#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History: #1

Sunday, December 29, 2013

We've reached the end - 99 down and here is the greatest moment in Candlestick Park history.

#2 is here.

#1 January 10, 1982 The Catch

The Catch.  

our 6 turnovers
shoeless punter
tommy from san mateo
eddie d's cigarette. tony d's left eye
amos lawrence, #20 on the muff  
halftime death threat
3rd and 5-donley-Incomplete
4:54 and far away
lenvil elliott draw...lenvil elliott sweep..lenvil elliott sweep..esrever
dwight to the 25
freddie to the 13 
     brown left slot sprint right option. 
wright had him by the shirt or he's gone
pillers/stuckey the game ended at the right time for them 
Respect. That. Motherfucker.

2013 NFL All-Pro Ballot

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I watch football. Here were the best players in 2013.

QB PManning - Denver

RB JCharles - KC
      LMcCoy - Phi

WR CJohnson - Det

TE JGraham - NO

C AMack - Cle

G JSitton-GB

T JStaley - SF

DE RQuinn -StL

DT JJ Watt-Hou


ILB NBowman-SF

CB RSherman-Sea

S EThomas-Sea

PK JTucker-Balt
P JHekker-StL

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History: #2

#3 is here.

#2 October 9, 1989 The Giants Win the Pennant

Up 3 games to 1 in the '89 NLCS, the score tied 1-1 in the 8th inning, Will Clark lined a Mitch Williams fastball over second base to score 2; the Giants only had 4 hits to the Cubs 10, but 3 of those hits were Clark's, and this one was the game winner.

Steve Bedrosian gave one back in the 9th, but with 2 on and 2 out, he got Ryne Sandberg to ground out, ending the series and giving the Giants their second San Francisco pennant and the only won they'd ever win at Candlestick.

The greatest moment in Candlestick history is tomorrow.

2014 Professional Wrestling Matches of the Year

Friday, December 27, 2013

And we're underway.

So, this year we'll go with three lists.  At the top will be the ongoing ranking of every 4 1/2+ and up matches I see this year; in 2013 there were fewer than 20 which is less than half the total we were getting pretty regularly just a few years ago.

Next, the WWE 4 star and up matches; previously, I've also included 4 star matches from TNA; if any occur, I'll include them as well.

Finally, a grab bag of 4 and 4 1/4 matches.  They won't be ranked, nor should they be seen as comprehensive, just a list as I see them.

I'm done.  This is the list.  

Match of the Year
1. Harashima v. Kodaka v. Omega (DDT Aug) 5
2, Goto v. Ishii (NJPW Nov) 4 3/4
3. Marufuji v. Nakajima (NOAH July) 4 3/4
4. Ishii v. Ibushi (NJPW May) 4 3/4
5. Go v. Suwama (AJPW Sept) 4 3/4
6. Kenta v. Yuji Nagata (NOAH-Dec '13) 4 3/4
7. Elita/T-Hawk v Tozawa/Shingo (DG July) 4 3/4
8. Naito v. Ishii (NJPW Feb) 4 3/4
9. Yoshino v. Mochizuki (Dragon Gate Jan) 4 3/4
10. Kenta/Marufuji v. Nakajima/Sugiura (NOAH May) 4 3/4

11. Tanaka/Sugiura v. Hidaka/Hayato (Zero One, Sep) 4 1/2
12. Ibushi v. Kondo (DDT Aug) 4 1/2
13. Shibata v. Nagata (NJPW Aug) 4 1/2
14. Styles v. Suzuki (NJPW Aug) 4 1/2
15. Styles v. Tanahashi (NJPW Oct) 4 1/2
16. Ishii v. Yujiro (NJPW Oct) 4 1/2
17. Ibushi v. Ricochet (NJPW June) 4 1/2
18. Takeshita/Endo v. Kudo/Takanashi (DDT Oct) 4 1/2
19. Ishii v. Naito (NJPW Apr) 4 1/2
20. Kenta v. Yuji Nagata (NOAH Feb) 4 1/2

