Did the 49ers catch a break by drawing the 2010 Super Bowl champions for next week’s NFC divisional-round playoff game at Candlestick Park?
With the uncertainty surrounding Justin Smith’s health, some are suggesting that the 49ers are actually better suited to take on the high-flying Green Bay Packers than the ground-gashing Seattle Seahawks. Here’s the argument in a nutshell: Vic Fangio’s run defense is vulnerable with a one-armed Cowboy on the line; thus, Marshawn Lynch’s legs pose a greater threat than Aaron Rodgers’ one-dimensional Packers. Read More
Jim Harbaugh is a man of many labels. Genius, egomaniac and master motivator are just a few of the tags he’s picked up in his brief NFL coaching career. Here’s another one if the 49ers do make a Super Bowl run this month: psychic.
At the risk of being called Mitt Romney (by Democrats) or John Kerry (by Republicans), I’m conceding that Colin Kaepernick is the right quarterback for the 49ers heading into the 2013 playoffs. But this isn’t a flip-flop. It’s the reality that the 49ers are a different team without Justin Smith. Read More
Former Sharks forward Torrey Mitchell is expected to make his debut with the San Francisco Bulls at the Cow Palace tonight against the Colorado Eagles.
The Minnesota Wild forward joined the Bulls on Monday after signing a standard ECHL player contract with the club.
“It feels good,” Mitchell said. “I’m excited to be a part of a team again.”
Mitchell said he’s conditioned himself throughout the NHL lockout, so jumping on the ice tonight shouldn’t be a problem. Read More
The Beatles say, “you get by with a little help from your friends,” and the motto was certainly true for the 49ers on Sunday.
The 49ers (11-4-1) limped into the 2012 playoffs with an underwhelming 27-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park in Week 17. Still, the team is entering the second season in the same position it held one year ago — as the NFC’s No. 2 seed with a first-round bye — because the Minnesota Vikings knocked off the Green Bay Packers with a last-second field goal at Mall of America Field in Minneapolis. Read More
On the surface, Stanford and Wisconsin appear to be mirror images of each other. But the teams traveled vastly different paths to reach the Rose Bowl this season.
The 99th version of the game known as the “Granddaddy of Them All” will feature two smash-mouth offenses, two of college football’s best running backs and a pair of quarterbacks who started the season as third stringers. But the programs colliding at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on New Year’s Day are arriving from opposite directions. Read More
Stepfan Taylor is the walking embodiment of football coach David Shaw’s motto: “Believe in the process.” He earns his touches by perfecting the details and soon he’ll leave Stanford as the most decorated running back in school history.
When Taylor steps off the field at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Tuesday, he’ll wrap up his college career as Stanford’s all-time leading rusher. If he can punch the ball into the end zone against Wisconsin, he’ll also break his tie with Toby Gerhart and become the Cardinal’s career touchdown king. Read More
Kam Chancellor is a menacing presence in the Seattle Seahawks secondary. At 6-foot-3, 232 pounds, he’s the prototypical strong safety for the 21st century. He’s big enough to knock down a tight end lurking in the middle and quick enough to catch up with a receiver who’s racing down the sideline for six points.
Vernon Davis is Chancellor’s counterpart at tight end. Teams are looking for bigger safeties like Chancellor because they need to counteract the Davis-like players who create mismatches with their linebacker size and receiverlike athleticism. Read More
Terrell “Terray” Rogers devoted himself to helping people in need. After a turbulent childhood, he co-founded Peacekeepers, a nonprofit crisis intervention group, so he could teach young people how to avoid the mistakes that he made while growing up.
The five-year anniversary of Rogers’ murder outside of a high school basketball game at Sacred Heart Cathedral is fast approaching, but the spirit of his mission carries on. It lives within his daughter, Tierra Rogers. Read More
Oh, how things can change in 168 hours.
Last week, Jim Harbaugh was a genius, Colin Kaepernick was crowned as the rightful heir to Joe Montana and Steve Young’s throne, and the 49ers looked capable of beating anybody in the NFL.
But the Seattle Seahawks let the helium out of the balloon Sunday when they handed Harbaugh his most lopsided loss (42-13) in 33 games as an NFL head coach. Read More
Shayne Skov watched his Stanford teammates prepare for last year’s Fiesta Bowl from the sideline. The notoriously energetic linebacker learned the meaning of patience as his ruptured left knee recovered from ACL surgery.
“With guys like that — it’s hard on them,” coach David Shaw said. “They only know one speed. They only know how to go.” Read More
They had a big win in New England on Sunday night, but the 49ers can’t step off the gas in Seattle this week.
Such is life in the NFL, where every game counts. The same can’t be said about the NBA, where a team like the Los Angeles Lakers can waffle through the first three months of the season and then turn it on for a title run in the spring. It’s even less true in the NHL (during the years it actually plays), where a team like the Los Angeles Kings can squeak into the playoffs as an eighth seed and then hoist the Stanley Cup two months later. Read More
Jorge Villagran is used to the sight of teal jerseys spilling out of his restaurant on December nights. Zapata’s is usually brimming with patrons who throw down beefy burritos, slam back frosty beverages and rock out to live music before heading across the street to HP Pavilion to watch their beloved Sharks.
But on a recent Saturday night, the place was nearly empty.
“It’s really depressing,” Villagran said. “You really think that something like this is never going to happen. You feel secure at this location, like there’s always going to be hockey.” Read More
Hockey finally returned to the Shark Tank this week, but the San Francisco Bulls couldn’t pull out a win for the home crowd.
The Stockton Thunder defeated the Bulls 6-4 in front of 12,881 hockey-starved fans in the first ECHL game played at HP Pavilion. The Bulls are currently holding sixth place in the Western Conference standings.
Despite the loss, coach Pat Curcio said the game provided an incredible experience for his team. Read More
If you like offensive football, you’re probably in Colin Kaepernick’s corner. Prefer to play it safe? Alex Smith is your man.
The 49ers’ 41-34 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday is an ink blot test for the Kaepernick-Smith quarterback controversy: you’re going to see what you want to see. While the win reaffirmed the 49ers’ status as a Super Bowl front-runner, this debate won’t be completely resolved until the ball is snapped in January. Read More
Andrew Crescenzi scored the game-tying goal with less than three minutes to play and Peter Sivak shelved the winner in overtime as the San Francisco Bulls knocked off the Stockton Thunder 4-3 at the Cow Palace on Thursday.
The win snapped a two game losing streak and moved the Bulls (10-14-1-2) into sixth place in the ECHL’s Western Conference. Read More