Posts tagged “49ers

NFL Week 16: My Picks

The 49ers have been one of the most consistent teams in football this seasob. Under Jim Harbaugh’s leadership the 49ers have moved past “trap” games or “letdowns”. They’ve moved beyond the phase of being “lucky” or “pretenders”. The 49ers vs. Steelers matchup was already enticing before the season even started. Tack on two of the top records and you now have one of the best matchups of the season.

A national game between two of the NFL’s top teams, in San Francisco no less!

Then it got weird.

Candlestick Park suddenly lost power due to a blown transformer (whatever that means). Now I’m not saying there was a conspiracy by Jed York or anything, but if he wanted to show the NFL that the 49ers really do need that new stadium, what better way than on national TV in one of the best games of the year? It showed the world what most Bay Area sports fans new already: that Candlestick is a dump.

It isn’t just San Francisco that needs a new stadium either. Both Bay Area football teams are sporting the most filthy, grimy and downright nasty stadiums in the NFL. Oakland has to share its trash to the MLB as well. That lovely baseball track during the first month of the NFL season is a beautiful sight. Sigh. At least San Francisco has AT&T Park.

This is no way breaking news. The Monday Night fiasco only highlights and hopefully accelerates the efforts in Santa Clara. I still dream of a joint stadium but that window is closing faster than Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. A new football stadium in the Bay Area is long overdue. The Bay Area knows it and now the sports world does as well.

5-10-1 last week

113-91-6 for the season

Home team in BOLD and CAPS

Texans (6½) over COLTS

Leave it to those pesky Titans to ruin my picks last week. All they had to do was beat the win-less Colts by a TD. I remember after the Colts victory that the Titans were also the ones who screwed me in Week 2 when they beat the Ravens. I vowed never to put money on either the Titans or Ravens. Lo and behold I did. My wallet suffers.

Raiders (+2) over CHIEFS

Did you know that the Raiders haven’t lost in Kansas City since 2006? A shocking statistic when you consider the Raiders recent history. The Raiders took care of Kyle Orton in Week 1, if they can limit Dwayne Bowe (i.e. not Calvin Johnson numbers) than the Raiders should win this game. If there is a clear definition to the phrase “letdown game” than this is it for the Chiefs.

Broncos (-3) over BILLS

The Patriot blowout last week was expected and anyone who thought otherwise was drunk off the Tebow Jesus Juice. Against a downtrodden Bills team Tebow and Co. should have no problem this week.

TITANS (7½) over Jaguars

The only reason I lean towards the dreaded Titans is the location of the game. By the way, is there a worse starting QB in the league than Blaine Gabbert right now? Sheesh. I know it’s only his first year and he doesn’t have any WR’s but I see no hope in sight for this guy. I’m not even mentioning the hair…

BENGALS (-4) over Cardinals

The Cardinals are playing well. Let me repeat: the Arizona Cardinals are playing well. John Skelton is Tim Tebow minus the Christianity, the national titles, the Heisman’s and the Skip Bayless-esque blowhards. Here’s a question, which deal was worse: the Kevin Kolb trade and immediate extension or the Carson Palmer trade? The Cardinals can opt-out of Kolb’s deal after this season while the Raiders have to give up (at a minimum) their 2011 first round pick and 2012 second rounder. Just win baby?

PATRIOTS (-10) over Dolphins

The last three meetings between these two teams have all been blowouts in favor of the Patriots. With the Patriots rolling I see no reason why this should be any different.

RAVENS (-13) over Browns

The Ravens at home + Baltimore defense + Ray Rice + Seneca Wallace = a multiple TD victory.

Giants (+3) over JETS

Leave it to Eli Manning and the G-Men to kill my holiday funds last week. In a must win game at home the Giants were giving seven points to the Redskins. They continued to not show up at all and talks of Eli being “elite” quickly flushed down the toilet. Since they played like dogs last week it’s only fitting they play like Super Bowl contenders this week. The universe will restore order.

Vikings (+6½) over REDSKINS

This will be ugly. Don’t expect a shootout. Don’t expect beautiful football. Expect a close game.

PANTHERS (-7½) over Buccaneers

The Panthers have quietly won three of four and sporting a very potent offense. If their defense was healthier they could be a .500 team this year. Watch out for them next year. This week? Take them against a horrible Bucs squad.

STEELERS (-13½) over Rams

Big Ben’s decision to play or to sit out doesn’t matter. The game is in Pittsburgh and the lowly Rams are opposing a tough Steelers defense that’s getting back James Harrison.

