Monday, April 10, 2017

College Basketball: A Distinct Sporting Event

NCAA basketball is different from that of the NBA. Free throws are closer, the time to cross the half line is longer, games are just two halves instead of four quarters, players get a maximum of five personal fouls instead of six, etc.

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One of the biggest draws to college basketball is its setting. Players will, for most, be identified with their schools until the day they pass on unlike in the NBA where a player can be with a team one season and an entirely different one the next -- only to return as a hero to the original team. (That you, Lebron?) There's a certain passion in the NCAA that just doesn't exist in the NBA because students feel very strongly about their schools. When students do their school cheers and chants, they do it as one. There's this feeling of being part of something much bigger plus knowing who you really are since you even speak the same cheers.

Add the fact that there's more urgency to each game. There are just 34 games in the NCAA while the NBA has 82 (!). Not to belittle NBA squads but they just get more chances to win than the NCAA teams do.

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What about the fact that an NCAA play has a maximum of 35 seconds? Teams can set up a proper defense. With only 24 seconds in the NBA, players tend to go one-on-one more, and the one-man show is more apparent rather than team defense-offense.

Apparao Mukkamala feels strongly about the University of Nevada Rebels, his school's basketball team. He's a college student who likes talking about sports and his other interests on this blog.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Early History Of Poker

There is considerable debate about the origin of poker. Some historians believe that the game of poker that was first played in the United States had its roots in the Persian game of As-Nas. This was evidenced by the five cards dealt to each player from a pack of twenty cards.

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More modern schools of thought began to disagree with the theory of poker coming from As-Nas. Historical records show that there was once a French game called poque, which was quite similar to poker – and was being played in and around the region where poker is said to have come from.

As far as the name went, there are several theories. The Irish had a word Poca, meaning pocket. The French word of poque, came from the German word pochen, meaning to brag or bluff.

Another popular theory to the origin of poker is the Renaissance game called primero, and the English game, brag, which came from the French game bretan. All these games had bluffing as a means to win, so it’s unclear where poker really came from. Many historians who no longer want to debate agree that poker is a hybrid of all these games.

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More modern gaming experts don’t subscribe to these historical claims at all. They believe that poker was born and bred in the United States, specifically the Mississippi River in the 1800s. They also contest that what sets poker apart is the betting system that none of the older games had.

I’m Apparao Mukkamala, a theater student at UNLV. One of my favorite pastimes is gambling. Check out this Twitter page for more on my passion.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Rebels: A Brief Look At Their Early History

The Rebels are a collegiate football team with a sizable and loyal following. Although relatively young compared to other collegiate football programs in the country, the Rebels have seen their share of glory. Let’s take a closer look at the early years of this well-loved football team.

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Bill Ireland was tapped to be the first coach of Nevada Southern University’s football program back in September of 1968. The very first game the Rebels played was against St Mary’s Gaels at Cashman Field, in Las Vegas. The Rebels won that game 27-20. The turnout for their very first game was 8,000 which suggested that it was an anticipated debut. They continued on to have an outstanding rookie season in the league, going undefeated until their final game, where they lost 17-13 to Cal Lutheran.

In the season that followed, they fought tooth and nail in their first game against their rivals, the Nevada Wolf Pack, and lost 30-28. They would avenge that loss however, the next year with a 42-30 trouncing of the Wolf Pack.

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In 1971, the Rebels played against Utah State of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA). This was to be their first game opposite a Division I school. The Rebels would fall 27-7, but gained a fair amount of experience from the loss. A month later, they would welcome Weber State in Las Vegas Stadium, the Rebels’ new home. They lost again. Bill Ireland resigned as head coach after a disappointing 1972 campaign that saw the Rebels win only one game out of ten.

Hello there! I’m Apparao Mukkamala, a senior theater student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a true Rebel at heart. Check out this page for more updates.