On Saturday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will complete itself by welcoming into its hallowed halls the greatest professional football player in the history of the game.
Yes, such a bold declaration is certain to draw howls of protest from those who believe players at different positions, and from different eras, can’t be accurately measured against one another. Despite every protest, however, I will stand firmly behind Jerry Rice as the best player to ever lace a cleat. Read More
After the offseason began with false rumors of Tom Cable’s imminent firing and then moved along to the release of embattled quarterback JaMarcus Russell, things have settled down in Raiderland — a rarity over the past few seasons. Cable is firmly in control of the team and Russell is out of the picture. While a playoff berth in 2010 is a long shot, the Raiders should have enough pieces in place to show steady improvement on both sides of the ball. Read More
A little of this, and a lot of that ...
- David Stern should be ashamed of himself. For days, the NBA commissioner stood by silently as his league took center stage of the sports world — in its offseason — thanks to LeBron James’ self-glorification ceremony on ESPN. Then, two days after the special, he declares it to be “ill-conceived” and in poor taste? Read More
He’s here, watching Roger Federer succeed and thinking about the Raiders’ inability to succeed.
He’s here, raving about Serena Williams picking up her game and moaning about the Warriors picking up Ekpe Udoh in the NBA draft.
Opinions. Brad Gilbert will offer them. He’ll offer them for pay on ESPN, where at this Wimbledon and other tennis events, he serves as an analyst. Read More
Now it is the Sharks’ turn to overcome the Curse of the Bay-bino. No, our teams didn’t sell Babe Ruth — just traded Willie Mays and Mark McGwire — but they’ve been undone by a jinx, the Left Coast version.
Fame of late has been achieved less through suspension bridges than suspended belief. They did what? We’re the kings of the “Here We Go Again” syndrome.
That is, for those teams even successful enough to make the postseason. Read More
Evidence suggests Al Davis is no longer working alone in making personnel decisions for the Raiders.
Davis would never admit that, of course, but the drafting and trading decisions this offseason don’t seem like the work of the same man who drafted Darrius Heyward-Bey last year, traded for cornerback DeAngelo Hall or signed wide receiver Javon Walker as a free agent. Read More
Hurry! Get your draft grade in now! You can’t call yourself “expert” writer-anchor-talk show host-fan unless you’re able to pass judgment on the talent and performance of 200-plus new NFL players from about a hundred colleges in over a dozen conferences that you’ve never seen play ... by the time they leave the podium! Or at the very least, by the time their flights land in their new cities! Read More
Forget the rhetoric of taking “the best player available.” It’s time for the Raiders to draft for need, not speed. And it’s a time for the 49ers to use their two first-round picks to pump up an inconsistent offense and shore up a shaky defensive secondary. Read More
The 49ers have had a good offseason, capped by the trade for kick returner-wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. Now, the next test is here, the NFL draft, spread over two nights and a day this year the latest example of wretched excess by the NFL.
This draft presents a special challenge to the Niners — and to Trent Baalke, who will run the draft with Scot McCloughan gone. Read More
If JaMarcus Russell wants to remove his name from the list of all-time busts, he needs to take a look at the careers of the great Raiders quarterbacks.
In order, I’d rate the best this way: Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett, Rich Gannon, Daryle Lamonica. Only Plunkett and Lamonica had strong arms, but all four had great leadership qualities. Read More