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Sports & Recreation

  • Readers' Poll

    Best Place to Blade Golden Gate Park Best Urban Hike Twin Peaks Best Suburban Hike Mount Tam Best Place to Skateboard Embarcadero Best Gym 24 Hour Fitness Best Bike Shop Pedal Revolution Best Surf Shop Wise Surfboards Best Place to Walk the Mutt Holly Park Best Jog Golden Gate Park Best Beach Baker Beach Best Sailing Supplies West Marine Best Giant Barry Bonds Best Niner Terrell Owens Best Sports Writer or Columnist Scott… More >>
  • Best Reason to Attend USF Basketball Games

    Watching Head Coach Phil Mathews

    Over the past couple of seasons, there have been several good reasons to attend basketball games on the Hilltop: The University of San Francisco men's team has featured one of the best big men in the country, Darrell Tucker; a dynamic, ever-more-confident scorer in swingman John Cox (Kobe Bryant's cousin); and a renewed enthusiasm among the crowds at War Memorial… More >>
  • Best General Manager

    Billy Beane, Oakland A's

    He's probably the best in all of baseball, and certainly the best in any sport around here. Beane, a former ballplayer whose career never took off, became GM for the A's before the 1998 season and proceeded to revolutionize the game: He has proved that cash-poor teams can still win. Last year, for instance, after losing former league MVP Jason… More >>
  • Best Warriors Fans

    Bob Fitzgerald and Jim Barnett

    Never mind the thousands of Warriors faithful who are returning to the Arena in Oakland now that our local roundballers are approaching respectability -- the two best, most loyal fans never left. They couldn't! Fitzgerald does play-by-play and ex-Warrior Barnett provides analysis for Fox Sports Net telecasts of Warriors games, and their enthusiasm can't be matched. Fitzgerald can turn any… More >>
  • Best Urban Wilderness

    San Bruno Mountain Park

    Stuck in conference-room hell? Muni got you down? Well, grab your walkin' shoes: Within 20 minutes of downtown San Francisco is a gorgeous mountain trail enveloped in eucalyptus trees. San Bruno Mountain Park, just a heartbeat outside the city limits, offers eight trails through lush green trees, shrubs, grass, and generally nothing you'd see near Market Street. The paths range… More >>
  • Best Romantic Date for Outdoorsy Types

    Full Moon Paddles

    You haven't seen the bay till you've seen it by moonlight -- in a kayak, wearing a life jacket, paddling with your sweetie. Dappled waves, starry skies, illuminated bridges, the stray egret or blue heron: These are just a few of the sights you're likely to encounter at the Full Moon Paddles offered by UCSF's Outdoors Unlimited and UC Berkeley's… More >>
  • Best Exercise Class for Picking Up Half-Naked Gym Bunnies

    "Cardio Striptease" at Crunch

    There's a reason that strippers have hard bodies (aside from the fact that most folks wouldn't pay to ogle fat slobs). And the reason is that undressing in front of strangers requires stamina and guts -- well, at least it does at Crunch Gym's "Cardio Striptease" classes. Led by Sergio Novoa, the 60-minute sessions are a workout as well as… More >>
  • Best Place to Learn How to Kick Ass

    Fairtex Combat Sports Camp

    Martial arts masters are taught to seek alternatives to physical violence whenever possible. But if all attempts at peaceful resolution fail, sometimes they find it necessary to open a can of whupass on somebody -- and that's where Fairtex Combat Sports Camp comes in. The school is more than a gym: It's a training ground for the art of Muay… More >>
  • Best Baseball Field

    Jackson Playground

    The aesthetic form of Jackson Playground's back-to-back baseball diamonds flows purely from function. The flat, treeless field does not evoke Pacific Bell Park. You won't find a giant Coke bottle or Blue Angel jet fighters screaming overhead or garlic fries for five bucks (although you might spot the next BB). Weekends and weekday evenings the diamonds are filled with baseballers… More >>
  • Best Inner-City Driving Range

    Mission Bay Golf Center

    Who woulda thunk it? A 300-foot, 66-tee driving range smack dab in the middle of downtown San Francisco. The Golf Center is surrounded by the most massive construction site west of Iraq (our newest colony). It is an unusual experience to hit a ball with all your might amid construction cranes, earth movers, and piles of toxic dirt. Eight bucks… More >>
  • Best Radio Sports Talker

