Jerry Rice and Tim Brown’s claims are ridiculous

Let me get this straight….Bill Callahan the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in the 2003 was so fond of his good buddy and friend Jon Gruden that he intentionally “sabotaged” the Raiders chances at winning the Super Bowl by changing the teams’ game plan 48 hours before the game making it easier for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to beat the Raiders…..

Well, If you are living in some kind of alternate reality where bunnies can run for Congress, you would believe the claims made by Hall of Famer and former Oakland Raider Tim Brown, that Callahan wanted to lose the Super Bowl. Brown’s comments were supported by the greatest receiver of them all Jerry Rice, who told USA Today, “maybe he didn’t like the Raiders, maybe (he thought) we should sabotage this a little bit and let Jon Gruden win this one.”

Huh ?

Callahan has vociferously denied the charges and called the comments “shocking, outrageous and sad.” The players say that Callahan changed the game plan just hours before the game causing uproar within the framework of the team. Couldn’t it be possible that Callahan had a severe change of heart and thought his game plan sucked, maybe too many gimmicks and that the team wanted to go back to basics to try to beat Tampa ? How about Callahan just having a horrible coaching moment in making this last minute change ? But, to question his integrity…that seems a bit much.

Think about it. You have reached the pinnacle of your sport and you are coaching in the biggest athletic event on the planet and you are going to sabotage yourself on purpose and try to lose ? It doesn’t make any sense. That is why it boggles my mind that Tim Brown would voice this and Jerry Rice would embrace this suggestion.

Rice even went so far to say that the game plan change was probably the reason Barrett Robbins, the Raiders starting center went AWOL on a drug and drinking binge just hours before the Super Bowl and failed to show up for the game……

What ?

Either, these two guys are hard up for attention or maybe THEY have have gone a little AWOL the last few days themselves. In defense of Callahan several Raiders have stepped forward to support Callahan refuting the Brown claims….including former quarterback Rich Gannon and lineman Lincoln Kennedy. But, in several respects the damage is done. Both Brown and Rice are revered in this sport and their opinions carry some weight…..even if their opinions are as asinine as the moon being made of ribs.


Ignorance on Armstrong and Livestrong is mind-boggling


I simply have no patience for ignorance. I try to understand other people’s viewpoints, but when they are based in ignorance I have to completely turn them off and not consider anything they say relevant if they are going to be so narrow-minded. This has become an issue for me as I listen to these “geniuses” discuss Lance Armstrong and his Livestrong Foundation.

Let’s get this front-and-center. Lance Armstrong lied and cheated his way to seven Tour de France cycling titles. He used performance-enhancing drugs during his tremendous string of victories and as an athlete he is a fraud and a sham…..Case Closed.

But, when you consider Armstrong the humanitarian a different story emerges. Because of his celebrity and his own personal fight with testicular cancer he started the Livestrong Foundation. He used his celebrity to garner donations and corportate sponsorships that helped thousands of families in their time of need. One of those families is my own. When a loved one was diagnosed with cancer, we had to have some specialized treatments. The treatments were in excess of 20 thousand dollars, money we did not have. Yet, the clinic told us that because of the Livestrong Foundation they would forgive roughly 75 percent of the cost.

When told what Livestrong was doing for us, I was in complete and utter shock. The doctors told us that they had negotiated with the Livestrong Foundation to forgive the costs of this procedure. It was something that we might not have been able to financially commit to without the Livestrong Foundation’s help. It was a revelation in what celebrity can accomplish when put to good use. Today, my family member is completely cancer free and we move forward in knowing there were a lot of people who helped us overcome this monumental challenge……one of which being the Livestrong Foundation started by Lance Armstrong.

So, while stones are cast Armstrong’s way, while people condemn his actions and his decade long denials about PED’s. I will look at Armstrong differently. He is a flawed athlete who took numerous short-cuts on his way to glory. But, when he found that glory he helped those in need to fight a deadly disease. I, for one, will not judge him harshly.

My stone will stay in my pocket.


I was wrong….Harbaugh was right


Capricorns can be stubborn and obstinate. When we believe we are right, its tough for us to budge. But, when we are presented with such over-whelming visual evidence that we are wrong, we concede with aplumb….that is what this Capricorn is going to do today.

Colin Kaepernick was simply superb. His ability to dominate the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional Playoff game on Saturday night will go down in the long and storied history of the San Francisco 49ers. He not only impressed with his rocket arm, but his legs…..oh those legs.

Kaepernick ran by, over and thru the impotent Packers defense like they were cardboard cut-outs. It was the best playoff rushing game by a quarterback in the HISTORY of the league. Green Bay defenders marveled at how well Kaepernick ran the read-option and sprinted by them. It was domination rarely seen at the professional level, let alone by a second year quarterback.

The second-year pro from Nevada-Reno, by way of Turlock, will now hoist the 49ers on his shoulders and take them to Atlanta, where he hopes to carry them to the Super Bowl and take care of some unfinished business. The loss against the New York Giants last year still stinging the 49er faithful.

