Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winners to wear jersey patch — is this a good idea?

I applaud all those who serve their communities. It is a great way to show the community that these athletes are not just football players, but they are people who have a platform to serve. That’s great.

But a jersey patch?

This just feels like a “Hey look at me and how good I am!” kind of feeling. The whole football uniform has always been about the football player or the team. Whether it’s a captain patch or an anniversary patch, it’s always been something about the team. Never have I seen a player wear a patch honoring their philanthropy off the field.

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The greatest 50 Oakland Athletics of all time list is interesting

This is a fan-voted list so I can understand that it’s not perfect. For example, players like Scott Hatteberg shouldn’t be in it but because of one swing, he’s in.

As an A’s fan though, it’s nice to see some current players. Then also to be reminded of players that were traded away at their prime. It’s an interesting list that takes me down memory lane.

What a time to be an A’s fan!

I am so happy the Astros won the World Series

After the Yuli Gurriel drama, I was compelled to change my pick to the Dodgers. But I had chosen the Astros for three reasons.

  1. My American League loyalty
  2. My NorCal loyalty
  3. I like cheering for teams who need to end droughts

So based on that, I was sticking with the Astros. And even though Game 7 didn’t have a fantastic finish, this series as a whole was amazing. We had home runs and comebacks and epic finishes. It was exactly what we needed to see. It was the perfect series.

We witnessed an all-time great series and I am just relieved that I was able to be alive when  it all happened.

Yuli Gurriel’s racists gesture and finding forgiveness among the immersion of two cultures

I’m angry. I’m upset. I want to punch Yuli Gurriel in the face. Mocking someone for their physical appearance because of a stereotype is not going to fly in this country.

But I know that my anger and desire to hurt him will not solve anything.

Last night, when Gurriel made a slanted eye gesture and called Yu Darvish (who is Japanese) a Chinito (little Chinese boy), it was clear to many that it was not acceptable. But that was many people, not all people, who found something wrong with it.

There are the people that think America is getting too PC and that it’s an overreaction to something minor. Others are contending that Latin culture features these kinds of remarks and actions all the time and it’s normalized. Using these terms and actions is so common and it’s pretty apparent that Gurriel is just doing what he was so used to growing up.

The problem is that he isn’t back home in Cuba. He is in America. And after all the problems with what we had with disrespect this season (two suspension for homophobic slurs, racist slurs thrown at O’s OF Adam Jones), the league has been on high alert on the way people and fans are being treated.

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On anniversary of Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ raised fists, we are still fighting the same racial battle

On this day in 1968, one of the greatest moments in sports history happened. It was also one of the greatest moments in world history.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, two runners from San Jose State University (my alma mater), made a demonstration that forever changed history. After having won gold and bronze medals, respectively, in the 200-meter running event, both Smith and Carlos raised a black-gloved fist during the national anthem in a gesture towards human rights. This came at a time in America where racial equality was still a distant dream.

What transpired afterward was equally telling of the times in America. There were people who understood the importance of their message; there were many who disliked the act. Smith and Carlos were immediately sent back home, they (and their families) received death threats. It became discussion over and over about how a sporting event was no place for what they deemed a political protest. What these two did was completely unacceptable and disrespectful.

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End of an era: 49ers say farewell to NaVorro Bowman

I remember writing up a recap of the 49ers drafting Penn State linebacker NaVorro Bowman. I was at my friend’s house and I had brought my laptop with me. At the time I was still getting my footing as a beat writer. But I felt that Bowman was a smart pick. Even though he was not a first round selection, he had a strong pedigree and had potential for growth.

Since then, Bowman was a four-time First All-Pro, three-time Pro Bowl selection and at times, was the best defender on the team. And that’s with Patrick Willis next to him.

Bowman was a great professional to work with and he always gave me respect. He was a beast of a linebacker and it’s a shame injuries prevented him from reaching his best potential.

Regardless, he was beloved by many fans and they will always cherish his pick-six at The Stick. That’s an image that will last a lifetime.

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Free admission to an A’s game next season could reveal an ugly truth

When the A’s announced today that their April 17 home game against the White Sox will have free admission, it sounded like a cool idea but also popped this question in my mind: Would the stadium even be filled for this game?

Columnist Ray Ratto (link above in tweet) shared those exact thoughts.

The idea of a free game is great as it really allows all those people who may never have considered going to a game an incentive to go to a game without the cost of paying for a ticket. I don’t know how the logistics are for parking or concessions, but I will assume that prices for those will remain.

But still, a free game is a pretty nifty novelty. And it would leave people to believe that the stadium will be full for the game since the cost of entry is free. However, it could reveal that the fans or the city don’t have enough people to show up to a free game.

This could be troubling for an organization that desires to build a new stadium in the city. Also, it will lead to many different speculations as to why the stadium isn’t filled — especially for a season that is only a few weeks old.

Do people not care enough? Is the team unappealing? Is the stadium too old?

There are a lot of factors. This might be the A’s trying to find out those answers by doing this promotion.