A place for me to talk about San Francisco Bay Area sports.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Catching up...

Probably nobody reading here, I've been remiss in not being better in posting here, but family, work and the Giants dominate my time. But here goes my thoughts of the moment...


Been wanting to say for about a month that I hope Dorsey gets a chance to play regularly but right when I was about to he gets injured in his first start. He didn't win in college for no reason, there must be talent there. Also, he's a local boy so I wanted him to enjoy the chance to lead the Niners. That said, I think Alex Smith is the future of the franchise, I don't see how someone with his intelligence and physique won't eventually put it all together and get it done for us. My ideal scenario is Dorsey buys Smith time to learn in the background and get comfortable with everything involved with being a professional athlete and getting used to the NFL style of play, which is much different than college ball. Dorsey will do well enough to get traded to a team needing a QB and give us either 1st round draft picks or a good player or two in return. OK, my ideal scenario is him winning the Super Bowl but that ain't gonna happen, I'm trying to be pragmatic and realistic here.


Is Al on his deathbed? He settles two longstanding lawsuits, one concerning the ownership of the team (consolidating his power) and the other with the city of Oakland concerning the tickets and the whole marketing scheme. He eats lawsuits for breakfast and chase them down with another lawsuit when he is done with dinner. Not that I really care about them, I could care less, though I did hope that they would return to Oakland because devoted fans like that deserved it, I understand devotion like that. Hopefully they will finally take root and stay but I'm not holding my breath.

Franchise Moves

Speaking of which, this leads into my rant for the day, I'm really tired of sports franchises taking their teams and moving them to another city. I wish a city would have the balls enough to say enough's enough, if you want city and county and state money buying you a nice stadium, we get the right to the team name for that sport if there is ever a move. Has there been anybody who isn't a long term fan choke everytime they say "Phoenix Cardinals", "St. Louis Rams", "Los Angeles Raiders", or the worse one for me, the "Indianapolis Colts"? I will allow the new franchises the leeway that this clause only holds if the team stays at the location for at least 20 years but after one generation in one location, the area "owns" the nickname. I was glad that Cleveland was able to hold onto the Browns teamname, I would have seriously considered ignoring their sport if that happened.

Besides, the moving owners are missing the point: there is nothing about the name that really appeals to the new area anyway, they are just happy to have the team, but if any nationwide fans already have team caps and t-shirts and uniforms of the team, they won't buy any. But with a new team name, new fancy and inventive coloring and design, like how the Sharks did their their's with the teal, fans across the nation will buy the shirts and stuff.

Plus think of the connection with local fans by chosing a name that befits their locale. Think the Utah people really care about Jazz? They probably would have been happier with something related to their Mormon religion. Or even perhaps make it teach you something, like all those Mormon sermonette ads I used to see with my Saturday morning cartoon shows. Indianapolis probably would have been happier with something like "Indianapolis Racecars" or even a cross-promoting "Indianapolis 500's" though I guess the owner of that name would want something for sharing that with the football team. Might even get people who aren't even interested in the sport buying the stuff if it is linked into the local scene in a significant way.


Too bad injuries have really affected their season thus far, especially losing their goalie, Nabakov. I think they will improve as the season progresses and push into playoff contention - they are currently 11th but only 5 points away from the last spot and 8 from the fourth spot, which would give them home advantage, at the quarter-season mark, with 19 games played. Plus almost every team ahead of them have played 1-4 games more, so if the Sharks are able to win in the extra games they have left relative to these teams, they would easily catch and pass these teams. Too early in the season to worry much, they are in the hunt, it's a long season.


Too early to say anything definitively about them other than the obvious: when Baron Davis is healthy and playing to the best of his abilities, the Warriors are a serious playoff contender and when he is hobbled by an injury, they are a serious pretender, struggling to find an identify. Too bad Beidrins had an injury, I was hoping to see him play more, see him take his game up a notch now that he's had one year to absorb both a new culture and the NBA. Nice to see Jason Richardson continued his good play from last season into this season, he is earning his big contract, unlike other busts the GSW has had in the past, like Joe Barry Carroll, Billy Owens, etc. Todd Murphy is down a bit in rebounding and scoring but I like that he's shooting much better, the other stuff can wait for now if he is still hitting for a high percentage of his shots, he's also brought up his play with his big payday last season as well.

