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Inaugural Chili Cook-Off a big success

Holly Aycock, Nevada's director of marketing and promotions, recaps the Chili Cook-Off:
The inaugural Wolf Pack Chili Cook-Off was held before 2013 Wolf Pack Silver and Blue Spring Game, presented by Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center, on Saturday, April 20th.  Nine groups entered the chili cook off: Team Roberts; Moto Mud; The Hot Beans; Big Thick Steaming Bowl of Wolf Brand Chili; Battle Born, Tailgate Ready; Aultitude Tailgating; Wolf Pack Gridiron Chili; Spring Loaded Chili; and Nevada Cheer.

The morning of the Chili Cook-Off, you could smell chili in the air and before the judging, the Nevada Band and Cheer Team entertained all the tailgaters. Judges for the Chili Cook-Off were Keith Hackett and Rory Hickok (Senior Associate Athletics Directors), head soccer coach Missy Price, head volleyball coach Ruth Lawanson, News Channel 4's Alyx Sacks, Wolfie Jr. and Alphie. Each of the chili was judged on aroma, consistency, color, taste and aftertaste. All of the judges did a great job and enjoyed everyone's chili. 

The scores were tabulated and all contestants were invited down to the field at halftime of the game. The winner by just one-half of a point, was Battle Born, Tailgate Ready. Spring Loaded Chili took second place and Moto Mud was third place.

Battle Born, Tailgate Ready was presented the ultimate chili trophy to be displayed at their tailgates before every home football game.  The title also comes with bragging rights for your fellow Wolf Pack tailgaters. 

Nevada has strong history in the NFL Draft

The Nevada Wolf Pack brand has become a fixture when it comes to the NFL Draft, which begins tonight and runs through Saturday.
Over the past two years, seven Nevada players have heard their names called at the draft, including a school-record four players last year when James-Michael Johnson (Browns), Brandon Marshall (Jaguars), Isaiah Frey (Bears) and Rishard Matthews (Dolphins) were all selected.
In all, 41 Wolf Pack players have been selected in the history of the draft. And a number of Pack players are hoping to hear their names called this week to add to the number, including Duke Williams, Zach Sudfeld, Khalid Wooten, Chris Barker, Jeff Nady, Stefphon Jefferson, Jeremiah Green, Albert Rosette and Nick Hale.
But the draft isn't the only road to the NFL. Sometimes, going undrafted works out in a player's favor because he might be able to pick from more than one offer as a free agent and select the situation that fits him the best.
A number of Nevada players have made it to the NFL without being draft, including Josh Mauga, Jonathon Amaya and Harvey Dahl.
 Here's Nevada's NFL Draft history:
Year    Rd.    Pick    Player    Pos.    Team
2012    4    120    James-Michael Johnson    LB    Cleveland Browns
2012    5    142    Brandon Marshall    LB    Jacksonville Jaguars
2012    6    184    Isaiah Frey    DB    Chicago Bears
2012    7    227    Rishard Matthews    WR    Miami Dolphins
2011    2    36    Colin Kaepernick    QB    San Francisco 49ers
2011    3    66    Dontay Moch    LB    Cincinnati Bengals
2011    7    204    Virgil Green    TE    Denver Broncos
2009    7    243    Marko Mitchell    WR    Washington Redskins
2007    5    151    Jeff Rowe    QB    Cincinnati Bengals
2006    5    165    Tony Moll    G    Green Bay Packers
2004    3    86    Jorge Cordova    LB    Jacksonville Jaguars
2004    5    149    Maurice Mann    WR    Cincinnati Bengals
2003    3    71    Nate Burleson    WR    Minnesota Vikings
1998    4    108    DeShone Myles    MLB    Seattle Seahawks
1998    6    172    John Dutton    QB    Miami Dolphins
1998    6    175    James Cannida    DT    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1996    2    31    Alex Van Dyke    WR    New York Jets
1993    5    117    Forey Duckett    CB    Cincinnati Bengals
1993    7    196    Brock Marion    DB    Dallas Cowboys
1991    7    189    Bernard Ellison    CB    Kansas City Chiefs
1991    9    233    Treamelle Taylor    WR    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1990    12    331    Demetrius Davis    TE    Los Angeles Raiders
1989    8    196    Charvez Foger    RB    Dallas Cowboys
1989    9    230    Patrick Egu    RB    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1987    5    135    Henry Rolling    LB    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1986    3    68    Patrick Hunter    DB    Seattle Seahawks
1984    2-supp.    45    Derek Kennard    G    St. Louis Cardinals
1984    1-supp.    27    Tony Zendejas    K    Washington Redskins
1984    1-supp.    20    Al Williams    WR    Detroit Lions
1983    3    84    Charles Mann    DE    Washington Redskins
1981    5    136    Eric Sanders    T    Atlanta Falcons
1981    10    276    Frank Hawkins    RB    Oakland Raiders
1978    6    163    Doug Betters    DE    Miami Dolphins
1952    13        Pat Brady    QB    New York Giants
1951    16        Dick Afflis    OT    Green Bay Packers
1949    1        Stan Heath    QB    Green Bay Packers
1949    8        Dan Orlich    DE    Green Bay Packers
1947    2        Bill Mackrides    QB    Philadelphia Eagles
1947    23        Tom Kalmanir    HB    Pittsburgh Steelers
1946    3        Bob McClure    G    Boston Yanks
1945    24        Don Talcott    T    Philadelphia Eagles

