IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: 49ers limp to finish, heads roll
49ERS CLOSE OUT DISMAL SEASON: They storm out to a 14-3 lead in the first quarter and it looks promising. Then the offense shuts down. Only one late TD the rest of the way. The Seahawks use second stringers, but it makes no difference. San Francisco ends the season at 32nd in passing yards and 31st in total yards per game. Colin Kaepernick has a decent game going 17-for-22 with 215 yards, but the run game is bad with a mere 62 yards. The finale is a 25-23 loss.
HEADS ROLL: General Manager Trent Baalke is released before the final game. Chip Kelly faces the same fate after the game. Kelly will earn $18 million alone from the 49ers to fulfill his contract. Was it really his fault? The Yorks need to look in the mirror. That is where the problem emanates.
RAIDERS ON LIFE SUPPORT: The Cinderella season saw the clock hit midnight in week 16 when they lost Derek Carr. Last Sunday vs. the Broncos they amass a mere 59 yards on 16 carries opposed to 216 yards the first time the Raiders and Broncos met. The 24-6 loss is their worst performance of the season. Matt McGloin goes down at quarterback. Can they find a solution in the Wild Card game today vs. the Texans? Their season is close to done.
CHANNEL 3/DIRECTV AT IMPASS: If you tuned in for Sunday Night Football on DirecTV, you experienced a “work stoppage.” No game. Blacked out. The satellite giant and Hearst Communications (owner of Channel 3) are at an impasse. Hearst contends the price is too high. DirecTV says they are being held hostage by Hearst and Channel 3. The end result…if you are a DirecTV subscriber, scurry to find another way to view Channel 3. The football playoffs on the peacock network are in doubt. The losers again? Fans!
ROUND BALL SUCCESS: Bear River and Nevada Union basketball teams are all on course to make their mark. Should be an interesting league season. The big games are tonight. It is the “Civil War” of Nevada County basketball when the NU and BR girls and boys collide.
ROUSEY DOWN IN 48 SECONDS: Ronda Rousey was the face of the MMA women’s tour. Saturday, it all came crashing down, again, after a first round knockout by Amanda Nunes. The Bantamweight Belt is retained by Nunes after a mere 48 seconds. Nunes pummels Rousey and totally outclasses her. It is not much of a match as Rousey faces her second straight loss. Nunes does nearly all the promoting for the fight and most wonder if it is Rousey’s last MMA payday.
END OF THE ROAD IN 2016: We lost some great sports figures in 2016. We had to say good-bye to the likes of Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, Craig Sager, A’s Tony Phillips, Buddy Ryan, Warriors Nate Thurmond, Denny Green, tennis’ Bud Collins, Joe Garagiola, Pat Summitt, and “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe. All outstanding contributors, they live in our memories for their contributions they made to their game. They will be missed.
KINGS/WARRIORS IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS: Warriors enjoy a perfect week after their Christmas Day loss. They are at 31-5 for the season, first in field goal percentage at 49.9 and points scored at 118 points per game. They were 13-3 in December. The Kings continue to flirt with the final playoff spot. However, it is a 1-2 week and 7-8 for December. The low point is a dreadful loss vs. the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Although the Kings have improved, it is still two franchises going in different directions.
WINTER CLASSICS LOSING THEIR GLOW: Yes, the NHL sees great value in their Winter Classic games played outdoors in sometimes freezing weather. However, has it lost its original appeal? Chicago loses AGAIN on Jan. 2. The ice conditions are poor. The weather is always suspect. The teams’ fans may love it, but it seems like the rollout of the same teams. NBC ratings? Desire to sell more merchandise? Larger followings? It needs to be re-evaluated although I doubt the NHL will.
TEAM USA’S MAJOR TRIUMPH: There was not a lot of fanfare and probably little interest in Nevada County. However, Team USA went undefeated in the World Juniors Hockey Championships in Montreal and Toronto. They won the gold vs. Canada Thursday night. Great tournament and extremely high sports drama.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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With a balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive effort, the Nevada Union football team went on the road Friday night and knocked off Napa, 33-14.