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Preview: Las Vegas Sun Blogs: 'Now and Then'

Las Vegas Sun Blogs: 'Now and Then'

Latest ten entries from 'Now and Then'


Battle of I-74 settled 1,700 miles from home

Mon, 30 Nov 2009 21:55:00 -0000


This is why college wrestling coaches and those of other "minor" sports that get dropped for financial reasons don't particularly care for the way the revenue sports do business.

Despite being only 90 miles apart, Bradley and big brother Illinois traveled some 1,700 miles to Las Vegas, essentially to play each other in the third-place game of that college basketball tournament at the Orleans Saturday night.

Makes perfect fiscal sense to me.

Bradley won the Battle of I-74, 72-68.

I heard the place was rockin'.

Oklahoma beat Utah 77-55 in the championship game. Seattle U., which beat Utah on its home floor before the teams even arrived here, lost to Wofford 84-82 on Saturday.

If any of this makes sense, you, too, can hold a college basketball tournament in Las Vegas.


You may or may not find this interesting, but Bradley University has produced two hall-of-fame sports broadcasters -- Jack Brickhouse in baseball and Chick Hearn in basketball.

Los Angeles Dodgers' radio play-by-play man Charley Steiner also attended Bradley. He's not in the hall of fame yet and may never be. But you've gotta admit that when he used to lose it on SportsCenter it was pretty funny.

Underdog is open on a post pattern

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 20:13:00 -0000


Ten Thanksgiving memories, in no particular order:

1. The smell of turkey and crescent rolls in the oven. But not the smell of sweet potatoes. Barf!

2. Alex Karras.

3. Eating dinner with my siblings at a card table.

4. Oklahoma vs. Nebraska, 1971.

5. Underdog floating aimlessly over the streets of Harlem.

6. Leon Lett, frolicking in the snow.

7. Gimbels Thanksgiving Day Parade, before they changed the name and invited Kelly Ripa.

8. The tryptophan kicking in during the first quarter of Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State.

9. The sound the turkey made when my aunt plucked its head right off.

10. Clint Longley, goin' deep, 1974.


"Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 12 minutes. Halftimes take 12 minutes. This is not coincidence." -- Erma Bombeck

Rory in disguise ... with glasses

Tue, 24 Nov 2009 23:16:00 -0000


Sometimes, famous people are barely recognizable.

The fellow with the mustache is Muhammad Ali.

The fellow with the Bruce Jenner hair and aviator goggles is Rory Reid.

The photograph was taken in 1980 when Ali thought he could beat Larry Holmes, his former sparring partner, at the advanced age of 38 and Reid thought he could be a sports writer when he grew up.

"I was an intern at the Sun in the sports department leading up to Ali's fight with Larry Holmes," recalled Reid, who is running for governor. "He came into McCarran (airport) and I went out there and chased him around. I had grown up a huge boxing fan in Las Vegas. I was a huge sports fan. I didn't know (what I wanted to do). I was 18. I was happy just to hang out.

"It was a terrible fight, but the lead-up up to it was exciting."

Reid said he didn't recall what he and Ali talked about.

I'm guessing it wasn't eye wear as a fashion statement or facial hair as a thin disguise.


"To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other." -- Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts

Michael Schumacher takes 7th in go-kart race at Rio

Mon, 23 Nov 2009 22:16:00 -0000


One of the greatest drivers in the history of motor sports did not win the USA SuperNationals go-kart title in the featured SuperPro class on a temporary circuit at the Rio Hotel parking lot Sunday afternoon.

Michael Schumacher, the retired seven-time Formula One world driving champion and one of the world's most celebrated sportsmen, finished seventh in a 42-kart field, proving that sometimes the machine does not equal the man in these ultimate tests of man and machine, which is how a lot of people describe auto racing.

Or maybe it's just the Indy 500 they describe that way.

Anyway, the race win went to Bas Lammers of the Netherlands, whose uncle, Jan, is a former Formula One, Indy car and sports car driver of some repute.

Las Vegan Matt Jaskol finished 22nd.

While Schumacher did not win, witnesses said he was the subject of more snapshots than Lindsay Lohan following her latest fender bender.


