SF 49ers: Digging To The Bottom of the NFL

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 1.3.2016

The San Francisco 49ers will be on their fourth head coach in as many years and the first team in almost 40 years to fire coaches in back-to-back years after just one season. The Cleveland Browns haven’t even done that. Add to it that the owner, Jed York, said in his press conference on Monday, ‘I own this football team. You don’t dismiss owners.‘ The 49ers were once the envy of every North American sports organization. Now, they are a laughing stock and paying millions of dollars to their former coaches with little hope for a winning team anytime soon.

Jed YorkIt’s almost scary what’s happening to the 49ers. They seemed to be on the right track when Jed York and then GM Trent Baalke convinced Jim Harbaugh to take over as head coach. He had immediate success and was within an inch of winning a Super Bowl. But Harbaugh and Baalke clashed and York, essentially, sided with Baalke which led to the dismissal of Harbaugh after an 8-8 season.

The 49ers have yet to win 8 games total since letting Harbaugh go.

To add insult to injury, the organization is going to have to pay between $30 million to $70 million to former coaches to not coach. This includes having to pay the next three years of former head coach Chip Kelly’s deal. Kelly never had a chance with the hand he was dealt but no matter, he’ll get paid handsomely for his one year with the team.

The fact is that Jed York should be fired. Can you imagine running a company where you have fired the leadership over the last years and will lose at least $30 million to pay former employees to not do their job?

It would be nice to say that there is some hope for the 49er faithful. The fact is that there isn’t. They have had multiple terrible drafts, lost potential hall of fame players to retirement or injury and have arguably the worse roster in the league. It will take several solid drafts, free agent signings and a lot of luck for the 49ers to make the playoffs again. So strap in 49er faithful, this is a long term plan.

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The Sunday: Leftovers

Sunday Change

Mark RichtWhile LSU’s Les Miles got most of the headlines the last week or so (and now he’s staying at LSU), Georgia’s Mark Richt was almost an after thought. Now he’s the one who is out after 145 wins and 15 years. What we said for Miles applies to Richt.

He’s a heck of a coach who has never had one losing season (that’s because they lost their bowl game) and went to a bowl game in every one of his 15 years.Georgia better have a damn good idea of who they want cause Richt will be very, very hard to replace.

 

Wasting A Perfectly Good Beer

Professional sports is a grind no matter what sport it is or where you play. Apparently in Australia fans think that pouring a beer on you is a appropriate behavior. Wrong. And the announcers let him know it.

 

The Fallen

The San Francisco 49ers were the ‘Team of the 80’s.’ They were also in the Super Bowl three seasons ago. Now, they forget to tell the media when the quarterback’s Press Conference is.

 

Little Man, Big World

Texas Tech got the better of Texas on Thanksgiving night partially because of a play called ‘Little Man, Big World’.

 

Punting, Catching and Slapping

Remember to get rid of the ball…

Then catch it…

…then slap it out of the ref’s hand.

The Difference In The End

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

There were several surprising retirement announcements in the last few days. First, the San Francisco 49ers Patrick Willis followed by Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker, former Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds. Common factor, all under the age of 31 and could still command top dollar. It came as a surprise but it shouldn’t be, especially in the age of CTE.

Patrick Willis could, and probably will, be considered for induction into the pro football hall of fame. He’s been that good. In fact he’s been the cornerstone of the 49ers for the eight years that he’s been in San Francisco. Through thick and thin, he’s been the constant.

Patrick Willis

Willis said goodbye to the 49ers and the NFL on Tuesday in a surprise to just about everybody. Reason, his feet and not being able to play at a high level. Later in the day came news that Jake Locker was walking away from the game, only four years removed from being a top 10 pick in the NFL Draft. Locker, like Willis, had been suffering from constant injuries. Unlike Willis though, Locker played 30 games and never lived up to the franchise quarterback tag that people branded on him when he was drafted.

Finnegan and Worilds are two more players who could have commanded top dollar on the free agent market but chose instead to walk away. Finnegan after a nine year career and Worilds at the age of 27. Worilds reason is a bit more interesting, he wants to devote more time to his religion (he is a Jehovah’s Witness). Finnegan did leave us with a great / not-so-great moment, when he and Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson got into a fight during a game.

While each player has their own reason for walking away from a high profile, lucrative career you have to believe that the reports about CTE had to play a part in their decision. What is all the money and glory for if you can’t remember what you did and enjoy your life after football?

