Sports Fodder: Kap’s Heisman campaign ready to begin
September 30, 2010
Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .
Does a rivalry have to be competitive to be considered a true rivalry? Let’s hope not. The Nevada Wolf Pack-UNLV Rebels football rivalry has rarely been competitive. Just 10 of the 35 games have been decided by less than 10 points and 14 have been decided by 20 or more points. The Wolf Pack has won 15 of the last 21 games, ever since the state required the game to be played each year starting in 1989. The Rebels have beaten the Pack just nine times since 1978 and five of those victories came by five points or less. In short, the Pack-Rebels rivalry has been like a fight between one guy with a cannon and the other with a water pistol. The fight is over the moment the guy with the cannon stops laughing. And we all know who usually has the cannon. Wolf Pack 48, UNLV 17.
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It’s time Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick gets some serious Heisman Trophy consideration. Which player in college football does his job better than Kaepernick? Which player is more exciting to watch? Which player is more explosive? Kaepernick is going to finish his career as one of the most productive (passing and rushing) quarterbacks in the history of college football. He might go undefeated this year. If Kaepernick was playing for a BCS school he’d be the runaway winner of the award.
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Ken Burns’ addition to his outstanding baseball documentary that originally aired in 1994 was a bit of a letdown. Did we really need a four-hour film about steroids, the 2004 Boston Red Sox and how great the New York Yankees were in the late 1990s? We get it. Steroids were bad and the Yankees and Red Sox were good. It’s time for Burns to move on and leave baseball alone. Burns and his overstuffed literary buddies that he passes off as baseball experts need to discover that baseball’s rich history involves more than just what happened between the New York and Boston corridor.
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Remember when Michael Crabtree was a great draft pick and Darrius Heyward-Bey was a bust? That was just a little over a year ago when the Oakland Raiders made Heyward-Bey the seventh overall pick out of Maryland and the San Francisco 49ers made Crabtree the 10th overall pick out of Texas Tech. Heyward-Bey finished his rookie year in 2009 with nine catches in 11 games and Crabtree had 48 catches in 11 games. Well, this year Heyward-Bey has 10 catches and Crabtree has six. They are both busts now.
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Are you starting to get the sense that Mike Singletary really doesn’t know what he’s doing as head coach with the 49ers? Singletary fired offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye this week after just 12 quarters of football. He should have just mooned his team at halftime. The 49ers’ problem on offense is not who is calling the plays. The problem is that they are calling plays for quarterback Alex Smith, who is now on his sixth offensive coordinator in six years. The evidence suggests that Smith is a coach killer. And Singletary might be next on his hit list.
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The University of California-Berkeley is dropping five sports (men’s and women’s gymnastics, baseball, rugby and women’s lacrosse) because of financial problems. The shocker here is baseball. The sport has existed at Cal since 1892 and produced dozens of major leaguers, including former Wolf Pack coach Jackie Jensen. The cuts wiped away 13 full-time coaching positions and 163 opportunities for athletes. This is what happens, folks, when ESPN doesn’t pay you truckloads of money to televise your sport. Don’t be shocked when the day comes that football and men’s basketball are the only sports left in college, existing only as club activities because television is keeping them afloat.
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Did anyone think that the Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears and the Nevada Wolf Pack would all be undefeated at this point in the season? I don’t believe you.