LIONS (-3) over Chargers

Whatever the over/under for this game is, take the over. Two of the best offenses in the league playing each other in turf. This will be a great game to watch. One late killer Rivers interception seals the deal for Detroit.

49ers (-2) over SEAHAWKS

Seattle is playing better, it’s always tough to play there and after the 49ers loss in Arizona a couple weeks ago I’m not as confident as I should be in this 11-3 team. The 49ers are oblivious to “trap” games at this point and I expect (once again) tons of FG’s. All they need is one.

Eagles (+1) over COWBOYS

OK, the Cowboys surprised me last week with their shellacking of the Bucs last Saturday. The Cowboys still haven’t convincingly beaten a great team this year. Have they had a statement” game this year? When was the last time you combined the words “great win” and “Cowboys” in the same sentence? Take the soaring Eagles on the road.

PACKERS (-13) over Bears

It’s been awhile since anyone can say this but…the Packers COMING OFF A LOSS should be ready to roll over Josh McCown and the Bears. The game is in Green Bay too? Sounds like an easy victory to me.

Falcons (+7) over SAINTS

I was tempted to take the roaring Saints at home but the Falcons have been showing a lot of fight lately. Many wrote them off after a disappointing start to the season. Prediction: a lot of TD’s will be thrown. Expect a 34-31 or 27-24 type game. A great way to close out an otherwise horrible MNF schedule.



NFL Week 14: My Picks

It’s about time Marshawn Lynch got some love. Sure he got a little love his rookie season after his 1,115 yard, 7 TD season, but he’s a top 10 running back that is rotting on a terrible team. First Buffalo and now Seattle, Lynch is prone for the highlight real. His “Beast Mode” reached astronomical heights in the playoffs last year with the infamous run against the Saints. He’s since followed that up with a very strong season (854 yards, 8 TD) that has the NFL buzzing in appreciation.

Born in Oakland, it seems that Lynch often goes unnoticed when talking about the best running backs in the league. He’s not as elusive as Adrian Peterson or as good a receiver as Arian Foster but he’s formidable at both. Is it because he played for Cal? Is it because he’s played for two bad franchises throughout his career? Is it because he scares little children?

The fact he plays in the wretched NFC West has hindered his popularity and awareness through the league. After his primetime performance against the Eagles last Thursday and his continued success on the field we should be hearing A LOT more of Marshawn Lynch in the future. Hopefully in Pro Bowl discussions.

For old times sake…

9-7-0 last week

98-75-5 for the season

Home team in BOLD and CAPS

Browns (+ 14½) over STEELERS – W

Yes this game already happened. Yes the Browns covered. Yes I would have really chosen the Browns to cover 14½ points.

RAVENS (-17) over Colts

I’m always hesitant to choose big spreads, especially after I got screwed last week courtesy of the New England Patriots. The difference here is the Baltimore defense. Baltimore always plays better at home. The Ravens have had some horrible losses this year (JAX, SEA, TEN) but all have been on the road. Expect 27-3. Maybe worse.

Texans (+3) over BENGALS

There are two types of backup QB’s in the NFL: 1) The guy that looks like he doesn’t belong anywhere near a football and 2) The guy that looks like he could be starting somewhere. I’m not saying TJ Yates is better than Schaub, but the team hasn’t lost a step with him behind center.  In other words? He’s no Kyle Boller.

PACKERS (-11½) over Raiders

My Twitter companion and fellow sports blogger Bay Area Sports Guy brought up a great point when talking about this matchup. To paraphrase, BASG said that this would be the type of game the Raiders would win. The Raiders would be the ones to screw up the Packers perfect season. Why? Because the Raiders are a screwy team. One game they look like AFC contenders the next they look like bottom feeders. Les we forget they’re playing the Packers this week at Lambeau. I see bottom feeder Raiders this weekend. “My heart….is…telling me YES!!!!….but my mind…is…telling me NO!!!!”

JETS (-9) over Chiefs

I hate Shonn Greene. I was on the fence of the playoffs in my fantasy league: I was in the 7th spot and the top six teams make the playoffs. I needed the 6th seed (my dad) to lose (he was playing my little brother, 3rd seed) and I needed to win against the worst team in the league. I won my match handily, but thanks to a certain Mr. Greene, who scored a blasphemous 29 points thanks to garbage time TD’s, my fantasy playoff hopes were thrashed. What does this have to do with their game against the Chiefs on Sunday? Not a god damn thing.

