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Friday, April 24, 2015

You guys, the Warriors Are on Fiyah!

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 8:11 AM

Let us pause from the seemingly endless stream of news and chatter about tech, restaurants, housing costs, and the drought.

If you've lived in San Francisco longer than five minutes, you may know that among the region's major league sports teams, the Golden State Warriors are kind of the freckle-faced step children.

But some of us believe the Warriors are pretty remarkable, and that they have been since they came here from Philadelphia in 1962. They are actually Phoenix-like in their ability to continually rise from the jaws (or ashes) of defeat, a trait much admired in these parts.

While we can't  claim to have been around back in the day when the team first arrived, we were on hand during the '74-'75 season, when former Warriors player-turned-coach Al Attles led the team to an NBA title. Back in that day, we marveled at the swift, sharp athletic ability — and DREAMY EYES — of one Jamaal "Silk"  Wilkes; we gawked, perpetually elated, and yes, surprised at the toughness and precision of Rick Barry.

And during a long, long drought (the bulk of the '80s and '90s), some of us never gave up on the Warriors, even as they sagged along at the rear of the league year after year.

Now they're on a tear. And if you're not paying attention, well, enjoy that craft beer and whichever new app-based frivolity it is that holds your attention for the next ten minutes. We'll just be right here, amped up and riveted by the Warriors' tenacity and creativity in the paint.

Never more so than last night, when the team staged an incredible comeback overtime win against the New Orleans Pelicans in game 3 of the Western Conference playoffs. They surmounted a 20-point deficit with furious rebounding and defensive play — and a heart-stopping 3-pointer by Stephen Curry in the final seconds of the game  — to claim victory.

They're now up 3-0 over the Pelicans in the playoff series.

From The New York Times:

But it was offensive rebounding that was crucial to the Warriors’ latest amazing feat, a 20-point fourth-quarter comeback against the host New Orleans Pelicans late Thursday night.

It was the third biggest fourth-quarter comeback in N.B.A. playoff history

When a team comes from that far back, a lot must go right. Ordinarily, a lot goes wrong for the other team too. But offensively, at least, the Pelicans did not play terribly in the quarter, scoring 19 points, not a horrible total.

And for the first six minutes of the quarter, there were no signs the game was slipping away: the Pelicans still led by 17. But after a dunk by Norris Cole to give New Orleans a 15-point lead with five minutes left, the game turned. The Pelicans made just one field goal and three free throws in the rest of regulation.

And a look at the amazing final minutes, via ESPN:

Warriors Image: Courtesy of Tyson Beck
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Monday, March 9, 2015

Judge Orders Seizure of Oracle Team USA's Winning Boat

Posted By on Mon, Mar 9, 2015 at 4:52 PM

click image A vessel similar to the boat in question - ROBERT COUSE-BAKER / FLICKR
  • Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr
  • A vessel similar to the boat in question
Perhaps Oracle Team USA's windswept victory at the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco boiled down to pure skill after all — since the team doesn't appear to have any real luck. They've been sued again for the second time in recent months.

Upon the request of a disgruntled former-sailor for the Oracle Team USA, a federal court just ordered marshals to confiscate one of the team's Pier 80-docked boats, the Associated Press is reporting.

Sailor Joe Spooner is suing the team for one of Oracle's specially-crafted, 45-foot catamarans, tested in the San Francisco Bay in February as Oracle prepares to compete in the America's Cup in 2017.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Super Bowl 2015: Ad Revenue by the Millions and Chicken Wings by the Billions

Posted By on Mon, Jan 26, 2015 at 2:15 PM

In grand American tradition, this Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIX will showcase only the best stereotypes our country has to offer — like the fact that 14 billion hamburgers will be consumed in celebration of men giving each other concussions to pursue a lop-sided ball.

WalletHub released today a study on the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks showdown, which they say will be broadcasted in 180 countries and watched by 171 million people. Here’s more telling statistics on America’s finest hours:

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Blunt Mode: Oakland's Marshawn Lynch Has Own Legal Marijuana Strain

Posted By on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 7:01 AM

  • Twitter/MoneyLynch
  • Now who mad?
Lo siento, Santa Clara fans: the most Bay football team left playing right now is far and away the Super Bowl-bound defending champion Seattle Seahawks. You could also make the case that watching Junipero Serra grad Tom Brady witnessing College of San Mateo alum Julian Edelman sling touchdown passes for the New England Patriots is more Bay than watching Colin Kaepernick do his Turlock thing, but we digress.  

And one of the main reasons why Seattle is in the big game for the second straight year is a guy who listens to Philthy Rich, buys his grills on International Boulevard, and is generally way more Oakland than you. Ice City native Marshawn Lynch is probably the best running back in the NFL, and now the league's most notorious interview has a legal, adult-use strain of recreational marijuana named after him.

Beast Mode 2.0. Just the thing for that blunt wrap stuffed into his beanie.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

San Francisco Giants Searching for Ballpark Workers: Do You Have What it Takes?

Posted By on Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Cleanup on aisle six!
  • Cleanup on aisle six!
Amid offseason transactions, the San Francisco Giants have advertised a need for ballpark workers on the same place they apparently picked up Nori Aoki: Craigslist. 

Your World Champion Giants are in the market for ushers, Fan Lot attendants, events staff, recycling center workers, maintenance employees, field crew, and a third baseman. Each position comes with surprisingly detailed requirements. If a career in ballpark service sounds appetizing, check out these stipulations:  

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Jim Harbaugh: Exit, Pursued by a Wolverine

Posted By on Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 11:55 AM

The Jim Harbaugh era of the San Francisco 49ers football franchise ended with neither a bang nor a whimper but whatever sound it is that's released by a convenient lie. 