Other players have retired at a young age such as former Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall. He wrote an interesting piece for the Huffington Post last year as to why he left the game at the age of 26. He is currently pursuing a screenwriting career in Southern California.

Could this be a new trend in the game? Players leaving after five, six, seven years? Cashing out while they are up? Convincing themselves that to go any longer would cost more than it’s worth? Time will tell but it is a distinct possibility.

What to Watch Thurs. 11/27- Fri. 11/30

All times are PST

Thursday November 27th

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions – 9:30am CBS: Cutler vs Stafford. Let’s see who implodes first.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys – 1:30pm FOX: This may be one of the better match-ups on Thanksgiving in a long, long time.

TCU at Texas – 4:30pm FS1: TCU needs this win in and an impressive one at that if they want any chance of making the Playoff.

Seattle Seahawks at SF 49ers – 5:30pm NBC: This is a pivotal game for both teams playoff chances.

Friday November 28th

NY Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers – 10am NBC: Two teams that hate each other. Goes along with some of the feelings come Black Friday.

Arkansas at Missouri – 11:30am CBS: This game just got a whole lot better with the Razorbacks latest form.

Arizona State at Arizona – 12:30pm FOX: This could be the best game of the weekend.

Chicago Blackhawks at Anaheim Ducks – 1pm NHLN: Two teams loaded with talent and probably Stanley Cup contenders.

Virginia at Virginia Tech – 5pm ESPN: Winning team goes bowling.

LA Clippers at Houston Rockets – 5pm NBA-TV: This game is just loaded with stars.

Memphis Grizzlies at Portland TrailBlazers – 7pm NBA League Pass: The top team in the Southwest vs the top team in the West. What?

Saturday November 29th

Georgia Tech at Georgia – 9am SEC Network: Georgia Tech runs the football and Georgia has had trouble with that this season.

NE Revs vs NY Red Bulls – Noon NBCSN: If it’s anything like game 1 we are in for a treat.

Mississippi State at Ole Miss – 12:30pm CBS: A ton on the line for both teams. Ole Miss will probably be without QB Bo Wallace which could make or break this game.

Minnesota at Wisconsin – 12:30pm Big Ten Network: Minnesota is a tough football team and Wisconsin is too. Oh yeah, they play for an axe.

Auburn at Alabama – 4:45pm ESPN: It’s the Iron Bowl. Did you see what happened last year?

Oregon at Oregon State – 5pm ABC: The Civil War tends to be one sided in Oregon’s favor but every now and then State jumps up to bite’em.

Washington at Washington State – 7:30pm FS1: The Apple Cup is always one the best in state rivalry games in the country.

Sunday November 30th

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills – 10am CBS: When was the last time that this was a must watch game? Well it is now.

102nd Grey Cup – 3pm ESPN2: Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs the Calgary Stampeders. Calgary has been one of the best teams in the league year in year out. They don’t get to the Grey Cup often and when they do they don’t always walk away with the Cup. In other news, Hamilton got faded in last years Cup so you know they want this one.

NE Patriots at Green Bay Packers – 1:30pm CBS: This game should rock.

Denver Broncos at KC Chiefs – 5:30pm NBC: KC is going to be ultra motivated since they lost a Pro Bowl player in Eric Berry for the season and are coming off a loss in Oakland.

Seattle Sounders at LA Galaxy – 6pm ESPN: This is just going to be an amazing match. Does Landon Donovan continue to another MLS Cup or will Clint Dempsey get the Sounders to their first ever Cup.

 

 

What to Watch Fri. 9/12- Sun. 9/14

All times are PST.

Friday Sept. 12th

Toledo at Cincinnati – 4pm ESPNU: First game of the year for Cincy and Toledo has two under their belt. Should make things a little interesting.

LA Dodgers at SF Giants – 7pm MLB Network: A weekend series of one of the best rivalries in all of sports. Oh, and they are battling for first place in the NL West. Good pitching matchup too.

Oakland A’s at Seattle Mariners – 7pm MLB.TV: The start of a big series in the AL West. Oakland was once the best team in baseball and now they are going to have to battle the King Felix and the Mariners for a playoff spot.

Real Salt Lake at Seattle Sounders – 8pm NBCSN: Always a great matchup and always a great venue in Seattle.

Saturday Sept. 13th

Aresenal vs Manchester City – 4:45am NBCSN: If you want to watch one soccer match this weekend watch this one.

Syracuse at Central Michigan – 9am ESPNEWS: Central Michigan just manhandled Purdue last weekend. Syracuse could be another Big 5 conference team to go down to the Chippewas.

