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FIELDER’S CHOICES: Puzzled predictor pursues alliteration answer

A high school in California retired its controversial “Arab” mascot last week.

For some reason, people were offended by a cartoonish costume of a man in a head scarf with a hooked nose and thick facial hair. Then again, it could have been the bellydancing genie who joined him at halftime. I’m not really certain.

The whole incident got me thinking about how lucky we are that Nevada’s high schools don’t have any offensive mascots, unless, of course, you have an issue with Braves (Owyhee) and Indians (Elko).

Or Muckers.

None of those names bothers me, but I’ve always wondered why so many mascots in the Clark County School District begin with the same letter as the school’s name.

Rancho Rams. Valley Vikings. Western Warriors.

It’s like every school built around here before 1990 was named by comic book writer Stan Lee. (Yes, I’m aware that mentioning the alliteration in his characters’ names — Bruce Banner, Peter Parker, Fin Fang Foom, and so on — is nerdy and blatantly ripped off from Raj Koothrappali on “The Big Bang Theory.” It doesn’t make the whole thing any less true, OK?!)

Clark Chargers. Chaparral Cowboys. Bonanza Bengals. The list goes on.

I’ll excuse Las Vegas (Wildcats) and Basic (Wolves) since those schools opened in the 1930s and ’40s, respectively.But what the heck happened at Eldorado (Sundevils)? Did they hold a naming contest in the early ’70s and forget to tell Sunrise Manor’s residents the rule about alliteration?

If anyone knows the history behind this bizarre naming phenomenon, send me a note on Twitter @FielderNVP.

On a different topic, my first set of picks was a resounding dud, which means I have some catching up to do on this week’s slate.

■ Green Valley at Palo Verde — The Gators picked up a nice road win last week against Charter Oak (Calif.), which sounds more like a rehab facility but is traditionally one of the strongest programs in that part of Southern California.

Lost in Palo Verde’s dismal offensive output against Centennial is the fact its defense was pretty darn stout, allowing only 185 yards. The Panthers will need a similar effort if they hope to avenge last season’s one-point loss to Green Valley. … Green Valley by 10.

■ Arbor View at Silverado — If history is any indication, this game could be done by 8:15 p.m. as both programs are allergic to passing. That’s fine with me since my English teacher is giving us a quiz on Monday and I need to study.

I almost feel bad for the Skyhawks, who were the best 3-7 team in the state last year and face five ranked opponents this season. The Aggies won’t have any sympathy, though. … Arbor View by 11.

■ Bingham (Utah) at Bishop Gorman — Coach Tony Sanchez said his team was watching film of Bingham last week on the bus ride to Southern California. Maybe that’s why Gorman stunk in the first half before pulling away from Servite (Calif). Just a theory.

Most Gorman fans want to know whether senior Danny Hong or sophomore Tate Martell will start at quarterback. I want to see whether the Gaels can hold up in the trenches against the physical Miners, who have won 16 straight and are ranked No. 18 by USA Today. … Gorman by 14.

■ Rancho at Las Vegas — This is the 58th version of the “Bone Game,” and the Wildcats are heavy favorites to win their 19th straight in the state’s oldest rivalry. Really, the only suspense is when the running clock will start. … Running clock by 10:00 remaining in the third quarter.

Clark at Desert Pines — These teams met in the opening round of the Division I-A playoffs last season (the Jaguars rolled to a 30-14 victory), and I have a sneaking suspicion this won’t be the only time they butt heads this season.

The Chargers notched a road win over Boulder City in the opener, which was one of the games I got right last week. Desert Pines was extremely impressive in a 48-0 pounding of Desert Oasis, which I got wrong. Very wrong. I learned my lesson. … Desert Pines by 9.

Virgin Valley at Faith Lutheran — The Bulldogs are on their third coach in the past four seasons and defeated Western in their opener. Meanwhile, the defending Division I-A state champion Crusaders got pounded 27-0 by a team from Idaho last week. That means it’s nearly impossible to get a read on either of these teams.

For all we know, Uncle Rico was playing quarterback for the team from Idaho against Faith Lutheran. “How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains?” … Faith Lutheran by 7.

Desert Oasis at Sierra Vista — It’s nice to see that even with realignment, many of the local rivalry games have remained on the schedule. Notre Dame and Michigan can’t figure out a way to play each other after Saturday, but the Diamondbacks and Mountain Lions were able to continue the Railroad Rivalry when Sierra Vista went to Division I-A. Awesome.

Since this series started in 2009, Desert Oasis has won all five matchups against its older neighbor and outscored the Mountain Lions, 230-74. My Magic 8 Ball thinks the streak ends. … Sierra Vista by 3.

Bonanza at Spring Valley — Sweet, another rivalry game. Does this one have a catchy name? If not, I think it should be called the “Fielder Game.” I’m always hanging out on the west side, since there’s some cool places to skate.

I’ll donate my backpack and we can have it bronzed and made into a trophy, like Merlin Olsen’s cleat. We can have it inscribed, too. “Let’s show these fools how we do this on that west side, ‘cause you and I know it’s the best side.”

The Bengals have won three straight against Spring Valley, but the Grizzlies have a solid nucleus back and were competitive on the road in the opener against Moapa Valley. That leads me to believe another streak is going down. … Spring Valley by 3.

Last week: 4-4, 4-4 (with points)

Season: 4-4, 4-4 (with points)

Contact Fielder at Fielder@nevadapreps. com. Follow @FielderNVP on Twitter.

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