Zach Sudfeld, Live In Concert

In the interests of full disclosure, I have never heard Zach Sudfeld sing or play the guitar. Yet, I urge Pack fans to come out tonight to see the Wolf Pack grad (twice over - he earned his Master's degree in December) do just that.

Sudfeld overcame a slew of injuries during his six years at Nevada, coming back stronger than ever each time to enjoy a tremendous senior season that saw him earn all-conference honors from the Mountain West while being named a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award.

Along the way, while rehabbing from one of those injuries, Sudfeld taught himself how to play the guitar. And then he started singing. And then a teammate urged him to try an open mic night at a local establishment and Sudfeld did just that last summer. He put the music on hold during the season but has picked it back up now as he trained for next week's NFL Draft.

Tonight (9:30 p.m. at the Corkscroo) Sudfeld will play and sing one last time before the draft. I've heard he's pretty good. You'll get a chance to see for yourself tonight. And, at the very least, you'll be supporting one of the nicest and most genuine human beings I've ever been around and a great representative of our athletics department and university.

Spring Football Update (Video)

The Nevada Wolf Pack football team recently had its first Spring scrimmage this past weekend.

We caught up with Coach Polian after Monday's practice to get his thoughts on the scrimmage, some positives he took away from it, and what to expect this week and in the second scrimmage on Saturday.

Check out the video here.

Spring football update (video)

The Nevada Wolf Pack football team is just over a quarter of the way through spring drills after Monday's spirited workout at Wolf Pack Park.

We asked first-year Coach Brian Polian to give us an update on what he's seen so far in spring practice.

Polian Opens Doors For Football Alumni

With spring football set to begin at the University of Nevada on Wednesday, first-year Wolf Pack Brian Polian has invited all former football letterwinners to join the team at practices.

Spring practices are closed to the media and general public but anyone who played at Nevada and lettered is welcome at practice.

"One of the points of emphasis for our program this offseason has been connecting with the community," Polian said. "For our players and coaches, that has to start with the people that came before us and represented this program and university on the football field. With that in mind, we want to welcome all former Nevada football letterwinners to spring practice. Any former player that wants come join us and watch a session is encouraged to come out -- we ask only that they try and reach our operations people in advance and let us know that they are coming.  There is a rich history and tradition associated with Wolf Pack football and we are excited to embrace it."

Football alumni can contact the Wolf Pack operations staff at 775 784-6891 or email Andy Vaughn, Director of Football and Recruiting Operations, at

MW, ESPN Announce Partnership

In case you missed it, the Mountain West Conference announced a national television deal with ESPN earlier this week. The new deal, which is in addition to the agreement the conference already has with CBS Sports Network, will mean that up to 44 football and 56 men's basketball games will be televised annually on their various platforms.

Here is the official release from the Mountain West:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Mountain West Conference announced it has reached agreement with ESPN to be a national television rights holder for Conference-controlled football and men's basketball games. The agreement, which begins with the 2013-14 season, was announced by Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president, college sports and Craig Thompson, MW Commissioner.  Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

CBS Sports Network remains the primary rights holder for the Mountain West. As part of this new agreement, CBS Sports Network and ESPN will alternate game selections (after initial picks by CBSSN) in football and men's basketball with ESPN controlling the rights to Boise State home football games. CBS Sports Network retains the rights to Bronco road football contests.

