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What's Plan B with Raiders Las Vegas stadium deal on shaky ground?

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 19:40:04 UT

Raiders will look great in Levi’s, crystal ball says Sorry to ruin the suspense, but the Raiders will wind up playing at Levi’s Stadium. Raiders’ owner Mark Davis is getting Las Vegas’d. Initially Adelson wanted a piece of the Raiders in return for his own $650 million stadium kick-in and his work arm-twisting Nevada to cough up $750 million.  

They’ll need fans to withstand heat in Las Vegas

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 23:00:06 UT

The NFL could borrow a gimmick used by wrestling promoters back in the days before that sport packed massive arenas. There might be 500 fans in the huge arena, so the promoters would jam all of us into one section, place the TV camera on the opposite side, and on the telecast, it would look like a full house. [...] the old wrestling crowd-pack plan wouldn’t work, because of TV blimp shots. For what you’d pay to take your kid to one crummy 49ers game, you could buy a TV the size of a garage door and a season’s worth of guacamole and beer. Could be some voodoo economics involved, but never underestimate the ability of politicians to suck up to an NFL team, using taxpayer money. After Al Davis and Oakland worked out the deal to bring the Raiders back to Oakland in 1995, Davis added last-minute financial demands.

Michael Crabtree’s contribution to Raiders too big for words

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 03:18:56 UT

Crabtree caught eight passes for 96 yards and a touchdown, then declined to discuss it with the media. [...] zone, Crabtree put his right hand to his face mask and instantly drew a 15-yard penalty for what the ref considered a “throat slash.” In reality, Crabtree’s gesture was homage to the Kenny Powers character in HBO’s “Eastbound and Down” comedy series. Lousy mime, off-color celebrator, media-stiffer, but Crabtree catches footballs: 39 this season for 461 yards and six TDs. Amari Cooper, Carr’s other go-to receiver, has 40 catches for 614 yards, and one touchdown. Cooper has more pure speed, Crabtree has hands like crab claws covered with Stick-um. Crabtree actually had a drop Sunday, on a short third-down pass, but just before halftime, he made a circus catch of a 56-yarder from Carr. Carr tells his receivers that when a play breaks down, run like hell and he’ll look for them.

Ayesha Curry packs ‘em in at 49ers’ tailgate

Thu, 6 Oct 2016 23:14:24 UT

Ayesha Curry packs ‘em in at 49ers’ tailgate Best-selling author Ayesha Curry packed ‘em in Thursday at Levi’s Stadium, co-hosting Michael Mina’s game-day tailgate party at Mina’s restaurant. Stephen Curry’s wife said her book is going great, two weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. Ayesha Curry and Mina are teaming up on a project called “International Smoke,” combining their barbecue skills.

Raiders’ Khalil Mack gets first sack of season, fires up defense

Tue, 4 Oct 2016 04:10:33 UT

Raiders’ Khalil Mack gets first sack of season, fires up defense BALTIMORE — Through the first three games of this season and much of the fourth, Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack was like an annoying fly, buzzing around, getting swatted at, but not landing. Mack got his first sack of the season — much anticipated, eagerly awaited, by him and everyone who has been touting him as the NFL’s Next Great Sack Master. Sacks aren’t everything, but that’s like saying looks aren’t everything in a beauty contest. [...] he sacked himself 15 quarterbacks and became the toast of football, a big-time, magazine-cover emerging star. Early, (the Raiders’ defense) was clicking, and everyone was playing ball and everyone was doing their job, and so you’ve seen the quarterback hits, you’ve seen the holding calls (on the Ravens), you’ve seen all those things because we were gonna get (to the quarterback) regardless. “It’s always great to get the quarterback,” Mack said, know what I’m saying?

Kaepernick has company in pregame protest

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 03:00:59 UT

Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem kneel-down protest hasn’t achieved fever pitch among his teammates and other NFL players, but it certainly hasn’t petered out, either. Kaepernick took a knee during the anthem before Monday night’s 49ers-Rams game at Levi’s Stadium, as a huge American flag covered the playing field. On the Rams’ sideline, wide receiver Kenny Britt and defensive end Robert Quinn held their fists in the air, presumably in support of Kaepernick. “Tonight’s game was simulcast on ESPN and our broadcast rights are only for the game and no pregame activities,” said Stephanie Linton, assistant news director at KGO.

