I wonÕt bore you with all the details of my Midwestern vacation because thatÕs what my blog on the SunÕs Internet site is for.
Suffice it to say I drove past the boyhood homes of Ronald Reagan and John Wayne, saw a Terrible Herbst casino sign rise from the plain like a monolithic space invader, was passed by not one, not two, but three women who looked like former supermodel Christie Brinkley (unfortunately, I wasnÕt wearing my white patent leather Claude Griswolds) and saw a bridge in Madison County.
And that was just driving through Illinois and Iowa on the last day.
I had every intention of firing up the laptop to catch up on what was happening back home, but the Wi-Fi at the WorldÕs Largest Truck Stop (exit 284 off I-80, just on the other side of the Quad Cities, for future reference) kept kicking me back to the pork bellies report.
So as near as I can tell, hereÕs the most important sports news from when I was gone:
UNLV scheduled a football game against West Virginia.
Athletic Director Mike Hamrick talked as if going to Morgantown in 2010 during tough economic times was a difficult choice. I think itÕs a great choice — a nonconference opponent everybody around here has heard of. But I guess this means there wonÕt be a home-and-home series against Sacramento State. Oh, darn!
UNLV was sued over the Mountain West Conference basketball championship game scuffles at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Note to more-than-a-year-after-the-fact scufflers hoping to make a quick buck: DonÕt you know that UNLV is broke?
Transfer U. — aka UNLV — signed former Kansas basketball player Quintrell Thomas.
I know the Rebels looked at this kid out of high school and all, but do you recall the good olÕ days, when UNLV built its teams around its own recruits instead of somebody elseÕs castoffs?
Valley HighÕs Garic Wharton broke the state record in 100-yard dash.
If I were running the Las Vegas 51s, IÕd sign him to be a pinch-runner, like Herb Washington with the old Oakland AÕs. And then IÕd sign Eddie Gaedel IV to pinch-hit. That would make 51s games on non-$1-beer nights much more interesting.
Oliver McCall won the IBA heavyweight title.
The IBA is owned by former major league pitcher Dean Chance, who used to operate carnivals in the Midwest. That means the 44-year-old McCallÕs first title defense is likely to be against one of the Klitschkos or a wrestling bear.
Summerlin resident Alex Tagliani was named rookie of the year at the Indy 500.
Actually, I was there for this one, sitting in the stands in the Southwest Vista. A lot of people were upset when another driver was pulled out of the big race so Tagliani, a victim of a poor call on the last day of qualifying, could race and appease his teamÕs sponsors. But Tag proved he belonged by starting 33rd and finishing 11th.
Bishop Gorman won its fourth consecutive state baseball crown.
NIAA rules prevent the Gaels from scheduling the Washington Nationals, but IÕd still take Gorman in a three-game series.
I have yet to remove the fedora from my head or the cheap cigar from my mouth. In other words, IÕm still a boxing guy. I just could not refuse this opportunity to refer to the winner as ÒWrestling Matt.Ó
Mike TysonÕs daughter died in a freak home accident.
This was by far the worst sports news I had to catch up on. I have always had a soft spot for Iron Mike. Now I have two.
Chad Dawson vacated his IBF light-heavyweight title.
The IBF wanted Dawson to fight somebody named Tavoris Cloud, the mandatory challenger. Dawson said heÕd rather fight one of Dean ChanceÕs wrestling bears, because a fight against a wrestling bear would almost certainly generate more money than a fight against a Tavoris Cloud.
Walk-on Scotty Hoffman quit the UNLV basketball team.
He played only 18 minutes last year. He never came off the bench like J-Mac to toss in a bunch of 3-pointers during garbage time. But man, did he ever work hard in practice.
Bishop GormanÕs Jeff Malm tied the national high school baseball hit record with 277.
Now he has to decide between going pro or honoring his verbal commitment to play baseball at USC. Heads he wins, tails he wins.
L-e capital B-r-o-n to win a local ESPN spelling bee.
The judges also would have accepted O-u-t-I-n-S-i-x as an alternate spelling.
Pitcher Brett Cecil was sent back to the 51s.
The left-hander (arenÕt they all with the 51s) pitched three great games for the Blue Jays. And one not so great. HeÕs gonna miss the spacious clubhouse.
The fledgling United Football League saved the 10th regularly scheduled football game of the high school season with a one-time donation of $25,000.
While I admire the UFL for its commitment to local athletics and thereÕs something to be said for starting small and growing, IÕd probably admire it a lot more if it was a league of more than four teams.
Las Vegas was mentioned as possible relocation site of the NHLÕs Phoenix Coyotes.
I could possibly see some truth beyond the outlandishness of this so-called report if it were possible to play hockey games at Sunset Park and it didnÕt make any difference whether anybody showed up.
Jeremy Shockey left the Hard Rock pool unconscious on a stretcher.
The Saints tight end apparently had become dehydrated. HeÕs fine, which means I can joke about how he was trying to find his career at the shallow end of the pool when he became woozy and disoriented.
The worldÕs smallest and cutest Oregon football fan was born.
Natalia Hudson Noonan-Heikes, the new daughter of Sun deputy managing (and Pulitzer Prize-winning) editor Drex Heikes, is going to look absolutely precious in an electric yellow romper and emerald green bootees.
Ron Kantowski can be reached at 259-4088 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read Ron
KantowskiÕs blog, ÒNow and Then,Ó
Source: Las Vegas Sun