21. Harashima v. Ishii (KDojo Sept) 4 1/2
22. T-Hawk/Eita v. Susuma/Kagetora (DGate Sep) 4 1/2
23. Nakamura v. Ishii (NJPW Aug) 4 1/2
24. Nakamura v. Okada (NJPW Aug) 4 1/2
25. Okada v. Naito (NJPW Oct) 4 1/2
26. Marufuji v. Nakajima (NOAH Oct) 4 1/2
27. Styles v. O'Reilly (ROH Sep) 4 1/2
28. Nakamura v. Tanahashi (NJPW Feb) 4 1/2
29. Nakamura v. Tanahashi (NJPW Apr) 4 1/2
30. Shelley/Kushida v. Young Bucks (NJPW June) 4 1/2

31. Young Bucks v. Fish/O'Reilly (NJPW/ROH May) 4 1/2
32. Cesaro v. Sami Zayn (WWE NXT Feb) 4 1/2

Best WWE/TNA Matches
1. Cesaro v. Sami Zayn (Feb) 4 1/2
2. Aries v. Sanada (TNA, Feb) 4 1/4
3. John Cena d. Bray Wyatt (June) 4 1/4
4. Seth Rollins d. Dean Ambrose (Aug) 4 1/4
5. Elimination Chamber (Feb) 4 1/4
6. American Wolves v. Bad Influence (TNA, Aug) 4
7. Sami Zayn v. Adrian Neville (NXT, Nov) 4
8. Daniel Bryan v. HHH (April) 4
9. Brock Lesnar v. John Cena (Aug) 4
10. Wyatt Family v. The Shield (Feb) 4
11. Daniel Bryan v. Bray Wyatt (Jan) 4
12. Wolves v. Hardys v. Dudleys (TNA, Oct) 4
13. Shield v. Evolution (May) 4
14. Wyatt Family v. Usos (July) 4
15. Wyatt Family v. The Shield (Apr) 4
16. Wyatt Family v. The Shield (Mar) 4
17. MITB-Briefcase (June) 4
18. Sami Zayn v. Tyler Breeze (NXT May) 4

