Pack will end Hawaii drought
For the Nevada Appeal
Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . . It is time the Nevada Wolf Pack football team beats Hawaii in Honolulu. We know the Pack hasn’t beaten Hawaii in its last seven games in Honolulu, dating back to 1948. We also know that Hawaii has some magical spell over the Pack when the game is played in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But this is the year when the Wolf Pack finally heals some old wounds. The Pack beat California in Berkeley earlier this month for the first time since 1903 so a little 64-year losing streak at Hawaii is nothing to be afraid of. The Pack’s problems in paradise will come to an end Saturday night. Wolf Pack 30, Hawaii 27.
The Wolf Pack is attempting to get out of its football date at Florida State next season. If the Pack can find a Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) team to take its place in Tallahassee next year — and accept the $600,000 payout — the game will vanish from the Pack schedule. And that’s too bad. The Wolf Pack’s schedule next year, which already includes non-league games against Oregon at home and at UCLA, is the best schedule in Pack football history. They’ll likely never have a schedule with three powerhouse BCS programs ever again. If the Pack gets out of the game it will look like they are running away from a beating. That’s not the image you want attached to your program.
Brett Butler has earned the right to be a major league manager. Butler did an amazing job with the Reno Aces this year, piecing together a team in the final month that eventually became the Pacific Coast League and Triple-A champions. It is arguably the greatest championship a northern Nevada team at any level in any sport has ever won. Butler and his staff did it with almost a completely different team than the one that started the season in Reno back in April. The Aces started the year by losing 14 of their first 20 games. Most minor league teams would have quit on the season at that point. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox should be looking for a manager after this season. They need to give Butler a call.
The issue of replacement officials in the NFL is getting way too much attention. Who cares about the officials? Yes, the replacement refs have done a horrible job. But the regular refs also do a horrible job. It is simply an almost impossible job to officiate a NFL game well. There are literally infractions on every single play. If the officials wanted to, they could make every NFL game look like the final two minutes of a typical NBA game and blow the whistle on every play. It doesn’t matter who wears the striped shirts. Calls will be missed, calls will be flat-out wrong and calls will decide a game now and then. So what? That has happened each and every week since the NFL began.
The closer we get to major league baseball’s postseason, the more ridiculous a one-game wild-card round looks. The teams that make the postseason as wild card teams aren’t really in the playoffs yet. It’s like being in a play-in game in the NCAA Tournament. You are not really in the tournament until you win that play-in game. Major league baseball is turning four of its best teams into Mississippi Valley State, Western Kentucky, Lamar and Iona. But, don’t worry, if the New York Yankees get in as a wild card team and get booted from the postseason in one game, you can be sure the wild card round will become a best-of-three series by next year.