Here at PTB we have no problem calling a turd a turd but we’re just as happy smellin’ the roses. This weekend PTB and the rest of Wolf Pack nation got a belated Valentine’s bouquet courtesy of Coach Michelle Gardner and the Nevada softball team.
FULL DISCLOSURE: We’ve known Coach Gardner for a few years now. We consider her a friend. Every time you watch/read or hear about Nevada softball we here at PTB make ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
So, yesterday Nevada stepped onto the diamond to take on the Arizona Wildcats…the number one friggin’ program in the whole friggin’ country. UofA is to elite softball what the Bumble was to the North Pole. By game’s end the Wolf Pack had firmly planted foot in ass and handed Goliath his head. Nevada-1, UofA-0.
It’s rare that a University of Nevada athletic team gets the chance to play the number one ranked team in the country. The hoops team did it a couple of months ago and got schooled by North Carolina. The last time a Wolf Pack team dumped on a numero uno was the baseball team a few years back against Stanford. Those were isolated incidents. This is different.
You see, Coach Gardner would like nothing more for her team than to play every game against top ten programs. The quote she uses is, “You can’t be the champions ‘til you beat the champions.” So, every spring she schedules opponents like UCLA, ASU, Michigan and the 1927 Yankees. It’s the Jerry Tarkanian method of program building. Back in the day when UNLV’s hoops program couldn’t beat a drum with a mallet, the Shark scheduled as many elite teams as he could. It was ugly at first. But little by little, the Rebels improved ‘til one day they weren’t getting smeared…they were the ones doing the smearing. They’ve been an elite team ever since.
So, here we are, the day after knocking off King Shit. It’s a great time for fans and a better time for players and coaches. Enjoy the feeling folks. As talented as this team is, they can rub a butt on anyone. And if history is any indication, they’ll be doing it for some time to come.