So now what do we tell L.A.? That we have as many thugs at our sporting events as they do? That Candlestick Park is every bit as dangerous as Dodger Stadium? That the scofflaws and punks have imposed their will on society, just like in Southern California?
Fans entering NFL games are patted down. As if it does any good. Fights — brawls, really — were prevalent in the stands in the second half of the Raiders-49ers game Saturday. There were shootings in the parking lot.
What good is it to be checked at the gate when the weapons are in the RVs and pickup trucks? Read More
Yes, as Jim Harbaugh pointed out, we love talking about the quarterback position. Why wouldn’t we? Arguably, it’s the most important in any team sport. It’s the position that wins games. Or loses them.
We know quarterbacks. We’ve watched Joe Montana and Steve Young and Jim Plunkett. What we don’t know, after six seasons, is whether Alex Smith is the quarterback who will win games for the Niners. Or whether the less-publicized Jason Campbell will win them for the Raiders. Read More
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Nobody ever doubted Tiger Woods’ intelligence. He didn’t get into Stanford simply because he could break par. A confrontation with Tiger in an interview room is as likely to end with the same result as one on the course. He wins.
Woods was primed and ready Wednesday for what turned out to be a less-than-revelatory session with the media before today’s start of the 93rd PGA Championship. Read More
He walked toward the dugout with his head down, but there was nothing symbolic about his posture.
That’s the way pitchers are supposed to appear as they leave the mound to a standing ovation, which on this very significant Wednesday afternoon, Ryan Vogelsong and the Giants deserved entirely.
Amend that to read Ryan Vogelsong, now 9-1 — yes, you are allowed to suggest adjectives such as remarkable and unbelievable, even if familiar would be more appropriate — and the still-in-first-place Giants. Read More
New coaches and old stadiums. The Black Hole and holes to fill. Pro football is back by the Bay — dare we say welcome? — and now that the talk has shifted from lockouts to wideouts, the major questions are whether there will be a last hurrah for Al Davis and the Raiders and a first hurrah for Jed York and the 49ers.
Hue Jackson didn’t slip in unannounced as the coach of the Raiders, but after the headlines about the 49ers and Jim Harbaugh a week earlier in January, the naming of Jackson, especially since he already was on staff, had an anticlimactic feel. Read More
Oh, how it’s changed. There are the Giants, wildly successful, in the standings and at the box office. And then there are the Dodgers, despised as much by their own fans as they once were by San Francisco — bankrupt, literally and emotionally. The applicable word is unbelievable.
L.A., where the stadium always was as full as Tommy Lasorda’s belly, where the team always was in the race, where they smirked at that town up north — and shivered when they were in that town. Read More
The questions are repetitive. And irritating. What’s wrong with United States golfers, or tennis players? Why are the best in the world from England or Serbia or Northern Ireland?
Maybe a better question is, does it matter? When did the U.S. Open or Wimbledon become like the Giants-Dodgers rivalry or Stanford vs. Cal? Would a U.S. golf fan rather see Rory McIlroy than Boo Weekley? Or Weekley because he’s from America, even if he’s not a major champion?
Do we care about talent or nationality? Are we respectful or merely provincial? Read More
Nick Watney wouldn’t use the term “Sweet Torture” to describe his win a few days ago on the PGA Tour, in the AT&T National. But if it’s good enough for the Giants, very much his team, he’ll be accepting.
With a round and a half to go last weekend, Watney was seven shots behind and shot 27 on the back nine Saturday, second lowest ever, and 62 total. He followed that with a 66.
With no holes to go, he was two shots ahead.
Sort of like the Giants. Until Sunday. Read More
Goodbye, June. Hello, Barry. The idea (blush) the Giants, figuratively had gone south when in actuality they went east across the Bay Bridge? Sorry.
Journalists, like infielders, botch easy ones. Make that E-C, as in error, columnist.Oh ye of little faith. Oh me of little faith.
“It’s going to have to pick up,” was the concession from Giants manager Bruce Bochy after they lost three in row to the A’s in Oakland. “We know it.” Read More
Are you ready for some football? They have it here, in the papers 365 days a year — here meaning all of Great Britain, football meaning soccer. But there’s no lockout, so at least stories have substance.
Yes, Wimbledon, the All England Lawn Tennis Championships, is in full flower — and full of strawberries and cream, priced at $4 for a small bowl anywhere on the grounds.
Serena Williams on Thursday, despite being forced to play among the common folk out on Court 2, aka Graveyard of Champions, overcame Simona Halep of Romania, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Read More
The career began on an autumn evening 17 years ago in a tournament at the old Oakland Arena. Venus Williams doesn’t even want to think about it ending, although for a while Wednesday others did consider the possibility.
This is what happens in women’s tennis when you’re older than 30, when you’ve had a series of injuries and when, as Wednesday in a second-round match at Wimbledon, you’re losing big in the first set. Read More
This isn’t a June Swoon, it’s an “Oh gawd, how do we get back to last October?”
It’s a season of Murphy’s Law baseball, with the people who aren’t getting injured unable to get out of slumps.
“It’s going to have to pick up,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We know it.”
You do? Maybe last year was the aberration. This year is the irritation. There’s nothing to be done about Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez, except to accept their absence. It doesn’t do any good wishing they were here, because they’re not here. Read More
This Open is closed, shut tight, impenetrably by the new genius of a golfer, Rory McIlroy. Record numbers, remarkable play. And now the focus shifts to the West, to San Francisco, to the Olympic Club, where America’s golfing championship will be on display next year.
We thought what Tiger Woods did at Pebble Beach in the 2000 U.S. Open was unapproachable — 12-under par and a 15-shot margin. But this weekend, McIlroy not only approached, he obliterated.
In 111 years, there’s never been an Open so bewilderingly fantastic as this one in the suburbs of the Nation’s Capital. Read More
What do you think Tiger Woods was doing Thursday? Possibly watching the U.S. Open as many others were, knowing he should have been playing, and would have been playing, were it not for that knee injury?
Was he sprawled on the couch, grabbing a potato chip or a Gatorade when he might have been grabbing a wedge?
Or was he a avoiding the telecast from Congressional Country Club in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., trying to escape another reminder of his situation? Read More
In the mind’s eye, there’s Payne Stewart standing in disbelief on the severely sloped 18th green at San Francisco’s Olympic Club, his 8-foot birdie putt attempt rolling 25 feet below the hole. Ah yes, the U.S. Open, agony and very little ecstasy.
That was then — and might be again next year when the Open returns to Olympic — but this is now, the 2011 Open at Congressional Country Club in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. The bewilderment and suffering are much the same. Read More