Georgia at South Carolina – 12:30pm CBS: Always an entertaining matchup.

Tennessee at Oklahoma – 5pm ABC: It’s just nice to see two legendary programs square off in September.

Vancouver Whitecaps at FC Dallas – 5:30pm MLS LIVE: The Western Conference is truly the wild west when it comes to the playoff race. This game will add to the chaos.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers at BC Lions – 7pm ESPN3: Winnipeg has lost two straight. BC just lost their starting QB to a shoulder injury. Time for Winnipeg to turn it around?

Sunday Sept. 14th

Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers – 10am FOX: Cam Newton is back for Carolina which means this could be a shootout.

Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers – 1pm FOX: Defending Super Bowl champs have a tall order in the Chargers and the Chargers need to get a win to prevent starting off 0-2.

LA Dodgers at SF Giants – 1pm MLB.TV: Final game of a key series in the race for the NL West. Clayton Kershaw heads to the mound for LA.

Chicago Bears at SF 49ers – 5:30pm NBC: Good matchup for opening night of Levi Stadium.

What to Watch Thurs. 9/4 – Sun. 9/7

All times are PST.

Thursday Sept. 4th

Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians – 4pm MLB.TV: Stretch run and two teams in playoff contention.

Arizona at UT San Antonio – 5pm FS1: UTSA gave out a beating to Houston last weekend. Then again Arizona put a beating on UNLV too.

Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks – 5:30pm NBC: The good – The NFL is back! The bad – it’s the first game and on NBC so this thing may not kick off until 6pm (remember last year when Ryan Seacrest was on the field? No? Let’s remind you.)

Let’s all hope that this doesn’t happen again

 

Friday Sept. 5th

SF Giants at Detroit Tigers – 4pm MLB.TV: Why this series is happening so late in the year is beyond reason.

KC Royals at NY Yankees – 4pm MLB.TV: Another series with possible playoff teams squaring off.

Pittsburgh at Boston College – 4pm ESPN: Friday night ACC matchup between two hard nosed teams.

Washington St at Nevada – 7:30pm ESPN: The Cougars Air Raid visits the home of the Pistol offense. This means points a plenty.

Saturday Sept. 6th

SF Giants at Detroit Tigers – 10am FOX: Great pitching matchup with Bumgarner going for the Giants and Price for the Tigers.

USC at Stanford -12:30pm ABC: Awesome to have such a big conference game this early in the season.

Michigan St at Oregon – 3:30pm FOX: Probably the best out of conference game you will see this year. And a lot of green.

Sporting KC at NY Red Bulls – 4:30pm NBCSN: The Red Bulls need this one bad.

Michigan at Notre Dame – 4:30pm NBC: Worth watching because it is the last game between these schools for a while.

Virginia Tech at Ohio State – 5pm ESPN: This could be really close or an absolute blowout.

San Diego State at North Carolina – 5pm ESPNEWS: Carolina didn’t look all that great last week and the Aztecs have a tendency of scaring the daylights out of their big name opponents.

DC United at Vancouver WhiteCaps – 7pm  MLS LIVE: The Caps need three points if they want to get back into the playoff picture.

Sunday Sept. 7th

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons – 10am FOX: Big time battle in the NFC South. Remember, no one has ever won the NFC South two years in a row.

Washington at Houston Texans – 10am FOX: Watch for the sheer entertainment value as RGIII runs for his life from JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.

SF 49ers at Dallas Cowboys – 1:25pm FOX: So many questions like ‘How many INT’S’ will Romo throw?’ or ‘Who is actually on the 49ers defense now after the injuries and suspensions?’

Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos – 5:30pm NBC: Peyton Manning has to find new people to throw to and Andrew Luck is the modern day version of ‘Captain Comeback’.

What to Watch Thurs. 8/14 – Sun. 8/17

All times are PST

Thursday August 14th

Jacksonville Jaguars at Chicago Bears – 5pm ESPN: This may be the only time the Jags will ever be on anyones ‘must watch’ list….ever. But this is the only football game in town.

Friday August 15th

Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots – 4:30pm NFL Network: It’s Chip Kelly vs his old buddy Bill Belichick. Hey, it’s preseason football.

Milwaukee Brewers at LA Dodgers – 7pm MLB.tv: Could be a playoff preview.

Saturday August 16th

Seattle Sounders at Real Salt Lake – Noon NBCSN: Two top teams in the west in Salt Lake. Could Seattle finally fall out of first?

