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Loyalty found on tube, not in our sports world

I woke up Tuesday very confused.

NBC has either canceled "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" or put it on indefinite hiatus, so I may never know whether Matt and Harriet get back together or the Danny and Jordan relationship works out — and, yes, it matters to me.

Hey, it can't be all sports all the time, so when I get connected to a television drama, I expect a network to reciprocate that loyalty.

Funny, I don't demand the same loyalty from my sports teams. I barely blink when coaches bolt, athletes ruffle feathers, colleges move into a new conference or a pro team loads the van for a new city.

For example:

NORV GOES TO SAN DIEGO

And 49ers fans weep in unison as though the key to next year's Super Bowl appearance has broken off in the door.

Somehow, the Faithful believes the development of Alex Smith will be stifled while the resurgent 49ers offense again will be reduced to a stumbling, fumbling state of confusion.

The reality is much different. The 49ers' offense ranked 26th in the NFL last season and was that high only because Kevan Barlow's exit allowed Frank Gore to emerge.

Meanwhile, Smith is bright and will have no trouble learning the tweaks and nuances the new offensive coordinator will bring to Monster Park.

If the 49ers themselves are grieving over the loss of a coordinator, the team is worse off than anyone could imagine.

MOVE OVER, WAYNE ...

... because a new King is coming to Vegas.

All reports from the NBA's All-Star Sin City Weekend indicated that not only is Las Vegas ready for an NBA franchise, but the NBA is ready to take on The Strip.

Count the chips.

Commissioner David Stern said the league isn't going to expand and the casino culture no longer would be considered a detriment to any NBA team wishing to relocate.

Meanwhile, the Maloof brothers — increasingly unhappy with their arena situation in Sacramento — sparkle in their role as unofficial/official weekend hosts and can get a state-of-the-art arena built in Vegas with a wink in the right direction.

Unless Sacramento can find a way to get a new arena built and solidify those plans within the next year or two, a caravan of moving vans will be leading the Kings into the desert.

MJC TO THE BIG EIGHT

The three-year effort of Modesto Junior College athletic director Bill Kaiser pays off next fall, when all the Pirates' programs except football move out of the Central Valley Conference and into the Big Seven (creating the Big Eight.)

While the knee-jerk reaction will be to bemoan the loss of conference affiliation to traditional rivals Columbia, Merced and Fresno City, those will be replaced in time by new rivalries with San Joaquin Delta and the Sacramento schools.

The Pirates will continue to battle Columbia in basketball and volleyball, and Modesto and Merced will continue to find excuses to not play each other.

One thing about the new conference that won't work as well is its basketball schedule. While the CVC plays on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Big Eight stages games on Tuesdays and Fridays. Modesto, forced to compete with high school games, will have to prepare itself for a major financial hit at the box office.

STATE OF THE BARRY

It's quite OK. All we learned from Tuesday's annual Barry Bonds-comes-to-Arizona news conference was that the slugger says he's in great shape and expects to exceed the historical expectations placed on 42-year-old baseball players.

For the record, the most home runs ever hit during a season by someone who was 42 on opening day is 18, set by Carlton Fisk in 1990.

Bonds abruptly ended his 12-minute news conference when questions turned from baseball to off-field matters.

Of course, less than two weeks ago baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced that his sport had successfully dealt with steroids and that it was time to move on, so who is Bonds to argue with that?

Norv, the Kings, MJC and Barry Bonds — all pretty straightforward stuff.

So for more confusion, I turn back to the entertainment world, and the rumblings over this movie "The Number 23" that's coming out Friday.

Jim Carrey certainly has made huge strides in his acting ability, but don't you think portraying Michael Jordan is a bit of a stretch?

To comment, click on the link with this story at www.modbee.com.

Bee staff writer Brian VanderBeek can be reached at 578-2300 or bvanderbeek@modbee.com.

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