Jay Mariotti

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr smiles during a news conference Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers. Kerr is returning to the Warriors' bench after a leave of absence dating to the first week of training camp in October as he recovered from complications following two back surgeries. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Kerr’s return: A sigh of relief

The moment had to be funny because Steve Kerr, at his core,…

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr smiles during a news conference Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers. Kerr is returning to the Warriors' bench after a leave of absence dating to the first week of training camp in October as he recovered from complications following two back surgeries. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
The San Francisco 49ers introduced new head coach Chip Kelly at a press conference Wednesday. How long he’ll be able to coexist with Jed York and Trent Baalke remains uncertain. (Ben Margot/AP)

A Chipper mood, soon to fade

Every 22.1 seconds, it seemed, Chip Kelly was either dropping a famous…

The San Francisco 49ers introduced new head coach Chip Kelly at a press conference Wednesday. How long he’ll be able to coexist with Jed York and Trent Baalke remains uncertain. (Ben Margot/AP)
Colin Kaepernick is not an ideal quarterback for the up-tempo system of new 49ers head coach Chip Kelly, the former Philadelphia Eagles coach who has gone on record as saying he values “repetitive accuracy” in his quarterbacks. (Tony Avelar/AP)

Reality for Kelly: Kap not answer

When he’s done explaining why he hates green vegetables, why he isn’t…

Colin Kaepernick is not an ideal quarterback for the up-tempo system of new 49ers head coach Chip Kelly, the former Philadelphia Eagles coach who has gone on record as saying he values “repetitive accuracy” in his quarterbacks. (Tony Avelar/AP)
Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald reacts after scoring the game-winning touchdown in overtime to lead Arizona over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional playoffs on Saturday. (Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP)

‘Hail Larry’ overcomes Hail Mary

GLENDALE, Ariz. — It was a night that left us numb, if…

Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald reacts after scoring the game-winning touchdown in overtime to lead Arizona over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional playoffs on Saturday. (Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP)
Chip Kelly has dedicated his entire life to football, making himself an enigmatic force in the game. Will that mesh well with Jed York, who likes to think he's running the team like a Silicon Valley tech startup, or will it all flame out like it did with Jim Harbaugh? (Matt Rourke/AP)

Does Chip even know who Chip is?

The story that nails Chip Kelly, or at least illustrates how he…

Chip Kelly has dedicated his entire life to football, making himself an enigmatic force in the game. Will that mesh well with Jed York, who likes to think he's running the team like a Silicon Valley tech startup, or will it all flame out like it did with Jim Harbaugh? (Matt Rourke/AP)
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, right, greets Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) prior to an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (Ben Margot/AP)

Reviled to revered, Kobe says goodbye

And why wouldn’t they explode in appreciative, heartfelt cheers, chanting “Kobe! Kobe!…

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, right, greets Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) prior to an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (Ben Margot/AP)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, left, and Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis address the media after an NFL owners meeting Tuesday. (Pat Sullivan/AP)

Options for doomed Davis: Move or sell

It now should be obvious to Mark Davis that he is an…

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, left, and Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis address the media after an NFL owners meeting Tuesday. (Pat Sullivan/AP)
Alabama head coach Nick Saban, center, holds up the championship trophy with players after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson on Monday. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Saban’s epic call proves he’s best ever

GLENDALE, Ariz. — To call it a “process” — so wooden, so…

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, center, holds up the championship trophy with players after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson on Monday. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Hue Jackson made waves in his one season as Raiders head coach, but he would be a gamble for the 49ers in their rebuilding mode. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)

Hue no coup for stumbling 49ers

So this is what life has become for the 49ers: Battling another…

Hue Jackson made waves in his one season as Raiders head coach, but he would be a gamble for the 49ers in their rebuilding mode. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
Suck it up, San Francisco. The money brought in by Super Bowl 50 will more than offset the personal frustrations.

Super Bowl 50: Big headaches, pure gold

The equation sounds terrifying, I know. El Niño + al Qaeda +…

Suck it up, San Francisco. The money brought in by Super Bowl 50 will more than offset the personal frustrations.
With a new coach coming in, and Colin Kaepernick being the closest thing to a franchise quarterback the Niners have, the team may have no choice but to keep him.  (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Warning: Stuck with Kaepernick?