LIONS (-8) over Vikings

I was watching Sound FX on NFL Network yesterday while they were showing the Vikings-Broncos game. The piece focused on Leslie Frazier and the Vikings sideline. If there was ever a coach that just knew he was going to get fired it would be Frazier. Uninspired, slow and seemingly dead was the Vikings sideline. I feel bad for two elite talents like Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson who are just rotting previous years off their illustrious careers. Let the Bill Cower rumors start in 3…2…1…

Saints (-4) over TITANS

All three of New Orleans losses have been on the road (Green Bay, Tampa Bay, St. Louis). Their largest margin of victory on the road was 16 against a hapless Jacksonville squad. Translation? The Saints are not the same team outside of the Superdome. With this in mind I still like them to cover against the Titans. Chris Johnson seems back to normal but the Titans still are an average team to me despite their 7-5 record. Cortland Finnegan can’t cover everyone either. Take the Saints.
Eagles (+3) over DOLPHINS

I’ve been wanting to bust out my Michael Vick Eagles jersey for the longest time.  I got it last off-season and wore it at my offline fantasy draft…a lot of good that did me. Since then its been grabbing dust in my closet hoping for a significant weekend for me to put it back on. With Vick coming back from injury and playing a now formidable Dolphins team I feel like this weekend could be the one. Whether that’s a good thing for the Eagles still to be determined.

Patriots (-9) over REDSKINS

If it weren’t for the Colts the Redskins would easily be the worst team in the league. Why is Mike Shanahan coaching this team? Why is he coaching at all? How is it that Dan Snyder has no GM yet? The Patriots win this one easily.

Falcons (-3) over PANTHERS

This will be a great game. The Falcons must win this game to keep in the playoff hunt. The Panthers are a one man show with Cam Newton looking more and more like a superstar QB. Get this Panthers team a defense and another WR and they’re easily in the playoff discussion next year. For now they’re facing a healthy Falcons offense and a team desperate for a win. I wouldn’t be shocked if this is a push but take the Falcons regardless.

Buccaneers (-1) over JAGUARS

There’s always one game every week that no one really cares about. The game NFL Red Zone cuts to and everyone cries “Why are they cutting to this game?” With Josh Freeman back I like the Bucs to steal one in Florida. Not that it really matters.

49ers (-4) over CARDINALS

Since Thursday I’ve been trying to figure out why this spread is so low. Is Patrick Willis really worth six points to the spread? The 49ers are beyond the “trap game” syndrome and have shown no willingness to let up. A late Patrick Peterson punt return TD aside I see no reason the 49ers shouldn’t cover.

BRONCOS (-3½) over Bears

The Bears were already decimated with Cutler gone. Now add Forte to the injury list and you have a team that resembles the Minnesota Vikings. Forte accounted for roughly 70% of the Bears offense. Sure they still have their defense intact…but does that even matter with Tebow God behind center? Until proven otherwise take Denver.

CHARGERS (-7) over Bills

San Diego is coming off a blowout victory against the Jaguars. The Bills have lost five straight games. Take the Chargers.

Giants (+3) over COWBOYS

The Cowboys don’t have one impressive victory all season. Sure they beat the 49ers but that game was outrageous fluke. The Giants have lost four in a row but three of them to playoff teams (SF, New Orleans, Green Bay). The Giants are clearly the better team and I expect them to get back on track this week, even on the road against a division foe.

SEAHAWKS (- 4½) over Rams

“Beast Mode” indeed. Even with teams stacking the box Marshawn Lynch still  is running like crazy. Too bad Lynch has never had a consistent QB or he can be even scarier. Combine the game being played in Seattle, Bradford and Feeley banged up, Lynch beasting and a very underrated Seattle defense and you have a formula for disaster for the Rams. Take the ‘Hawks with confidence.


Is Attending an NFL Game Worth it?

I’ve only attended two NFL games in my life.

The first game in 2005 I remember vividly: a cold, rainy day in Oakland as the Raiders took a beating from the then Jake Plummer led Broncos.  I was sitting in the upper deck with some family members, wearing an all-black hoodie over the only Raiders shirt I owned.

The second game I attended was in 2008 in San Francisco. The 49ers were playing the Philadelphia Eagles, a team who eventually lost in the NFC title game to Arizona. As expected, the 49ers got killed by a score of 40-26. Once again I was joined by some family members, sitting in the upper deck.

