Joe Santoro: Portland a perfect fit for Pack’s Babbitt, Johnson | SierraSun.com

Joe Santoro: Portland a perfect fit for Pack’s Babbitt, Johnson

Joe Santoro
Sports Fodder for a Friday Morning

It would be shocking to learn that LeBron James has signed with any team other than the Cleveland Cavaliers. Ohio is his home. The Cavaliers are the only NBA team he has ever known. If he left Cleveland now, it would look like he is running away. If he went to another team there would be unbelievable pressure to win a NBA championship. The Cavs can pay him more money than any other team. You can’t get in trouble in Ohio. He is making all of his potential NBA suitors come to him in Ohio this weekend. NBA superstars rarely leave via free agency. And for those who do, there are many more Gilbert Arenas disasters (from Golden State to Washington) than Shaquille O’Neal (Orlando to Los Angeles) success stories. His mother would have to find a new boyfriend if he left the Cavs. Bet on him wearing wine and gold next year.

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Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson couldn’t have picked a better NBA home than Portland. The transition from Reno to Portland will be easier than moving from Carson City to Gardnerville. Johnson can learn behind veteran point guard Andre Miller and then take his starting job next year. Babbitt doesn’t have to rebound or play defense since Portland already has LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby and Greg Oden. And, don’t forget, they already have a built-in best friend on the roster.

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The Western Athletic Conference is doing the smart thing by waiting until at least the 2012-13 season before possibly adding another school. First of all, an eight-team league works better (financially and for scheduling purposes) than a nine-team league anyway. And, second, who are they going to add? Montana? UC Davis? Sacramento State? Reno High? None of those schools are going to spark a surge in season ticket sales around the league. There is no need for the WAC to go out and make an impulse buy right now just to add a school they don’t really want.

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Did Boise State do the right thing by jumping to the Mountain West Conference? Are the Broncos really in a better position to get a BCS bowl bid and win a national championship than they would be if they stayed in the WAC? Is the Mountain West a more attractive conference to the BCS with Boise and without Utah? The answer to all those questions right now are no, no and no. Boise’s move to the MWC would have been an intelligent decision if the Big 12 faded away, if the Big East was ripped apart and if Utah stayed in the MWC. But those three things did not happen.

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The WAC was the perfect place for Boise State. Boise thrived in the WAC. They were the king of the WAC. They got to two BCS bowl games out of the WAC. They became the darlings of college football as a member of the WAC. The WAC practically gives you a guarantee of a winning record and a bowl game every singe year. The WAC doesn’t care if all of your other sports can’t compete or don’t actually exist (baseball). You know, sometimes the pursuit of the almighty dollar isn’t such a good thing at the end of the day.

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Michael Vick just might be the most clueless man on the planet. Vick, who is on a very short leash already, throws a 30th birthday party bash for himself at a restaurant where he charges $30 ($50 for VIP treatment) for the public to attend. He then doesn’t show up at the party until 1 a.m. and leaves an hour later. Three minutes after he leaves, a shooting takes place. Now, you can believe that it was a coincidence that he left the party just three minutes before shots were fired or you can believe that he knew trouble was about to start. That is for the authorities to determine. But why is he conducting a ridiculous party in the early morning hours at a public restaurant where anyone with $30 and a firearm can show up? Once an idiot, always an idiot.

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The Philadelphia Eagles trade away Donovan McNabb, a true role model and someone who is always a candidate to become the NFL’s Man of the Year, and they keep Vick. McNabb is a Pro Bowl quarterback. Vick is one of the most overrated players in NFL history. McNabb is someone you’d want your daughter to marry. Vick is someone you wouldn’t allow to walk your beagle. Some of the decisions NFL teams make really make you shake your head.

– Joe Santoro writes a weekly column for the Sierra Nevada Media Group.