IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Sager will be missed; 49ers sink to new low
THE INCOMPARABLE CRAIG SAGER DEAD AT 65: Colorful suits and vivid sideline interviews were the trademarks of Craig Sager. He succumbs to acute myeloid leukemia after a lengthy, courageous battle. Loved by almost every sports figure with which he interfaced, he mainly prowled the NBA sidelines, working for Turner sports. Yet, in the 2016 NBA Playoffs, ESPN allowed him one last assignment. Showered with praise, he must have left this life a fulfilled man for all he contributed to sports humanity. He will be missed.
LOL OR OMG?: The Sand Francisco 49ers find a new way to lose each week. It seems like each game is a new all-time low. On Sunday, they score 14 points in the first 5 minutes. They never find the end zone again. The lowly New York Jets look lacking, but they seize the last 5 minutes to put up a touchdown and a field goal to tie the game. Phil Dawson goes 1-of-3 on field goals. Kaepernick is not effective. Jets quarterback Bryce Petty starts his second NFL game and comes up a winner. In OT, the Jets move down the field and score a touchdown to win it 23-17. Twelve-game losing streak for SF. Terrible performance at home. Ineffective and pathetic.
THE DILEMMA FOR 49ERS DEFENSE: The 49ers lead the league in defensive snaps. Coach Chip Kelly has stated that it is the defense’s responsibility to get off the field as quickly as possible. However, 14 weeks into the 17 week season, the “D” has played an NFL high 959 snaps. The defense appears noticeably fatigued in the late going. Jets’ Bilal Powell rushed for 145 yards last week with 121 coming after halftime. The corps has played the equivalent of a full season.
SOMETHING MUST BE DONE: Some say it is time to rid of 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. Others are incensed with the backslide during the York years. Could it be Chip Kelly and his coaching crew? Or is it a lack of player talent? A 12-game losing streak is unacceptable. The best the 49ers can do in 2016 is 4-12. That is also unacceptable. Their play has been terrible and they find new ways to lose each week. Something must be done. Another lost season after a 5-11 campaign in 2015.
NOAH GETS LAST WORD: Last week’s Kings/Knicks rematch featured DeMarcus Cousins imitating Joakim Noah’s free throw technique during the game. The Knicks are 14-11, a Kings dream at this point in the season at 9-16. Perhaps Cousins should focus more on his own game…or off-court behavior. He has a chance to give the Kings a lead down the stretch, but fails on his lay-up. Noah has the final word. Knicks win 103-100 to extend Kings woes.
KINGS “MAIL IT IN” VS. ROCKETS: Sacramento loses in Houston 132-98. They trail by 41 in the fourth quarter. Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore are out. Then, the Kings decide to rest DeMarcus Cousins. The imperfect storm! Can someone explain why, already short-handed, Sacramento “rests” Cousins? What a debacle. Destined to lose, they embarrass themselves.
BASEBALL’S NEW CBA: It is a 29-1 vote by owners to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement for Major League Baseball. The players also agree. Common sense prevails. There are minor changes in luxury taxes for over-spending teams along with a change in home field advantage for the World Series. Smokeless tobacco is out for all new players. Hazing for rookies is strongly addressed. After the pain of the last work stoppage, it is time to play ball.
DODGERS SIGN CLOSER: It is a $180 million, 5-year offer for Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. He has 47 saves in 2016. The Dodgers claimed their fourth consecutive NL West title this year despite dismal playoff performances.
GOLDEN EAGLES FYING TO FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: Game of the day as Del Oro takes on San Clemente at 4 p.m. for the Division 1-A state championship. They earn the berth by beating Bakersfield 57-16. Last year, they prevailed in the Division II-AA game against Camarillo 16-13. A must watch game from Sac State this afternoon.
SHARKS INVADE CANADA: After a big win Saturday on home ice vs. Carolina, San Jose goes into Toronto and Ottawa and bests the Canadian duo. Both are done in shootouts. The hero in Toronto is Logan Couture with the shootout winner. Then, rookie Kevin Labanc does it in Ottawa. Martin Jones is the Sharks salvation in goal as he continues to shine. First place in the West as the week winds down.
FINAL THOUGHT: What a way to close it out for Canadian actor and NHL fan, Alan Thicke. He suffers a heart attack and dies on the ice, playing hockey, with 19 year-old son, Carter. Lord, what a way to go!
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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