What do these two experiences have in common?


The game in Oakland was my first NFL experience, and it couldn’t have been less satisfying. Even at a young age I knew the stadium was terrible. Sitting in the upper deck was an adventure, as there were at least three fights I remember seeing (that’s just the ones I remember). It was raining, cold and I spilt my soda on myself. The Raiders were my favorite team, and watching them lose in an embarrassing fashion didn’t help the cause. Having family around was great, and I definitely thanked them for bringing me, but in terms of fun, there wasn’t much of it.

The game in San Francisco was much of the same. The home team was losing, the stadium (and area around it) wasn’t pleasant and I still didn’t feel like I was having very much fun. And this was coming from a kid who was excited beyond belief on going in the first place. Like my Oakland experience I was once again sitting in the uppers of the upper deck, and once again seeing multiple fights breaking out. One I remember vividly of a Raiders fan, wearing a Randy Moss jersey, getting into with a 49ers fan. Drinks were tossed, punches were thrown and security came and took them out.

The perfect family experience!

This past weekend following the annual Raiders vs. 49ers pre-season game, reports of numerous brawls and two gunshot victims surfaced. Should we be shocked? No. But it does beg the question:

Are attending NFL games worth it?

It’s no coincidence I haven’t been to an NFL game since 2008 and only been to two in my life.

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE football: I’m a huge Raiders fan and keep up to speed with the entire league, I watch NFL Network on the daily, watch NFL Red Zone religiously on Sundays, own three fantasy teams, listen to multiple NFL podcasts, read multiple NFL blogs and have a season pass to the FX show The League. So why don’t I go to games?

For one, going to games are going to be a grip on the wallet. I have a job that pays fairly well, but I’m still just a college student. Between paying for dates that lead nowhere and Microsoft Office, NFL games don’t really fit in my paying schedule. It’s not the tickets themselves that are bad (I can find tickets for the Raiders vs.  Jets game for less than $40), it’s the extraneous costs the kill you. The gas money to drive to the stadium, food, drinks and possibly merchandise are just some of the costs. I’m not even mentioning parking and all the tailgating materials. Even if you buy the cheapest seat (let’s say $40), you add parking, food, drinks and gas, you’re dropping at least a couple bills. For a college student just hoping to survive, going to NFL game isn’t really in the cards.

Second reason why I don’t go to games: HDTV. The addition of HDTV to virtually every TV now is really incredible. Experiencing an NFL game is just (and even more) enjoyable watching on my couch than it is to attend. You can’t say that about other sports. Baseball is way better when at the park (AT&T Park helps), basketball is awesome up close and even though I don’t really like hockey, actually going to games is really exciting. I’m lucky enough to have a 50-inch HDTV plasma with a 7.1 compatible Harmon Kardon surround sound system. In other words: my shit KNOCKS. So you add the pleasure of every NFL game in HD, replays you wouldn’t normally get, great angles, great sound, cheap food and drinks and the luxury of my own home and you get a guaranteed great time.

The last and most important reason why I don’t go to games: the experience itself. While money and a plasma TV are both materialistic incentives for me to stick around, the actual experience I have going to a game lacks any enjoyment for me. Making the effort to see a mediocre team (Raiders) or a terrible team (49ers) doesn’t turn me on. Making the effort to see these teams at awful stadiums really doesn’t turn me on either. It’s sad that in an area so synonymous with successful corporations and beauty lay two of the worst stadiums in sports. Add these together and you get less than what you pay for. There’s no fun to be had.

My dad went to the 49ers vs. Saints game last season, a Monday night game, primetime, lower bowl center section seats, all free of charge. It was his first game since 2008 and I remember asking him when he got back if he had a great time, he replied: “I wouldn’t do that again.” Really? Free seats from a client to the biggest game of the year and he wouldn’t do it again? His reasoning: too many drunk idiots, fights, the area (Hunter’s Point) and lack of replays in the stadium. For a big 49ers fan like my dad to say that really struck me. If you can’t have a great time under those conditions, how can you at all?

When deciding to attend games I’m under the idea of “you go big or you go home.” I paid for me and my little brother’s seats to the Bulls vs. Warriors game last year, row 11 sideline club, VERY expensive seats. I paid for Cavaliers vs. Warriors a few seasons ago, corner section row 5, VERY expensive seats. I’ve paid for Dodgers vs. Giants seats, AAA level club seats. I’ve paid for Red Sox vs. Giants seats, 2nd level club as well. Why would a tight college student pay for the seats? I knew I was going to have a great time. I knew the experience was going to be a fun one. I can’t say that when going to an NFL game.

