Friday, November 13, 2009

Undoing History is Hard Work

Just a quick entry today on the eve of what should be an epic showdown with Fresno State tomorrow afternoon.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard the big news out of Legacy Hall: Nevada and Cal will play a three-game series in football, and the Golden Bears are coming to Reno next year for the first third of the series.

In the last four years alone, Nevada has secured home-and-home series with the likes of Northwestern, Texas Tech, Missouri, Oregon and Arizona and two-for-ones with UCLA and now Cal, all while playing a paltry number of FCS opponents. Furthermore, as per the athletic department’s press release announcing the series, Nevada is seeking out one last game to complete what would be a 13-game schedule for next year, and the program’s first seven-game home slate in nearly twenty years!

I’d like to be the first – and if not the first in general, then at least the first to do it in cyberspace – to declare that Nevada’s senior associate athletic director, Rory Hickok, deserves a raise. Yes, times are tough and money is tight everywhere you look, but this guy deserves a lot more praise and positive attention than what he’s currently getting. He’s done nothing but work minor miracles with Nevada’s football scheduling, and this recent agreement with Cal is perhaps his finest achievement to date. Because of his efforts, Nevada has finally orchestrated a series with one of the two BCS teams in its backyard that has inexplicably avoided it on the gridiron for more than sixty years. Yes, Cal and Nevada played in Berkeley in 1996, but only because the team originally slated to visit – Pacific – dropped its entire football program beforehand, and the Pack answered Cal’s call for a replacement opponent.

Whether Cal’s athletic director strong-armed Bears coach Jeff Tedford into this series or if he finally gave his own consent is unknown, and frankly, doesn’t matter. The fact that it’s a two-for-one and not a home-and-home series? Fuhgeddaboudit! Berkeley is the easiest football road trip a Pack fan could possibly ask for – even easier than San Jose – and in the next six years you can look forward to making it twice. Doublemint was right: double your pleasure, double your fun.

And to those of you who believe Nevada is "settling" for a two-for-one series here, in the immortal words of my best friend from high school: don't get your panties in a bunch. As my twin friends here illustrate, two really is better than one in this case. Besides, I seem to recall the men’s basketball team “settling” for a two-for-one series with Kansas a while back…

So if you ever happen to see Mr. Hickok in person, be sure to thank him for everything he’s done to elevate Wolf Pack football. Heck, take a few minutes out of your day and send him an e-mail to let him know just how freaking sweet this all is. A pat on the back or a handshake is easy compared to reversing sixty years worth of history.

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