I love former Mayor Willie Brown. Although still in the beginning stages, he is doing a good job with Gary Radnich and Eric Davis on “49ers Postgame Live” on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
Radnich, as always, is very good at everything he does. CSNBA is lucky to have him. Davis is dry and he is what he is, basically an ex-player taking up space, but Willie lights up the set.
His infectious smile and wit are fun to watch. He is also not afraid to speak his mind. Last week, after another Raiders disaster on offense and a horrible showing by JaMarcus Russell, the well-dressed Brown declared: “I might be a better quarterback.”
Hey Willie, you have a point there. Right now, JaMarcus just stinks. The part that is annoying to most of the Silver and Black faithful is that he does not appear to care and lacks true passion while playing the game.
In two games, he has a 35 percent completion percentage. Now, I understand there is not a great supporting cast around him, but this guy is getting worse with each outing.
But I digress. The subject matter here is the fact I enjoy the colorful Willie Brown. I like him when he is on KPIX (Ch. 5) with Phil Matier and every time he gives a radio interview.
A few years ago, I ran into Willie at one of his numerous lunch spots in The City. While waiting for our respective lunch partners, we engaged in a conversation about football, Al Davis and various other local sports topics. This guy is mentally sharp, well-preserved and a very cool dresser. At the restaurant, I was meeting an old friend who was bald and boring. Willie was meeting a very nice, and extremely good looking, younger woman. Some guys have it made! In closing, keep up the great job and isn’t TV fun?
- As good as the 49ers postgame show is, I question the Raiders’ show on Comcast SportsNet California. Radio icon Tony Bruno is super. It is wonderful for him to be on TV in the Bay Area. Every morning he is sensational on his bit with Gary Radnich on KNBR (680 AM).
Jim Kozimor is OK, but has no real Bay Area presence because he works in Sacramento. However, I don’t get Bill Romanowski. He seemingly does no homework and makes some real questionable comments. Last week, he made the very “insightful” comment that “offense sells tickets, defense wins games and special teams wins championships.”
Gee Bill, I coached for over 25 years and never heard that saying before. Another gem was while assessing the horrific play of Russell, Romo said: “When you complete balls in college, you ought to complete them in the NFL.” I don’t think so Bill. Defenses and coverages in the NFL are quite complex and sophisticated. While at LSU, JaMarcus was in a shotgun formation 75 percent of the time. He did not see the types of defense he now sees every Sunday. As already stated, JaMarcus is not playing well, but give me a break with your comments.
Star athletes show they can dance too
I wish I could dance and did not have a bad Achilles tendon. I might even be able to qualify for a shot at “Dancing with the Stars.” I am a dreamer. It seems every female is gorgeous on this show and to be totally honest, most of the dances are quite sexy to say the least. Although most of the participants appear to be having a great time, I really wonder what is going through their minds while dancing. Bravo to the athletes who danced this week. Michael Irvin, the Bay Area’s Natalie Coughlin and Chuck Liddell certainly did not embarrass themselves.
- Nice job last Sunday night by Jon Gruden, not in calling a game, but in an interview with Peyton Manning on ESPN’s “Sunday Conversation.” As stated before on these pages the day ESPN hired the little guy, he is a natural and will be a TV star if he opts to stay away from coaching in the future.
- What is wrong with Herschel Walker? He is starting to remind me of Brett Favre. This week he announced he will be joining the mixed martial arts world. Is he nuts? I don’t care how many weeks he trains and how much he prepares for this, somebody will knock his brains in.
- Great pickup by ESPN this offseason when they hired Adam Schefter away from the NFL Network. Adam is a top-shelf guy who has great connections. He adds more credibility to the already respected ESPN crew of Mort (Chris Mortensen), Sal Pal (Sal Paolantonio) and of course my favorite, John Clayton. Schefter was tip-toeing the first few weeks on the job, but is now in midseason form.
- The United Football League this past week announced its complete broadcasting schedule as well as it’s broadcasting team. Dave Sims, a veteran and very solid radio man will be the play-by-play person. Doug Flutie, let go by ABC this spring, will provide the color analysis. Ex-NFL quarterback Kordell Stewart and Anita Marks will roam the sidelines. Versus will bring the games to your home. The first TV game will be Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. with the California Redwoods traveling to Sin City to play the Las Vegas Locomotives. In case you were wondering, the Florida Tuskers and the New York Sentinels make up the rest of the league. Just wondering who thought up those names. I have no clue what a Tusker is.
Welcome back, Joe. The NFL Network recently hired Joe Theismann to be part of a new show, “Playbook.” Working alongside ex-NFL prime-time broadcasters Brian Baldinger and Sterling Sharpe, Theismann will break down tapes and analyze the weekend’s upcoming games. Good move by the network. This guy is way too smart and talented not to be on the air. Ah yes, the politics of TV are so much fun to observe!
Who said it
“I don’t regret the decision, but I miss it,” the Hall of Fame Raiders coach and recently retired broadcaster said about leaving the game. Madden still stays active with numerous radio appearances around the country. He can be heard on KCBS
(740 AM) every morning during the
8 a.m. hour. Madden is as colorful and informative as ever. He is missed, but the game must go on.
“My question to you is that you don’t know what’s best for our football team,” the Washington Redskins rookie linebacker wrote on his Twitter page this week after calling the great Redskins fans “dim wits.” He also made the dumb comment that most fans work at McDonald’s. What an idiot this clown is! As a rookie who doesn’t play, you should be seen and not heard. Reason No. 506 that I hate Twitter, tweeting, Facebook and the rest of that garbage.
One to watch
OK, we all know that football dominates the airwaves these days. But let us not forget about golf. Today at 10:30 a.m., NBC will broadcast The Tour Championship from Atlanta. Mother Nature played a bad trick on the course earlier this week with an unreal amount of rain. This is the final event in the FedEx Cup playoffs and it carries a purse of $7.5 million, not to mention the $10 million the FedEx Cup winner receives. Obviously Tiger is in the mix and I hope he wins it.
Sports by numbers
36-48 New footballs used in an average NFL game
12 ‘K’ (Kicking) balls used in an average NFL game
0 Balls that fans leave an NFL game with
Artie Gigantino spent 25 years as a coach at the major-college and NFL levels, was lead college football analyst for Fox Sports Net for seven years, was with CBS for one year and was an executive with the Raiders for three years. E-mail him at email@example.com.