Time for CBS to ‘rise and fire’

March Madness might not be the same again.

CBS announcer and YouTube sensation Gus Johnson, whose excitable buzzer-beating calls have become as much a part of the NCAA Tournament as a 12-seed beating a five, might be leaving the network.

Fox has made an offer to Johnson, who has called college basketball and NFL games at CBS for 16 years. But there is hope Johnson — in Las Vegas to call tonight’s Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight for Showtime – will stay at CBS.

It’s time for CBS to “rise and fire” by matching Fox with an offer “from the parking lot” that would keep Johnson and show “the slipper still fits.”

Without him, the last-second shots and numerous upsets still would be thrilling to watch, but something noticeable would be missing.

■ ‘YOU DON’T GET THE BALL BACK!’ – You know that cranky old man down the street yelling at kids to get off his lawn and turn down the music?

Even that guy isn’t as creepy as former terrorist Osama bin Laden was with neighborhood kids whose soccer balls landed in his million-dollar compound that was well-known to everyone but Pakistan’s military and intelligence officials.

Bin Laden could’ve told one of his minions to simply give any errant ball back, but he ordered them to give the kids enough money to buy new ones.

Americans celebrated bin Laden’s death Sunday, and it’s doubtful many kids in his Pakistan neighborhood shed tears, either.

■ REACHING OUT TO GET CLOSE – Those players taken in last week’s NFL Draft aren’t allowed to talk to their new coaches because of the ongoing lockout.

But former UNR quarterback Colin Kaepernick, selected in the second round by the San Francisco 49ers, has found a way around that problem.

He reached out to Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck to gather information on 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who coached Luck. Kaepernick told The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee he will get in touch with Luck again “if the lockout stays on.”

“I’m going to try and pick his brain as much as I can and try to get a jump-start into this offense and pick up as much as I can,” Kaepernick said.

It sounds like the Kaepernick who UNLV fans spent a lot of time watching run through the Rebels. He always seemed to be ahead of the game.

■ TRUMP IN THE ROAD – The Donald now won’t be at Indy.

Donald Trump planned to drive the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 on May 29 but backed out by saying his schedule was too loaded to keep the commitment.

Yeah, that was it.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway was pressured to tell Trump he was fired when he created a firestorm by questioning President Barack Obama’s nationality.

A Facebook page called “Dump Trump” even was created, and the speedway probably wanted to limit distraction in what should be a celebration for the race’s 100th anniversary.

The Speedway is denying all of this, but the timing seems more than a little coincidental.

Four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt was named Friday as Trump’s replacement.

COMPILED BY MARK ANDERSON LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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