Stop Gore, Make Alex Beat You. You Did.. And He Did…

Alex, don’t say anything. Just smile and walk away. Jim Harbaugh… just say, “I’m proud of our guys.”  In the post game after that thriller against Eli Manning and the New York Giants, it’s obvious that Mr. Harbaugh reads every little morsel that’s written about Alex Smith, who’s often referred to as “a game manager” in a tone that suggests that’s something to be ashamed of. And isn’t it about time Lowell Cohn asks Jim Harbaugh “What did you see in Alex Smith?” I wish Jim would say “How many freaking times do I have to answer that? Weren’t you here the other 350 times you asked that question?” As for the New York Giants, a lot of good teams would kill to be 7-2. You’re one of them. As for the 49ers?  Eight. And. One. Who’s Got It Better Than Us?
Monica’s dad photo

November 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

Feels Like A Playoff Game…

The reality is… the New York Giants are damn good. And this Sunday’s 49ers-Giants match up feels special. Oh, I know it’s way too early to even think about post season but come on, Candlestick will have a playoff atmosphere. I even heard a rumor that “The A Team” may do the TV broadcast, replacing the usual “D Team.” And that’s the way it should be. If the Niners lose, you can bet there will be plenty of “fans” jumping off the bandwagon. The experts will say the 49ers are nothing but pretenders, overachievers or poseurs. I just wanted to use poseur. A loss would put them at 7-2, a record that a lot of good teams would kill for. On the other hand, a win would, well… Who’s Got It Better Than Us?

AJGuel Photography

November 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

Alex.. The Worst 7-1 Quarterback In History…

About Alex Smith, Lowell Cohn’s mantra is “he’s so limited.” Limited, as if Alex were some sort of contest winner plucked from the stands…and who gets to line up behind center as a promotional stunt. I’m getting tired of it. Certainly the 49ers are not seriously thought of as one of the league’s elite teams. Especially not elite is their quarterback. So who’s better than Alex? How about Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Michael Vick, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Sam Bradford, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Josh Freeman, Mark Sanchez, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Matt Stafford, Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, Colt McCoy… did I forget anyone? No, Alex is at the very bottom of the list. The bottom. We get it. He’s not 6’5”, he’s not strong armed, he’s not a superstar, he’s not a glory hog. Don’t you see, that’s the beauty of it all. If you’re the Eagles, the Lions, The Bucs, The Browns, The Seahawks, The Redskins or The Bengals… you just got beat by a team that has Alex in charge. He’s not anything you like… but he is something you’re not. He’s 7-1.
monica’sdad photo

November 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

If I Offended Anyone…

Tiger Woods’ former caddie Steve Williams was in the spotlight again. His racial slur aimed at Tiger caused quite an uproar at a caddies’ awards party last week in Shanghai. He says he’s not a racist, and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on that. But he gave one of those weak “If I offended anyone” apologies that always sounds like a non-apology. Though comments at the award-roast were supposed to be “off the record”… here’s some Breaking News for you Stevie: Nothing is off the record. Were your comments offensive, stupid and crass? Of course. Will they have an effect on world events? Probably not. But you obviously put your new boss, Adam Scott, in the uncomfortable position of having to answer questions about your actions…. and I’m sure he has better things to do.
keith allison photo

November 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

Poker is King Tonight

It’s all over tonight. In a few hours, we’ll know the holder of the most prestigious poker title in the world.. when the Main Event Champion for 2011 is crowned in the World Series of Poker. A field of more than 6800 players, each laying out $10,000 to compete in poker’s biggest championship… is now down to three. The chip leader is Pius Heinz, a 22 year old from Germany (107,800,000 chips). Then it’s American superstar Ben Lamb (55,400,000). And finally, Martin Staszko of the Czech Republic (42,700,000). Of course, the prize pool is off the scale. The “disappointed” third place finisher collects about 4 million dollars… for second place, it’s  around 5.4 million. And to the Main Event Champion… 8.7 million fisheroos. You could win the Masters, The Kentucky Derby and the Daytona 500 in the same year…. and not have $8.7 Million.  Yikes. Catch the Final Table action tonight on ESPN.
larrykang photo

