Walcoff: Why isn't No. 80 in a historical place?

What are the 49ers waiting for?

Jerry Rice is telling me he still doesn’t know why his jersey hasn’t been retired. “Flash 80” was in Berkeley for Cal’s pro workout day and says he will give new Niners receiver Isaac Bruce his No. 80 if he wants it because Steve Largent did the same for him when Rice played for the Seattle Seahawks.

Noble move, but somebody remind John York that it’s been more than seven years since Rice left San Francisco and eight years since Steve Young retired and neither has had their jersey put where they belong. The last 49er to have his number retired was Joe Montana and Eddie DeBartolo made that happen in 1997.

Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised at York’s shoddy treatment of Red and Gold heroes of yesteryear (remember how he forced Bill Walsh out the door). When the history-challenged owner first took over the team, he wanted to have all the Super Bowl trophies taken out of the front lobby. Yeah, I know, it’s Eddie D. envy.

» This month in college basketball, “We are the Champions” gets played almost as often as the national anthem, even Freddie Mercury is tired of hearing it and he’s deceased. Last week, we crowned 32 regular-season conference winners.

Now we’re into championship week with close to 30 conference tournaments and next week it’s NCAA Tournament time, which means it’s conceivable that we could have almost 60 champs crowding the floor for the Big Dance.

The Pac-10 Conference has all 10 teams in its tournament. Why would anyone want to see Oregon State, 0-18 in conference play, get a shot to extend its season? And why should third-ranked UCLA beat itself up for three games in three days when the Bruins know they will be a top seed on Selection Sunday no matter what happens at Staples Center this weekend? It’s time to dump the conference tournaments.

» Isn’t it great to see the cloning program going so well down on the Farm?

First, Stanford sent identical twins Jason and Jarron Collins to the NBA, then twin tennis stars Bob and Mike Bryan became the best doubles team in the world and now the look-alike Lopez brothers, Brook and Robin, are giving the Cardinal the best high-low twin towers in the country. Too bad Stanford didn’t find a way to clone Tiger Woods so he would have some real competition on the PGA Tour.

» At least Cal men’s basketball is consistent. The Bears win about 50 percent of their games, they graduate 50 percent of their players, attendance was about 50 percent capacity at Haas Pavilion this season and now fans want to know if the glass is half-full or half-empty under embattled coach Ben Braun. The answer? The glass is half-full … of Jack Daniel’s.

» Sure the Warriors are the NBA’s most exciting team, but they will continue to be a tease-you-never-quite-please-you club until they get bigger and tougher in the paint. It’s hard to believe that coach Don Nelson — who as a player won three of his five championships with those great Boston Celtics teams of the 1960s anchored by the incomparable Bill Russell — has a blind spot for the value of a big man.

Rich Walcoff is the sports director at KGO Radio (810 AM) and can be heard weekdays between 5-9 a.m. on the “KGO Morning News.” He can also be reached at richwalcoff@abc-sf.com.

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