IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: With Garoppolo comes hope; Kings continue to struggle | TheUnion.com

IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: With Garoppolo comes hope; Kings continue to struggle

Jim Adams
Sports Columnist

GAROPPOLO RULES: It is a triumphant debut. The San Francisco 49ers fail, again, to get into the end zone. However, Jimmy Garoppolo moves the ball well and five field goals later, the Chicago Bears are victimized by the 49ers 15-14. Garoppolo is 26-for-37 and 293 yards. Are there perhaps a few more victories left in this season?

RAIDERS/NY GIANTS DRAMA: The Raiders are remarkably tied for first in the AFC West after a 24-17 win over the New York Giants. The big story, however, is Eli Manning's benching in favor of Geno Smith. An uproar and condemnation of the Giants follows. Manning's first missed start since 2004! The QB debacle produces the same result. The Raiders face a tough schedule down the stretch including Kansas City tomorrow.

DONE DEAL: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in for another 5 years with a contract that could be worth $200 million if he meets all the incentives of the contract. It is reported that it was "nearly unanimous." It is believed that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was one of the dissenters. Can Goodell begin to straighten out a league in the midst of so much chaos? He will have the next half-decade to address all the current issues.

AIR BALL: LaVar Ball has advice for Lakers coach Luke Walton on how to manage his son Lonzo. No takers. He doubles-down as he states, "I still don't think Steph Curry's better than my son." Finally, laughter. LaVar lives in a dream world. The Lakers make moves to block his access to the media. Smart. Lonzo needs to up his game after a relatively poor NBA start.

NO MORE MULLIGANS: Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant is ejected in the fourth quarter of a Warriors 133-112 win over the Orlando Magic. "Refs run the game, so if they are not feeling good they can make any decision they want," he says. This marks three high profile players recently ejected including LeBron James. Yes, Durant challenged the referee verbally. However, it is a new trend of not giving additional latitudes to superstars. I wonder what Mom Durant thinks of all of this? No visit to the wood shed!

ANOTHER LOST SEASON: It is December and almost time to declare the Sacramento Kings irrelevant. Tough to face…again. Starters go to the G League overnight. They are 7-17. 4-9 over a 13 game stretch as of Thursday. The aged Zach Randolph as the leading scoring. Big man Willie Cauley-Stein is still trying to find a groove. They are 29th in scoring, 28th in rebounds and 25th in field goal percentage. Coach Dave Joerger still trying to find a solution. Where do they go from here?

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"THE BIG" PAVELSKI: San Jose Sharks Joe Pavelski smiles as he scores his 300th NHL goal vs. the Florida Panthers. Sharks win 2-1. During the post-game interview on NBC Sports California, Pavelski is seen on the verge of laughter. Enter Brent Burns' hand as he tries to feed Little Joe a piece of pizza on live TV. Pavelski refuses to bite at the prank. The win is bigger than the accomplishment.

TIGER GROWLS: He may not roar yet, but it was definitely a positive return after a 301-day layoff. At the Hero World Challenge, he posts a -8 for the tournament. He stumbles on Saturday with a rocky 75, but performs well the other three days. We may not see him again until January, but he is trending positively in his comeback.

RUSSIA IS OUT: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has banned Russia from the 2018 Olympic Games. It is a bold move after months of an extensive investigation. The violations are many and they are severe in nature. Russian athletes may compete independently under the name Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR). However, no medals will be awarded to Russia and their national anthem will not be played. All Russian flags are prohibited. Russia needs to clean up its performance-enhancing drug program.

Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at adamses@inreach.com.

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