In December 2007, Michael Schumacher and his family were running late to get to the airport. He asked a taxi driver if he could drive instead, and the two swapped seats. Schumacher made up ground on the 19-mile trip and caught his flight to Switzerland.

Despite doing most of the driving himself, he still gave the driver a 100-Euro ($149.67) tip.

Now that's a race-car driver.

Big fight headed for a New Frontier?

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 07:10:00 -0000


If Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather take the money and don't run to Yankee Stadium or somewhere similar, they could contest one of the biggest boxing matches in years at a temporary 30,000-seat stadium on which the New Frontier sat before it was imploded in 2007. Supposedly, hotel mogul Steve Wynn and Las Vegas city officials have contacted Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao, about the idea.

The Associated Press says luxury suites and other amenities could give the purpose-built arena on the Strip a "Super Bowl" atmosphere.

Super Bowl atmosphere, huh?

If there's an eight-hour prefight show, let's hope HBO's Larry Merchant can remain awake that long.


As incredulous as it seemed to watch Joe Frazier get knocked down six times in two rounds by George Foreman, even more incredulous is that he had a band called Joe Frazier and the Knockouts that once appeared on the Mike Douglas Show.

Come to think of it, it's also pretty incredulous that Mike Douglas had a TV show.

Irish eyes are crying

Thu, 19 Nov 2009 06:28:00 -0000


You've got to hand it to France's national soccer team. Or something like that.

A goal-scoring wizard for Les Bleus named Thierry Henry -- you may know him from those Gillette commercials with Tiger Woods and Roger Federer -- blatantly used his hand to direct the ball to a teammate who scored a last-minute goal against Ireland to put France into the 2010 World Cup.

This development can only be described as patently illegal. And patently tragic.

I've got no problem with France getting into the World Cup, because I like their fries. But the tainted goal means Ireland is out, which means the Irish pubs where I hang out won't be nearly as raucous as when Ireland is in.

Raucous pubs are good during the World Cup. In fact, raucous pubs are the best reason to have a World Cup.

This is why soccer needs to adopt instant replay ASAP.


"We are the best in the world! We are the best in the world! We have beaten England 2-1 in football! It is completely unbelievable! We have beaten England! England, birthplace of giants. Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana -- we have beaten them all. We have beaten them all. Maggie Thatcher can you hear me?"

"Maggie Thatcher, I have a message for you in the middle of the election campaign. I have a message for you: We have knocked England out of the football World Cup. Maggie Thatcher, as they say in your language in the boxing bars around Madison Square Garden in New York: Your boys took a hell of a beating! Your boys took a hell of a beating!"

-- Norwegian soccer announcer, after Norway defeated England in a 1982 World Cup qualifier.