Of course this only applies to a 19 year old college student and not the majority of the people attending NFL games. There will always be people willing to fork over money to see their team, there will always be people willing to pay for the food and drinks, there will always be people willing to forgo the drunks and there will always be people who consider the experience to be well worth the money. But for the guy who is given the choice of O.CO or Candlestick Park, the guy who is given the choice of going to the game or sitting at his house watching comfortably, the guy who doesn’t have to have drunk idiots ruin the experience and the guy who is just trying to get through college with a decent amount of cashola, attending an NFL game just isn’t worth it.


2009 Draft Rewind: DHB vs. Crabtree

Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.”

— Joe Theismann

Good call Joe. You certainly proved your own point.

The term genius can apply to numerous minds in the NFL: Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, the Rooney family, Peyton Manning, a young Al Davis and Bill Walsh to name a few. Still, the term genius is a very loose term and a subjective one at that.

Sadly, the two Bay Area franchises are far from anything “genius” at their current state(s).

After numerous failed free agency periods, disappointing drafts and coaching carousals that would make the Minnesota Timberwolves jealous, both franchises are in a state of flux. The Raiders mainly for being still owned by Al Davis and the Niners for still riding the Alex Smith train to nowhere.

There were numerous moves that contributed to both team’s current situations. One of the biggest moves that will forever link the two franchises is the 2009 draft.

The Raiders were coming off Jamarcus Russell’s first full season as the starter. They just drafted Darren McFadden…and then quickly lost him to injury. Their WR corps consisted of Ronald Curry, Javon Walker and Ashley Lelie (I couldn’t make that up). They’re offensive line corps was atrocious. DeAngelo Hall, just signing a 7 year, $70 million deal with $24 million guaranteed, was cut 8 games into the season. The infamous “projector room” was the highlight of Lane Kiffin’s firing just 4 games in. They hired a Cable guy who was later found hosting women in his hotel rooms on road games.  And did I mention Jamarcus Russell started fifteen games? They finished with a 5-11 record.

The 49ers were coming off an Alex Smith-less season. After being diagnosed with a broken bone in training camp Smith was placed on injured reserve and thus paved the way for a J.T. O’Sullivan/Shaun Hill platoon at the QB position. Their WR corps consisted of recently signed Isaac Bruce, Bryant Johnson and the always reliable Arnaz Battle (Still one of the coolest names in sports history by the way). Nate Clements was in the 2nd year of his 8 year, $80 million deal ($22 million of that guaranteed). Mike Martz was in the first (and only) year of his “My Offense is Way Too Complicated for Any QB on the Roster but I’ll Try It Anyway” system. The Mike Nolan era came to a re-sounding end and Mr. Pants on the Ground became interim coach. The Vernon Davis benching, halftime strip show and infamous “I WANT WINNERS!” speech soon followed. The team finished with a 7-9 record.

Whew. Those were the good ol’ days huh? Where to begin? Both teams had so many holes to fill the kids at Camp Green Lake were jealous (If anyone gets that reference they will forever hold a place in my heart by the way). Both needed talent wherever they could get it, but the biggest area of need was on the offensive side of the ball. Both needing talent at the skilled positions, there was one player on everyone’s radar.

Michael Crabtree was arguably the best offensive player in the country while at Texas Tech. Originally slated as the #1 overall pick, Crabtree was 2X First Team All American, 2X winner of the Biletnikoff Award and 2X winner of the Paul Warfield Trophy. In other words, he was easily the best receiver in the country and arguably the best offensive talent in college football. Crabtree was a perfect fit for most teams in the league, let alone the lowly Raiders and 49ers. The Raiders had to dodge 6 picks and the 49ers had to dodge 9. Both seemed like longshots to grab the prize at the time.



The first six picks went by…and Crabtree was still on the board. “YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” was the word every Raiders fan said after the Bengals choice of Andre Smith. That “YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” quickly turned into a “WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  The Raiders, instead of choosing the premier offensive talent in the country, chose 2008 All ACC Honorable Mention and Biletnikoff Award watch list member Darrius Heyward Bay.  We knew Al Davis liked speed but even that pick shocked the world. The only man on the face of the Earth who predicted the pick was Mike Mayock of NFL Network. I remember reading that exact mock draft and saying “No way…I never even heard of that guy.” Mike Mayock will forever have my respect from now on because of it.