Additional 4 Star Matches
Tanahashi/Naito v. Okada/Nakamura (NJPW-Dec '13) 4
Hulk v. Yoshino (DGate Dec '13) 4
Goto v. Shibata (NJPW Jan) 4
Nakamura v. Tanahashi (NJPW Jan) 4 1/4
Ibushi v. Devitt (NJPW Jan) 4
Okada v. Naito (NJPW Jan) 4
Richards v. Fox (Evolve Jan) 4 1/4
Okada v. Goto (NJPW Feb) 4 1/4
Lethal v. Styles (ROH Feb) 4
Okada v. Ibushi (NJPW Mar) 4 1/4
Marufuji/Ishimori v. Hayato/Kajiwara (D-Ring Feb) 4
Young Bucks v. Red Dragon (ROH Mar) 4 1/4
Hero v. Styles (ROH Mar) 4 1/4
Elgin v. Steen (ROH Apr) 4
Ishii v. Honma (NJPW May) 4 1/4
Young Bucks v. Shelley/Kushida v. Romero/Koslov (ROH/NJPW May) 4
Elgin v. Styles (ROH May) 4
Elgin v. Okada v. Styles (ROH/NJPW May) 4
Flamita v. Susumu (DG May) 4
Yamato v. Ricochet (DG May) 4
Okada v. Styles (NJPW May) 4
Ricochet v. Kushida (NJPW June) 4 1/4
Kenta/Takayama v. Marufuji/Nakajmima (NOAH April) 4
Ishii v. Yujiro (NJPW June) 4
Suwama v. Miyahara (AJPW July) 4
American Wolves v. Minoru/Kanemoto (W1 June) 4 1/4
Marufuji v. Nagata (NOAH July) 4 1/4
Ricochet v. ACH (PWG May) 4
Cole v. O'Reilly (PWG May) 4 1/4
Nakamura v. Shibata (NJPW July) 4
Styles d. Okada (NJPW July) 4 1/4
Hulk v. Yamato (DG July) 4
Styles v. Naito (NJPW July) 4 1/4
Tanahashi v. Shibata (NJPW July) 4 1/4
Ishii v. Honma (NJPW July) 4
Ishii v. Tanahashi (NJPW July) 4
Nakamura v. Honma (NJPW July) 4
Makabe v. Naito (NJPW Aug) 4
Goto v. Naito (NJPW Aug) 4
Suzuki v. Makabe (NJPW Aug) 4
Honma v. Shibata (NJPW Aug) 4 1/4
Tanahashi v. Nakamura (NJPW Aug) 4 1/4
Suzuki v. Naito (NJPW Aug) 4
Okada v. Goto (NJPW Aug) 4
Ishii v. Nagata (NJPW Aug) 4
Okada v. Suzuki (NJPW Aug) 4 1/4
O'Reilly v. Elgin (ROH Aug) 4
Tanahashi v. Styles (NJPW Aug) 4
Kai v. Sai (Zero One Aug) 4
Irie/Ishii v. Miyahara/Kotaro (AJPW Aug) 4
Aoki v. Kotaro (NOAH Aug) 4
Young Bucks v. Bad Influence (ROH Sep) 4 1/4
Neville v. Zayn v. Kidd v. Breeze (WWE Sep) 4
Bucks v. Briscoes (ROH Sep) 4
Ishii v. Endo (DDT Aug) 4
Ciampa v. Elgin (ROH Sep) 4
Kai v. Tanaka (Wrestle 1 Sep) 4
Hardys v. Bucks (NEW Aug) 4
Marufuji v. Sekimoto (NOAH Oct) 4
BxB Hulk v. Cyber Kong (DG Oct) 4
Suguira/Tanaka v. Nicholls/Haste (NOAH Oct) 4 1/4
Hulk v. Tozawa (DG Nov )4
Fish/O'Reilly v. Kushida/Shelley (Nov NJPW) 4 1/4
Tanahashi/Ibushi v. Okada/Hashi (Nov NJPW) 4
Bucks v. Hardys (Nov House of Hardcore) 4
Sabre v. O'Reilly (Aug PWG) 4
Sabre v. Cole (Aug PWG) 4 1/4
Bucks v. Daniels/Kazarian (Aug PWG) 4 1/4
Goto v. Makabe (Sep NJPW) 4
Tanahashi v. Shibata (Sep NJPW) 4 1/4

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History: #3

#4 is here.

#3 October 15, 1962 1962 World Series Game Six

It was as close as Candlestick ever got to seeing a World Series Champion Giants club.

The '62 series took 5 days off due to rain; 35 year old Billy Pierce was near the end of a borderline Hall of Fame career and took the ball against Whitey Ford.  He threw a 3 hit complete game; Orlando Cepeda had 3 hits, and the Giants forced a Game 7 with a 5-2 win over the Yankees.

The second greatest moment in Candlestick history is tomorrow.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History: #4

Thursday, December 26, 2013

#5 is here.

#4 January 15, 1995 1994 NFC Championship Game

The post-Montana 49ers suffered not only in comparison with the 4 time World Champions - but more immediately had a Dallas Cowboys sized hurdle that, in 1992 and 1993, proved impossible to leap, the Niners losing back to back NFC Championship games.

That ended here; Eric Davis took back an early pick for a score - the Niners jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and held on for the 38-28 win.  The Niners got two additional picks, two fumble recoveries, and 4 sacks - advancing to a Super Bowl which they'd easily win.

The 3rd greatest moment in Candlestick history is tomorrow.

NFL Supercontest Week 17

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Week 16 is here. I'm 39-40-1.  Can I finish above .500?

