Friday, March 29, 2013

Some believe 49ers will move up to take impact player

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The 49ers have the 31st pick in the first round, but some believe they might trade extra picks to move up high to select wide receiver Tavon Austin.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

No veteran is safe on Raiders roster

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: With the release of Tommy Kelly, the Raiders roster has just 18 players remaining from the Al Davis era.

The best of the best: The 33 greatest (and most unbreakable) streaks in sports history

The Miami Heat came up short in its bid to topple the 33-game winning streak of the Los Angeles Lakers, shining a light on what that Lakers team accomplished. But that NBA winning streak by Los Angeles is just one of many terrific streaks by individuals and teams. A (subjective) look at the 33 best:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bonanza of picks gives 49ers future options, too

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The 49ers probably don't need 14 rookies, so there's a chance the team can use some of its 14 draft choices this season to garner picks in future drafts.

Raiders looking at Vince Young and Matt Flynn

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: With Carson Palmer possibly on his way out, reports indicate the Raiders are looking at free-agent Vince Young and Seattle backup Matt Flynn as possible options.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bigger cornerbacks? Niners may be interested

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: San Francisco may have seen what the Seahawks are doing with bigger cornerbacks and want to add one (or two) itself.

Palmer may not restructure Raiders deal

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Carson Palmer apparently doesn't want to restructure his deal with the Raiders, meaning Oakland may end up cutting him. Then what?

Two giants of football coaching, George Allen and Don Coryell, once graced tiny Whittier College program

Whittier College has never produced a great football player, and it's always played in the shadows of other nearby programs such as UCLA, USC and even Long Beach State (before it was disbanded). But once upon a time, the Poets of Whittier had two giants of coaching, George Allen and Don Coryell, and the school produced victories galore. My story for's Playbook section:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Niners looking at former Dolphins QB Pat White

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Pat White has been out of the NFL since 2010, but his background as a read-option standout quarterback at West Virginia makes him attractive to the 49ers, who have asked him to work out for them.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Harbaugh says his drive to win has grown stronger

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: After two seasons of success and a trip to the Super Bowl, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh says his competitive fire and will to win are even greater than when he took the job.

Raiders still need help at cornerback

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Though the Raiders are very thin at cornerback, they have yet to make a move in free agency.

Chickens as pets? It's a growing trend among urbanites

In many urban and suburban back yards these days, you can see chickens ranging across the lawn, climbing into their coops and clucking the day away. People have started to keep chickens not just as a food source, for fresh eggs, but for their personalities and plumage. Keeping chickens as family pets is a growing trend, and families say they love the birds, give them names and laugh at their antics. My stor for U-T San Diego's pets page:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Raiders' entire draft class of 2009 is now gone

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: It's no secret the Raiders have hurt themselves with bad drafts in recent years. The latest example is the 2009 draft class. No players remain on the roster just four years after Draft Day.

Harbaugh says Kaepernick won't be satisified, will improve

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has many concerns this offseason, but Colin Kaepernick isn't one of them. He's convinced his QB is too much a competitor to ever rest on his laurels.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

For 49ers, Dawson is a fine replacement for Akers

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Niners GM Trent Baalke continues to address offseason needs, signing kicker Phil Dawson to a one-year deal.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Draft, not free agency, is 49ers' offseason focus

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Though the Niners have been active in free agency, the draft -- where they will have 14 picks -- is the team's priority this offseason.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Raiders sign Burnett, may switch to a 3-4 defense

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: After signing three linebackers the past week, it appears the Raiders may be switching to a 3-4 defensive scheme for 2013:

49ers sign Dahl, but may still have eyes on others

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: San Francisco signs safety Craig Dahl from the Rams, but Niners may still be looking for more help through free agency and the draft.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Raiders dive into free-agent bargain bin

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Oakland can't afford to go after the big-name free agents, but the team hopes to find quality in the second- and third-level group, such as the three players it signed Wednesday.

Niners hoping Dorsey can regain his form

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Glenn Dorsey needed a fresh start and the 49ers needed defensive line help. A perfect marriage?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What are 49ers doing? We don't know, but we can guess

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: On first day of NFL free agency and trading period, the 49ers say goodbye to Delanie Walker, Isaac Sopoaga and Dashon Goldson. What's their plan? We don't know for certain, but it's likely GM Trent Baalke is thinking about not only 2013, but far beyond.

Raiders' roster purge turns into a surge of goodbyes

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Michael Huff, Darrius Heyward-Bey are among the key members of the Raiders -- both former No. 1 picks -- released by the team on the first day of the NFL free agency period.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Five original D1 teams never have gone to the Big Dance, since it began in 1939; it's been a long wait for the un-Fab Five

Army, Northwestern, William and Mary, The Citadel and St. Francis of New York all have one thing in common: Since the start of the NCAA Tournament, these original Division I teams never have played in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Once, one team was invited, but turned down the invitation to play in the NIT. For all five, they're still waiting for their first trip. My story for's Playbook section:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Niners (and many others) covet Browns return man Cribbs

Josh Cribbs is a dual threat, as a dynamic kick/punt returner and playmaking receiver. The 49ers reportedly are interested in the former Browns Pro Bowler -- but so are four other teams.

