And so it starts again. The best season in San Francisco Giants history must be relegated to history. It is February, and baseball returns, as always bringing its pleasures and its questions.What happens in the year after? Does Buster Posey improve, or is there such a thing as the dreaded sophomore jinx? Does Aubrey Huff take his thong and enthusiasm to another level? How does being named “one of the 25 Coolest Athletes of All Time” — ALL TIME — by GQ magazine affect Tim Lincecum? Read More
It was just like pitching. Rhythm and motion. Except there wasn’t a guy holding a bat 60 feet, 6 inches away from Matt Cain, there was a pin maybe 240 yards away. Or a cup 10 feet away.
The man who didn’t allow a run his last 21¹⁄³ innings of the most memorable postseason in the history of the San Francisco Giants was off the mound Thursday and with his partner on the leaderboard after Day 1 of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Read More
This is the golf tournament less about golf than it is about people.
This is the one Bing Crosby started in the 1930s for his “fellas” in the entertainment business, the one that since 1947 has been as much a fixture on the Monterey Peninsula as the crash of the waves and the sweep of the fairways.
This is the one where handicaps and glasses both are raised and laughs are as prevalent as cheers. Read More
Bumbling Christina Aguilera forgot the words to the national anthem, the bumbling NFL forgot to make sure all the people who had tickets had seats, and the bumbling Pittsburgh Steelers forgot what to do with the football, which is not turn it over.
Cobble together those errors, and the Green Bay Packers found themselves with an exquisite ending to Super Bowl XLV, a Sunday evening that — even filled with mistakes — couldn’t have been more perfect for the Pack. Read More
In the end, sport is about results, not possibilities. Sure, football, the 49ers and the Green Bay Packers would have been different if San Francisco had drafted the man who as a kid always wanted to play in The City — Aaron Rodgers. But they did not, and in retrospect, Rodgers is better off, if indeed the Niners are not.
Here he is, Aaron Rodgers, the kid from Chico, the kid from Cal, the kid who became a man and will quarterback the Pack in Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at Cowboys Stadium. Read More
He was on the podium, talking about another time. Charles Woodson was with the Raiders then, in another Super Bowl. So was Rich Gannon, out of the game now, but standing a dozen yards away, working as a commentator for Sirius radio.
Good times for a team which suddenly went bad, a team which since that appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII eight years ago, hasn’t had a wining season. Memories revived once more with the presence of two stars. Read More
It was one-fifth contrition, four-fifths intention. Tiger Woods was on a seat in the press room, and if it wasn’t particularly hot, there was a mention of “feeling heat again.”
Presumably he meant from being in competition and not in the line of journalistic fire.
Woods comes back to golf today, to the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, his tournament — he’s won it a half-dozen times — at his course. That U.S. Open title of 2008 made it seven victories at Torrey. Read More
Buster Posey on the cover of ESPN The Magazine? A special issue of Sports Illustrated dedicated to the Giants? A decision by Showtime to turn the club into a reality show?
This ain’t Hollywood, baby. If we wanted TV stars, we’d live in Beverly Hills, not the Oakland Hills or on Nob Hill.
A little publicity is fine. We get sick of all the air time devoted to the Yankees, Red Sox and the Lakers. But we don’t need cameras poking everywhere, don’t need to be dissected on Entertainment Tonight. 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
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
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
Jed York is talking again. This time he makes sense, although that may not be enough to make immediate progress.
No wild-hare predictions, like that absurd statement back in October when the 49ers were 0-5 they would win the division, a fanciful thought which made Jed seem out of touch.
Now, only an acknowledgment a change is necessary, because a football team, as any organization — a business, the military, a university — requires competent leadership. Or it fails. Read More
He remembers the spoon being tossed into the metal sink at 4:30 a.m. Keith Smart’s father had finished his coffee and was leaving for work in Baton Rouge, La. Another day had begun, and for a boy, so had an understanding of what life was all about.
Now that he has his dream job, now that Smart is coach of the very NBA team that drafted him, the Warriors, he says he has no need for gifts this holiday season. Read More
It’s been decided. Alex Smith will not be playing for the 49ers next season unless he’s playing for the 49ers next season. Mike Singletary is going to be replaced as coach unless he’s retained as coach. Anything else you need?
“This is a game for madmen,” said the great Vince Lombardi. “In football, we’re all mad.” Are we ever.
Coaches, players, journalists and particularly fans, a group which knows what it doesn’t want — Alex, Singletary — but is unsure of what it does want, other than the return of Joe Montana or Steve Young. Read More
There was a considerable amount of gloating about Tiger Woods squandering a lead down the stretch in his own tournament, the Chevron World Challenge, the “See, I told you he can’t win anymore” crowd gleefully reminding, “See, I told you he can’t win anymore.”
In the old days, before the accident and the scandal, we were advised, Tiger never would have been beaten when he was ahead with six holes to play.
Probably accurate. But more significant is the fact Woods was ahead with six holes to play.For the first time in 13 months. Read More