Raiders’ possible move to Las Vegas pushes hockey into corner

Remember the scene in “Caddyshack” in which Al Czervik shouts to Judge Smails from his yacht that his dinghy is bigger than the judge’s whole boat — and then Czervik drops anchor and rips a gaping hole in the judge’s cabin cruiser?

Bill Foley, the owner of Las Vegas’ soon-to-be-named (we believe) NHL franchise, almost certainly can relate.

You remember Bill Foley. He was the guy who brought pro sports to town with no tourist tax required. For a short time, hosannas were uttered at mention of his name, and every time the Zamboni was fired up, the 11 o’clock news led with it.

When the soon-to-be-named (it is believed) team takes the ice next season, there will be more hosannas.

But for now most attention has turned to the possibility of the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas — about the NFL rearing its behemoth head here against commissioner Roger Goodell’s wishes. There isn’t as much interest anymore about who will drive the Zamboni, except, perhaps, among people from Moose Jaw and other parts of Saskatchewan.

This is shaping up as the biggest case of stolen thunder since giants pilfered The Mighty Thor’s hammer in Norse mythology or the Marvel comics.

Foley has stated he would welcome the presence of the behemoth in the valley, but on Oct. 9, he also said this: “I believe if you’re going to spend $750 million of the public’s money, it should be on policemen, firefighters and teachers.”

He said the Raiders would be “irrelevant” to the Team With No Name — that the Raiders will have their fans and the new hockey team will have theirs, and never the twain shall meet at the box office.

Did Foley say the Raiders were irrelevant? “The Tooz” is probably turning over in his grave. Guys who paint their faces black and silver must have wanted to key his car with their shoulder pad spikes.

But if Bill Foley is feeling as if Mark Davis purloined his hammer, one would understand.

TALKIN’ BASEBALL

Because the discussion of politics is verboten at the Dick Williams Thursday Lunch Bunch (unless it’s about how you got stuck in traffic on Tropicana Avenue before the candidates’ debate), a discourse about baseball playoff games that endure 3 hours, 58 minutes ensued. That was the length of Wednesday’s Cubs-Dodgers game. Thursday’s went on (and on) for 4:16.

This confab transpired at the Triple 7 brew pub at Main Street Station downtown, where they were showing European soccer on TV with the sound turned down.

Art Santo Domingo, part-time official scorekeeper for the Giants and A’s, said maybe there should be a rule limiting substitutions. Like in European soccer with the sound turned down.

Because WikiLeaks or HBO’s “Real Sports” shared proof that umpires get only 88 percent of balls and strikes correct, the consensus opinion was that balls and strikes should henceforth be determined by KZone, or one of its many imitators, instead of Laz Diaz, or one of his many imitators.

It also was brought up that Giants manager Bruce Bochy used six pitchers in one inning to blow a big lead against the Cubs.

Some are growing weary of excessive platooning, I said. In American Legion ball, one is expected to pitch and hit against both left- and right-handers. The game would move along at a brisker snail’s pace if pitchers who started an inning also had to finish it.

Blasphemy!

Duke Sims, who was catching for the Tigers when Campy Campaneris flung his bat at Lerrin LaGrow in the 1972 American League Championship Series, guffawed and disagreed with a Bobby Cox vehemence. Had Sims a Wiffle bat, it might have gone sailing over the table and landed among the giant copper beer vats.

A guy named Lou decided the balk rule also should be eradicated, and then Duke Sims illustrated Julio Urias’ pickoff move by using a knife and fork, salt and pepper shakers and a packet of Equal.

Surprisingly, Los Angeles relief pitcher Jose Baez’s snooze-inducing regimen of taking three days between pitches never came up, but the Lunch Bunch convenes again Thursday.

HOCKEY VOICES

Las Vegas author Kirk McKnight will be signing copies of his new book, “The Voices of Hockey: Broadcasters Reflect on the Fastest Game on Earth,” from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Barnes and Noble bookstore at 2191 N. Rainbow Blvd.

“With the city receiving this expansion franchise, I feel the timing couldn’t be more perfect for a work like this,” the author said. “Each chapter gives a comprehensive history of each NHL team, discussing rivalries, traditions, venues and glory days. It is a great tool for learning the game, its history and its players.”

McKnight said the book does not include a chapter on Jim Carr, voice of the Charlestown Chiefs of “Slapshot” infamy, but there is one on Bob Chase of the minor league Fort Wayne Komets, who has described hockey games on the radio for more than 60 years.

KEITH ENSHRINED

Simon Keith, the former UNLV soccer great, heart transplant recipient, advocate for organ donation and cigar smoker extraordinaire, will be inducted into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame in his Canadian home province of British Columbia on Oct. 29.

Keith, the first athlete to play a pro sport (Major Indoor Soccer) after receiving a heart transplant, is CEO of the Nevada Donor Network, a federally designated organ procurement organization serving Nevada.

Other residents of the Victoria sports shrine of which you may have heard include hockey’s Courtnall brothers (Russ and Geoff), Rick Lapointe, Mel Bridgman and Lester Patrick, who invented changing on the fly and for whom one of the NHL’s four divisions is named.

FUMBLE RECTIFIED

I recently wrote about 80-year-old Tom Kemp and his pal Len Schweitzer, 81, and how they had seen practically every home UNLV football game, and how when Tom’s daughter wrote UNLV to ask if the coaches and players would sign a football she had purchased so she could present it to her dad on his 80th birthday, she was told that was against NCAA rules.

Turns out it was just a mix-up. It’s one of the few things not against NCAA rules.

When the higher-ups in the athletic department read about what happened, they had Rebels coach Tony Sanchez autograph footballs for Tom and Len. Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy went down to the stands to present them during the Fresno State game.

The higher-ups in the athletic department take a lot of heat when a basketball hiring turns into a debacle; less frequent are the times they are recognized for going the extra mile to make things right.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0325. Follow@ronkantowski on Twitter.

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