Two more picks came and went and the offensive prize of the draft was still on the board. After picking Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis in 2 of the 3 previous drafts it seemed the 49ers found another gem. This time it fell right on their lap. The “Faithful” couldn’t be happier and the “Nation” couldn’t be more depressed. For each Raiders fan having nightmares of the Heyward Bay pick there was a 49er fan dreaming of what would come with Crabtree.

It’s been two full seasons since that draft and what first seemed like a lob-sided victory for the 49ers has since become a little more interesting of a debate.









































































































“Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.”

                                                             — Jay-Z

The Crabtree era didn’t get off to a promising start with the receiver holding out the first 5 games of the season due to contract negotiations. The words “Crabtree” and “prima donna” seem to go hand in hand these days. Crabtree still has yet to compete in a full training camp or pre-season through his three year career. His rookie season he was holding out, his second year due to an undisclosed injury and this year due to a foot injury.

Both have missed games due to injury, both expected to rejuvenate hindered offenses and both have been disappointing through their young careers.

Is it entirely their fault? No. Both receivers have had suspect QB situations: Heyward Bay had Russell, Charlie Frye, Bruce Gradkowski and now Jason Campbell throwing him the ball. Crabtree had Shaun Hill and Alex Smith chucking him wobblers. Both had very questionable offensive lines to fight through. Both had to ride the coaching carousels their franchises put them through. Both had dis-concerning front offices to play for.

So who won the battle of the 2009 draft: the Raiders or the 49ers?

The question still stands, but the answer so far is Crabtree. Heyward Bay has yet to show any signs of becoming a quality wide receiver. His suspect hands in college have shown in the pro’s and even though he was the 7th overall pick in 2009, late round choices such as Louis Murphy and Jacoby Ford have already passed him on the depth chart. Zach Miller has left the team, but that doesn’t mean more balls will go DHB’s way. The Raiders quickly signed former New York Giant TE Kevin Boss and is a very formidable replacement and catching option to Miller.  Miller is still the better player, but I foresee at least a few TD’s for Boss this coming season.

Heyward Bay still has the speed, but as every person that watches the NFL except Al Davis knows: speed alone doesn’t equal quality. Davis has gotten lucky in the past with speedsters such as Jacoby Ford and Stanford Routt (and soon Denarius Moore), but for the most part Davis’ logic of “speed first, talent later” has flopped. DHB just doesn’t seem to be in sync with any QB he has had. At some point you know if a player is good or not, if he makes plays. Has Heyward Bay made any plays through his two seasons? Has he shown any signs of earning the position in which he was drafted in? No and no.

Crabtree’s situation at QB hasn’t been much better. Shaun Hill and Alex Smith aren’t really the barn burners you see yourself catching touchdowns from when you imagine yourself in the NFL. But what makes Crabtree better than DHB at this point is his signs of actually becoming a quality NFL player. Crabtree doesn’t have 4.2 speed, but he has good hands, can run tight routes and can make QB’s (lackluster ones at that) look pretty good at times. No one can question Crabtree’s talent, but it’s his dedication and work ethic that can be.

Many see Crabtree as a quasi-T.O, a great talent that comes with a bunch of baggage.  T.O. also is a top 10 WR and future Hall of Famer, so comparing stats would be pointless at this point. But you can’t deny Crabtree’s “Me first” mentality at this point in his career, very much like a Terrell Owens had.  The 49ers hope Crabtree can turn into half the player T.O. was. There still is time, and whether Crabtree turns into that player on the 49ers is another question, but the talent is there. The same can’t be said for Heyward Bay.

I don’t see Heyward Bay becoming a quality receiver in the NFL. Sure he has talent, but so does every player in the NFL. Does he have as much talent as his cross-Bay counterpart? No way. Whereas Crabtree’s ceiling is numerous Pro Bowl’s and 1,000 yard seasons, Heyward Bay’s ceiling is a quality #2 option and 500 yard seasons. That could change of course, DHB could turn into the second coming of Santonio Holmes and Crabtree can turn into another Charles Rogers. But for now, Crabtree is clearly the better player, clearly has the brighter future and clearly was the better pick in 2009.


The Circus is in Town: Lowell and Grant Cohn

I’m an open minded person.