Encinitas acupuncturist Ingrid Shequin knows the magic -- and fear -- is in her needles

After being a registered nurse for many years, Ingrid Shequin discovered acupuncture, and fell in love with its holistic approach to healing and wellness. Now a practicing acupuncturist for 20 years, she gets great peace of mind from seeing the improvements she can make to people's lives. My story on Shequin for the "On the Job" series in U-T San Diego.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Defensive line help, not Revis, may be key to improving 49ers pass defense in 2013

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Cornerback Darrelle Revis is certainly attractive, and would be an upgrade in the 49ers secondary. But at what price? And many believe the real improvement in pass defense could come through improving the team's defensive line.

Raiders' plans may soon be more clear

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Over the next few days, Raiders' negotiations with own free agents will reveal a lot about what their offseason plans may be.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

With Akers gone, who will 49ers find to replace him?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The 49ers did the expected, cutting veteran kicker David Akers, 38, who was inconsistent in 2012 and would have been expensive in 2013. Now what? Does the team go for a veteran or find a nugget in the draft?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

49ers need Justin Smith's return to form in 2013

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: With a healthy Justin Smith, the 49ers' defense was dominating. Without him at full strength, the Niners had holes. The biggest offseason addition for San Francisco might be the health of Smith, now recovering from surgery for a torn triceps.

Minnesota scoring wiz Amanda Kessel has undefeated and top-ranked Gophers pointed in the right direction

Before every game, Amanda Kessel draws an arrow on her left hand. It's her good-luck charm and a reminder to stay positive and keep going forward. It must be working, because Kessel, a junior forward, leads the nation in scoring and has been a key to helping the defending NCAA-champion Minnesota Gophers undefeated and ranked No. 1 going into the postseason. My story on Kessel for USA Hockey:

Raiders' Myers trying to be patient this offseason

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Though he had the best season of his career in 2012, Raiders tight end Brandon Myers doesn't know where he'll be playing in 2013.

Dashon Goldson wants to remain a 49er

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Though the deadline for putting the franchise tag passed on Monday, the Niners may still be interested in keeping Dashon Goldson at safety.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

When is it OK to be a Dirtbag? When you play baseball for Long Beach State. Then it's a name that instills pride

Once, the Long Beach State baseball team was called the 49ers, just like every other sports team on campus. But in the late 1980s, a twist of fate turned the ragtag group into a team one coach called Dirtbags. The name has stuck, and is now officially the name of the team -- and a name everyone in the program, past and present -- from Jered Weaver and Evan Longoria and Troy Tulowitzki -- takes great pride in. My story for's Playbook section:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Moss is gone but won't be forgotten

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Randy Moss announced over this past weekend that he and the 49ers are parting company, but this time, his parting with an NFL team is amicable. Though Moss didn't post big numbers the way he did in his prime, his teammates credit him with being a leader on a Super Bowl team.

Raiders to McFadden: You're part of long-term plans

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Though Darren McFadden had a poor season in 2012, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie believes running back should be part of team's long-term plans.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Wave has swept over fans and stadiums for years, but where exactly did it come from?

Was it born in Mexico, at the 1976 Olympics or at a Canadian hockey game? The origin stories of the wave at sporting events include speculation, obscure anecdotal references and flat-out falsehoods. The first documented case of the the wave lapping over a crowd and captivating a stadium is documented and was captured on film and was born in the mind of cheerleader named Krazy George. My story on the origin of the wave for's Playbook section:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Foster families are No. 1 reason Second Chance Dog Rescue is succeeding in San Diego County

Ray Line admits he never was much of a dog person. But when he and his wife, Jennifer, agreed to provide a temporary foster home for a dog obtained by Second Chance Dog Rescue, they fell in love with the little guy and adopted him themselves. The same thing happened again, a few months ago. Volunteers who agree to foster the dogs are the lifeblood of Second Chance, which always is looking for people to provide a safe haven for animals needing a second chance in life. My story for U-T San Diego's pets page:

With Smith gone, expect 49ers to pick a QB in mid rounds

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: With Scott Tolzien now the only QB behind Colin Kaepernick -- and with as many as 15 draft picks -- the 49ers will likely take an "undervalued" quarterback in the third through fifth rounds.

USA Wrestling, athletes fighting hard to keep sport in the Olympics after IOC recommendation to drop it after 2016

When he's on the mat, American wrestler Coleman Scott is a no-holds barred kind of competitor. But now the Olympic bronze medalist is standing shoulder to shoulder with wrestlers from around the world to ensure the sport stays in the Olympics. Scott and wrestling organizations from across the U.S. and the world are making their case to the IOC to retain wrestling as a core sport beyond 2016. My story for