Overall a weekend to celebrate

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The directions on the extra-strength Gaviscon bottle were to chew 2-4 tablets four times a day for heartburn relief. I took that to mean I could take eight tablets this morning and eight later today as a guy my age can’t be expected to remember to chomp on chalk four times a day at appointed intervals.

Why devour all these antacid pills? I’ll get to that in a few paragraphs. First, I’d like to review sports results that made me happy over the weekend.

I was happy for Justin Verlander pitching his third no-hitter on Sunday evening, which put him behind only Nolan Ryan, with seven, and Sandy Koufax, with four on the all-time list. (I still find it hard to believe that our own Greg Maddux never had a no-no.)

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My happiness for Verlander is tempered with a thick layer of green envy, because it just doesn’t seem right that a guy can pitch a no-no and then go home to the waiting arms and other body parts of Kate Upton. Just another case of life not being fair.

I was also happy for University of Nevada placekicker, 165-pound freshman Brandon Tallon. His heroics created the best YouTube moment of the weekend when he kicked a 56-yard field goal as time expired to give the Wolf Pack a huge win over the Big Ten’s Purdue University. The Pack were down 17 at one point, before pulling off the gut-check comeback.

In the wild locker room after the game, UNR head coach Jay Norvell not only presented Tallon the game ball, but announced that he would be given a full scholarship. Just one week into his college experience, for the teenager from Vacaville that’s a memory of a lifetime.

Another uplifting result from the weekend was our Las Vegas Aviators clinching a Pacific Coast League playoff berth in their first season in their beautiful new ballpark. With the news in the sixth inning that the El Paso Chihuahas had lost to Sacramento, the Aviators added six runs in the eighth inning to nail down a decisive win over the Tacoma Rainiers.

It was the team’s 46th sellout of the season and the 23rd crowd of 10,000 plus fans, proving again that if Las Vegas professional teams provide an outstanding product, the audience will show up for them.

And now as to why I’m scarfing heartburn tabs: As no fewer than 50 of my Facebook friends and Instagram followers reminded me following the showcase college game on Saturday night in Arlington, Texas, my wife Carol’s Auburn Tigers beat my Oregon Ducks 27-21. It came with a touchdown pass with nine seconds remaining.

Oregon had clearly outplayed the Tigers throughout the game, but mismanaged timeouts and horrible offensive play calling by our coaches determined their fate.

This was slated by some as a revenge game, as Auburn had defeated Oregon on a final-play field goal for in the national championship game in 2011, but that was an overstatement. An Oregon win in a season opener would hardly have evened the books on that painful loss.

To Carol’s credit, she did not rub it in following the game. She said that the fact that she slept in her Auburn jersey and ballcap Saturday and Sunday night should not be construed as gloating. As she explained, “I’m just a proud alum. Your Pac-12 school should be smarter than to schedule against an SEC team that early in the season.”

I can’t argue with her point, as the Pac-12 is now 0-10 in its most recent games against the country’s dominant football conference.

One final thought: I found it hard to stay interested in a game that featured no fewer than 150 television commercials in the 3 1/2 hours. Every time-out featured eight or nine commercials, the halftime lasted nearly a half hour, and any chance that either team could capitalize on momentum from a previous drive was lost as a result.

P.S. Nevada takes all its positive mojo from the Vacaville miracle to Eugene this weekend, to play my down-in-the-dumps Ducks. Oregon is a 23-point favorite. For the first time ever, I’m betting against my alma mater. Of course, I’m pulling for my school to win by a score of something like 44-22.

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About the Author

Jack Sheehan

Vegas Vibe columnist Jack Sheehan has lived in Las Vegas since 1976 and writes about the city for Gaming Today. He is the author of 28 books, over 1,000 magazine articles, and has sold four screenplays.

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