Supposedly, separate directors for the Long Beach and the Reno-Sparks Event will be appointed and the current CEO Bruce Walter will remain on as the overall executive director. There was no word on who would run the South Lake Tahoe event.
If the above does come — or already has come — to pass it would go a long way to mollify the bad feelings that were engendered this year when word on the secret Long Beach negotiations leaked out because of the efforts of a Southern California reporter, who still sticks by his original story. Local outrage was strong from many sectors of the Reno and Sparks communities and it was led, in large part, by the mayors of the two cities. While this year’s version of the event in Reno and Sparks did not seem to be overly affected by the inclusion of a pre-HAN at South Lake Tahoe there was still a lot of animosity from the long time local sponsors, who have supported the event since its inception.
For the longest time now the HAN board has been very uncommunicative with both the two cities and the sponsors, saying only that when the board has finished its assessment of the 2010 overall show, will it be ready to make a statement.
All in all, the HAN story has to rank up there when it comes to picking the top local news story of the year. It might be superseded by what happens in Nevada on Election Day on Nov. 2.
Wolf Pack comes a cropper
The misgivings that a lot of University of Nevada, Reno football fans felt prior to last week’s game against the University of Hawaii came true in the worst possible way. Hawaii completely dominated the game in the first half, leading 17-0 at halftime. The Rainbow Warriors seemed to have no difficulty in defensing the pistol offense and even our two mega stars, Colin Kaepernick and Vai Taua, were effectively throttled. As coach Chris Ault said after the game, “We had our chances to win.” That was true as the Pack made costly mistakes that resulted in fumbles and interceptions at crucial times. Nevada did come out charged up in the second half and won that period, 21 to 10 but the first half hole was too much to make up.
Several days after the game quarterback Kaepernick told the press that he felt personally responsible for the loss and he might have been correct. His interceptions, particularly the final one as Nevada was moving well down the field toward what looked like a game winning score in the final minutes, was probably the worst of all the turnovers. What made that interception even more heartbreaking was that it came after Nevada had scored and then expertly recovered an on-side kick.
Another torturous moment for Pack fans occurred when Kaepernick took off to his left and apparently scored a TD even though the ball squirted out of his hand at the last moment. Upon review it was shown that the Kap had actually fumbled the ball about a foot in front of the goal and the ball had entered the end zone on its own, which resulted in a touch back and turned the ball over to Hawaii on its 20 yard line. Football purists, of which there are many in this area, were quick to note that the fumble had been caused by a Hawaii defender who stripped the football from Kaepernick’s right hand. These same purists, many who have played for the Silver and Blue in the past, also were quick to note that the first thing offensive coaches will tell their ball carrying contingent is that the ball should always be carried in the arm closest to the sideline. If Kaepernick had followed this dictum, it would probably have been impossible for that defender to reach across and strip the ball from the Nevada QB’s left hand or arm. Look for Nevada ball carriers to be 100 percent certain for the rest of the season to get the pigskin in the hand or arm closest to the sideline whenever they are carrying it.
Nevada the center of attention
For probably the first time in the history of the Silver State, Nevada will be the center of national attention on election night. The reason being that the highest ranking member of the U.S Senate is Nevadan Harry Reid.
Reid, who was miserably down in polling to any one of the three candidates in the Republican primary to oppose him, has been able to claw his way back to a virtual tie with Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee.
It is true that Reid has achieved the loftiest position of any Nevada politician thus far. It is also true he is a literal poster boy of the current administration, which has seen the country drop to its lowest level in the past two years. In addition, his home state is ranked the lowest of the low when it comes to foreclosures, unemployment and general malaise. Despite all this, Reid is a canny enough campaigner to continue to convince at least 50 percent of the projected voters that he is the man for whom they should vote.
The Reid-Angle contest is so important that this week vice president Joe Biden and the president himself have made stops in the state to stump for the embattled poor boy from Searchlight.
For her part, Angle drew an appearance by the current “rock star” of politics, Sarah Palin.
Whatever the outcome on Nov. 2, Nevada might prove to be the pivotal point as to what party gains the most power in Washington, D.C. for the foreseeable future.
Harry Spencer is a freelance writer in Reno. His column about the past and present of northern Nevada appears weekly in the Tribune.
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in Harry Spencer’s column are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tribune.