prepare for the game and that Fresno State’s defense is just as bad as the Pack’s defense.

How many weeks have you been planning your NBA Development League Draft party? What’s that? You didn’t know that the D-League draft is tonight? The future of the Reno Bighorns is at stake and you had no idea? And you call yourself an American? By the way, what do your serve at a D-League Draft party? In keeping with the spirit of the D-League, do you take all of the tasty snacks and drinks that everybody actually likes, like beer, chips, pretzels and pizza, put them aside and then eat all the garbage hiding in the back of your refrigerator and pantry, like pork rinds, cottage cheese, that week-old dried- out meatloaf not even your cat would sniff, a half-chewed apple and generic diet soda? Just asking. Tell me again why you need to draft a bunch of guys that not even the Oklahoma City Thunder wanted.

The Bighorns are supposedly affiliated with the New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings, whatever that means. If they were truly affiliated with the Knicks, the Bighorns starting lineup this season would feature Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry, two guys who can’t get off Mike D’Antoni’s bench in New York. Now that would be worth breaking out the beer and chips for, huh?

The Oakland Raiders have hit bottom. We hope. The Raiders turned in the worst performance in the history of the National Football League last Sunday in losing 24-0 to a mediocre-to-bad Atlanta Falcons team at home. The Raiders offense had 77 total yards. The Raiders had the ball for less than 15 minutes the entire game. They had 10 net passing yards. In the first half the Raiders had minus-2 yards of total offense and zero first downs. No, you can’t, Raiders. No, you can’t.

In case there is any doubt in Mark Fox’s mind that former Galena High School star Luke Babbitt needs to start for the Wolf Pack men’s basketball team from Game 1? Fox tossed ex-Hug High star Armon Johnson right into the starting lineup a year ago and it worked out wonderfully. The moment Babbitt chose Nevada over Ohio State, UCLA and every other college basketball national power, he earned the right to start as a freshman.

The San Francisco Giants should wave $100 million dollars in the face of Manny Ramirez. Why not? Stick Manny and his dreadlocks out in left field and the Giants would instantly be a legitimate playoff contenders in the National League West. The Dodgers would revert back to a bunch of young underachievers. The Rockies and Padres, who, for some reason, think trading Matt Holiday and Jake Peavy is a good idea, have given up. The division is there for the taking. What, exactly, are the Giants doing with all the money Barry Bonds made for them? They already have all the giant baseball gloves and Coke bottles to decorate the outfield that they need. Spend it on Manny.

The University of Tennessee football job will be open at the end of the season. We wonder if ex-Pack assistant coach Bobby Petrino is updating his resume yet. Petrino, after all, has already been at Arkansas for a full nine games. It’s time to move on.

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Forget the issues about energy, the economy and the war. Barack Obama wants to see a playoff for major college football. Finally, a president smarter than college presidents and athletic directors. It’s about time.