Det +3 Minn win
Jax +11.5 Indy loss
TB +12.5 NO loss
GB+4.5 Chi win
Balt +6 Cinc loss

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History: #5

#6  is here.

#5 October 5, 1962 1962 World Series Game Two

In 1962, the Giants won two World Series games at Candlestick.

It never happened again.

Here's the first, the Giants were dead on their feet, playing their 9th game in 8 days and 42nd game in 45 days (42 games in 45 days and every one of them vital) they dropped the opener, needing to win this one to really preserve any chance in the series.

They did - Jack Sanford threw a complete game 3 hitter; Willie McCovey hit a 7th inning home run, and the Giants evened up the series with a 2-0 win over the Yankees.

History, curiously, has forgotten how this Series turned out.

The 4th greatest moment in Candlestick history is tomorrow.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History Recap: #53

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The other 53 is here.

Tie-53. December 23, 2013 The Pick at the Stick

The 49ers should have lost the final regular season game ever played at Candlestick Park.

The Falcons trailed 10 points with 5 left, scored, successfully made an onside kick, and drove to the Niner 10. Their win expectation from that spot with a little over a minute left was 66%.

Then a Tremaine Brock deflection/NaVorro Bowman pick six reversed the Niner fortune, giving San Francisco a playoff spot and keeping the Niners in position to possibly play postseason football at home.

With Willie Mays and Jerry Rice both looking on, Candlestick provided one last great moment and the Niners beat the Falcons 34-24

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History: #6

#7 is here.

#6 January 14, 1990 1989 NFC Championship

Maybe the greatest postseason run in sports history - the '89 Niners beat Minnesota 41-13 the week prior and then their oldest rival, who had beaten them in Candlestick during the season, the LA Rams here in the NFC Championship, 30-3.

Joe Montana went 26-30; the defense intercepted Jim Everett 3 times and infamously dropped him on a phantom sack; Roger Craig and Tom Rathman combined for 245 yards from scrimmage.

Two weeks later, the 49ers completed the postseason run, hanging 55 on the Broncos to win their 4th Super Bowl in 8 years.

The 5th greatest moment in Candlestick history is tomorrow.

History of 49ers Monday Night Football Wins at Candlestick Park

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tonight will be the 25th and last Monday Night Football win the 49ers will ever earn at Candlestick.

Here are the previous 24

1. November 26, 1973 49ers 20 Packers 6
-Niners win despite fewer than 100 yards passing

2. November 29, 1976 49ers 20 Vikings 16
-Niners completed 3 passes for a net of 14 yards.  Has any team in the Super Bowl era ever won with fewer yards passing?

3. December 19, 1983 49ers 42 Cowboys 17
-Niners win NFC West; Montana throws for 4 scores.

4. September 10, 1984 49ers 37 Redskins 31
-381 yards passing for Montana; 3 sacks for Milt McColl; some revenge for prior year's NFC Title loss.

5. November 25, 1985 49ers 19 Seahawks 6
-5 Niner sacks, 2 picks, the Seahawks offense didn't score.

6. December 14, 1987 49ers 41 Bears 0
-4 Steve Young touchdown passes 3 to Jerry Rice; both teams were 10-2 coming into the game.

7. November 21, 1988 49ers 37 Redskins 21
-John Taylor took a punt back 95 yards for a score, the Niners broke a two game losing streak

8. November 6, 1989 49ers 31 Saints 13
-3 TD passes and a TD run for Montana; he missed prior game with knee injury.

9. November 27, 1989 49ers 34 Giants 24
-Montana: 27 of 33/292 yards/3 TDs; Pierce Holt had 4 sacks; Niners scored last 10 late.

10. December 3, 1990 49ers 7 Giants 3
-Niners stop Giants twice deep in Niner territory with less than 4 minutes left; both teams entered 10-1.

11. December 23, 1991 49ers 52 Bears 14
-Young missed prior 6 games, here he had 400 yards of total offense, threw for 3 scores and ran for 1.

