So. Football Season.

July 16, 2007 Ray Ratto points out in this morning’s paper, with the Giants 12.5 games out and the A’s 11.5 games behind the Angels (curse those SoCal teams!), it’s about time to look forward to some new things, like the NFL’s hottest sleeper pick, your San Francisco 49ers.

We have to say that we’re quite excited about the upcoming season, particularly since the 49ers are on many experts’ short list of young teams that could make some noise. Of course, the majority of the team’s success will hinge on whether Alex Smith can take that storied “next step,” something that won’t be made easier by the front office’s failure to upgrade at wide receiver. Ashley Lelie and Darrell Jackson were apparently the best wideouts that the brass could swing, so tight end Vernon Davis had better live up to his hype this year.

Especially given last year’s encouraging finale, most people are cautiously optimistic about the Niners, but isn’t that just the nature of the hometown fan?

To whet your NFL appetite, here are some snippets from what the experts are saying about the Niners over at the World Wide Leader:

Dan (Reno, NV): Doug, the Seahawks are small on the defensive line, not great in pass coverage, their star runningback may or may not be 100% and their quarteback is good, but not great. Why should the Seahawks be the favorites in the NFC West with all the additions the 49ers and Cardinals have made?

SportsNation Doug Kretz: Dan.. Good question.. The Seahawks are probably still the best of a relatively weak division so that gives them an immediate advantage. The 49rs are still a year or two away (but building momentum) and the Cards have to prove that they can develop a winning attitude (very important)

Brian (CA): The 49ers defense started to come around at the end of the season. They’ve added several key FA’s and rookies. The niners seem to finally have the personnel to run a legit 3-4. Do you think the unit could be a top 10 defense?

SportsNation Doug Kretz
: Brian. Thanks for the question. The 49rs defense IS improving, however they were still a bottom ten team on defense, giving up 344 yards per game. Their new defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky, is a good coach and will do well but they are still a year or two away..
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Clip Of The Day: Chris Berman Knows Bay Area Geography

July 10, 2007

Chris Berman’s famed “Back! Back! Back!” homerun call is well-documented on the interwebs, but last night, he really showcased his knowledge of the Bay Area, stupidly calling out Sausalito, Stinson Beach, Alcatraz (bo-ring) and our personal favorite: Half! Moon! Bay!

No mention of Pacifica though. Shame.

(Is there room for a “You’re with me, map of San Francisco” joke in here?)

Buzz: Along With Contaminated Pet Food, Warriors Fever Slowly Spreading Across Nation

April 30, 2007

In case you missed the early chats, the Warriors are slowly–slowly!–starting to garner some respect on the World Wide Leader …

Kim: (Dallas, TX): Will the Mavs playoff performance hurt Dirk’s chances of winning the MVP?

John Hollinger: To review, the MVP vote is for the regular season only. All the ballots had been cast before the Mavs-Warriors series started. Which is as it should be. Dirk was the most valuable player in the regular season; he just hasn’t bee in the past four games.

Charles Barkley: I was looking pretty foolish after last night’s game. Any chance the Mavs come back and put those uppity migdets in their place?

John Hollinger: Yes, they absolutely have a chance, because only one of the final three games are in Oakland, and also because Baron Davis is capable of getting injured at any time. But Nelly’s underdog schtick is growing tiresome.

Vin: (Dallas, TX): John, what’s going on with the Mavs? I don’t understand how a team can collapse they have, especially after how well they did in the regular season.

John Hollinger: The Mavs aren’t collapsing; Golden State is playing out of their minds. Look at the run they went on to end the season; this is NOT your typical 42-win team, and if they get past Dallas I would give them great odds if making the conference finals

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The Experts Speak

April 25, 2007


This week, the internets were all about tonight’s Warriors-Mavs matchup, especially our boy Hollinger’s chat. All in all, it seems like the Warriors turned some heads, but tonight will (help) determine whether or not Game One was a fluke. Here’s what the so-called “experts” are saying:

Joseph, San Antonio: Could it be the Warriors have total psychological control over the Mavs?

John Hollinger: You start to wonder if they’re in Dallas’s heads a little bit. I thought Avery matching up with George was a premature capitulation.

David (Houston): Do you think Dallas will keep a big man on the court for more minutes to shutdown the driving abilities of Davis? It seemed his constant drives to the basket really opened up their 3 point opportunities in the second half due to Dallas’ smaller lineups.

John Hollinger: I expect Dallas to play big much more in Game 2, because what they tried in Game 1 didn’t work. Biggest impact won’t be on Davis’s drives, but at the other end, where a guy like Dampier can dominate the glass and get fouls on Harrington.

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ESPN Buzz: Experts Not Jumping On Golden State Bandwagon. Yet.

March 20, 2007

From recent SportsNation expert chats on

Zac (Oakland): Wouldn’t the Warriors give Dallas a little scare if they meet in the 1st round? Nellie has an ax to grind with Cuban and seems to know how to beat these guys. But what a horrible showing by The Beach in the tourney. Too many turnovers, so I’m ready if you want to give me a hard time.

SportsNation Marc Stein: (11:49 AM ET ) A very minor scare. That series goes no more than five if they meet in the first round and it might be over in three. The Warriors just need to get there first. As for your Beach, can’t rip you. I’d kill for a horrible showing in the tournament.

Jon (San Francisco, CA): From one Jon to another: Any love for the Warriors? Wins over Dalls, Detroit, and all their 8th seed competitors in the past two weeks. Don’t you want a Cuban-Nellie playoff series? As an aside, any chance Stephen Jackson’s improve play helps the Warriors ditch his large contract this offseason? I’m thinking the Spurs…

SportsNation John Hollinger: I think GS will get it as long as Baron and Richardson can stay in the lineup — unfortunately that’s hardly a given. As for Jackson, good luck trying to trade him. Only way is to take back somebody else’s headache.

More NBA, Stu Scott’s poor spelling and even some baseball questions answered after the jump …

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