In my criticisms of the move by Jim Harbaugh two months ago I argued that Harbaugh was disrupting the rhythm of the team by going to Kaepernick without taking his team’s well-being for the 2012 season in mind. I stated, the best chance for 49er success during THIS season was with Alex Smith. For 2013 and beyond, I thought Kaepernick was the choice. But, clearly Harbaugh had the pulse of the situation.

He knew that he couldn’t indiscriminately go to Kaepernick while Smith was putting up a 25-1 record. With that said, he also knew that at the first opportunity to make the switch, he was going to pounce. Remember, Harbaugh, his coaches and the players see practice each and every day, and reports had surfaced for the last year that Kaepernick was out-playing Smith on a daily basis. As we all know, playing in games, and in practice are completely different. But, Harbaugh knew exactly what he wanted to do.

In conceding I was wrong about the situation, I still believe it was handled horribly. Is it a difficult, almost impossible dilemna to navigate ? Absolutely. But, Harbaugh’s coy and effusive responses to the media about his quarterback situation were also echoed by the two quarterback’s in question who both said they were not getting any indication where Harbaugh was leaning. I think he knew,  just preferred playing the game, to keep everyone on edge, that is the Harbaugh way. I believe he owed Smith a sit-down to tell him the what, why and how. Smith deserved that much.

In the end, Harbaugh was right, I was wrong, and all is normal with the world. The 49ers are one win away from going to the Super Bowl. San Francisco fans have their quarterback of the present and the future and his name is not  Alex Smith. Smith will land somewhere, and will be an effective quarterback. But, the 49ers belong to Kaepernick now, and its exactly how the mad genius wanted it.


Bonds won’t get in the Hall…..and that’s a good thing

Tomorrow at 11am the vote by the Baseball Writers of America will be released and God-willing Barry Bonds is not voted in to the Hall of Fame.

There is no doubt from 1987-to-1999 Bonds was one of the greatest players the game had ever seen. He was the true five-tool player. He could hit, hit for power, field, throw and run. He had hit more than 450 home runs in that 13 year stretch and had garnered three MVP awards and was considered one of the pre-eminent players in the game both offensively and defensively. If his career had stopped at that point,  he was a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer, but for Bonds being the best in the game WASN’T ENOUGH.

Teammates and associates of Bonds say he was not happy that Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire had captivated the nation with their 1998 home run chase. Bonds was clearly a better player than both Sosa and Big Mac and in seeing the adulation these two players were getting nation-wide it fried the versatile and also volatile Bonds. Anyone with vision, knew Sosa and McGwire had bulked to near super-human proportions and you had to be naive, dumb or blind (all of which baseball officials were) to not know they were on the juice. Size like that doesn’t come from living in the weight room. So, Bonds got connected with the Bay Area lab Balco and the rest is history.

Three years later Bonds would break Mark McGwire’s single-season home run record at 73 and would shatter baseball’s record books with home runs at a chemically induced pace. Balls were not just flying off his bat, but they were traveling at a distance on a consistent basis that seemed freakish…prodigious home runs that were befitting of a man who had become bloated yet strong. Not only hitting home runs but consistently hitting them 400 to 450 feet. All while doing this as he aged, that’s right, as Bonds got older he got better. Little did we know that Bonds had found Ponce De Leon’s Fountain of Youth at the Bay Area Labratory Cooperative in the Bay Area.

In 2007, Bonds would break Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record with 762 round-trippers. At nearly 40 years old he was still one of the toughest outs in baseball, and when he hit the ball it still soared out of ballparks all around the country. Gone were his tremendous running skills, that made him so electrifying with the Pirates and the Giants in the early 90’s, gone was his ability to chase down balls in the gap with the graceful almost obstinate stride letting fans around baseball know that “he had this.” And, gone was the thin wiry and athletic player that reminded fans of Willie Mays in his prime. No, near the end we had a bloated, muscle-bound, bulging player that simply was a behemoth as he chased baseball’s most hallowed record for the edification of himself. That was it. The record of Aaron had all of a sudden become the record of a colossal fraud who needed a lubricant and synthetic steroid known as the “clear” to etch his name in baseball record books.

While Bonds was worshipped in San Francisco, he was and is reviled around other major league cities. We all know that Bonds was not the only player to juice, heck, if you believe Jose Canseco there were nearly half of major leaguers who were on some kind of illegal performance-enhancer. But, none of those players were the best player of their generation and felt like it WASN’T ENOUGH. None of those players broke cherished baseball records for purely for their own selfish desires. Bonds is still worshipped by some lemmings in San Francisco for his records and the joy he brought their baseball fans, but, in reality he is a fraud. A great player before 2000, but nothing but a cartoon character once his head grew two sizes. He is and always will be the poster player for the steroid era.

So, while his supporters cry foul when the Baseball Writers shun Barry Bonds on Wednesday, remember, this was a guy who had it all, and it wasn’t enough. A player of supreme talent, and despite his surly disposition was respected as a ballplayer. A player unlike any other I had ever seen…..and he wasted it. Wasted it on home run records, that were largely ignored by the baseball community. In the end, Bonds punishment is being ostracized by baseball. Sure, he is loved in San Francisco, but baseball could care less about the man, neither celebrating or honoring a man who had it all….but it WASN’T ENOUGH.