Turning things around this week, “Rants & Raves” becomes “Raves and Rants,” simply because we are soooo impressed by an 11-year-old Las Vegas youth football player who is going out of his way to show kindness to a segment of society all too often dismissed — assisted-care seniors:
Meet Nick Paris, a sixth-grader at Charles Silvestri Junior High School.
As a member of the Nevada Youth Football League Buckeyes senior division team — he’s a lineman who has been playing for five years — Paris has arranged for a group of senior citizens from the Torrey Pines Care Center to take in the opening game of the league’s spring season Saturday morning at the All-American Sports Park. Dressed in full uniform, Paris went room to room at the care center Monday after school to invite all of the football-fanatic seniors to the game.
He also is arranging with his team’s head coach, Brian Mohon, for Buckeyes shirts to be made for each senior who attends. The team’s players will autograph and number all of the shirts beforehand.
Asked why such a warm, unsolicited gesture was so important, the beyond-his-years Paris said simply: “I’m going to be that age one day, and I’ll want to watch my favorite sport. So, I just thought what a great opportunity for these people to watch 11- and 12-year-olds play a football game.”
We know what you’re thinking: What year will this child-turned-man win the Nobel Peace Prize? …
• Now back to our regularly scheduled sports idiocy: You have to wonder about parents who name their kids after famous sports figures in the hopes, we suppose, of stirring some athletic mojo.
Take Brent and Kattie Huffines, devout Ohio State football fans, who late last week named their newborn son Tressel Hayes Huffines — as in current Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel and legendary Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes.
As stupid as it sounds, we could accept the connection better if the little diaper-wetter had been named Woody Tressel Hayes — or maybe that made him sound too much like an old Baltimore and Ohio railroad track? …
• There is no truth to the rumor that Tiger Woods will name his first child — if a boy, when born in July — Zach Johnson Woods. …
• Reader Jack Kirkey offers this “rant”: With the possible exception of international soccer fans, who are more ignorant than golf fans? Like they always did with Jack Nicklaus, now every time Tiger Woods hits the ball somebody (in the gallery) will scream, “Get in the hole!” — and everyone else will roar as if Woods just made a hole-in-one. This would happen even if Woods duck-hooked out of bounds into the next county. …
• It would appear that talk show crypt-keeper Don Imus isn’t the only radio personality in trouble these days (see: Rutgers, women’s basketball, racist comments).
ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd — who has local ties, being a former 51s baseball sales associate and, later, the sports director at KVBC-TV (Channel 3) — committed a big no-no last week, according to his bosses, by having listeners to his morning show overload, not once but twice, an Internet sports blogging site that was critical of the network.
“We apologize,” Cowherd said after the first call-to-arms locked up the site. “But don’t screw with us,” he added, before asking his audience to “knock it out a second time, just for fun.”
Cowherd received a reprimand from his superiors and was told he could no longer hang out with Imus. …
• While our city’s Double-A hockey team, the Wranglers, are preparing for the Kelly Cup playoffs with the best record in the ECHL — congrats, guys! — our hometown Gladiators of the Arena Football League stand 1-5 and are being outscored by an average of 24 points in their losses.
If this continues, we demand the Gladiators change their name to something more appropriate — say, the Barstow Gladiators? …
• We have to wonder what all those UNLV basketball fans who clamored a year ago for Bob Huggins to replace Lon Kruger as Rebels coach are thinking now that Huggins — after just one season — bolted Kansas State for his alma mater, West Virginia?
Kruger took UNLV to a 30-7 record and the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 this past season while Huggins went 23-12 and took the Wildcats to the National Invitation Tournament’s second round.
It appears to us that patience pays off, while a rush to judgment — as some impatient Rebels fans should have learned — often results in a rush to another gig.
Joe Hawk is the Review-Journal’s sports editor. He can be reached at 387-2912 or firstname.lastname@example.org.JOE HAWKMORE COLUMNS