Oakland doesn’t get much publicity as a sports town, but the capital of the East Bay is one of the few cities in America to house a team in each of the three major sports (Take that, San Francisco! You too, hockey!). But faced with the prospect of losing two-thirds of its teams, Oakland is now in the middle of a sporting crisis.
In the name of Tim Couch, what has happened to Alex Smith? If you take a closer look, past the recent shoulder injury, past the loss of his starting job, and even past now being labeled as a bust, you have to ask yourself, how the heck did we get here?
The truth is, the blame cannot and should not be put squarely on Alex Smith’s shoulders. As the number one overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft, Smith entered the league with as much hype as any quarterback in recent memory, only to throw one touchdown to 11 interceptions.
This less than desirable outcome had the San Francisco front office shaking their heads, wondering if they had made the right decision. Then came signs of progress in year two, with Smith posting admirable sophomore numbers, throwing for 16 touchdowns and almost 3,000 yards.
But now two years later, all we can remember is Smith as the underachieving, athletic quarterback who could never grasp the system, find his receivers, and realize his potential.
But therein lies the problem: the system.
by Trevor Freeman
As I was sitting on the balcony of my Opa’s (grandfather in Dutch) apartment in Hawaii he said to me, “You haven’t written an article on Bill Walsh yet.” I told him that I had been meaning to but had gotten distracted with the amount of options that Hawaii can offer a honeymooning couple. He responded, “Make sure you write something about the greatest coach the NFL has ever seen on the airplane home.”
by Trevor Freeman
With the NFL season starting on Sunday, I figured it was about time to talk about the Five-Time Super Bowl Champions. Like Judge Wapner, I’m going to be as even-handed as possible when breaking the San Francisco 49ers down position by position. I think it’s important as a writer to always maintain credibility and to avoid being a shameless homer. Without further ado, let’s begin our look at the Greatest Franchise In NFL History.
So this weekend is The Draft. I LOVE watching the NFL draft. Last year, my beloved Niners had the first pick, and their choice in the first round was known weeks in advance. This year, due to some coin flipping with the Raiders (the two teams had identical records and no tiebreaker last season) and a trade with the Broncos, the Niners have two picks in the first round (#6 and #22), and none in the second or third, meaning after pick #22, I can stop watching until Sunday (when the 49ers have seven… one in Round 4, one in Round 5, two in Round 6 and three in Round 7).
The San Francisco 49ers are not stuck in a rut. They are a team that is building for their future. As we enter mid-way through this 2005-2006 NFL season, there are a few teams that are statistically at the bottom of the barrel alongside the red and gold. Houston has no excuse for their winless record and no amount of coach firing will get it done. David Carr was hyped beyond his own recognition and ate up the press while forgetting about football. Green Bay is facing the same problem as the 49ers- injuries. Coaches are positive in the Rice-O-Roni city. Players want a victory and pride is driving them to compete.
On Sunday night, a regular season game was played on non-US soil, the first such occurrence in NFL history. With no idea of what to expect, Paul Tagliabue decided to send the game’s top ambassadors to preside over the event, just in case things got out of hand. And so it was that Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, Paul Maguire, O.J. Simpson, and Rae Carruth showed up in Mexico City, ready to infuse our neighbors to the south with a passion for Football, Jr. But anyone concerned that the 49ers might have to wear home red ponchos, or that the players agreed to the trip simply so they could sneak “the really good steroids” across the border were quickly put at ease. In the opening minute, fans booed Arizona’s kick returner for kneeling on the back line of the end zone. Apparently watching soccer year-round can turn even the most gentile nation into a bloodthirsty potential XFL market.
By Jeremy Burnham
Everyone in their right mind knew that Tim Rattay should start over rookie Alex Smith. If you did not know that from the start, you sure found out after the first preseason game. And if you still had doubts after that, they were crushed after the second game. Even Coach Nolan seemed to finally get it, naming Rattay the starter.
by Trevor Freeman
I will never forget the time I met Jerry Rice. My third grade Parks & Recreation basketball team, the Our Lady of Loretto Panthers was going to face off with the Loma Verde Jammers at halftime of the Golden State Warriors game. Prior to our scheduled duel, my teammate Gary Swett decided to purchase a hot dog. While walking and eating it at the same time he ran smack dab into Jerry Rice. Immediately Gary came charging back to all of us and informed us that Jerry Rice was sitting not too far from our seats. This led all of us to walk over and stare at Jerry Rice (and Jeff Fuller as an added bonus). Jerry Rice could have had security remove all of us, but instead he graciously signed autographs and let every single member of our team try on his Super Bowl ring.
The San Francisco 49ers won only two games last year beating the same team, the Arizona Cardinals twice, earning the number one overall draft pick for the first time in the franchises history. Although the Niners drafted some quality players, they are still far away from competing and could end up with the number one overall draft pick in next years draft.