12. December 28, 1992 49ers 24 Lions 6
-Joe Montana throws for 2 scores in his last ever Niners game.

13. November 22, 1993 49ers 42 Saints 7
-For the NFC West lead; Steve Young threw for 3 and ran for one; Merton Hanks had two picks and took one back for a score.

14. September 5, 1994 49ers 44 Raiders 14
-3 scores for Rice, the last one breaking Jim Brown's TD record.

15. December 18, 1995 49ers 37 Vikings 30
-Rice's career high in yardage; 14 catches, 289 yards, 3 scores.  Young threw for 425.

16. December 23, 1996 49ers 24 Lions 14
-Young wins 5th passing title in 6 years

17. December 15, 1997 49ers 34 Broncos 17
-The Montana jersey retirement game; Jerry returns and fractures kneecap.

18. November 30, 1998 49ers 31 Giants 7
-15 straight regular season home wins; Hearst gets 166 on the ground; BY breaks leg.

19. December 14, 1998 49ers 35 Lions 13
-Hearst ran for 198 while Barry Sanders was held to 28 yards rushing.

20. November 17, 2003 49ers 30 Steelers 14
-Tim Rattay was 21 of 27 for 254 yards and 2 scores

21. September 10, 2007 49ers 20 Cardinals 17
-Arnaz Battle touchdown with 22 seconds left

22. December 14, 2009 49ers 24 Cardinals 9
-Niners force 7 turnovers.

23. December 19, 2011 49ers 20 Steelers 3
-The night the lights went out; both teams entered 12-3; Roethlisberger picked 3 times.

24. December 19, 2012 49ers 32 Bears 7
-Kaepernick takes the starting job; 5.5 sacks for Aldon Smith

25. December 23, 2013
-Last game at Candlestick

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History: #7

#8 is here.

#7 January 6, 1985 1984 NFC Championship

The first 18 win team in NFL history made the Super Bowl with a 23-0 shutout of the Bears.

This was a game won by the defense - 9 sacks, Steve Fuller held to 87 yards passing.

San Francisco's second NFC Title led to its second Super Bowl. A few months later, the Bears would become one of the more famous teams in sports history.  They weren't shuffling anywhere except back to the locker room in this one.

The 6th greatest moment in Candlestick history is tomorrow.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History: #8

Sunday, December 22, 2013

#9 is here.

#10 September 5, 1994  Rice 127

The 49ers will close out Candlestick Park on a Monday Night; at the time of this writing, they are the winningest team in Monday Night Football history.

The definitive 49ers moment on Monday night is the greatest football player who ever lived breaking Jim Brown's all time touchdown record.

It was Rice's third score of the night in a blowout win over the Raiders to open up what, to this date, is the Niners last Super Bowl Championship season.

He'd go onto score 70 more touchdowns before retirement. 70.  Like if Bonds hit #756 and then another 300 more.

The 7th Greatest Moment in Candlestick History is tomorrow.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History: #9

Saturday, December 21, 2013

#10 is here.

#9 September 30, 1962 162

The greatest team in San Francisco Giants history was dead in the water on September 22 - 4 games behind the Dodgers with 8 to play.

8 days later - the Giants came into the final day of the season a game out, needing a win+ a Dodger loss to force a playoff.

The Giants were tied with Houston 1-1 in the 8th (after leaving the bases loaded in the 7th) when Willie Mays homered to give what would be the final margin of victory, 2-1.

The Dodgers lost.

3 days later, the Giants won their first San Francisco pennant.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History Recap: #10

Friday, December 20, 2013

The full 100-11 recap is here.

#10 October 1, 1962 Game 163

The greatest baseball team in San Francisco history had to make up a 4 game deficit in the last 8 games of the 1962 season to force baseball's last ever 3 game playoff.

All the Giants had to do in Game 1, the only game of the series which would be held at Candlestick, was beat Sandy Koufax.

