Friday, November 29, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Has 49ers' passing game come back to life?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: In Monday night's win over the Redskins, Colin Kaepernick completed six passes of more than 15 yards, a big upgrade over recent games. Can he keep it up? http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Niners-Hope-to-Open-Downfield-Passing-Game-233624951.html

Raiders, McGloin need to do better on third down

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Matt McGloin has given the Raiders offense a shot in the arm, but there still needs to be vast improvement on third down. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Raiders-Need-to-Keep-Drives-Alive-vs-Cowboys-233617371.html

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

After spending the summer living out of his truck in Utah, snowboarder Justin Reiter is ready to make U.S. Olympic team for Sochi

Justin Reiter weighed his options and counted his money, then decided to live out of his truck while spending several months working out at the U.S. snowboard facility at Park City, Utah. Now in the best shape of his life, and back on the slopes, Reiter is hoping to make the 2014 Olympic team after falling just short in 2010 and 2006. My story for TeamUSA.org. http://www.teamusa.org/Road-to-Sochi-2014/Features/2013/November/26/Justin-Reiter-In-A-Van-Down-By-The-River

James is the (return) man for Niners

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: LaMichael James is providing some explosiveness and big returns for 49ers in new role as No. 1 kick and punt returner. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/James-Giving-49ers-a-Spark-as-Return-Man-233471231.html

Raiders' Janikowski says he's found his problem

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Suddenly-inaccurate kicker Sebastian Janikowski says a film-study session has shown him what he's doing wrong. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Raiders-Janikowski-Says-Hes-Found-Solution-233465361.html

49ers offense shows more 'pop' to beat Redskins

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: After two sluggish offensive performances in back-to-back losses, the 49ers show much more life in a dominating victory over Washington. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Niners-Offense-Shows-More-Life-in-Win-233410131.html

Monday, November 25, 2013

This time, it's the Raiders' D that falls flat in second half

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Finally, the Raiders were able to mount a late drive to score a go-ahead TD vs. the Titans Sunday. The bad news, however, is that the usually reliable defense then collapsed. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Raiders-Defense-Must-Regroup-Quickly-233315721.html

Janikowski is off target in Raiders' loss to Titans

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Once Mr. Reliable, kicker Sebastian Janikowski misses two makable kicks in Raiders' loss to Tennessee. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Janikowski-MIsses-Loom-Large-In-Raiders-Loss-233243781.html

Friday, November 22, 2013

'Seed of the Future' tells the story of the birth of Yosemite, the concept of preservation and the ideas that launched the National Park system

The new book by historian Dayton Duncan, "Seed of the Future: Yosemite and the Evolution of the National Park Idea," provides a great tale of the revolutionary concept of preserving special lands for future generations. That idea sprouted in the Sierra and spread across the nation and the world. My review of the book for U-T San Diego: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/nov/22/yosemite-national-park-movement/

49ers-'Skins matchup features two QBs under fire

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Niners need a victory over Washington Monday night to get back on track in a matchup that features two scintillating QBs of 2012 who have gone cold. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/49ers-Redskins-Two-Struggling-QBs-in-Spotlight-Monday-Night-233015351.html

McGloin eager for his encore performance

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Rookie quarterback Matt McGloin will start for Oakland vs. the Titans Sunday, a second chance to show what he can do. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/McGloin-Gets-Another-Shot-to-Prove-Himself-233008441.html

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Niners will miss Iupati, a run-blocking 'bulldozer,' vs. 'Skins

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: A sprained left knee will keep left guard Mike Iupati out of the 49ers' lineup Monday vs. Washington. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Niners-Offense-Will-MIss-Iupati-Monday-Night-232845531.html

Hayden's rocky rookie season comes to an end

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Surgery for a sports hernia brings the season to a close for Raiders' No. 1 pick D.J. Hayden, who had a roller-coaster season as an NFL cornerback. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Haydens-Up-and-Down-Rookie-Year-is-Over-232840041.html

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Crabtree's return appears imminent for 49ers

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Michael Crabtree, so valuable to the 49ers last season, appears close to being activated. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Crabtrees-Return-Appears-Very-Close-232513221.html

Raiders' defensive end Houston is a 'disruptive force'

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Lamarr Houston isn't among the AFC sack leaders, but he's nonetheless a "disruptive force" to opposing teams, says head coach Dennis Allen. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Raiders-Defensive-End-Houston-a-Disruptive-Force-232508011.html

Monday, November 18, 2013

After another loss, 49ers' only hope is a wild-card berth

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: At 6-4 with six games remaining, the 49ers' hopes of winning a third straight NFC West title are dead. It's wild card or nothing. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Niners-Are-Now-in-a-Battle-for-a-Wild-Card-Spot-232357031.html

