Sunday, November 30, 2014

After first win of 2014, Raiders get flattened by Rams

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The 1-10 Raiders get hammered by the Rams 52-0 just a week after getting first win in a calendar year.

Book review: "A Christmas Far From Home" helps readers understand the causes of the near-disastrous 1950 confrontation between Chinese and American forces in Korea at the Chosin Reservoir

General Douglas MacArthur promised American troops they'd be come by Christmas in 1950 as they struck deep and fast into North Korea. Instead, American soldiers and Marines were surrounded and almost overwhelmed by Chinese forces who'd come across the Yalu River. In his new book, "A Christmas Far From Home," author Stanley Weintraub explains how it unfolded ... and MacArthur doesn't come off looking very good. My review of the book for U-T San Diego.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Time for Kaepernick to break out of Seattle funk

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Can Colin Kaepernick finally have a strong game vs. the Seahawks? It's one of the three keys to a San Francisco victory Thanksgiving night.

Despite brain cramp vs. KC, Sio Moore has been very good

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Linebacker Sio Moore took part in a sack celebration that almost cost the Raiders their first victory of the season and has overshadowed his strong play in 2014.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Niners better not look past 3-7 Redskins

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The 49ers must keep the momentum rolling and continue to improve vs. Washington Sunday. If they look past the 'Skins to their Thanksgiving matchup with Seattle, it could prove disastrous.

Despite 1-10 record, Raiders owner is confident in his GM

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Reggie McKenzie is no interim GM, as far as team owner Mark Davis is concerned. Is that a good thing?

San Diego State's JJ O'Brien is more than just a distinctive haircut; he's a smart, unselfish piece of Steve Fisher's talented basketball program

JJ O'Brien is hard to miss and easy to recognize, at 6-foot-7 with a '90s-style hi-top fade haircut. But for SDSU basketball, it's what's under the hair that counts. Coach Steve Fisher calls him one of the smartest players he's ever coached. O'Brien's been a big reason why the Aztecs have played so well over the past few seasons. My story for San Diego State's 360 Magazine:

Long, late TD drive led by Carr gives Raiders Win No. 1

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Derek Carr leads an 80-yard, 17-play drive for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give Raiders a win over the Chiefs, their first in more than a calendar year.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chiefs, on a roll, are a tough foe for 0-10 Raiders

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Kansas City's physical front seven on defense and explosive running game may be too much for winless Raiders to cope with on Thursday night football.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Minnesota's Dani Cameranesi has been a very quick study

In her first year at the University of Minnesota, Dani Cameranesi was voted the Freshman of the Year in college hockey. She was an instant-impact player who made things happen with her speed. Now as a sophomore, she just played for the U.S. in the Four Nations Cup and is trying to become a more well-rounded player for the Gophers. My story for USA Hockey:

Mike Schultz, who's excelled at motocross and snocross, is now picking up speed in snowboarding, with an eye on 2018 Paralympics

Before Mike Schultz lost his leg, he was an X Games star in motocross and snocross. Since his accident, he's continued to excel at those sports, but decided to try snowboarding, too. Now he's developed his own prostheses and diving into his first international competition with the U.S. para-snowboard team. My story for

Problems on offense in fourth quarter, red zone plague 49ers

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The Niners' victory over the Giants was sealed by a late defensive stand, but that wouldn't have been necessary had the offense come through when it was needed.

Khalil Mack continues to get better and better

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The 0-10 Raiders have been a major disappointment, but rookie linebacker Khalil Mack -- who had his first sack vs. the Chargers -- continues on an upward course.

Badwater ultramarathon will return to Death Valley in 2015, with a few changes, after a year-long moratorium by the park service

The 135-mile Badwater ultramarathon will be allowed to stage its annual race in Death Valley National Park after agreeing to make some changes after a safety study conducted by the National Park Service. My story for

Monday, November 17, 2014

IPC President Sir Philip Craven preaches to medical professionals that sport is key for recovery

Sir Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee, spoke to doctors and rehabilitation experts at an annual convention of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Recovery in San Diego and delivered a speech that stressed one, key thing: introducing sports to men and women who've suffered a physical loss can be one of the most important things for their long-term recovery, health and happiness. My story for

Culliver joins other 49ers in support of Jim Harbaugh

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Chris Culliver made a public show of his support for 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh after making an interception vs. Giants.

