Joe Santoro: Wolf Pack due for bowl win
December 18, 2009
Chris Ault is 1-5 in bowl games. The Nevada Wolf Pack football program is 3-6 in bowl games. Thatand#8217;s why it is important that the Wolf Pack beats the SMU Mustangs on Christmas Eve in the Hawaii Bowl. This will be a game of seconds for the Pack. This will be the second time the Pack plays a Texas team in a bowl game (they beat North Texas in the 1948 Salad Bowl). This is the second time the Pack has been to the Hawaii Bowl (they beat Central Florida in 2005). This is the second time the Pack has had to break a three-game losing streak in bowls (they lost the 1949 Harbor Bowl and 1992, 1995 Las Vegas Bowls before winning the and#8217;96 Vegas Bowl). And this will be Aultand#8217;s second bowl victory.
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Will the PGA Tour survive the temporary loss of Tiger Woods? Will Woods ever return to greatness on the Tour? Yes and yes. Tiger barely played anything but the majors anyway. And, donand#8217;t worry, he wonand#8217;t be gone for long. As soon as his lawyers tell him how many zeroes to write on his check to Elin every month, Tiger will be back on the golf course as strong as ever. What else does he have to do? His sponsors, after all, will require him to play golf and#8212; and to win majors. Expect Tiger back in a tune-up tournament or two shortly before the Masters. There are going to be a lot of zeroes on that check after all.
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Think of the PGA without Tiger as sort of major league baseball during World War II or Wolf Pack football when Ault was off concentrating on being the athletic director. All of the stars are off overseas defending the country and donand#8217;t be shocked if the St. Louis Browns and Chicago Cubs sneak into the World Series.
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Did Tiger use performance enhancing drugs? Well, to suggest now that Tiger wouldnand#8217;t dream of cheating the sport, well, that ship has sailed. And donand#8217;t even begin to tell me that PEDs donand#8217;t benefit golfers. Thatand#8217;s what people used to say about baseball players.
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There have been rumors this season that Wolf Pack basketball players Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson will leave the program for the NBA after this season. Letand#8217;s hope not, for the sake of the Wolf Pack basketball program and for the long-term careers of Johnson and Babbitt. Unless they are guaranteed of being drafted in the first round, Babbitt and Johnson need to say thanks but no thanks to the NBA right now. Both are still very raw as basketball players. Another year (or two, in Babbittand#8217;s case) in college basketball will do them a world of good. And, yes, Iand#8217;m selfish. I want to watch them play.
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Do the San Francisco Giants know it is OK to make your team better in the offseason? The Giants, it seems, are just waiting for everyone else to hit the buffet before they fill their belly with a legitimate hitter. And when everyone else is gone the Giants will take the scraps and crumbs that fell off everyone elseand#8217;s plate. Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, Vladimir Guerrero are all there for the taking. Jermaine Dye would also be a good fit. Garrett Atkins would have come cheap but the Giants let the Orioles sweep in and grab the former Colorado Rockies third baseman. Donand#8217;t be shocked to see the Giants end up with a Jonny Gomes (the scraps) or Xavier Nady (crumbs).
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The Wolf Pack football program, like all programs across the nation, gives out a ton of awards to its players at its annual football banquet every year. It would be nice, however, if they gave one or two awards each year to their most outstanding assistant coaches. This yearand#8217;s Pack assistant coach award should go to offensive line coaches Cameron Norcross and Chris Klenakis. The offensive line was the heart and soul of this yearand#8217;s team.
and#8212; Joe Santoro writes a weekly column for the Sierra Nevada Media Group.