Facing Cavaliers on Xmas again

Fri, 12 Aug 2016 03:15:34 UT

Facing Cavaliers on Xmas again The Warriors will get their first shot at the NBA champion Cavaliers on Christmas Day, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers visit the Warriors on Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Jr. The NBA schedule released Thursday afternoon has the Warriors opening the season at home Oct. 25 against the Spurs. The Warriors host the Thunder, Kevin Durant’s former team, Nov. 3, and the Warriors make their first appearance in Oklahoma City on Feb. 11. The Warriors will be facing several players and one coach from last season’s Golden State team that won 73 games and lost in the NBA Finals to Cleveland. The Warriors play at Portland on Nov. 1, their first look a Festus Ezeli in a Trail Blazers uniform. On Nov. 4 the Warriors play in Los Angeles against the Lakers, now coached by Luke Walton, who coached the Warriors through the first half of last season while Steve Kerr was out of action. The Dallas Mavericks, new home of Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes, play the Warriors in Oakland on Nov. 9, and the Warriors’ first meeting against the Clippers, who signed Marreese Speights, is Dec. 7 in Los Angeles. The Warriors have a couple of rough stretches in February and March. From Feb. 2 through Feb. 13, they play five of six games on the road, and from Feb. 27 through March 11, they play seven of eight games on the road. The Warriors will have two five-game trips, including one from Feb. 27 to March 2 that takes them to Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, New York and Atlanta. The Warriors finish the regular season by playing six of their final seven games at home, including the finale April 12 against Walton’s Lakers, assuming they are still his Lakers. Scott Ostler is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: Twitter: @scottostler Warriors’ 2016-17 schedule Opponent at New Orleans at L.A. Lakers New Orleans L.A. Lakers at L.A. Lakers at L.A. Clippers at New Orleans L.A. Clippers at L.A. Clippers L.A. Clippers New Orleans L.A. Lakers

49ers’ new radio voice is Kate Scott

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 22:37:54 UT

Kate Scott, Bay Area sports media personality, joins the ranks of gender-barrier busters when she does radio play-by-play for Sunday’s 49ers-Texans preseason game. Gayle Sierens worked one regular-season game for NBC in 1987, and Beth Mowins did two Raiders’ preseason games on TV last season and will do the same this season for KTVU-KTVU-plus.

Michelle Wie misses cut at Women’s Open; Sung Hyun Park leads

Sat, 9 Jul 2016 05:49:44 UT

Michelle Wie misses cut at Women’s Open; Sung Hyun Park leads In women’s golf, players tend to peak early and practice endlessly. To bend an old Yogi Berra quote, maybe they get old young. Like Michelle Wie, age 26, fading to the background in big-time golf. Six-feet tall with a distinctly athletic presence, golf royalty with a butter swing. [...] the golf ball no longer goes where Wie commands it to go. On Friday, Wie, who scored a huge career win at the 2014 U.S. Open, missed the cut by one stroke at at CordeValle, shooting a 71 after Thursday’s 78. The halfway leaderboard does have the whiff of youth. Sung Hyun Park, 22, leads the pack at 8 under par after Friday’s 66. Amy Yang (age 26) and Mirim Lee (25) trail by two strokes, and superteen Lydia Ko (19), ranked No. 1 in the world, lurks tied for fourth, three strokes off the pace. Old age, or something equally sinister, is creeping up on Wie, and also on Paula Creamer, 29, who won the Open in 2010 but has faded since. Wie was in a somber mood as she exited the course Friday. “Disappointed, obviously,” she said, stopping for a one-minute interview. Played my heart out out there, just couldn’t get it going. Just had bad bounces, putts I thought were going to drop. (I) definitely built confidence, even though the score didn’t show it. Definitely played better than my score. Everyone else — the other players and the fans in the galleries — remember. When Wie won the Open in 2014 it looked as if she was finally making her big breakthrough to superstardom. [...] nothing. Wie’s slide from superstar to cut-misser has the whiff of the Tiger Woods saga, minus the sordid scandal, and with much less public fanfare. Like Woods, Wie started playing golf seriously not long after she started walking and has viciously pounded a trillion golf balls. “When you’re smashing golf balls from 5 or 6 years old and your body is not really dialed in to do that, you probably at some stage down the road are going to suffer the consequences,” David Leadbetter, Wie’s long-time swing coach, recently told Golfweek. Maybe he puts his students on a swing count, something Wie’s very-involved parents probably never did. Wie spent part of last season with a boot on her left foot and a brace on her neck, and got a cortisone shot in her left wrist. “You just got to go out there and keep believing in yourself,” Wie said Friday, but the glazed look made her words unconvincing. Creamer, who turns 30 next month, also has fallen off the superstar track she was once on, when she won four LPGA events in ’08 and that Open in ’10. [...] they’re both still out there looking for it, Creamer from near the back of the pack and Wie from somewhere down the road.