If you throw me in a new situation, I’ll do my best to adapt to that situation for the better.

For example, my college roommate freshman year would go days without showering…literally. As a guy who can’t go more than half a day without showering, suddenly living with a person who showers once every 72 hours (on average) was the worst possible trait my roommate could possibly have. Even though I brought it up multiple times to his face, he wouldn’t budge. “Shit…this is going to be a long year” were the exact words I thought during orientation.

But heck, he was an alright guy; he let me use his XBOX, get songs off his iTunes and let me borrow some hangers. He ended up being one of my best friends I’ve had during my current college experience.  It was still a long year, especially in dorm 312 at San Jose State. Let’s just say my roommate wasn’t helping me with the whole female aspect of college either. If he was in my room, girls probably weren’t. Once again, I adapted and had to kick him to the curb if I needed some time with that special someone…the few there were at least.

Why am I explaining my freshman year struggles?

Well, as an open minded person, I had to adapt. I had to adjust from a potentially horrible year to make it somewhat manageable.

This brings me to Lowell and Grant Cohn. Lowell Cohn and his newfound journalist by default son Grant are the two worst journalists in the Bay Area, and two of the worst I’ve ever read, heard or watched in my entire sports viewing life.

I tried to adapt, I gave them chances, probably more than I should have. But they finally hit a breaking point with me this year. Once I started Fogtown Sports, I knew it wasn’t going to be long until I had to express my thoughts on these clowns that call themselves journalists. Where to begin?

Let’s start with Grant, a high off Purp looking douchebag who looked like he just got done shopping in the ladies department at Macy’s. Wait, probably too classy for him, maybe the women’s department at Target. That’s better. Either way it’s not the person you want representing a respected local newspaper and sports station.

How did he get his job? He probably will tell you he had some writing experience in high school, passed his English classes with flying colors and has been around the business his whole life. The reality? He’s a below average writer whose dad hooked him up with a job once Grant couldn’t get hired at the local Togo’s.  He knows it, his dad knows it, members of the media know it and more importantly, the people reading his crap know it.

Ask any knowledgeable sports fan about his posts and they’ll give you the same answer: terrible writer who clearly got his job because his dad sucked up to his employers for him. Thankfully he hasn’t made his way to the TV side of Comcast; lord knows what circus act two Cohn’s would make on the same camera. Let’s hope Grant never sniffs a camera during his “career” at CSN.

The most troubling thing about Grant’s employment? In a time when jobs are so scarce, especially in the field of journalism, for this guy to have a job and take the spot from an actual journalist is abysmal. With so few jobs out there, for Grant to cheat his way into the position he has is shameful on the part of the Press Democrat and Comcast. They should know better. You have journalists left and right being demoted, transferred or fired from their previous jobs struggling to find their next one. Yet fools like Grant Cohn have jobs? Give me a break.

Now to Bozo the Clown…whoops…I mean Lowell Cohn.

“Lowell Cohn has been covering Bay Area sports for more than 30 years and he’s never run out of things to say.”

You got that right.

That detailed, clear, concise sentence is all that lay in the “About Me” section of Lowell Cohn’s terrible blog called “The Cohn Zohn.” But hey, if my blog consisted of paragraph long posts than I wouldn’t have much in the “About Me” section either.

Seriously though, does “The Cohn Zohn” even count as a blog? I know it’s just an extension of his columns, but still. The whole purpose of a blog, especially one you’re getting paid for, is to extend your thoughts on the internet, giving readers a place to give their thoughts and extend your words to the world. For Lowell Cohn? Well, he extends his thoughts on his flight from Kona, Jennifer Lopez, Sexsmiths, walking his dog and numerous details of his fishing trip. Riveting stuff.

Not a bad gig huh? Write a sports column every other day, comped flights and hotels to sporting events and blog about his vacation and J-Lo. If you want to blog about your vacation, J-Lo or fishing, do it on a personal blog, Tumblr or even Twitter. That’s assuming Lowell knows how to use social media that is. Maybe it’s the Press Democrat’s fault by letting him blog on whatever he wants. But if I was a sports journalist, I don’t think people would give a rat’s ass on how I caught a bass fish, especially knowing I’m getting paid to write about that. I’m insulted he’s earning his paycheck like that.

Lowell responded to these claims in a recent post last month:

“Because this is my blog and, in a way, it’s a personal journal, I sometimes refer to other parts of my life. I can’t help it. I can’t be just one thing even if you feel most comfortable with my being just one thing.”