The dog must have eaten Mike Sanford's homework

Tue, 17 Nov 2009 22:54:00 -0000

NOW These aren't as classic as "the sun got in my eyes" or "the dog ate my homework" or "I thought we could pick it up on fourth-and-two." But can you match the following excuses with the persons who said them? 1. "In my opinion, this must be a systemic, infrastructure and commitment issue, and not a coach issue." 2. "I didn't inhale it and never tried it again." 3. "There's a mentality within the community of 'Well, let's see if they win, then we'll jump on the bandwagon and help them.' And that's not going to work. It hasn't worked, like I said, for 20 years." 4. "I have severe acid reflux." 5. "I think there needs to be support from the top-level administration at UNLV to be successful in football." 6. "I was just giving her a ride home." 7. "There needs to be money spent at the level that it's spent." 8. "The serpent beguiled me and I did eat." 9. "I will say that there are projects and things that were talked about that were going to be done that still aren't done and, probably from the way I'm hearing, are never going to be done." 10. "Bitch set me up." 11. "I do not for one second believe that I failed in this pursuit. I just wasn't given enough time or resources to do it." 12. "I got caught up in the excitement of the moment." 13. "Five years was not enough time to build this program from where it was when we inherited it.” 14. "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." 15. "If people really want to win here, they need to put their money where their mouth is." 16. "The police, since my trouble, have not worked out for me." 17. "UNLV is the only school in the MWC that doesn’t have a student-athlete activity center, which is huge in recruiting. There’s more of a commitment at Reno in facilities than there is at UNLV." 18. "I was told I should shoplift. My director said I should try it out." 19. "Our locker room is the worst in college football.” 20. "Deep and seemingly endless frustration." Answers: 1. Mike Sanford, upon being fired as UNLV football coach. 2. President Bill Clinton on using marijuana. 3. Mike Sanford, upon being fired as UNLV football coach. 4. Ashlee Simpson on why she lip-synced on "Saturday Night Live." 5. Mike Sanford, upon being fired as UNLV football coach. 6. Eddie Murphy, upon being pulled over for picking up a transvestite. 7. Mike Sanford, upon being fired as UNLV football coach. 8. Eve's excuse for eating the apple in the Garden of Eden. 9. Mike Sanford, upon being fired as UNLV football coach. 10. Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Berry, after he was caught smoking crack with an FBI informant. 11. Mike Sanford, upon being fired as UNLV football coach. 12. Michael Jackson, after dangling his baby out of a third-story window. 13. Mike Sanford, upon being fired as UNLV football coach. 14. President George Bush after Hurricane Katrina. 15. Mike Sanford, upon being fired as UNLV football coach. 16. O.J. Simpson on why he didn't call police to reclaim stolen sports memorabilia. 17. Mike Sanford, upon being fired as UNLV football coach. 18. Winona Ryder, after being caught with $4,760 worth of items stuffed in a shopping bag. 19. Mike Sanford, upon being fired as UNLV football coach. 20. Alec Baldwin, on why he referred to his 11-year-old daughter as a "rude little pig." (Also applies to UNLV football fans.) THEN The difference between John Robinson and Mike Sanford is that Robinson never blamed anything or anybody other than himself for failing to turn around the UNLV football program. Oh, and that John Robinson won a national championship. There's also that difference. [...]

Saints finally going somewhere fast

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 22:40:00 -0000


On the way to the gym this morning, I noticed an SUV at the side of the road on Boulder Highway. There was a giant New Orleans Saints decal on the back window. Two police units had pulled over behind with SUV with the giant Saints decal on back.

This only proves that when you are 9-0 everybody seems to notice.

This is doubly true if you are traveling 65 mph in a zone marked 45.


Best name for a restaurant that probably won't happen: Bill Belichick's Fourth-and-Two.

Antoine Walker doesn't know when to hold or fold 'em

Thu, 12 Nov 2009 19:41:00 -0000


Note to Antoine Walker, the former NBA star who owes three Las Vegas casinos $822,500:

When your card has a picture on it and the dealer's has a six, you are not required to ask for another card.

But as the great John Candy said in "Stripes," that's just me. Mister Vegas.


"You got an ace, an eight and a seven. Well, you lose. If you would have had four fours, you would have won. You're getting good. Starting to get the hang of it. Isn't this fun? You're pretty good for a first time, really." -- Dewey "Ox" Oxberger, 1981.

Ichabods were tougher than they sound

Wed, 11 Nov 2009 23:47:00 -0000


Top 10 reasons the Rebels almost lost an exhibition game to a team from Kansas called the Washburn Ichabods on Tuesday night:

10. Got caught looking ahead to Pittsburg State game.

9. "Stripper Mobile" cruising the Thomas & Mack Center parking lot made it difficult to concentrate on blocking out and getting back on defense.

8. Prepared for the Ichabods from Sleepy Hollow instead of the ones from Topeka.

7. Too famished to press after Rebel standouts of yesteryear ate their team meal.

6. Remember, this was only an exhibition, it was not a competition ... please no wagering.

5. No. 5 on Washburn looked a lot like Ollie from "Hoosiers" so Rebels cut him some slack.

4. Shaq and LeBron not yet meshing.

3. Rebels not familiar with Washburn's "Yellow Brick Road" half-court offense.

2. New uniforms from Nike did not allow Rebels to run faster and jump higher as advertised.

1. Larry Johnson never phoned home.


Say this about the teams from the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic conference: They sure have great nicknames.

Washburn is the Ichabods.

Pittsburg State, the Rebels' opponent on Saturday night, is the Gorillas.

Central Missouri is the Mules.

Missouri Western is the Griffons.

Truman State is the Give 'em Hell Harrys.

Actually, Truman State is the Bulldogs. They blew it.