    KNBR's Tom Tolbert

    The discriminating Bay Area sports-talk listener won't find many local hosts worthy of his attention on KNBR-AM (680). Gary Radnich's midmorning show is as amateurish as it is incomprehensible (although Radnich is a riot when he tries to articulate his worldviews), and former Warrior great Rick Barry's midafternoon slot is too often handed to San Jose Mercury News columnist Skip… More >>
  • Best Idea for a New Business

    Batting Cages in San Francisco

    Someday, someone is going to pull his head out of the sand, look around San Francisco, and realize, "Jesus, this town doesn't have any batting cages." And this person will get some money together, buy a chunk of real estate in a not-too-grossly-expensive part of the city, and think to himself, "If you build it, they will come." And they… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch Local Professional Athletes

    San Francisco's Strip Clubs

    When we have a free night, we go to the Metreon or catch a show at the Fillmore or browse the aisles at Amoeba. Some of our local pro athletes, on the other hand, spend their Friday evenings stuffing signing bonuses into G-strings. The Hustler Club, the Gold Club, Crazyhorse -- if you're an athlete, the velvet ropes dissolve in… More >>
  • Best Sports Equipment

    Sports Basement

    Tucked inside a SOMA warehouse across from the Mission Bay Golf Center's driving range and surrounded by construction lies a great place to find sports equipment, whether you're a novice recreational hiker or a serious triathlete. The 40,000-square-foot Sports Basement is packed with clothing and gear for every part of you, from the bottoms of your feet to the top… More >>
  • Best Coach

    Eric Musselman, Golden State Warriors

    The Warriors won 21 games last season; this season, they had 21 wins by February. The difference: a levelheaded, helmet-haired, 38-year-old rookie coach from pro basketball's bush leagues. Eric Musselman -- the youngest coach in the NBA and a product of the Continental Basketball Association -- took a bunch of no-name sulks to the lip of the playoffs, where Golden… More >>
  • Best Reason to Like the Warriors

    Adonal Foyle

    Adonal Foyle is a backup center who can't shoot or dribble, but that doesn't bother us. We like him for his name, for his sound defensive technique, and especially for his social conscience. Foyle questioned the war in Iraq. He fights for campaign finance reform. He raises money for AIDS research. He shops for hybrid cars. He even tries to… More >>
  • Best Reason to Hate Barry Bonds

    His Crappy Fielding in the World Series

    Last year, the country finally settled on what to think of Bonds: He's an asshole, sure, but who cares when he hits .370? "Just baseball," wrote the New York Times Magazine, a bit sententiously. "Isn't that enough?" But something was left out of the whole argument, and we saw what it was in Game 6 of the World Series, Giants… More >>
  • Best Place to Steal From Jesuits

    The Basketball Courts at USF's Koret Health and Recreation Center

    Can't jump, can't shoot, can't dribble? At Koret, you've got a prayer. Sure, you'll find a Jesuit or two with a decent jump shot, but chances are your point guard wears kneepads and your center has a beer gut. The competition is friendly and rarely intimidating, a good mix of college kids and old-timers who throw a couple of bounce… More >>
  • Best Women's Sports Store (and Catalog)

    Title Nine Sports

    In 1972, there were 32,000 female college athletes. Today there are more than 150,000 -- due, in large part, to the passage of the Education Amendments of 1972, and in particular Title IX, which prohibited sex discrimination "under any ... activity receiving federal financial assistance." The legislation wasn't just about sports, but one of its benefits was that women's athletics… More >>
  • Best Place to Pretend You're a Rich Sport

    San Francisco Croquet Club

    You don't have to have a whopping mansion in Sea Cliff to live the ritzy life. Instead, put on a floppy straw hat and some linen trousers, tie a sweater around your shoulders, slip into some flat, soft-soled shoes, and head down to the eucalyptus-lined Stern Grove Croquet Lawns -- the largest public venue exclusively for the civilized game in… More >>
  • Best Video Game Venue