And here we thought he was just a lightning rod for drama.…

With a new coach coming in, and Colin Kaepernick being the closest thing to a franchise quarterback the Niners have, the team may have no choice but to keep him.  (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Barry Bonds is silhouetted against a mural of Hank Aaron on the outfield wall in Atlanta before a game between the Giants and the Braves on Aug. 14, 2007. (John Bazemore/AP)

Hall momentum for Bonds appalling

What am I missing? Barry Bonds cheated like a fiend, loading his…

Barry Bonds is silhouetted against a mural of Hank Aaron on the outfield wall in Atlanta before a game between the Giants and the Braves on Aug. 14, 2007. (John Bazemore/AP)
Former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, left, and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton are hardly easy decisions to take over the San Francisco 49ers.

Kelly, Payton come with baggage

If you’ve read imaginative ramblings that Larry Ellison will swoop in from…

Former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, left, and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton are hardly easy decisions to take over the San Francisco 49ers.
Jim Tomsula, walking off the field Sunday with assistant coach Tony Sparano after his final game as 49ers' head coach, is one of many reasons why a once-iconic franchise has hit rock-bottom.  (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Payton Place? Not with Baalke still here

Ignore the Yorkaganda and realize this much: Dumping Jim Tomsula, in and…

Jim Tomsula, walking off the field Sunday with assistant coach Tony Sparano after his final game as 49ers' head coach, is one of many reasons why a once-iconic franchise has hit rock-bottom.  (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, right, scores past Iowa linebacker Bo Bower during the first half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016, in Pasadena, Calif. (Lenny Ignelzi/AP)

McCaffrey’s joyride has no limits

PASADENA, Calif. — Welcome to The Year of Christian, 2016, when he’ll…

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, right, scores past Iowa linebacker Bo Bower during the first half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016, in Pasadena, Calif. (Lenny Ignelzi/AP)
Stephen Curry sat on the bench for the second straight night with a bruised lower leg Thursday, as the Warriors took down the Houston Rockets 114-110 at the Toyota Center. Curry could return to play as soon as Saturday. (David J. Phillip/AP)

For Curry, health trumps all now

He may play basketball like he’s supernatural, or E.T. on PEDs, but…

Stephen Curry sat on the bench for the second straight night with a bruised lower leg Thursday, as the Warriors took down the Houston Rockets 114-110 at the Toyota Center. Curry could return to play as soon as Saturday. (David J. Phillip/AP)
Stanford head coach David Shaw believes the College Football Playoffs will eventually expand to include eight teams. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

System works, just not on New Year’s Eve

PASADENA, Calif. - If they began anew, all bracketed and filleted in…

Stanford head coach David Shaw believes the College Football Playoffs will eventually expand to include eight teams. (Jae C. Hong/AP)
Calquarterback Jared Goff celebrates with fans after the Golden Bears defeated Air Force 55-36 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 29, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas. (Ron Jenkins/AP)

Gift of Goff? 49ers may lose that, too

After the follies, the idiocy, the roster exodus, the fan alienation and…

Calquarterback Jared Goff celebrates with fans after the Golden Bears defeated Air Force 55-36 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 29, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas. (Ron Jenkins/AP)
Since inking his $82.5 million deal with the Warriors, Draymond Green has demonstrated “how to be a man,” giving back generously to his alma mater and local charities. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Every day is Christmas for Draymond

Oh, he took the money for damn sure, $82.5 million in July.…

Since inking his $82.5 million deal with the Warriors, Draymond Green has demonstrated “how to be a man,” giving back generously to his alma mater and local charities. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
Raiders safety Charles Woodson, 39, will play his final home game in Oakland on Thursday. (AP Photo/David Richard)

If Woodson is Santa, Davis is Scrooge

It won’t be a silent night, nor will it be a holy…

Raiders safety Charles Woodson, 39, will play his final home game in Oakland on Thursday. (AP Photo/David Richard)