Dollar signs for Mayweather, McGregor
June 16, 2017
Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .
The controversy and outrage over the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas on Aug. 26 is a bit ridiculous. Come on. It's boxing. It's Mixed Martial Arts. Relax. It's two guys who get paid a silly amount of money for punching and kicking another human being in the face. There is nothing the sport of boxing, which is on life support as it is, or MMA, which is a legalized bar fight, can do at this point to embarrass or compromise their professions. Is Mayweather-McGregor any more laughable than Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao? Yes, this fight is a circus freak show. So what? It's boxing and MMA. It's not the opera or ballet. It's not a Ken Burns documentary. It's two guys who would bite the head off a snake if they could earn more than $100 million. And we want to see them do it.
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The only disappointing aspect of this Mayweather-McGregor freak show is that McGregor has to box. They should have allowed the fighters to do whatever they want to do in the ring. It's a boxer against a MMA fighter so why not let the combatants do what they do best? But there is no way Mayweather would agree to that — McGregor would destroy him — and McGregor was willing to sell his MMA soul for a $100 million payday. So, what will we see on Aug. 26? Well, imagine Michael Jordan going up to the plate against Clayton Kershaw for his first professional at-bat. Actually, it will be more like Jordan going up against a 44-year-old soft-tossing Bartolo Colon because Mayweather doesn't have Kershaw's knockout punch, but you get the idea. Jordan wouldn't get a hit off Colon and McGregor is not going to hit Mayweather with any authority because, well, nobody hits Mayweather with any authority. Mayweather was knocked around more by Karina Smirnoff in Dancing With The Stars than he will be by McGregor.
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If Mayweather wins, well, it proves nothing. He is supposed to win. It's a boxing match (sort of) and he will be the only boxer in the ring. McGregor, though, has nothing to lose. If he loses, well, it will be because the rules prohibited him from kicking Mayweather in the face. But if he somehow beats one of the greatest champions the sport of boxing has ever produced at his own game, well, it will make a mockery out of boxing and Mayweather's career. Imagine the controversy and outrage that will erupt if McGregor is the only boxer to walk out of the ring on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas with an undefeated career record. The possibility of that happening makes this worth watching all by itself.
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Hawaii football head coach Nick Rolovich has given 11-year-old Titan Lacaden, the younger brother of former Nevada Wolf Pack linebacker Jake Lacaden, a verbal scholarship offer. A verbal offer, especially one to an 11-year-old, means nothing. It's merely a nice gesture. Coaches only do it to set up recruiting pipelines and strengthen recruiting relationships. Rolovich, an ex-Wolf Pack offensive coordinator, has always placed a high priority on recruiting Hawaii-born players, even when he was at Nevada. He certainly wasn't going to allow some other school to be the first to offer Lacaden a scholarship. That would look bad. But this is a disgusting practice and the NCAA should outlaw it immediately. Grown men, whose million dollar contracts depend on the performances of young men, is a bit creepy as it is. But does it have to start when the kids are 11-years-old? What's next? Coaches recruiting baby nurseries at hospitals? Also, is it really healthy for an 11-year-old to know that he already has a college scholarship offer? What does that do to an 11-year-old's fragile ego? Parents should do everything in their power to make sure their 11-year-old remains a normal 11-year-old, no matter how many touchdowns or points he scoes. This is the opposite of normal. Do we want 11-year-olds to start competing for college scholarships?
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It is a bit surprising that Wolf Pack men's basketball coach Eric Musselman has yet to offer a scholarship to Cam Oliver's six-month-old son, King Jaleel Oliver. What is he waiting for? It's only a matter of time before King Oliver's scouting report turns up somewhere on the internet. You certainly can't question young King's blood lines. What if California or Stanford swoops in and offers the young Oliver first? We thought Musselman was committed to staying at Nevada. That's what he said, right? Could it be that Musselman doesn't plan on being the Pack head coach in 18 years?
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The San Francisco Giants, who were in last place in the National League West heading into Thursday's games, need to be sellers at the major league trade deadline next month. The Giants would do themselves a huge favor by getting rid of a couple huge contracts. Reliever Mark Melancon signed a four-year, $62 million deal before this season and starter Jeff Samardzija got a five-year, $90 million contract before last year. A last place team does not need a $62 million closer or an underachieving (Samardzija has a 61-80 career record) $90 million starting pitcher. Melancon could help a lot of teams (like the Washington Nationals) and Samardzija would be a nice pickup for, say, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who always seem to have two or three starting pitchers on the disabled list. The Giants need to turn those big contracts into four or five prospects and start their much-needed rebuild so Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner will be around to enjoy it.
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The Mountain West announced its 2017-18 men's basketball league schedules this week. The Wolf Pack do not have to go to Albuquerque, New Mexico to play the Lobos this year. Yes, the Wolf Pack pulled off a miracle comeback last season at New Mexico for one of their greatest victories in school history but anytime you can avoid going to The Pit, well, that's a good thing. The Wolf Pack, though, will face a slightly more difficult league schedule this year compared to last year when they strolled to the league title. Instead of going to Albuquerque this year, the Pack must go to Colorado State. The Pack and Rams, who met in the conference tournament title game in Las Vegas three months ago, played each other just once last year in the regular season in Reno. The only other change from last year to this year is that the Pack will not get to play Air Force at home this year, where they are 5-0 against the Falcons since 2013-14. Air Force is replaced on the Pack's home league schedule by Wyoming, which lost by just 3 to the Pack in Reno in January 2016.
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The next step on the Golden State Warriors' bucket list of becoming one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history is to win at least two championships in a row. They've done all of the rest, winning two titles in three years and going to three NBA Finals in a row. They own the NBA regular season record of 73 victories and this year they lost just one playoff game. If this core group stays together there is no reason why the Warriors can't win the next three championships. Who is going to beat them? The aging San Antonio Spurs? The underachieving Los Angeles Clippers? The worn out Cleveland Cavaliers? The Boston Celtics with Markelle Fultz? We are looking at a dynasty in Oakland.
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