Well Lowell, because your blog is in the sports section of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s website, because your banner has sports equipment in it, because your tagline is “Lowell Cohn’s pertinent and impertinent take on sports” and because YOU’RE AN EMPLOYED SPORTS JOURNALIST, I’d wonder why readers would question your posts on NON-sports topics. Shocking isn’t it? Readers complaining about non-sports posts on a sports blog. I can get away with it because I’m not getting paid for my words, not yet anyway. You’re getting paid to write sports…WRITE ABOUT SPORTS. Even though you’re a hack, at least have the decency to do what your job description entails. If you want to be more than “one thing” use your Twitter for once or make a personal, non-paid blog for yourself. You can write all you want about fishing, your son’s C average or your last failed dentist appointment, don’t worry, I won’t be reading.

His blog is also a place for his son to receive some free publicity. Every other post consists of links to Grant’s blogs, either on Comcast or the Press Democrat websites. Lowell often gives his .02 cents on Grant’s posts too. Which, if you read between the lines say “Don’t be so hard on my unskilled, lack of talent ridden son. He’s trying his hardest!”

The biggest problem with Lowell Cohn? His brash style. It flows through his writing and is even worse on the TV side. His writing consists of mostly shorter sentences with quick thoughts and jabs. He’ll throw in the occasional longer sentence but the thoughts often seem too brash for his own good. You’re not on ESPN where you get paid more for being harsher (Calling Colin Cowherd or Skip Bayless), no need to act like you’re some big shot. No need to act as if your words are the only words people care about; in fact they’re far from it.

On the TV side Lowell comes off as a grumpy, sullen old man who forgot to take his Vicodin that morning. His shtick gets old fast. He tries so hard to be different, to be more than the prototypical “one thing.” He comes off as a guy who doesn’t want to cover sports, but rather covers them because he has to. I’ve never shared a press box with Lowell Cohn, but I can imagine him now: his glasses on, his 2003 Compaq in front of him, his AOL email open, his cup of black coffee on his side and his ego on his fingertips.

Lowell’s ego has gotten him in trouble in the past. Besides pissing people off on a daily basis through his blog, columns and CSN, two previous instances come to mind where he pissed off the wrong people.

Lowell Cohn’s brash and often abusive style was never more apparent than during a 49ers weekly press conference two years ago. In the heat of the Mike Singletary era, Cohn rips Singletary and questions his coaching style and the respect his players have for him. Not the way to treat a Hall of Fame linebacker. Believe it or not, Singletary is a great football mind. Coaching is another story, but no one can question his knowledge of the game. Singletary gives the biggest middle finger to Lowell without actually giving it. I enjoyed that video, a refreshing rip on someone that deserved one. Even if it is two years old.

Video of Singletary/Cohn rippage can be found here

The second instance of Cohn’s ego getting the best of him was in 2010 when associating steroid users to murderers:

“”It’s not like a defense lawyer walks into court and says, ‘Thousands of murderers get away with their crimes, so you should let my client, who wiped out an entire family, go free in the interest of fair play.’ That would be absurd.”

Nice one Bozo. Associating the murdering of families to millionaire athletes who use steroids. Another terrible argument used in that classic Lowell Cohn style we all know and love. I consider this to be AT LEAST a suspendable offense. Comparing those two things is like getting mad during a baseball game and calling the pitcher an illegal alien (“Can’t tell me no lies and keep your hands to yourself…). I didn’t hear him speak these words, but I don’t need to. I know how it would have looked: foolish.

Lowell and Grant Cohn should not be employed by any respectable news outlet. Grant for being a terrible writer and not properly earning his job. Lowell for being the weird, old married guy in the corner of the strip club doing nothing, just sitting and freaking everyone out. I’ve talked to tons of people who read and watch Bay Area sports. ZERO like anything related to these two fools. Whether it’s Grant’s free job at the Press Democrat and Comcast or his dad’s annoying and obnoxious style, these two shouldn’t be anywhere near a laptop or a camera. With so many great writers in the Bay Area, it’s a shame the Cohn’s share the same title is those real journalists. Lowell and Grant Cohn sharing the same title as a Ray Ratto, Tim Kawakami or Mark Purdy? Are you kidding me?

Hey Lowell, go back to the retirement home where you belong.

Hey Grant, my little brother’s elementary school needs a writer for their weekly newsletter, go where you belong.

No one will miss you.