The Sideline Scoop

By - December 04, 2006

One of the great joys of having a sideline pass for a college football game is the celebrity watching. Of course some programs are better then others in this regard. Go to a USC football game and you might catch a glimpse of Will Ferrell or Snoop Dog, attend a Utah State game on the other hand and you’ll be lucky if one of the cheerleaders kind of, sort of looks a little bit like Tara Reid.

On Saturday I found myself on the field for the Cal-Stanford game with co-worker Jack Felling. About half way through the first half he leaned over to me and pointed out that Counting Crows front man Adam Duritz was standing a few feet away from us. Let me begin by saying that I would count myself as something just short of a Counting Crows "fan" which is to say I have never been to a concert and I’m not on any sort of fan mailing list but I do have more then one of their songs on my iPod and would call August and Everything After one of the better albums of my college years (1992-1996). I also have a certain amount of respect for Mr. Duritz’s skills with the fairer sex. To my knowledge he is the only person on the planet to have dated two different Friends cast members (Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox) and he has a few other pelts on his wall that are worth mentioning including Mary Louise Parker, Monica Potter and Winona Ryder. Last spring there were rumors that he had moved on to former Real World vixen turned Playboy playmate Trishelle Cannatella (I don’t know what one does to find out if these rumors are actually true). What it says about Duritz’s fleeting fame that he has gone from dating Jennifer Aniston to someone who appeared in Lingerie Bowl and Battle of the Network Reality Stars I don’t know but I can tell you that he appears to be an honest to goodness college sports fan.

Go to his website (, not only does he make cogent points about the Cal football program he also comments on the Golden Bears water polo team which won an NCAA Championship on Sunday with a 7-6 win over USC. Judging from his descriptive accounts of the contest I can only assume that he actually watched the game which was, of course, on CSTV. According to all of our promotional material CSTV is in about 15 or 20 million homes but now we can add that we are in at least one celebrity home. Maybe we can get him to perform Omaha for our College World Series coverage.

Big Nick

We recently had a camera crew in Reno to shoot a feature on Wolf Pack big man Nick Fazekas. I knew he was good but a look at his numbers so far this season shows just what a dominant player he is in that league.

Nevada has played seven games this season and in six of them Fazekas has recorded a double-double and most of them haven’t even been close. 19 and 18 at Oregon State, 28 and 15 at Santa Clara and 12 and 16 against Cal on CSTV this weekend are just a few of his bigger games.

Shocking? Not really

Unless you slept through last years NCAA Tournament you should have come into this year well aware that the Missouri Valley Conference was for real. If for some reason you weren’t then the recent play of Wichita State should have clued you in.

The Shockers are 6-0 with wins over two teams from last years Final Four-George Mason and LSU-plus a win Saturday night over Syracuse in which the Orange made a furious second half comeback just to make it close. Despite being out-rebounded 47-34 for the game the Shockers led by 14 at halftime and went on to a 64-61 victory.

They really don’t have a guy on the roster that blows you away but they hit open shots and have multiple players capable of putting the ball in the basket. Their only player over 6-8 (6-10 Ryan Bradley) hardly plays so rebounding is going to be a problem for the Shockers but so far they have not paid the price for being undersized. In the LSU game they held their own on the boards and outscored the Tigers in the paint against the likes of Glen Davis and Tasmin Mitchell then shut the Tigers down offensively in the second half to come away with the win.

Most impressive of all is where their big wins have come. They’ve gone into the Patriot Center (George Mason), the Carrier Dome (Syracuse) and the Thunder Dome (LSU) and come away with wins.

Posted by at 03:19 PM on December 04, 2006
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