November 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

49ers Bandwagon Is Getting Crowded…

The 49ers have been so irrelevant the past ten years or so… I knew it would take a while for their 6-1 start to gain some traction. Being under the radar for weeks was great for Jim Harbaugh. But, inevitably, the “experts” are starting to take notice. Matt Barrows wrote that no less than NFL film guru Greg Cosell says Harbaugh is attacking with formations and calling plays he has never seen in the National Football League… and Greg has been paying attention to this stuff for three decades. I think you know what’s coming next… especially if the 49ers continue to play well. The high profile pundits will bring their satellite trucks to Santa Clara.. and want precious time with Harbaugh. If it were up to me,  I’d say stay on the East Coast and keep fawning over the NY Giants, the Steelers, the Eagles and the Jets. Oh, and get off our lawn! Sorry…
Anee.baba photo

November 4, 2011 at 11:46 am | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

Please Keep Ignoring The 49ers…

This doesn’t surprise the Faithful who follow the Niners. After last week’s NFL action, most of the pundits couldn’t stop talking about the Philadelphia Eagles or the New York Giants… Oh look at the Pittsburgh Steelers, Rex Ryan’s Jets… How ‘bout the New England Patriots and yeah, the Detroit Lions are back! The 49ers get nary a mention, and I suppose that’s just what Jim Harbaugh wants… to stay completely under the radar, to be an afterthought. That’s fine. But I heard a couple of sportscasters struggle through the 49er-Cleveland highlights.. and one guy says  “that’s Isaac SOPO-GO-AH…” You idiot… that’s Isaac SOPO-AGA. But what do you care? Way to do your homework.

Xoque photo

November 2, 2011 at 10:27 am | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

“Who’s Got It Better Than Us?”…

I love hearing Jim Harbaugh exhorting his team in the locker room, “Who’s got it better than us?”  And they yell back.. “Nooo-bodyyyy!”  The new 49ers head coach is driven, intense, competitive… and he’s as tough as nails.  But the genesis of this celebration goes back to his childhood.  I heard Jim tell the story in Andrea Kremer’s excellent piece on HBO’s Real Sports last summer.  It was his dad, the patriarch of the football family and long time college coach Jack Harbaugh who used to ask his young boys, John and Jim…”Who’s got it better than us?”  They would holler from the back seat… “Nooo-bodyyy!”  When Jack Harbaugh, now 72, speaks of how proud he is of his sons, there are tears in his eyes.  And I know he’s now watching these locker room exchanges, which were born in their tiny house a generation ago.   When he hears “Who’s got it better than us?”…  I can only imagine the pride that fills his heart.

monica’sdad photo

October 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

49ers.. On An Unlikely Roll…

After The Bee’s Vic Contreras pointed out that, for the 49ers, this season feels a little like 1981..  how can you not get excited?  30 years ago, the Niners had come off a 6-10 season… after missing the playoffs for the eighth consecutive time.  This year, the 49ers are coming off a 6-10 season… after missing the playoffs for, uh… the eighth consecutive time.  We all know what happened in 1981.  The Bill Walsh-led Cinderella team went all the way to the Super Bowl… and won it.  I know, it’s way too early to think about anything beyond the next game.  But no one expected Jim Harbaugh’s guys to be 5-1 at this point.  Most of the “experts” picked the Rams to win the West.  And no, we don’t have Joe Montana.  But 1981 was long before Jerry Rice.  Their running back that year was Lenvil Elliott… and the tight end was Charle Young.  They were underdogs to the very end.  That’s the way we like it.  So whatever happens….at least 49er football is fun again.  I know we didn’t say that very much last year.

xoque photo

October 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

La Russa.. “What Are You Doing Here?”…

The whole game was sort of bizarre… a series of botched moves, misplays and lack of clutch hitting.  At least on the part of the St. Louis Cardinals.  But what everybody’s talking about is Tony La Russa’s failure to bring in closer Jason Motte in a critical moment.  Was this actually because of a miscommunication between the dugout and the bullpen?   The wrong guy comes out to pitch?  I suppose that’s possible, but doesn’t that sound kinda fishy?  Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post thinks there’s something missing from the story, and he explains here. Maybe the manager is covering for somebody… maybe Motte wasn’t ready.   Perhaps we’ll never know.  But that’s a big loss for the Cards, and they’re up against it now.  The only thing weirder… would have been a call to the bullpen, and out trots…  Charlie Sheen.

Keithallison photo

October 25, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

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