New Mackay scoreboard a highlight
Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .
If you have stayed away from Mackay Stadium in recent years because you could see the game better on your television at home, well, you now need a better excuse to avoid attending Nevada Wolf Pack home football games. Mackay Stadium’s new video scoreboard can be seen clearly from space. Well, maybe not that far away. But there is a rumor that you can sit on your roof in Minden, look north and watch the game on the new Mackay board. The new 68-foot-wide video board, the centerpiece of the Pack’s $12 million Mackay Stadium renovation this off-season, supposedly has the sharpest screen in all of college football. The old board was like watching a 19-inch television in the 1960s complete with rabbit ears and aluminum foil on top. You couldn’t see it in the daytime and at night it looked like it was underwater. The Wolf Pack have now made going to Mackay almost as comfortable as sitting in your living room and watching the game. All that is missing is your buddy hogging all the pizza, chicken wings and beer.
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Lost in all of the discussion about Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit down during the national anthem was how it affected his team and his teammates. The one thing that all athletes in a team sport do not want to be is a distraction to their teammates. Kaepernick has been a tremendous distraction to the 49ers over the last week or so. A quarterback has to be a team leader. It is safe to assume that Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the anthem divided his team, like it did the rest of America. How is that being a leader as a quarterback? Yes, some issues are more important than playing quarterback. But there is a proper time and place for everything. Kaepernick didn’t call attention to the issue of racial oppression. That issue was already front and center in the media on a daily basis over the past several months. All Kaepernick did was call attention to himself.
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Kaepernick was fighting for his NFL life before he sat down during the anthem. He had gone from a Super Bowl quarterback to one of the worst in the league at his position quicker than you can say pistol offense. His entire focus this summer should have been on improving his performance as a quarterback and winning back the trust and confidence of his teammates. Don’t forget that there were plenty of legitimate concerns last year about Kaepernick losing the confidence of his teammates. How can you lead men who feel that you disrespected everything that they believe in? It is reasonable to assume that more than a few 49ers are wondering right now where Kaepernick’s focus is. It certainly doesn’t seem to be on his team, his teammates, learning Chip Kelly’s offense or becoming a better leader.
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If the 49ers do cut Kaepernick, it won’t be because he sat down during the national anthem. It will be because he is a mess as a quarterback. Do you think the Carolina Panthers would cut Cam Newton if Newton sat down during the anthem? Don’t be shocked if Kaepernick still starts the majority of games this season for the 49ers. Blaine Gabbert, after all, is all that is standing in his way. Kaepernick is highly competitive. He is still a wonderful athlete. He will wise up and figure out that his ability to get his message across about social issues all hinges on his standing as a NFL player. Nobody will care if Kaepernick sits down on his couch on Sunday afternoons during the anthem.