Brats, Beers and Bullet Points, Week 14

Last week I had a moment of clarity, and this week it’s…an epiphany!

The Bullet Points

  • I’ve finally figured it out! The Fremont Cannon is like our Snickers: we’re not “us” when we don’t have it. Think about it. Can’t you picture one of those Snickers commercials being adapted specifically for Wolf Pack fans?

Me: I hate this team and I hate everyone on it. Everything is hopeless and nothing will ever get better. You’d have to be blind not to see it. I wanna move to Boise so I can be among their infallible and not-at-all-douchey fans. Maybe then some of their greatness will rub off on me.
Neil: Andrew, have a Fremont Cannon bar. *Hands me one*
Me: Why? *Opens wrapper*
Neil: Because you get a little Boise-ish when you’re hungry.
Me: *Sighs* Fine. *Takes a bite*
Neil: Better?
Me: *Smiling* Better.

  • And when looking back on the regular season, that pretty much sums up the effect this win has on it all. Granted, a few things remain unchanged: not winning the West Division is still a heinous missed opportunity. The defense’s supposed improvement has turned out to be incremental at best. And even in the final week of the season, there’s still a chance (!) Nevada may not play in a bowl game. But winning the cannon back — even from a 2-11 %%MATCH_6%% team with all the sturdiness of a gingerbread house — helps to take some of the edge off. Especially if you were at the stadium with a lot of our fellow posters, taking everything in: the signs being held by the lady sitting a few rows in front of us and one section over (“What do you call a genius at UNLV? A visitor”); watching Rebel fans start filing out at the end of the third quarter; that “Reno Sucks” sign in the UNLV student section mysteriously vanishing after Lenny Jones’ pick six (or was it the interception after that one…?); chanting “Paint it blue!” when the cannon was finally rolled inside the visitor’s locker room with five minutes left. The term “satisfying” would be selling it all short. Here’s hoping we all have one more chance to see them play this year.

  • Remember back when I said two wins in three games at the Paradise Jam would be a successful showing for the basketball team? Yyyyyyyeah. I’m almost as embarrassed for that one as I am for guaranteeing a win against Fresno State. The final margins of defeat may look respectable-ish, but make no mistake: the Pack was outplayed for pretty long stretches of all three games. And the team followed up that oh-fer by getting blasted in the second half at OMAHA! True, it’s worth noting that OMAHA! beat Marquette on the road, but they also lost to Seattle. Not the SuperSonics, not even the Seahawks in a pick-up game, but Seattle University. And Nevada still has one stop left on this five-game smile train at Long Beach State tonight, who has beaten %%MATCH_5%% and Kansas State in the last month. And their homecoming reward after all of this is a Pac-12 opponent. Yup. That winding noise you hear is the sound of me and many other fans reeling back our expectations as far as possible for the rest of the year.

  • Unless some big improvements start to take root on both offense and defense, I’m thinking there are two, maybe three wins in the rest of non-conference play. The Cal game has…some potential for an upset. Fullerton is a toss-up. Pacific could get ugly. %%MATCH_9%% is struggling just as much as the Pack. Northwest Christian should (key word “should”) be a gimme. But then comes Mountain West play, and all I can say about that for now is this: at least they start off with %%MATCH_8%% at home.

  • %%MATCH_7%% pretty much owns Kap at this point. He said before the game that “nothing” worried him about the 49ers’ offense and…he was dead on. My 11-5 preseason prediction for the Niners’ season is looking pretty bleak right now. Furthermore, I’m seeing a pattern of really terrible predictions beginning to emerge from this column. So with that in mind: I predict I will definitely NOT win the lottery this year.

The Beers

Chicago Brewing Company (Las Vegas, NV) — I’m changing things up this week and doing some quick hits for several different beers I tried from the same place. After arriving in Vegas last Friday night, I went out on the town with some friends to Fremont Street (we had to generate some good juju for the following night, after all), and we happened across an honest-to-goodness brewery there. Doubling as a cigar bar, it was tucked inside of the Four Queens, and while I don’t know if the beer was made on site, it was at least a branch of the local brewery of the same name. Here’s what I tried from the tray of sampler glasses I ordered:

Strawberry Blonde — Really light in color and taste. Strawberries were hardly there and the whole thing was pretty unmemorable. Two and a half tipsy Wolfies out of five.

Weizenheimer Wheat — A hefeweizen only slightly heavier than the Strawberry Blonde. A nice, foamy head with banana and vanilla flavors, but milder than I would’ve liked. Three out of five.

Ramblin’ Reck Amber Ale — One of the better ones of the bunch. The malt and hops balance really well with a nice copper color and a little bit of a toffee aroma. Three and a half out of five.

Hardway IPA — My friend and I were divided on this one. I thought it had a nice assortment of hops that fit well with a taste of lemon zest. She, on the other hand, didn’t care for it at all. Three out of five.

Sundown Stout — Probably my favorite of the sampler tray. Just a really pleasant sipping stout with coffee, chocolate and espresso flavors and a great, dry finish. Three and a half out of five.

Cocoa for Coconuts Porter — This one supposedly had the flavor of Cocoa Puffs cereal in it, but I didn’t taste anything. Hardly any coconut, either, so stick with Maui’s Coconut Porter instead. Three out of five.

Old Town Brown Ale — Yet another brown ale that didn’t pan out for me. Really bland and almost unpleasant to the taste, but at least it went down smooth. Two out of five.

The Brats

Enjoy our newly liberated cannon and stop pestering me for meats, why don’t you?

All fan mail (burning or otherwise), should be sent to:
Andrew Maurins
c/o North RV Lot
Campus of THE University of Nevada
Reno, NV 89557

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