Sports Fodder: Northern Nevada jumping on the Kap-wagon, again
January 25, 2013
Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .
Northern Nevada has fallen in love with Colin Kaepernick all over again. Then again, the love this time seems to be a whole lot stronger than when Kaepernick actually played for the Nevada Wolf Pack from 2007-10. We have only one question now that Kaepernick is in the Super Bowl. How come the vast majority of these so-called Kaepernick fans rarely, if ever, showed up at Mackay Stadium to watch him play for the Wolf Pack?
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There is one other elephant in the room concerning Kaepernick that needs to be addressed now. Since Kaepernick is clearly the greatest quarterback to hit the NFL since Sammy Baugh, Johnny Unitas and, yes, Cam Newton, why didn’t the Wolf Pack win more conference titles (one), more bowl games (one), achieve more 10-win seasons (one) and beat Boise State more than once with Kaepernick than it did? Could it be that winning the NFC (and likely the Super Bowl) is much easier than winning the Western Athletic Conference?
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Kaepernick is going through one of the most brilliant and successful stretches that any quarterback of any generation has ever experienced. And it might never stop. Over his last 35 starts, dating back to the fourth game of the 2009 season at Nevada, Kaepernick has a record of 30-5. He is 16-0 at home during that stretch. What he is doing now – changing the way the position of quarterback is played – he did from the first moment he stepped on the field in relief of an injured Nick Graziano on the afternoon of Oct. 6, 2007 at Mackay Stadium.
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If Kaepernick had played at a BCS school, he would have won two Heisman trophies and a pair of BCS championships. If he would have chosen baseball as his profession, he would be either winning Cy Young awards or leading the league in saves. He’s that special. He’s a once-a-generation talent and athlete. He’s arguably the greatest athlete and physical specimen – what quarterback has ever had those biceps? – to ever play the position of quarterback and that includes Newton, Randall Cunningham, Michael Vick and even Chris Ault. Next Sunday, when the confetti is falling down on his head and he’s holding the Vince Lombardi trophy and flashing that trademark Kaepernick smile, is just the beginning of his journey that will end in Canton, Ohio.
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Tim Brown is now backing off his claim that Oakland Raiders head coach Bill Callahan deliberately sabotaged Super Bowl XXXVII against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003. That’s not enough. Brown owes Callahan a public apology. Brown says Callahan changed the game plan a few days before the game. Big deal. It’s not like he put in a whole new set of plays the Raiders never ran before. Callahan, Brown said, changed the game plan to a pass-heavy attack. Brown should be thanking Callahan for coming to his senses. Throwing the ball is how the Raiders got to the Super Bowl that year. Seems like Callahan was actually trying to win the game. Unless Callahan’s game plan included Rich Gannon throwing five interceptions, with three of them being returned for a touchdown, the blame for the loss should be solely on Brown and the rest of the Raiders players.
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It appears that the Sacramento Kings are on the way to becoming the Seattle Super Sonics. How did this happen? Kings fans used to be among the best in the NBA. What else is there to do in Sacramento? But the team has been mediocre at best for almost a decade and the arena – much like Lawlor Events Center – has been outdated for two decades. It’s sad that Sacramento is going to become a minor league city again. But if you don’t want to lose your professional sports franchise you must build a new facility when that professional sports franchise wants it. It’s that simple.
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The Wolf Pack men’s basketball team is facing its most important game on Saturday against Boise State at home in quite a while. Another loss at home and, well, the Wolf Pack will likely remain in the bottom third of the Mountain West standings the rest of the year. Right now this team seems to be filled with a half dozen or so recruiting mistakes. But they are mistakes not because they don’t have talent. They are mistakes because they don’t play with any passion or intensity or fight and they shrivel up and vanish under pressure. For some reason, the roster is overloaded with guys who play scared on the court. The talent is there. The fight hasn’t been.
Joe Santoro is a freelance writer for the Sierra Nevada Media Group.