Nothing could match the surreal coach-firing news conference of Lane Kiffin — when Al Davis busted out an overhead projector to graphically illustrate his contempt — but Tuesday’s media gathering at Raiders’ headquarters came close.
After playfully lulling reporters into believing the near two-hour session was all about how happy he was to promote offensive coordinator Hue Jackson to head coach, Davis once more reminded everyone he may be a wheelchair-bound old coot, but he still pounces like a puma when feeling betrayed. Read More
It’s official: Al Davis has become Howard Hughes.Like Hughes, Davis was brilliant in his early career, turning an Oakland Raiders team that had once lost 19 straight games over two years into a perennial powerhouse that went to four Super Bowls, winning three, in a 16-season run.And like Hughes, Davis has turned into an eccentric recluse in his later years, destroying his own legacy with weird moves. Read More
Forgive the fan of the 49ers who is skeptical.
It’s been so long since anything worked for this franchise that when anything appears to go right, a certain percentage of the faithful are looking for a banana peel.
In 2005, Mike Nolan rode in as the answer. He arrived with an impressive resume, heralded as one of the game’s most-highly regarded defensive coordinators. Sadly, Nolan slowly disintegrated into a quirky, questionable figure who raised eyebrows at every turn. Read More
There have been many invocations of the Bill Walsh legacy with the signing of Jim Harbaugh as the 49ers’ coach, and the comparisons are legitimate.
Walsh knew how important assistant coaches are to an NFL team. In college, recruiting is the most important factor and the successful coaches are the ones who bring in blue-chip recruits. In the pros, teams start with a relatively even playing field, so coaching the players well is vital. Read More
The long ago Pacific Coast League baseball team was called the Hollywood Stars, a name both pretentious and truthful in Southern Cal. Down there, if you’re not signing autographs, you’re asking for them. It’s an L.A. way of life.
So much glamour, so much talent, so much success. They made us paranoid. Nobody chanted, “Let’s go Warriors.” Always “Beat L.A.” Which the Warriors rarely could do. It was Elgin Baylor or Jerry West. Or Magic or Kareem or Shaq. And now it’s Kobe Bryant. Read More
Jim Harbaugh is a quarterback coach who seemingly doesn’t have a quarterback now that he’s come to the 49ers. He might want to talk to Alex Smith and get him to stay.
I know, I know, many 49ers fans would be outraged by that. One of my readers said the 49ers should cut all three of their quarterbacks — Alex Smith, Troy Smith and David Carr — and get a quarterback in the draft.
Easier said than done. This is not a great year for quarterbacks in the draft. There are no sure things like Sam Bradford, Matt Ryan — or Andrew Luck. Read More
I’ve awoken in 2011 to a New Year’s celebration that will never end.
That wall-to-wall day of college football that used to await us all on the first day of the year feels like its lasting 240 hours this year.
The games that once forced us to channel surf through a maze of college football team colors playing in a blur of Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Outback, Blockbuster, Rose bowls has become an endless parade of football nights.Will the seniors on the Oregon or Auburn football teams have graduated by the time these two teams play for a BCS national championship? Read More
The confidence borders on arrogance, which is acceptable. “It ain’t bragging if you can back it up,” Muhammad Ali told us. And if what Jim Harbaugh offered in his comments isn’t bragging, it’s not distant. Now we find out if indeed he can back it up.
The choice of Harbaugh as the new 49ers coach seems perfect. The Niners, once the elite franchise in pro football, have been a shambles, almost an embarrassment for eight seasons. Read More
The Stanford duo of quarterback Andrew Luck and coach Jim Harbaugh has captured the imagination of sports fans, who want to know what their future will be.
From my personal observation, I had expected that Luck would stay at Stanford, and he made that announcement Thursday. Luck is much more than an outstanding football player. He is very intelligent, with a 3.5 GPA at Stanford, and a very well-balanced young man who is serious about his education. Read More
In football, different is dangerous. Gimmicks may get you yards, but they’re just as likely to get you fired. If it wasn’t used by Knute Rockne, Pop Warner or Clark Shaughnessy, then how could it be any good?
Chris Ault had an idea.
“I wanted to do something different,” he said.
Ault is the head coach at Nevada, which plays Boston College on Sunday in the Kraft Fight Hunter Bowl at AT&T Park. Read More