On the other hand, Dunleavy is looking like a bust after signing for big money, but I think he is probably trying to do too much to justify his big contract, vs. just being a lazy son-of-a-gun, so I expect him to turn it around and continue his nice career improvements this season once he gets over the money jitters. Luckily Pietrus has picked up his scoring a bit, along with his shooting percentage and other areas, so that helps make up for Dunleavy's drop in production. But as much as I like Adonal Foyle as a person, it still looks like the Warriors gave him too much, though at least he has pushed up his rebounds to more acceptable levels, but that's partly a function of increased playing time, the highest in his career thus far. I think his rebounds need to be near 9/game and his blocked shots near 3/game for him to justify his salary because he's not doing much offensively and thus his value is strictly in rebounding and affecting the other teams shots. However, I trust Mullie's decisions thus far and assume that Foyle is doing what Chris Mullin thought he would be doing as his stats appear to be approximately the same both pre- and post- contract signing.

Nice play from the rookies thus far, especially Chris Taft, he fell from a middle first rounder to a second rounder, but has been playing well and motivated (one of the big negatives on him, if I recall right, during the draft), and doing well in his role, both in scoring, rebounding, and blocking shots. I think he will prove to be a good find. Aaron Miles and Monta Ellis has only gotten garbage time, so nice play is stretching it, especially for Ellis with just one game he got into, but I think the two have played well given the limited time they have both been accorded thus far into the early season, my gut likes both acquisitions.


Who cares, they might be moving soon to Houston. Besides after the league manipulated them out of losing Donavan Landon for nothing and allowing him to move to the LA Galaxy, the team he wanted to play for, I gave up what little interest I had in following them. They made the playoffs but eventually a loss to the Galaxy kicked them out of the playoffs. As I noted above, hopefully they will change the name in Houston to something appropriate to the area, can anyone really get into the "Houston Earthquakes"? That would as absurd as these choice names I created: "Utah Alcoholics" or "Seattle Sunshines" or "Peoria Oceans".


Just have to give shout outs to a couple of local ladies, Paula Creamer and Christina Kim, Paula for taking on Sorenstam on rules of the game in the ADT Championship and Christina for winning the LPGA Tournament of Championship the previous week, her second career win, she had been struggling all this season. Too bad Paula faded after a nice first round, perhaps the confrontation with Sorenstam took her out of her game mentally as she had two bad middle rounds before finishing nicely with a 1-under 71 to finish tied for 6th at 288 (even) for $36,333. Christina ended up next, tied for 9th at 289 (+1) for $22,750 in the ADT Championship, for a nice two week money total of $160,750. She had played poorly the first three rounds but made up a lot of ground with a closing 67 (-5). Closing out, Julie Inkster, another local, finished 4th in the TOC and tied for 22nd in the ADT.

The Big Game

Last but not least, the piece de resistance, Cal and Jeff Tedford beat the Stanfurd Junior University Cardinals 27-3 on their home turf, which will be renovated soon because it is such a huge claptrap, in the 108th Big Game. This was Tedford's fourth consecutive Big Game win in his first four year tenure as Cal's head coach, a feat that hasn't been done at Cal since 1921, and the last time Cal has won four in a row since 1939. Steve Levy led the team as the starting QB, an improbable story that is often the mark of a Big Game: unable to find a niche anywhere on the team previously, whether as QB, fullback, or special teams, the junior returned to his original QB position as a third-stringer when the season started, he didn't start one game all season and won in his first start as QB on his father's birthday, with his mom and dad in attendance, with Cal's bowl chances hanging in the balance. As his reward, he will get to start the Bowl game. Defense ruled the day as Cal sacked Stanfurd QBs 9 times and held them to zero TDs again for the second consecutive year.

Go Bears! Roooooooll Ooooooooon Yoooooooou, Beeeeeeeears!



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