McFadden's future with Raiders appears shaky

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Running back Darren McFadden, in the final year of his contract, hasn't shown his team enough to keep him around for 2014 and beyond. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/McFaddens-Future-With-Raiders-May-be-Brief-232351041.html

Niners again less than stellar in loss to Saints

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: A lack of offensive efficiency and a key ruling loom large in San Francisco's loss to the Saints in New Orleans. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Niners-Come-Away-Empty-Handed-in-New-Orleans-232283091.html

In first start, McGloin throws 3 TD passes in Raiders win

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Matt McGloin, Rashad Jennings and a tough defense lead Raiders over the Texans. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/McGloin-Jennings-and-Defense-Give-Raiders-a-Victory.html

Friday, November 15, 2013

Raiders are underdogs to team that's lost seven straight

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The Texans have lost seven straight, yet oddsmakers have made them strong favorites to beat the Raiders Sunday. That's how bad the Raiders are going these days. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/For-Raiders-Even-2-7-Texans-Are-a-Big-Challenge-232065501.html

Niners can make a statement with victory in New Orleans

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Coming off a loss to the Panthers, the 49ers can regain their momentum and prove they can play with the NFL's best by beating the Saints in New Orleans, where they're 5-0 this season. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/49ers-Can-Make-Statement-in-New-Orleans-232073051.html

What do military members do with their pets when deployed overseas? They can call on Dogs on Deployment to find temporary foster homes

Alisa and Shawn Johnson, both pilots in the military, found themselves deployed at the same time. Fortunately, they had a relative who could take their dog. But they thought, what would a service member do if he didn't have someone to help out? So, they started the nonprofit group Dogs on Deployment. Today, it pairs military pet owners with foster families all across the United States. My story for U-T San Diego: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/nov/14/foster-care-dogs-deployment-military-nonprofit/

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What's up with Kaepernick? Everyone has a theory

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: After the 49ers' dreadful offensive performance vs. Carolina, everyone has an explanation of the declining passing numbers of Colin Kaepernick. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Colin-Kaepernick-Performance-Everyone-Has-a-Theory-231923381.html

Raiders feeling the void at tight end position

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The Raiders crossed their fingers that someone would emerge at the tight end position this season. So far, those prayers are largely unanswered. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Raiders-Not-Getting-Much-from-Tight-End-Position-231912691.html

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Off-road triathlete Lesley Paterson is writing her own script these days, not only winning all over the world but making movies, too

Lesley Paterson grew up in Scotland playing rugby with the boys, and has always described herself as a gritty athlete. The two-time world champion on the XTERRA off-road triathlon circuit, who now lives in San Diego, continues to have success in other areas, too, working as a screenwriter, actress, filmmaker and coach. My story on Paterson for ESPN.com's Endurance Sports section: http://espn.go.com/sports/endurance/story/_/id/9961548/endurance-sports-gritty-scot-lesley-paterson-balancing-training-acting-writing-coaching

Former Harvard star Kate Buesser is doing all the little things right in first stint with U.S. Olympic hockey team

Some time in 2014, Kate Buesser will put hockey aside for a while when she enters medical school. But between now and then, the former Harvard standout says she's like "a kid in the candy store" playing for the U.S. women's national hockey team that will play at the Olympics in Sochi in February. My story for USA Hockey: http://www.usahockey.com/news_article/show/309111?referrer_id=752796

Dawson providing 49ers a more consistent field-goal kicker

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Veteran kicker Phil Dawson is an upgrade from David Akers of last season. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Dawson-Has-Solidified-49ers-Kicking-Game-231593271.html

Porter's a playmaker again in first year with Raiders

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Veteran cornerback Tracy Porter is doing what he's always done ... make plays. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Raiders-Porter-Jenkins-Have-Been-Upgrades-at-Cornerback-231587361.html

Monday, November 11, 2013

Winter Vinecki, 14, completes quest, becomes youngest ever to complete seven marathons on seven continents

When her father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, Winter Vinecki, then 9, started a nonprofit to raise money and awareness to fight the disease. On Sunday in Athens, Greece, she completed her quest to finish seven marathons on seven continents, becoming at 14 years old the youngest ever to accomplish the feat -- which she did to bring attention to her cause. My followup to her final marathon, after my original story on her this past May on ESPN.com's Endurance Sports section. http://espn.go.com/blog/endurance/post/_/id/1772/vinecki-completes-seven-continent-quest

Bad trend: 49ers aren't playing well vs. NFL's top teams

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Against the Seahawks, Colts and Panthers -- three teams in the NFL's top tier in 2013 -- the 49ers have come up short. Does this mean the Niners don't have what it takes this season? http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Niners-Falling-Short-Against-NFLs-Best-Teams-231444371.html

Is Pryor the Raiders' QB of 2014 and beyond?