Among women’s golf power trio, only Ko fares well at Open

Sat, 9 Jul 2016 04:12:59 UT

Among women’s golf power trio, only Ko fares well at Open For the first two days of the U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle, they were the power trio, the three young rock stars of the LPGA Tour, rockin’ the valley course together. Lydia Ko (age 19, No. 1 in the world) shot a six-under-par 66 Friday to go 5 under for the tournament, three shots off the second-round lead. [...] Canadian sensation Brooke Henderson (18, world No. 2) and top-ranked American player Lexi Thompson (21, world No. 4) were both at 3 over, 11 strokes off the lead, though they did manage to make the cut. Being U.S. Women’s Open week, it’s very mentally tough so we try to stay relaxed as much as we can. Just to know that (with the birdie on 4) it was the first time I was under par for the tournament kind of put myself in a positive position. Brooke’s been playing great and coming off a win in Portland, Lexi’s been playing great this year, the highest-ranked American player, so yeah, we were expecting big fans, and fans came out to watch us. Henderson won the PGA Championship this year, tying with Ko in regulation and then winning on the first playoff hole. Kang was raised in Southern California and attended Pepperdine briefly before dropping out with subpar (not good) grades and a desire to turn pro.

Game 5 letdown shows how much Green is needed

Tue, 14 Jun 2016 06:49:30 UT

The Cavaliers are dragging the NBA Finals back to Cleveland, kicking and screaming. The Warriors hold a 3-2 series lead, and if they manage to win the series they inherit the crown of greatest team in sports history, name your sport. [...] if the Cavaliers dig and scrape and win the last two games, they have pulled off the greatest comeback in Finals history, the only team ever to win after being down 3-1 (31 previous teams failed in that quest). [...] what’s mainly at stake is an NBA championship, and the rest will get sorted out by us experts, deep analysts and assorted geniuses. Between them, the Warriors and Cavaliers have managed to turn a dreary and stale Finals into something lively and amusing, potentially epic. [...] nobody wants to be on the wrong side of epic. James said Game 4 in Cleveland was a “must win” for his guys, and they lost, but here they are, still alive, thus destroying the hard-won credibility LeBron built up with Warriors’ fans. [...] did the short playing time of Andrew Bogut, the key to the Warriors’ interior defense that was as absent Monday as Green. The media — TV and other stalkers — were preparing to cover Green’s triumphant march from the Coliseum to Oracle after the basketball game, when he would be allowed back inside Oracle to celebrate a second NBA title with his teammates. [...] that the money monster has been fed, the boys in power can sit back and let the games be decided by the players, which will be kind of fun. Many experts laughed when the Cavaliers said their plan in this series was to run with the swift Warriors, but in the third quarter Monday the Cavs scored 14 fast-break points, to zero for the local swifties.

Warriors vs. Cavaliers: Thugs vs. Crybabies

Sun, 12 Jun 2016 23:18:42 UT

An NBA Finals that was taking on the look of a dreary spectacle for all but the zealous Warriors’ fans has veered violently in a new and exciting direction. Inside Oracle, we can only hope the game lives up to the build-up, which has featured back-and-forth accusations by both teams, a poop-storm at league headquarters, phony (maybe) rumors about Stephen Curry injuries, body blows to the legacy of LeBron James, and a deft Twitter jab from Ayesha Curry. Steph’s wife heard LeBron James at Sunday’s media session repeatedly saying he was “taking the high road,” after he played a significant role in the initial incident and the subsequent trial and conviction of Green. Ayesha tweeted; “High road: the invisible bridge used to step over said person when open floor is available left to right.” The wife of Kiki Vandeweghe, the league official in charge of discipline, tweeted that Kiki’s decision caused a #MaritalArgument. The Warriors are miffed at the Cavaliers’ complaining after Game 4 about the uncalled fouls committed by the Warriors, and at James’ fanning the flames with his postgame comments. [...] on the Oracle scoreboard for Game 5, instead of “Cavaliers” and “Warriors,” it will read “Crybabies” vs. Finals series, playoff series, it’s physical. A deeper issue is that the Warriors believe that if James had brushed aside his dust-up with Green as part of the intensity of the Finals, the League would not have felt compelled to turn Green’s swipe at James’ groin into a O.J.-level trial and suspension. When Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova hacked Andre Iguodala in the groin in Game 1, Iguodala brushed it off afterwards as a guy just trying to make a living. Shaun Livingston took a vicious elbow to the head in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals and said nothing. [...] does Livingston believe that the players should keep their gripes to themselves after games and not goad the league into taking disciplinary action? If so, where was that leadership when Green put himself in jeopardy of suspension early in the playoffs with his flagrant fouls and, most-easily avoided, his technical fouls? If the Cavaliers go on to win this series, James’ third ring will come with a significant asterisk, that he played a role in causing the Warriors to play Game 5 shorthanded.

