Brats, Beers and Bullet Points, Week 18

It’s New Years Eve, and a look back on my first few months as a columnist is probably in order.

The Bullet Points

  • I touched on some of my impressions of the 2014 football season in my last column, but I wondered what would be the best way to more completely summarize the entire season this week. Back when I ran Pistol Whipping the WAC, I did a year-in-review entry comprised entirely of YouTube videos. It generated a pretty good response, so naturally, I’m going to totally change that up this time around! You kids like Buzzfeed, right? And GIFs? No? Too bad for you, then.

Week 1: Southern Utah
Shrug GIF

Week 2: Washington State

Week 3: Arizona
Just missed! GIF

Week 5: San Jose State

Week 6: Boise State

Week 7: Colorado State

Week 8: BYU

Week 9: Hawai’i

Week 10: San Diego State

Week 12: Air Force

Week 13: Fresno State

Week 14: UNLV

Week 17: Louisiana

  • I wouldn’t mind seeing Arizona beat Boise State tonight. No anti-Bronco agenda here, though many of their Internet fans have never made cheering for them easy. With the Wildcats coming to Mackay next year, I just think it’d be neat to say we have the defending Fiesta Bowl champions coming to town. With Mackay’s various renovations set to reduce overall capacity to around 26,000 the following year, any opportunity we have to get 30,000+ at Mackay one last time is one we should embrace.

  • The basketball team did about what they were expected to do against Northwest Christian, leading wire-to-wire and coasting to an 81-67 win. The first half saw the Pack build up a 17-point lead and was pleasant to watch, while the second half was…not as pleasant to watch. Any game you play against a clearly overmatched opponent will be harder to give 100% effort in, but several bouts of undue stress still came out of that second half. The team gets a good litmus test this Saturday, opening conference play at home against Air Force. The Falcons boat-raced the same OMAHA! team that, in turn, boat-raced the Pack in November, but they also needed overtime to beat Jacksonville State (which is not in Florida, but Alabama — who knew?). Even without a go-to scorer and some pretty awful losses already on their resume, a win on Saturday would be the first step in showing the improvement Nevada’s demonstrated over the last two and a half games isn’t mere coincidence. A loss — with games against Nevada Southern, Colorado State, Fresno State, San Diego State and Wyoming immediately on deck — could be the beginning of another multi-loss tailspin. No pressure or anything.

  • LUUUUUUUUUUUUKE!!! After a disappointing stint in Portland and his abrupt exit from a Russian Euroleague team last January, former Nevada basketball stand-out Luke Babbitt has finally earned a niche for himself in the NBA. Though he’s only averaging 4 points per game, he’s tied for second-best three-point shooting percentage in the league, and has firmly entrenched himself in the Pelicans’ starting lineup since last month (Quick side note: the Pelicans are the best new name given to any pro team in the last decade — there is no discussion). And with teammates like Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday, New Orleans could become a really fun team to watch in the coming years, with Babbitt having a select (but important) role to play stretching defenses to the perimeter. With Javale McGee out with another injury and Ramon Sessions seemingly in perpetual limbo with whichever team signs him, it’s nice to see another Wolf Pack player making an impact in the NBA.

The Beer

Great Basin Mayan Maybe Not (Sparks, NV) — Back in December 2012, at the height of all that Mayan calendar end-of-the-world gobbledygook, the brewmasters at Great Basin made a special old-style beer to commemorate the occasion. Dubbed “Mayan Maybe?”, it was a heavy, dark stout brewed with chile peppers, smoked malts, cocoa nibs and other unusual ingredients, and was only available in a very limited release. Back then, I couldn’t find a bottle of my own before it was all gone, but when I saw that it had been brought back this year, I knew I had the perfect end-of-the-year brew for this week’s column. MMN is served in a 12-ounce tulip glass, and it’s still dark; darker than a black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie night. Its habanero chile and chocolate smells are tangy and prominent with each sip, the taste of which also includes some honey, vanilla and even corn. Chocolate is hard to incorporate into brewing in the right amounts, and this beer has enough other things going on that you don’t fixate on one flavor. Though unlikely to resemble anything the ancient Mayans themselves actually drank, the ingredients fit together in their own weird, once-a-year kind of way. You can probably deduce that this is an unusual beer with unusual flavors, and the term “acquired taste” is entirely appropriate. It’s got some bite, it’ll warm your cheeks (10.5% ABV), and if you decide it’s not for you, it only comes around once a year, anyway. If it’s still on tap by the time this column goes up, go on a tasting adventure and try a glass for yourself. I give it three and a half tipsy Wolfies out of five.

The Brats

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and days of long ago?

For days of long ago, my dear,
for days of long ago,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for days of long ago.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
And surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for days of long ago.

For days of long ago, my dear,
for days of long ago,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for days of long ago.


(It goes on much, MUCH longer than that, but you get the gist).

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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