Patrick Willis retires after eight seasons in the NFL.
I remember when Barry Sanders retired from the NFL. He had been in the league since 1989 and 10 years later, was still a very effective running back. I was selfish when he announced it because he was so close to becoming the all-time leading rusher. But instead, he walked away because he just didn’t have the same passion anymore. I didn’t want to hear it. I wanted him to play longer. I wanted him to have the record. I hated that he left the game like that.
It took me a long while until I started covering the 49ers as a beat writer in 2009 did I started to understand these kinds of decisions fully.
Every day, I saw what these players go through with their bodies. I see the strain it took on some of them and their families. I saw the difficulties they had to maintain as a famous person. Even though the money was great, the stress and the burdens continued to rise daily. There’s the glory of being a famous NFL player, but there is a lot of other baggage that comes along with.
Draymond Green becomes a restricted free agent after this season.
When the Warriors drafted Draymond Green a few years ago, I was really excited. I had watched Green play at Michigan State since his freshman year and I was very familiar with his skills. He was a player with no place, as his size, frame and athleticism wasn’t a prototype of a successful NBA player. Nevertheless, he had many great qualities and in time, could evolve into someone special.
Fast forward to now and Green is one of the most important players on the Warriors. He’s been getting praise for his ability to shut down defenders down the post and up top at the guard position. His versatility has allowed the Warriors defense to shoot up the top of the ranks in the NBA. Additionally, his offensive numbers have risen. He is still a work in progress and his deep-range shooting at times has hurt the Warriors. But overall, he’s a great asset to the team and has been so key for the Warriors ever since he was named the starter following David Lee’s struggles.
He becomes a restricted free agent after this season, meaning the Warriors can match any offer another team gives Green. The organization, including head coach Steve Kerr, has expressed desire to keep Green with the Warriors. If that’s the case, how come the team hasn’t given him an extension and risk him hitting the free agency market?
I was only 3 when this earthquake happened. I have no memory of it. But I remember watching old footage of it as a kid later on. My parents had recorded the news broadcast with their VCR. I was fortunate enough to be living in a part of the East Bay that didn’t suffer major damage from this quake. But this earthquake still shakes me up every time I think about it.
Even though I don’t remember any of it and wasn’t affected severely by it, watching old footage of the quake still sends chills down my spine. Earlier this week I was on YouTube just watching some of the videos they had on and I was in tears. It’s still frightening to see all of the damage and lost lives.
I’ve grown up and lived in California for pretty much my entire life. Earthquakes are normal to me. I’ve withstood minor ones over the years and have been fortunate to never have experienced anything like what we had in 1989.
Earlier, I shared my joys about Derek Jeter. He’s been a consistently good player for most of his career. His final years haven’t been all that, but overall, he’s been a staple in Yankees baseball. I hate the Yankees, but he’s one of few players that I don’t hate. I like him. He’s good for baseball.
Since I live in Southern California, I even made it out to his final game in Anaheim just so I can see him one last time. I wanted to see him play one last time. I even snapped this Hall of Fame photo. I enjoy watching him play.
With that being said, the love-fest he’s gotten all season long is too much. Do we need all this? Do we need everyone showering him with all this love and gifts and ceremonies? The excessive force-feeding of merchandise? Yes, he deserves great praise. But this is going overboard.
Jeter was never among the greatest player of his generation. He never won MVP, never won a batting title. He rarely was ever the top guy in any major statistical categories. He was good and has had memorable postseason moments, but hanging on to those clutch postseason games does not define a two-decade career.
A lot is on the line for the 49ers and it rides on the outcome of the Ray McDonald investigation.
Throughout the entire Ray Rice domestic violence news that has overtaken us this past 24 hours, we are reminded that the 49ers are dealing with a similar situation. “Ray McDonald is not Ray Rice,” 49ers CEO Jed York told KNBR this morning. He is right. But it’s tough to try to sift through all the discussion with domestic violence right in the forefront and not find similarities.
Ray McDonald is not Ray Rice. That is true. His situation is not similar to that of Rice’s. But with Rice ordeal still in our minds, the 49ers are very aware of the potential consequences if McDonald’s alleged domestic violence attack is true.
But of course, the 49ers are not the type of organization to be the judge, jury and executioner on their own. They wait when they’re demanded to be swift. The same way they waited and allowed Aldon Smith to play one game before hearing the outcry of the public. Then did Smith receive some sort of punishment in the form of rehab. It was only then after did the NFL suspend Smith for nine games.
They knew that Smith was out of control, yet they balked at making a move.
One thing that I am always reminded about when we do Jackie Robinson day in the big leagues is his impact on not only baseball, but in the world. You can imagine how hard it was for him to stand out and be the target of hate. Yet he knew that what he was doing was going to change the world.
Robinson believed that it was unfair for his skin color to his only identity — an unfair portrayal of who he is as a man. The racism that followed was tough but he knew that if he was able to succeed and be that pioneer, then more will follow and the times will change.
As we look at all the people wearing #42 today, we are reminded that our individuality is unique and it’s what makes this world great. Robinson had to do that when the rest of the world was against him. Honoring Robinson is great but we can’t lose what he meant to the game of baseball and the world.
Don’t be afraid to stand for something you believe that is right. Be strong, be humble and take on the challenges that come with it. Robinson reminds us that we can make a huge difference. The world can change and sometimes, it just takes one person to help show the way.
Are the 49ers’ chances of winning the Super Bowl slipping away?
In hindsight and in the big picture, the 49ers have accomplished a lot since Jim Harbaugh arrived as head coach. Three straight NFC Championship Game appearances, including an appearance in the Super Bowl, is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s hard enough for a team to continue that kind of successful consistency but the 49ers have done that.
However, in all three seasons, the 49ers were good enough to go to the Super Bowl and win. They are that good of a football team and can only get better. At least that’s what it appears for this team.
But as this 2013 season has come to an end, the 49ers have a lot of decisions to make in order to return to the playoffs and finish off what they started. They have injuries (NaVorro Bowman, Mike Iupati) that they have to monitor this offseason. They have key free agents like Donte Whitner and Anquan Boldin that they have to figure out if they can keep.
Can this team be this good and maintain all this kind of success? How much longer can they hold on to this core before they have to restart all over again?