If there were any lingering doubts after last season about 49ers quarterback Alex Smith’s ability to perform consistently and win games in the spotlight, he sent a clear message with a resounding win this past weekend at Lambeau Field: 2011 wasn’t a fluke.
Smith turned in one of the better games of his career in outdueling the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, and he put the Niners at the forefront of the list of Super Bowl contenders. Read More
The summer and fall of 2002 produced one of those magical sports periods for professional sports teams in the Bay Area. The Giants, A’s, 49ers and Raiders all reached the postseason and had fans buzzing.
It was the year that spawned the movie “Moneyball” after the A’s incredible ride to the AL West title, which included a jaw-dropping 20-game winning streak. The Giants had the World Series in their grasp before a cruel series of events that October left San Francisco fans spewing Scott Spiezio’s name like it was a swear word. Read More
Since the opening of the 2011 season, to say the Raiders’ organization has undergone a transformation of epic proportions could be viewed as an understatement.
Owner Al Davis died in October, Oakland traded for Carson Palmer later that month, Reggie McKenzie was hired as general manager in January, coach Hue Jackson was fired and coach Dennis Allen hired. Oh, and the club missed the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season in there too. Got all that? Read More
At times, the NFL preseason should be called the overreaction season. The 49ers were down 17-0 in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos? Someone call Chicken Little because the sky must be falling.
Alex Smith fumbles a snap from under center that Denver recovers? See, Smith’s hands ARE too small after all.
Partly because of the NFL’s booming popularity, fans are craving football like a hot Thanksgiving meal, putting every snap under a microscope it doesn’t deserve to be under. Read More
Black and orange vs. blue and white. Jon Miller vs. Vin Scully. The Cha Cha Bowl vs. the Dodger Dog. Fog vs. smog.Baseball in the Bay Area has a different edge to it when the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers are battling into September.
But in recent years, the rivalry has fizzled a bit. For a rivalry to thrive, you need two clubs that both have something on the line, and that simply hasn’t been the case.
It’s been since 2004 — does Steve Finley’s walk-off grand slam ring a bell? — that the Dodgers and Giants have finished 1-2 in the NL West. Read More
The news hit the Giants and their fans like a ton of bricks Wednesday: Outfielder Melky Cabrera suspended 50 games for testing positive for testosterone. That takes him through the rest of the regular season and either five games into the postseason or next year.
It became the latest lesson from baseball that when you are seeing something on the field that is almost too good to be true, it probably is.
Cabrera was in the midst of his best season in the big leagues, hitting .346 and being mentioned in the NL MVP discussion. Read More
Earlier this week, Buster Posey became the first baseball player to have his own mobile game when “Buster Bash” was released.
The timing and title of that game couldn’t be any more appropriate because since the All-Star break, Buster’s been bashing anything and everything thrown his direction.
He extended his hitting streak to 11 games Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals and his three-run homer in the first inning gave him five homers in his past six games. Read More
It’s usually about this time of year, the trading deadline, when opposing baseball teams come knocking on A’s general manager Billy Beane’s door looking to raid his roster and bolster their own postseason pushes.
Beane has obliged at times, while other years he has elected to wait until the offseason to overhaul his roster, such as after the 2011 campaign. But the one constant is that the A’s have been sellers in recent years, one way or another.
But this year should be different. Read More
Tiger Woods began Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Open five shots behind the leaders, but he still felt he had a chance to make a run at his fourth Open title.
After playing the first three holes 4-over-par Sunday, any chance of an epic Woods comeback disappeared with the fog rolling in off the Pacific Ocean. Woods played well after his start, finishing the final 12 holes in 3-under, but it was far too little, too late as he turned in a 73 to finish in a tie for 21st place. Read More
Webb Simpson was hardly a favorite coming into the U.S. Open. Once he was six shots off the pace after 36 holes, he even became an afterthought.
But when it comes to the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, apparently that’s exactly right where you want to be.
Simpson became the latest underdog story to triumph at the Lake Course, firing a 2-under-par 68 in the final round Sunday to finish with a total of 1-over 281, winning the U.S. Open by a single shot over Graeme McDowell and Michael Thompson. Read More
In the first four U.S. Opens held at the Olympic Club’s Lake Course, the final rounds were filled with unpredictable and riveting moments.
And if that history, coupled with Saturday’s third round of the fifth Open held in San Francisco, is any indication of what’s to come today, it could be another frantic finish.
As Tiger Woods’ name quickly slipped from the top of the leaderboard, Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk’s steady and solid play pushed the pair into a share of the lead at 1 under par heading into the final day. Read More
Seventeen-year-old Beau Hossler came into the U.S. Open with a goal of finishing as the low amateur.After a round of even-par 70 on Saturday and three days of standing toe-to-toe with the best golfers in the world at the Olympic Club, he has had to reassess that initial plan.
“Absolutely,” Hossler said when asked if he thinks he can win the Open. “There’s not a doubt in my mind. ... I still have the goal to be low amateur, but my goal now is to win the tournament.” Read More
While much was made of the marquee grouping of Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson, only one of the big three delivered: Tiger Woods. The other two fell victim to the dangers that lurk at the Olympic Club’s Lake Course in the first round of the U.S. Open on Thursday.
Watson fired an 8-over-par 78, while Mickelson carded a 76, leaving two of golf’s biggest stars in danger of missing the cut unless things turn around drastically today.
“[The course] is a lot better than I am,” said Watson, who won the Masters in April. “That golf course is too tough for me.” Read More
Michael Thompson is familiar with the Olympic Club having finished runner-up in the U.S. Amateur held on the Lake Course in 2007.
He’s also familiar with San Francisco, staying with a family on Lombard Street both for that event in 2007 and again this week for the U.S. Open.
The one place he’s not so familiar with? The top of the Open leaderboard. Read More
In the build-up for the U.S. Open, much as been made of the brutal opening stretch of holes which are expected to grind up players one by one and spit them out.
But while the start will be rugged, the closing two holes provide scoring chances that could bring the championship down to the wire.
"Generally, we’re just trying to hang on coming and make a bunch of pars," Tiger Woods said this week. Read More