The NFL public relations machine has set up a year-long sport.
Once, the season ran from September through December, with championship games in January. The draft was in February, and then everybody took a vacation until training camp in July.
Now, there’s a seamless run. The Super Bowl is played in February. Then, the draft combine is held in Indianapolis.
The draft is in April, followed by a string of minicamps and OTAs (organized team activities), almost up to the day training camps start. Meanwhile, there is endless speculation about free agents. Read More
In the next couple days, if not throughout the entire fortnight of the NCAA Tournament, you’re going to read and hear a lot about how weak this year’s college basketball field is — but don’t you believe it.It’s much worse than that. Read More
It is soooooo tempting to think Brandon Belt is going to simply keep doing what he’s been doing.
Even this spring, Belt has been swinging a sweet bat, hitting the kind of tape-measure rockets that leave those around him wide-eyed in wonder.
His home run last week against the Brewers had San Francisco-saavy fans whispering “McCovey Cove.” Read More
Can the Giants repeat as world champions? When I had a telephone conversation with Steven Goldman, editor of Baseball Prospectus (absolutely the best book if you want to know what’s really happening), I asked him two specific questions:
1. What are the reasons you think the Giants could repeat? Read More
Brian Sabean, the man who helped build the Giants into champions, said San Francisco has become a baseball city. Unquestionably. Yet, it is no less a football city, as we were reminded the other evening.The 49ers came first, a Bay Area original in 1946. The 49ers won first, at least in San Francisco, as their Super Bowl victory in 1982 came after titles by the A’s and Raiders. Read More
Why wait for Selection Sunday? March Madness has already arrived. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is planning to hire Charlie Sheen to host a new reality TV show on his network, HDNet. While Sheen’s outrageous tirades and partying with porn stars alongside his soon-to-be ex-wife has gone viral, a star BYU basketball player is kicked off the team for reportedly admitting to having consensual sex with his girlfriend. Read More
Mike Montgomery is the best Bay Area college basketball coach since Pete Newell, and he may be doing his best job ever with this year’s Cal Bears.Montgomery lost almost everybody from last year’s Pac-10 Conference champion team, and he suffered further hits when Max Zhang decided to stay in China and freshman guard Gary Franklin left in early January.The Bears were picked to finish seventh in the Pac-10, but they finished the regular season tied for fourth and will play the team they’re tied with, the USC Trojans, in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament Thursday. Read More
The new deadline for NFL owners to reach an agreement with the NFLPA is Friday night, and the clock is ticking. In the spirit of compromise, here is an equitable split of the four key negotiating points:
1. The $9 billion revenue pie
Players: The players are perfectly happy with things the way they are, probably because they currently receive 60 percent of the league’s revenue. They point out that revenues are at an all-time high, so the owners should have nothing to complain about. Read More
The puzzle that is Pablo Sandoval has been on full display during these heart-warming days in Scottsdale, Ariz. The thick third baseman definitely looks harder around the edges after his winter of workouts. Now, the Giants need Sandoval to be harder on opposing pitchers than he was a year ago, when he posted one of the most disappointing sophomore campaigns in recent memory.The switch-hitter smittenly known as Kung Fu Panda wasForgotten-On-The-Bench Panda last fall as the Giants rolled to their world championship. Read More
The last time the NFL had a work stoppage was 1987. Carmen Policy, who was representing the 49ers at league meetings, remembers it well.
The issue was free agency. Policy came home from a league meeting convinced that the owners, led by Tampa Bay’s Hugh Culverhouse, were determined not to allow it. “They had shouldered Pete Rozelle aside. ‘OK, Pete, you’ve had your say. Now, sit down.’” Read More