Carlos Santana, wife Cindy Blackman have a Warriors anthem to 'die' for

Sun, 5 Jun 2016 22:17:00 UT

Guitar legend Carlos Santana and his wife (and drummer) Cindy Blackman will perform the national anthem before Game 2 of the NBA Finals at Oracle. After their pregame run-through three hours before tipoff, this is how Santana described the experience to the Chronicle: When you bring a conscious intentionality, like the Warriors do, they’re raising the bar so high, with integrity and elegance and excellence, those three things, it’s the opposite of fear. [...] when you see a team sculpturing energy, collectively, you know, like five fingers, five men, sculpturing, like ballet, for us it’s an honor, Cindy and I. . . .The Black Panthers used to say, ‘You want to join the black Panthers?’ If you said yeah, it was, ‘Are you ready to die?’ Right here, right now. All the people we love, they play like that. Some people sing the national anthem, it sounds very nationalistic, patriotic, but it always sounds like this.

Little splash despite Curry and Thompson combining for 42

Mon, 23 May 2016 06:17:48 UT

Sunday night, about 45 minutes after the Thunder crushed the Warriors, Stephen Curry was riding in the back of a golf cart, facing backward, hood pulled over his head, on his way to the interview room. The big TNT analyst and Warriors’ No. 1 media detractor waved back. Curry shot 3-for-11 from beyond the three-point line and Klay Thompson 2-for-8. Worse, the Warriors’ guards were lit up by Thunder dynamo Russell Westbrook, who shredded the defense with 30 points and, much more ominously, 12 assists. The Warriors missed their last 11 shot attempts in the second quarter, and five of them were Curry misses, three from beyond the arc. If we make one or two of those shots, maybe we can keep up a little bit or gain some momentum. The crowd goes absolutely bonkers when the Thunder do something good or the Warriors miss a shot. When the Warriors hit a three-pointer, the arena turns into an instant funeral. While there’s something to that, the cold truth is that either Curry or Thompson, or both, have to be effective from the three-point line for the Warriors to be at their best.

Alexander Tarics, Olympic champion and structural engineer, dies

Sun, 22 May 2016 23:14:29 UT

Alexander Tarics, Olympic champion and structural engineer, dies Alexander G. “Alex” Tarics, who had been the oldest living Olympic champion since 2007, died Saturday at the age of 102, at his home in Belvedere, where he has lived since 1950. Mr. Tarics was also a structural engineer whose designs and innovations influenced many familiar Bay Area buildings. Hungary and Germany played to a tie in the championship game, and Hungary was awarded the gold medal based on greater overall goal differential in previous games. Mr. Tarics became a structural engineer and in the ’70s, with a professor at UC Berkeley, helped design, develop and implement a system of “base isolation” earthquake shock absorbers under large buildings — something engineers had long tried to achieve. Tarics’ genius led to 530 lead-rubber isolators, or shock absorbers, being placed in the basement of San Francisco City Hall when the building was upgraded and retrofitted in 1998. Mr. Tarics and John Reid formed the San Francisco architectural engineering company Reid & Tarics, which designed five BART stations, three UCSF Medical Center buildings and scores of schools. A relative runt in the physical sport of water polo at 5 feet 8, Mr. Tarics worked during his teen years to make himself ambidextrous. The Hungarian team trained each winter with a boxing coach, and, Mr. Tarics said, I was never afraid to get into a fight (in the pool). ... A water polo player who is hit and is afraid is no good anymore, is useless. At the Berlin Olympic Village, Mr. Tarics sought out and introduced himself to Jesse Owens, the American track star, and was in the stadium when Owens won the gold medal in the long jump. Mr. Tarics, one of the youngest members of the Hungarian “Golden Team” that went undefeated nine straight years, played in only one game in the ’36 Olympics, scoring six goals against Malta, thus contributing directly to his team’s eventual gold. During one ferocious battle, Mr. Tarics and his first wife and child took cover in the basement of their three-story apartment villa, which was reduced to rubble over their heads. While teaching at UC Berkeley, he worked with Professor James Kelly to develop the base isolation seismic shock absorbers.