Latavius Murray makes bid for more playing time

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The Raiders have been unable to run the ball this season, but a brief appearance by Latavius Murray vs. the Chargers showed he may be the answer to that problem.

Niners defense comes up big again in win over Giants

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Five interceptions of Eli Manning and a late goal-line stand help San Francisco win its second straight and improve to 6-4.

In a snap, Raiders find creative way to fall to 0-10

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: A bad snap on the Raiders' first play proves too much to overcome as Oakland loses to Chargers to fall to 0-10 in 2014.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Can 49ers stay on the winning path vs. Giants?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website. The 49ers seemed to find a winning formula vs. the Saints last week. Can they replicate that formula vs. the Giants?

Raiders need to let Carr attack more downfield

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Over the past two games, Derek Carr passing repertoire has mostly consisted of passes of 5 yards or less. If the Raiders want to beat San Diego Sunday, they must open up their passing game.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Northeastern star Kendall Coyne returns from Sochi Games eager to take on more of a leadership role

Kendall Coyne is one of the fastest women's hockey players on the planet, and a key piece of the U.S. team that won a silver medal at the Sochi Olympics. Now back at Northeastern for her junior season, she's trying to be a better leader after watching the veterans on Team USA. My story for USA Hockey:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Smith's return should add spark to 49ers' defense

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The return of pass rush standout Aldon Smith is the first of several key additions to the team over the next few weeks.

It's not too early for Raiders to think about offseason

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The Raiders are 0-9, so it's likely that the offseason will be far more productive than the rest of this season.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sometimes, Kaepernick's skills appear amazing

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: How many other NFL quarterbacks would have been able to complete a laser-like, 51-yard throw as Colin Kaepernick did in an overtime victory over the Saints Sunday? Maybe none.

Carr suffers embarrassing moment in rough rookie season

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Derek Carr completed the pass ... but to his left guard in lopsided loss to the Broncos.

No surprise: Winless Raiders pummeled by Broncos

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The winless Raiders were no competition for AFC-champion Broncos in a 41-17 decision in Oakland.

NIners fight back to beat Saints in overtime

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: With perhaps the fate of the season on the line, the 49ers prevail over the Saints in overtime.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Do Raiders stand a chance vs. Broncos & Manning?

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: If the Raiders are to stop Peyton Manning & Co., the defense will have to tackle very, very well (among other things).

49ers' own problems are biggest obstacle in New Orleans

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The Saints are playing well and always hard to beat at home, but the real obstacle to the 49ers in New Orleans Sunday may be their own problems on offense.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

For married weightlifters, love is (Olympic-level) strong

Caleb and Kelly Williams know it's a long shot, but they'd both love to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Both won U.S. weightlifting championships this year and are now at the World Championships. My story on them for

Minnesota standout Hannah Brandt, always a great scorer, continues to improve her game in other areas

Since her freshman season, Hannah Brandt of Minnesota has been one of the highest-scoring players in women's college hockey. Now a junior, she's become a much better skater as well, allowing her to make a difference all over the ice. My story for USA Hockey:

For 49ers, it's now or never vs. Saints

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: If the 49ers want to go to the playoffs again, they know their drive must begin Sunday in New Orleans.

Beat-up Raiders secondary now faces test in Manning

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: A patchwork secondary of rookies and backups is likely Sunday for the Raiders vs. the Broncos.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Next Wings for Life World Run will be mostly the same in 2015, with just a few new wrinkles

This past May, the Wings for Life World Run was the first running event held simultaneously around the globe. More than 35,000 runners participated and more than $4 million was raised for research about spinal injuries. Now the 2015 date for the run has been announced, along with a few changes to the event. My story for ESPN Endurance:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Hardhead" Chris Borland showing he can play

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Former Wisconsin star linebacker Chris Borland isn't big or fast, but he can play, as he showed with 18 tackles vs. the Rams.

Raiders have re-discovered tight end Mychal Rivera

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Earlier this season, tight end Mychal Rivera seemed to have vanished from the offensive game plan. That's not the case now.

Monday, November 3, 2014

49ers' offense looks lost in unexpected loss to Rams

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: When the game was on the line and the 49ers needed just a few yards, they went to the air -- a departure from the first three years of the Jim Harbaugh era.

Carrie shines again in another Raiders loss

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Cornerback T.J. Carrie, a seventh-round pick, is having a big impact on Raiders on defense and special teams.