    Amusement Center

    The Amusement Center provides the joystick-adept warrior with a wide smorgasbord of coin-operated combat in a setting as pleasantly seedy as the pinball traditions it upholds. Unlike the shiny new Metreon and its dozen or so atrium-lit gizmos, this worn-at-the-edges split-level arcade fits in perfectly with the surrounding strip joints, dive bars, and honky-tonks, offering up 80 video games and… More >>
  • Best Day Trip

    Red Bluff

    After the self-consciousness of many Northern California towns, Red Bluff's inherent modesty is refreshing. But, unlike other quaint American towns, Red Bluff has more to offer than a five-and-dime and a movie theater. It's home to some of the finest Victorians in the region and a main street lined with antique stores stuffed full of treasure. A high-quality bike path,… More >>
  • Best Bike Ride

    S.F. to Half Moon Bay and Back

    Plenty of people who read this year's Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year issue came away feeling more than a bit nonplussed. Lance Armstrong? Sportsman of the year? Sheesh: Even we can ride a bike. If you're reading an active-lifestyle publication like SF Weekly, you probably can, too. Right? So we've devised a vigorous training ride designed to help you… More >>
  • Best Combo Bike Ride and Run

    The Marin Headlands

    These castles of tilted seabed on the far side of the Golden Gate are, gloriously, only a 30-minute morning bike ride away. But truly communing with the chevron chert means getting off the bike, locking it, and going for a run on the Headlands' seaside trails. Here's what you do: Ride across the west-side bike lane on the Golden Gate… More >>
  • Best City Run

    Hint: It Ain't Along Marina Boulevard

    If any city can boast it's the ideal runner's burg, San Francisco can. Yet astonishingly, thousands of locals squander the city's possibilities by plodding along Marina Boulevard, the awful stretch of flat, noisy, wind-blown pavement that borders Marina Green. Screw that. Start at the Golden Gate Park Panhandle. Stretch, if you're that sort of person. Then head up Cole Street… More >>
  • Best Weekend Footraces

    The Dolphin South End Running Club Sunday Races Citywide

    It's hard to feel intimidated by a running club whose logo is a turtle and whose motto is "Start slowly and taper off." Indeed, the Dolphin South End Running Club, founded in 1966, is a laid-back, friendly group that welcomes everybody -- from kids to senior citizens to people breaking in their first pair of running shoes. Besides doing short… More >>
  • Best (Uncrowded) Redwood Forest

    Redwood Regional Park

    Compared to its wildly popular cousin, Muir Woods, this stately grove of 150-year-old redwoods -- just over the ridge from Skyline Drive -- is relatively unknown, which translates into big-time tranquillity for nature lovers. (It's actually possible to stand still along the Stream Trail and hear nothing but the whisper of the breeze and the gurgling of Redwood Creek.) The… More >>
  • Best Cross-City Hike

    At a mere seven miles from coast to coast, San Francisco invites even the occasional hiker to traverse its breadth in a few short hours. A couple of years back we proposed a rather placid northerly route; this year's southern crossing is decidedly more vigorous. Start at Ocean Beach down around Lawton and head east. After three dozen level blocks… More >>
  • Best Alternative to Your StairMaster Routine

    The Fillmore Street Steps

    Why would you want to isolate yourself in the clammy confines of your gym when the lovely hills of this city offer an amazing workout opportunity? Sure, you can gauge how many calories per nanosecond you're burning on that running machine, but the ascent up Fillmore Street from Union to Broadway is a far more picturesque way to get the… More >>
  • Best Dance Studio

    San Francisco Dance Center

    San Francisco Dance Center offers more than 100 classes in a variety of dance disciplines. Working dance professionals drop in for a dose of artistic renewal while amateurs at all levels of ability can choose from classes in classical ballet, belly dancing, flamenco, and modern, just to name a few. A single class will run you $12, and a 16-class… More >>
  • Best Baseball Series

    With both the Giants and the A's eyeing division titles this season, the summer calendar will be full of big series on both sides of the bay. Here are a few can't-miss matchups at home. A's vs. Minnesota, May 20-22 Oakland and Minnesota met in last year's Division Series, which offered a playoff between perennial underdogs. The Twins won by a run… More >>
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