Attention 49ers, Raiders fans: All eyes will be on you Sunday
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The 49ers and Texans at 5:30. The Raiders and Chargers at 8:30. But instead of saying something snarky like, “Now what could possibly go wrong with that?” let’s taken the positive view here in both venues, and tell our friends in both Oakland and San Francisco this:

People all over are watching – well, the aftermath if not the games. They are expecting the very worst from you. So don’t act like troglodytic swine, okay?


The Texas Rangers activated defrocked outfielder Nelson Cruz for Monday’s play-in game with Tampa Bay, and general manager Jon Daniels said, “It’s up to Ron (manager Washington) what he wants to do with him.”

In other words, play him. And don’t lose. Texas did. Guess what happens next.


Defrocked Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman has been identified as a Stage One violator of the NFL’s drug policy, which Freeman said was triggered by his accidentally taking Ritalin once rather than Adderall, which he takes for ADHD. He claimed, “I have agreed to take, and have PASSED 46 NFL-regulated drug tests over the last year and a half,” and said he has taken all the tests at the team facility.

Then he dropped the big one. “Unfortunately, it appears that some people who may have noticed the testing at my workplace have made hurtful and incorrect assumptions and chosen to disseminate inaccurate and very disturbing information. It is a shame that when times have gotten tough, people have chosen to attack the character of others, rather than supporting each other.”

In short, Freeman is saying someone inside the building leaked the info to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, who broke the story. If so, I think we can pretty well figure that the team meetings will be relatively quiet the rest of the year.


Forgotten in the Lane Kiff-a-ganza was the firing Sunday of Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni, whose team is 0-4 after losing at Buffalo. Rarely do coaches get smoked before a season is half-over, but college football is just, as they say in The Godfather, “the-beez-a-neess.”

But at least we can rest easy knowing that the two universities are keeping their word to Kiffin and Pasqualoni, which is more than
they ever have to do with the players.


The Jacksonville Jaguars mascot, J. Robert Oppenheimer or whatever the hell it’s named, is betting the mascots of the teams the Jaguars play each week . . . and, of course, losing. Sunday, for example, the Jags lost to Indianapolis, 37-3, so the mascot had to take a paintball to the chest for every point scored in the game. A sucker’s bet, seemingly, since the Jags never score, but the father of the atomic bomb took 40 of the best to its padded chest.

In other words, my children, bet the over every time the Jags play. It’s a matter of human decency.


The Toronto Raptors have decided to keep their nickname, but have hired Canadian rapper and former Degrassi High star Drake (Aubrey Drake Graham, if you’re tracking him for a foreign power) to change the logo and team colors.

Well, too late on that. The colors black and white are taken by Brooklyn, as is the logo style known as UDAF – utterly drab and featureless.


And finally, the Sacramento Kings are the only team in the NBA’s Pacific Division not to go to sleeved jerseys for 2013-14. Vivek Ranadive, this is your first real test as owner. You go to sleeves, and rational America doesn’t want to know you. Stand fast, and you will be much beloved. The choice, Skippy, is yours.