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Terrelle Pryor seems to have taken several steps back after putting together some strong performances at the start of the season. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Pryor-Needs-to-Improve-Quickly-for-2013-and-Beyond-231437361.html

Panthers put an end to 49ers' winning streak

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: A physical Carolina defense shuts down the 49ers, limiting San Francisco to just three field goals in a 10-9 victory. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Panthers-Knock-49ers-Off-Track-231371301.html

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Raiders' Offense Disappears vs. Giants

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Last week vs. the Eagles, it was the Oakland defense that was the culprit. This week vs. the Giants, the defense showed up, but the offense didn't in a 24-20 loss to New York. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/This-Time-Raiders-Offense-Falls-Flat-231361411.html

Friday, November 8, 2013

49ers vs. Panthers is a clash of two streaking teams

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Panthers players are eager to come up big in San Francisco on Sunday to prove Carolina is in the top echelon of NFL teams. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Niners-Going-for-Sixth-Straight-Victory-231160111.html

Raiders have to go a long way to rebound this week

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The Raiders need to fix their defense, find a way to score more consistently and win in the Eastern time zone ... a tall task this week. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/After-Going-South-Raiders-Now-go-East-231153441.html

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Former Olympic aerial skier Tracy Evans now focusing on charity work in war-torn Rwanda and Cambodia

Tracy Evans just returned from a trip to Cambodia, where she's hoping to soon expand her work with her charity, Kids Play International. Already, the former Olympic aerial skier has made a big impact with her work with KPI in Rwanda, which still feels the pains of a horrible civil war in the 1990s. My story for TeamUSA.org, the U.S. Olympic website: http://www.teamusa.org/News/2013/November/07/Olympian-Tracy-Evans-Looks-To-Expand-Charity-To-Cambodia

Where would 49ers be without Boldin?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The 49ers had no idea in March, when they acquired Anquan Boldin, how important he would prove to be in 2013. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Boldin-Has-Been-a-Blessing-for-49ers-at-Wide-Receiver-230999741.html

Allen trying to get Raiders to shake off Eagles loss

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: A 49-20 loss to the Eagles is "just one loss" says Raiders head coach Dennis Allen, and it's time to focus on the Giants Sunday. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Allen-Raiders-Try-to-Shake-Off-Loss-to-Eagles-230992971.html

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Former Wisconsin star Brianna Decker is having the time of her life with the U.S. Olympic women's hockey team

Brianna Decker is known for her work ethic. The former Wisconsin All-America and Patty Kazmaeier Award winner as the best player in women's collegiate hockey has made herself a better player the past few years by putting in extra effort. But now that she's on the U.S. Olympic team as it practices and plays to get prepared for the Games in Sochi this February, she's also enjoying every minute of the ride. My story on Decker for USA Hockey. http://www.usahockey.com/news_article/show/306763?referrer_id=752796

San Francisco D-Line getting rest and reinforcements

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Heading into season's second half, the 49ers defensive line is better rested than a year ago and getting an influx of young talent. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Niners-Defensive-Line-is-Getting-Rest-and-Reinforcements-230670091.html

Can Raiders' cornerback D.J. Hayden rebound vs. Giants?

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden, who repeatedly gave up big plays in loss to Eagles this past week, now will have to rebound vs. savvy Giants QB Eli Manning. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/No-Rest-for-Raiders-DBs-with-Eli-Manning-up-Next-230663891.html

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nnamdi Asomugha may be in final days as a 49er

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: With plenty of roster moves to be made this week, including the activation of cornerback Eric Wright, the 49ers' experiment with Nnamdi Asomugha may have reached its limit. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Asomugha-May-be-Odd-Man-Out-in-49ers-Roster-Reshuffle-230508891.html

Raiders' second-rounder Watson finally sees the field

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Offensive tackle Menelik Watson, finally healthy, makes his NFL debut in wipeout loss to Eagles. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/After-Making-Debut-Raiders-Watson-Ready-to-Tackle-Challenges-230503281.html

Raiders take a giant step back in loss to Eagles

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The Eagles have a field day against Raiders, just when Oakland was ready to get back to .500. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/This-Time-Raiders-Are-Awful-in-Both-Halves-230432241.html

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Technical director for California Center for the arts loves juggling his many roles behind the stage

Rob Collier loved theater when he was young, but the part he fell in love with most was making things work behind the scenes. Today, the technical director for the California Center for the Arts in Escondido stays immersed in his job, finding enjoyment in his many roles. My story on Collier for the On the Job series in U-T San Diego: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/nov/03/tp-arts-centers-technical-director-juggles-many/

Friday, November 1, 2013

Niners getting big boost from grade-A draft class

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Halfway through the 2013 season, it's apparent that the rookie class of 2013 is paying big dividends for the 49ers. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Niners-Rookies-Playing-Key-Roles-230214831.html