Seattle Mariners at Detroit Tigers – 4pm MLB.tv: Your pitching matchup, King Felix vs David Price. You’re welcome.

LA Galaxy at Columbus Crew – 4:30pm MLS LIVE: Columbus needs 3 points here to get back into the playoff picture. But that’s easier said than done with the ‘Landon Donovan Goodbye Tour’ in full swing.

UFC Fight Night – 7pm FS1: Main event features Ryan Bader (wrestler from Arizona St) vs Ovince Saint Preux (football player from Tennessee). Also Ross Pearson vs Gray Maynard and Tim Boetsch vs Brad Tavares.

Sunday August 17th

Manchester City at Newcastle United – 7:30am NBCSN: It’s a tall order for the defending champs. It’s also the best game of opening weekend for the Premier League.

Denver Broncos at SF 49ers – 1pm NFL Network: First American football game in the 49ers brand new Levi Stadium.

BC Lions at Toronto Argonauts – 4pm ESPN3: If preseason NFL Football isn’t your thing then check out the best game of the weekend in the CFL.

Weekend Viewing Guide Fri. 1/3-Sun. 1/5

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

For those of you in frigid temperatures and shoveling snow just remember,  there is plenty of sports on TV this weekend to keep you warm.

Friday January 3rd

Cotton Bowl: Missouri vs Oklahoma State – 5pm FOX: Possible shootout factor here is very high. We’ll see if both teams can recover from heartbreaking season finale losses that kept them out of a major BCS payday. Mizzou still has one of the better front four’s in all of football and is worth checking out. Gus Johnson is also announcing the game which makes it even better.

Orange Bowl: Ohio State vs Clemson – 5:30pm ESPN: Two years ago Clemson gave up 70 points in this game to West Virginia. Ohio State may be able to do that to them but Clemson might be able to do it to Ohio State too.

Los Angeles Clippers @ Dallas Mavericks – 5:30pm NBA League Pass/Regional: Top teams out West square off in Dallas. Could be close late even if the Orange Bowl isn’t.

Saturday January 4th

BBVA Compass Bowl: Houston vs Vanderbilt – 10am ESPN: Vandy is good and Houston is a team that can give people fits. If Vandy doesn’t come in ready to play it could be a long day in Birmingham for the Commodores. It might also be James Franklin’s last game as the Vandy head coach.

Michigan State @ Indiana – 11am CBS: An early Big Ten road test for Sparty. Assembly Hall is one of the toughest places to play in the country regardless of how good Indiana is.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts – 1:30pm NBC: The NFL Playoffs kick off in Indy. It may not be the sexiest game on paper but Colts QB Andrew Luck is notorious for come from behind victories and Alex Smith is still looking for validation after all these years.

New York Rangers @ Toronto Maple Leafs – 4pm NHLN: The Leafs return to the warmer confines of Air Canada Center to take on old rivals. Rangers need to get on the good foot if they want to get into the playoff picture.

Los Angeles Clippers @ San Antonio Spurs – 5:30 NBA League Pass/Regional: It doesn’t get any easier for the Clippers as they now have to take on the ageless Spurs. This could be a Western Conference Final preview and a good game too.

New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles – 5:30pm NBC: It will be cold in Philly but not as cold as it is right now. Will that effect Drew Brees and the Saints enough to slow them down or are the Eagles the dark-horse team in the NFC to make it to the Super Bowl?

Sunday January 5th

San Diego Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals – 10am CBS: Chargers are one of the more exciting teams in the league. Bengals have been unbeatable at home lately. Turnovers could very well decide this game.  Shootout possibility factor – high.

San Diego State @ Kansas – 1:30pm CBS: One of the few battles between top 25 teams in the college basketball this weekend. It’s a tall order for SDSU to head to Lawrence and come out with a win but something they could very well pull off.

San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers – 1:30pm FOX: Yeah, it will be cold in Green Bay and only get colder as the night goes on. Good news for San Francisco is that their QB played at Nevada -Reno, their kicker played in Cleveland his entire career and their defense is still really good no matter what the weather. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t very sharp last week against the Chicago Bears but he still got the job done. Expect a heavy dose of Packers RB Eddie Lacy. Should be a very close game.

San Jose Sharks @ Chicago Blackhawks – 5pm NBCSN: Two of the top teams in the NHL go head to head. The question is which Sharks team will show up? The ones that beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 earlier this week or the ones who lost 6-3 in the rematch a few days later? The Blackhawks are the best team in the league plain and simple but the Sharks are one of the teams that could give them a run for their money.