"The Mountain West looks forward to rejoining the ESPN networks beginning with our 15th season this fall," said MW Commissioner Craig Thompson. "Coupled with CBS Sports Network, we anticipate tremendous national exposure over several outlets as the league continues its growth and development."

"The Mountain West Conference and its member schools are committed to competitive excellence in intercollegiate athletics, and we think the strength of our programs on the courts and fields reflect this commitment," said Dr. Anthony A. Frank, Chair of the MW Board of Directors and President, Colorado State University. "We're also committed to providing our student-athletes, alumni and fans national access to our competitions, and we believe this agreement with ESPN is a further step in ensuring this availability and increasing our visibility to fans of college athletics nation-wide."

Between the two networks, up to 44 football and 56 men's basketball games will be televised annually on their various platforms. The CBS Sports Network and ESPN agreements are scheduled to run concurrently through 2019-20.

The Mountain West is in the process of negotiating an agreement for the inaugural MW Football Championship Game with CBS Sports Network, and has retained rights to sell additional packages on the MW Digital Network and to regional/local carriers.

Here are the links to the releases from the Mountain West and ESPN.

Kaepernick Joins the First Lady

Fresh off his appearance in the Super Bowl as the San Francisco 49ers' starter, former Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick joined First Lady Michelle Obama, a host of other prominent athletes and thousands of school children and teachers in Chicago on Thursday, Feb. 28 to launch the Let's Move! Active Schools program, an initiative to bring physical activity back into schools.


(the above picture was tweeted by the First Lady)

Kaepernick is the second Wolf Pack student-athlete to join the First Lady's initiatives to fight childhood obesity and improve the health of children in the nation. He is sponsored by Nike and the company donated $50 million to the initiative. Former Wolf Pack basketball star Tahnee Robinson is involved in the Let's Move! In Indian Country initative, joining Michelle Obama for a clinic at the White House and filming a public service announcement. Click here to watch her PSA.

Kaepernick did a great interview with the NFL Network this week, talking about his experience with the First Lady (he taught her to "Kaepernick" with her) as well as his thoughts on the Alex Smith trade.

More information about Let's Move! Active Schools is available at

New Season Ticketholder Wins 49ers Passes

New Wolf Pack football season ticketholder D'Arcy Ellisen of Escalon, Calif., will get a chance to see former Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick in person next year.

Ellisen is the winner of Nevada's Colin Kaepernick season ticket contest and will receive four tickets and pregame field passes to the San Francisco 49ers' home opener this fall. She was randomly selected in a drawing from all Wolf Pack fans who renewed or purchased new season tickets prior to February 1.

Ellisen said that she and her family first came to Wolf Pack games when her daughter, now a sophomore, decided to attend the University of Nevada. Her family came to check out the university and became fans of the Silver and Blue. The 2013 season will be her first year as a season ticketholder, and Ellisen and her family will make the three-hour drive from Escalon for Nevada home games.

"We really enjoy the games. Nevada is a great place to watch football," she said. "We're looking forward to next season."

Season tickets for the 2013 season are currently on sale, starting at $90 per seat.  Fans can buy season tickets online at or by calling (775) 348-PACK.

The country has gone crazy for Kaepernick

It's been a wild two weeks for Nevada graduate Colin Kaepernick.

His NFL Playoff debut left the country (and the Green Bay Packers) spinning as he set an NFL record with 181 rushing yards to go along with 263 yards through the air in leading the San Francisco 49ers to a 45-31 win.

That led to an appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated for Kaepernick.

He followed that up with a brilliant performance on Sunday, leading the Niners to a 28-24 win over the Falcons in Atlanta. The victory came in comeback fashion as San Francisco trailed 17-0 in the first half. Of course, Kaepernick leading his team to victory after falling behind by 17 points is nothing new.

Now comes a cover appearance on ESPN the Magazine, along with newspapers around the country as the media tells the story of Kaepernick and his background running the Pistol offense at Nevada. 

On Feb. 3 in New Orleans, Kap will become the eighth Nevada player to take part in a Super Bowl and the first Wolf Pack quarterback. New Nevada football coach Brian Polian pointed out just how special it is for Nevada to have a Super Bowl quarterback.

Wednesday night, the Northern Nevada community will show its support for Kaepernick by holding the "largest Kaepernicking party in the world" during the men's basketball game against San Diego State in front of a nationally televised audience on CBS Sports at Lawlor.

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