It wasn’t pretty, but Greg Roman remembers what happened this time last year.Distinctly.
“I vividly remember walking out of the locker room talking to Joe [Staley, a 49ers offensive tackle],” the 49ers offensive coordinator said, recalling the 24-3 drumming his team received via the New Orleans Saints in last year’s preseason opener.
“I felt pretty good about how the guys handled the situation, didn’t see anybody panic ... so, felt good about that. But the execution was obviously not where we needed it.” Read More
Six years removed from being among the highest-drafted safeties in his class, Donte Whitner has no qualms sitting next to a rookie.
“Right now, I sit next to Trent Robinson in the meeting,” the 27-year-old said of his fellow 49ers safety.But Whitner isn’t just sitting. Read More
Dashon Goldson, despite his surname and the signing of his franchise tender, didn’t exactly strike gold Thursday.
The 49ers safety, who recorded a career-high six interceptions along with his first Pro Bowl appearance last year, reported to training camp after agreeing to a one-year, $6.2 million franchise tender deal.
But it wasn’t quite the deal the 27-year-old sought.
“Of course I wanted something long-term,” Goldson said. “But it ain’t all bad.”
It certainly isn’t. Read More
The distinct whiff of nitro is something rather hard to forget — even for a 4-year-old.
That, all of 25 years ago, was Spencer Massey.
Quite fittingly, it will be 25 years ago this weekend when the first NHRA drag races were held at the raceway in Sonoma. And come this weekend, Massey too will be there. Read More
Andy Chan first witnessed it 14 years ago, and has seen it hundreds of times since.
It’s the simple sight of his former student, Shannon Rowbury, jumping up and down two to three times before each and every race. But four years ago at the Beijing Olympics, the spectacle was different. Read More
Fencing, despite its masked and padded exterior, hurts.
And not in the physical sense.
“You get hurt emotionally, more than anything else,” Greg Massialas said. “Because it’s still a confrontation. It’s life or death, in a sense.”
He should know.
A fencing veteran of three Olympics (1980, 1984 and 1988), Greg was turned away each time — and each time without hardware. But after coaching last year’s USA fencing team, Greg will again return to the grandest of international stages this month for the 2012 London Games. Read More
OAKLAND —But they won’t.
Rather, their respected fighters, Andre Ward and Chad Dawson, two of the finest American pugilists today, will.
In what is touted as one of the premier boxing bouts of the summer, the 168-pound champion Ward will stake his title against Dawson, the best 175-pounder in the world, on Sept. 8. Read More
There was a time, and not a long time ago, when the smaller men of mixed martial arts had no place among their larger, celebrated counterparts.
And it was Chris Cariaso’s fortune to be born a smaller man.
“Really, it’s just a dream come true to be able to fight on this stage,” Cariaso said, who’ll fight on the undercard of Wednesday’s UFC event at San Jose’s HP Pavilion. “I never thought that fighting in the UFC was ever an option.” Read More
Given its recent findings in the ring and out, boxing as of late has been more “science” than “sweet.”
It was in a science lab, after all, where Lamont Peterson, Andre Berto and Antonio Tarver, all prominent prize fighters, tested positive for one performance-enhancing drug or another — all within three months.
And with said fighters, among others, having tainted their boxing résumés, Nonito Donaire — who works with nutritionist and convicted steroids peddler Victor Conte — is looking to keep his clean. Read More
Through the first 73 minutes of play, the game was a bit of a laugher.
The Earthquakes, without their top scorer, Chris Wondolowski, were down 2-0 to the reigning MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy with less than 17 minutes to play.
But then, courtesy of a Steven Lenhart header, San Jose scored. And then scored again — and again.
The dramatic 3-2 stoppage-time win the Earthquakes stole at the Home Depot Center last month was the last time San Jose shared the playing field with their Southern California rival. But that will change Saturday. Read More
A professional prizefighter she may be, but monetarily, Ava Knight has little prize to show for her toils in the boxing ring.
Her current training quarters — a 7-by-15-foot staff room above Oakland’s Boxing for Health gym — justify that.
There’s no shower. No kitchen. Not even for the women’s IBF flyweight champion of the world. Read More
It's been 10 years, but it doesn't take much for Jon Busch to relive the chills.
“Just the feeling when that final whistle blew,” he said, recalling the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final in 2002. “And the chills you get — I mean, I still get chills talking about it right now — knowing that you just won a trophy.”
The Earthquakes goalkeeper was a member of the Columbus Crew in 2002 when they edged the Los Angeles Galaxy by scoring a single goal to hang “on for dear life” for the coveted Cup victory. Read More
There aren’t too many in NASCAR who favor a road course over the traditional oval.
But there are a few.
“I didn’t like them until last year, cause I didn’t run good at ’em,” driver of the No. 20 car, Joey Logano, said, laughing, hard. “So when you come to a track that you run good at, you automatically love the place.”
That place is the site of today’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 race at the raceway in Sonoma, one of only two road courses in the Sprint Cup Series. Read More
For a moment, AJ Allmendinger thought that maybe God was in his ear.
“That’s a good corner,” the voice told the Los Gatos native while he was driving the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger at the Daytona 500 in February, kicking off the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Only it wasn’t God. It was the voice of Allmendinger’s usually quiet boss, and renowned race car owner Roger Penske.
A “Thank you ... Roger” was all Allmendinger could muster for the man he’d always wanted to race for. Read More
Judging from the previous four years he spent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Josh Johnson appeared foreordained to a continued quarterbacking career decorated in mediocrity. In that time, the Bucs’ 2008 fifth-round draft pick amassed just five starts, appeared in 26 games, and threw twice as many interceptions as he did touchdowns. But for the 26-year-old Oakland native, the two-year contract he signed with the 49ers last May is somewhat of a return to normalcy. Read More