Harbaugh and team owner Jed York yesterday confirmed what was long apparent — the coach won't be returning in 2015. The lie was that this was a "mutual decision" made in both men's "mutual best interest." 

This statement does to the English language what a recent Congressional report reveals our intelligence services did to men in deep, dark dungeons. Credit, however, for not evoking the notion of the coach leaving his job to spend more time with his family. One rarely accepts a job and gushes about spending less time with family.

Harbaugh will return to the spectacularly lucrative womb, accepting the top job at his alma mater, Michigan, for a purported six-year, $48 million deal. That's an obscene amount of money for a football coach at a state school to earn but, it would seem, it means a lot for the Maize and Blue to beat Ohio State.  

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

San Francisco Makes USOC 2024 Olympics Pitch Today

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Boston's No-Olympics bloc. - TWITTER/CURT NICKISCH
San Francisco's bid to host the 2024 Olympics remains a divisive issue at home, even as Mayor Ed Lee, Giants CEO Larry Baer, and venture capitalist Steve Strandberg gear up to make their pitch in Redwood City.

They'll be sparring with mayors from Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington, D.C. for the honor, which might not be that daunting. Boston's anti-Olympics bloc has already hired TaskRabbits to hold a banner decrying their city's Olympic effort. Opponents have also created a fervid No Boston Olympics Twitter feed to promote their cause. D.C., meanwhile, seems like a lost cause, according to local blogger SFCitizen. 

That makes Los Angeles the only real competitor. Or maybe Los Angeles is the only city that had a shot, in the first place.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Boom-or-Bust San Francisco Sports Scene Seems to Fit Boom-or-Bust San Francisco

Posted By on Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 12:20 PM

If you were like your humble narrator, you were, on Sunday, Feb. 3 of last year figuring out exactly how to leap off a chair and onto the couch so as to land on the most possible people after the 49ers scored the late, go-ahead touchdown to win the Super Bowl. 

Well, that leap never occurred

And now the team is an utter and total mess, a mutinous sub-mediocrity roiled with internal rancor, domestic violence allegations, and terrible, terrible play. The team looked awful yesterday in losing a "road" game in Oakland, which is actually far, far closer to San Francisco than their Santa Clara home. But merely losing a game — and, in all likelihood, writing off the season — would be a lot less irksome of the team wasn't so toxic. Coach Jim Harbaugh is counting the days; his pro wrestler persona is a lot less fun when the team is openly rebelling against him. Former child prodigy quarterback Colin Kaepernick is teetering between the Gary Coleman former child prodigy path or the Neil Patrick Harris route. As far as his relatability, he's taken to giving photographers the Sean Penn treatment and answering questions in monotone, monosyllabic bleats.

If you can overlook the fact that the Niners enticed a far-off municipality to fund their new, $1.3 billion football and fan brawl palace and are no longer a San Francisco team per se, their quick trip to the gutter seems all too fitting for San Francisco's current idiom. Things here tend to go really well. Until they don't. And then they go really badly. 

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Pablo Sandoval Heads to Boston, and an Era Ends

Posted By on Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 9:30 AM

This Panda is now locally extinct
  • This Panda is now locally extinct
Folks with well-placed sources on speed-dial are reporting this morning that Pablo "Kung-Fu Panda" Sandoval, the San Francisco Giants third baseman and inspiration for scads of Panda-related  merchandise, has agreed to terms with the Boston Red Sox. 

The loss of Sandoval, a bad-ball hitting savant with as much pitch selection as he had dietary restraint, sparks a battle between fans' hearts and minds. On the rational side, Sandoval's regular-season statistics aren't transcendent (coolly systematic devotees of on-base percentage were left shaking their heads), he's no longer a young player, he has a career-long weight problem — in short, he seems destined to be a big-market designated hitter.

On the other hand, no sport marries the rational and irrational like baseball. Fans continued to love and support Sandoval even while coolly rational stat-heads were shaking their heads. Whether or not "clutch" play — coming up when the team needs it most — really exists is actually a matter of scientific debate. But statistics don't lie: When the Giants needed Sandoval most, he produced.  More than that, however, fans loved this player because he was lovable. He was a remarkably deft yet roly poly mound among the chiseled athletes, a ball of positive energy, a man who looked, at all times, like he was having a hell of a time. 

During the team's third World Series parade in five seasons, your humble narrator watched Sandoval work the crowd and dubbed him the team's Peter Venkman, the Bill Murray character in Ghostbusters

It's hard not to root for a man like that. They will, in all likelihood, love him in Boston. 

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Joe DiMaggio's Hometown Planning 100th Birthday Celebration — And It Ain't San Francisco

Posted By on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Paul Simon's lament on the state of America — "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? — is easy to answer these days. At least literally. Joltin' Joe has left and gone away and is buried, where else, in Colma (his gravestone reads "Grace, Dignity and Elegance Personified).   

The Yankee Clipper would have been 100 this year, and his hometown is marking the occasion. And while DiMaggio is associated with this city, played his first professional ball in this city, resided for decades in this city, and, like virtually every city resident, ended up in Colma. But the DiMaggio clan traces its local origins back to Martinez. Which every Martinez resident will happily tell you. And they're throwing a party. 

The East Bay suburb will celebrate the centenary of its favorite son on Nov. 18, with a fete highlighted by the re-launching of a boat gifted to DiMaggio by the Yanks in 1948 — an expensive and laborious process to say the least.

It would appear DiMaggio's 100th will not receive similar notice in San Francisco this year. And, truth be told, the living legend did not endear himself to locals on his way out.  

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