In the world of mixed-martial arts, a single punch can change a match, of even the trajectory of a career.
Cain Velasquez learned that first hand in his last fight seven months ago. Velasquez, who trains out of American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, was knocked out by a vicious right hand from Junior Dos Santos just 1:04 into the fight, costing him his UFC heavyweight championship and an unblemished record. Read More
Life has certainly changed in the past 12 months for Rory McIlroy.
A year ago, the laid-back, 22-year-old golfer from Northern Ireland was under heavy scrutiny after a meltdown in the final round of the Masters left questions of how he could handle the pressure of contending for a major championship.
McIlroy answered in emphatic, record-setting fashion by demolishing the field at Congressional Country Club to win the U.S. Open just two months later, his first career major. Read More
The defending state champion City College of San Francisco men’s basketball team landed the top seed in the Northern California bracket of the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships on Monday.
CCSF’s title defense will begin Saturday at home against the winner of Wednesday’s early-round game between Mendocino and Contra Costa. Read More
The hushed tones and somber mood in the 49ers’ locker room following Sunday’s soggy NFC Championship Game at Candlestick Park made a loud statement: There would be no sixth trip to the Super Bowl for San Francisco.
Instead, the hoots and hollers came from the visiting locker room just down the hall. Read More
One seemed destined to be a star from birth, blessed with the genes from an NFL quarterback in Archie Manning.The other faced immediate questions coming out of a spread offense in college at the tender age of 20 and was tasked with filling the shoes of Joe Montana and Steve Young. Read More
The revitalization of Alex Smith’s seemingly sinking career has become one of the most intriguing and unlikely storylines of the NFL postseason.In one calendar year, Smith morphed from an afterthought as a starting QB option to an efficient, smart signal-caller who led the 49ers to one of the most exciting playoff wins in franchise history.And while Smith’s saga steals the lion’s share of the headlines, it’s just one piece of the intricate puzzle that has become this version of the 49ers. Read More
The 49ers are 5-7 all-time in NFC championship games. Here’s a breakdown:Jan. 11, 1998 at Candlestick ParkGreen Bay Packers 23, 49ers 10Highlights: The last NFC title game played in The City certainly wasn’t one to remember. Brett Favre and the Packers were too much to overcome. The difference in the contest came in the running game. Green Bay ran for 106 yards, while the Niners managed just 33 yards on 18 carries. Read More
For the first time since January of 1998, the NFC championship game will be returning to Candlestick Park.The 49ers will host the New York Giants, who knocked off the defending champion Green Bay Packers 37-20 on Sunday, on Jan. 22 for the right to go to the Super Bowl.The 49ers are the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs, while the Giants are the No. 4 seed. Read More
Defense has been the backbone of the dramatic turnaround the 49ers have made this season, so it only seems fitting it played a huge role in Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff game.
The game will be remembered for Alex Smith’s fourth-quarter heroics, but none of that would have been possible without the ball-hawking defense. Read More
After years of torment from fans and a steady stream of critics lining up to question his every move, Alex Smith finally got his chance to shine on the NFL’s big stage.
And boy did he deliver.
Smith engineered two fourth-quarter touchdown drives, including finding Vernon Davis for a 9-yard touchdown with nine seconds left to vault the 49ers to a riveting 36-32 victory over the New Orleans Saints in a wild back-and-forth NFC divisional playoff matchup at Candlestick Park. Read More
Five months ago, when the 49ers and New Orleans Saints met in the first game of the preseason, few would have imagined the two would see each other again in the playoffs. While it was just an exhibition game, the Saints humbled the 49ers 24-3 and had many thinking San Francisco was the leader in the clubhouse for the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. Read More
Much like the Green Bay Packers last season, the New Orleans Saints entered the postseason as the hot team.
The Packers, who won three road playoff games last year, were able to turn the momentum they gained late in the season last year into a Super Bowl championship.
On Saturday at Candlestick Park against the 49ers in an NFC divisional playoff game, New Orleans will see if it can keep pace.
“It’s a very formidable challenge for our team on both sides of the ball and special teams this week,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. Read More
One of college football’s longest-running rivalries is in for a big change in 2012, and neither of the participants are thrilled with the end result.
The Pac-12 Conference unveiled its football schedule for next season on Wednesday, and Cal and Stanford will meet on Oct. 20 in Berkeley. Traditionally, the Big Game has always been held in mid- to late November, toward the end of both teams’ schedules. Read More
1. Back in the playoffs
The year 2011 saw a return to glory for one of the NFL’s most decorated franchises, as the 49ers shocked the league to dominate the NFC West and clinch their first division title and playoff berth since 2002. The 49ers, winners of five Super Bowls, had fallen off the national radar, but thanks to a reborn Alex Smith at quarterback and a ferocious defense, San Francisco is back. Whether or not they can recapture the postseason success of the past remains to be seen in the coming weeks. Read More
While the Warriors already knew they’d open their season Christmas night, they learned Tuesday they’ll be spending a whole lot of time at home during the opening months of the season.
Golden State will play its first four games and 17 of its first 26 games in the friendly confines of Oracle Arena.
The NBA unveiled its condensed 66-game schedule Tuesday after the lockout wiped out a large chunk of games. As a result, teams will be playing games on consecutive nights more frequently. The Warriors are slated for 17 back-to-back games and one back-to-back-to-back stretch. Read More