Which they did.  8-0.  Willie Mays homered twice, the first a two run shot off Koufax in the first inning.  Billy Pierce threw a complete game 3 hitter, and two days later the Giants won their first San Francisco pennant.

The 9th greatest moment in Candlestick Park history is tomorrow.

NFL Supercontest Week 16

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Week 15 is here. I'm 37-37-1

NO +3 Carolina loss
Cleve +2.5 Jets loss
NE +2.5 Balt win
Arizona +10.5 Sea win
Oak +10 SD loss

##FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History Recap: #100-#11

Candlestick Park was home to the two greatest baseball players in National League history, Barry Bonds and Willie Mays.

Candlestick Park was home to the greatest football player who ever lived, Jerry Rice, and one of the three best quarterbacks who ever lived, Joe Montana.

McCovey, Marichal, Perry, Cepeda, Lott, Young, Walsh - Hall of Famers all.

I've been counting down the 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park history in advance of the 49ers leaving the stadium at the end of the season.  100-11 are here.

100. The Beatles
99. Johnny Roseboro
98. The Earthquake
97 1984 All Star Game
96. Gore Goes for 207
95. Ginn Returns 2 4th Qtr Kicks
94. Bobby Bonds Walk Off Grand Slam
93. McCovey's Last Big Moment
92. 6 Garcia TDs.
91. '62 All Star Game
90. The Last Night Game
89. 49ers 51 Vikings 7
88. Barry Bonds 2,000
87. Juan Marichal 200
86. 49ers 56 Falcons 17
85. 49ers 48 Rams 0
84. 1986 NFC West Champs
83. Gaylord Strikes Out 15
82. 49ers 37 Redskins 31
81. Marichal Throws 33 Innings in 10 Days
80. 7 in the Bottom of the 9th
79. 49ers 32 Bears 7
78. Dean Sacks Six
77. 49ers 21 Cowboys 14
76. McCovey Hits 2 Homers in One Inning
75. Bonds 300th Steal
74. 49ers 37 Redskins 21
73. Giants 13 Braves 12
72. Barry Bonds 300th HR
71. Rice: 14 catches/289 yards/3 scores
70. '89 Pennant Race
69. 100 Wins
68. 1971 NFC West Champs
67. 1964 Opening Day
66. Giants 17 Rockies 2
65. 16 Catches for Rice
64. '86 Pennant Race
63. '78 Pennant Race
62. 14 Scoreless Innings
61. 1996 NFC Playoffs
60. '69 Pennant Race
59. 1997 NFC Playoffs
58. '69 Pennant Race
57. 1992 NFC Playoffs
56. 2012 NFC Playoffs
55. Ron Pruitt
54. Water Down the Basepaths
53. Garrison Hearst
Tie. 53. The Pick at the Stick
52. 1971 NFC Playoffs
51. Ed Halicki

50. 49ers 34 Giants 24
49. Gaylord's No Hitter
48. Ricky Watters
47. Willie McCovey 400th
46. 1990 NFC Playoffs
45. Willie Mays 400th
44. 1994 NFC Divisional Playoffs
43. Willie Mays 650th
42. 1984 NFC Divisional Playoffs
41. Willie Mays 3,000
40. 1988 NFC Playoffs
39. Marichal No Hitter
38. 1989 NFC Divisional Playoffs
37. Barry Bonds Debut
36. Montana Number Retired
35. Will's Walk Off
34. Owens Catches 20
33. McCovey Returns
32. 49ers 45 Cowboys 14
31. Giants Clinch West
30. 1983 NFC Playoffs
29. Mays Hits 512
28. 1981 NFC Divisional Playoffs
27. Joe Morgan
26. Joe Returns From Back Surgery
25. Brian Johnson
24. 49ers 7 Giants 3
23. 1989 NLCS Game 4
22. 1987 NLCS Game 5
21. 2002 NFC Wild Card Game
20. Joe Montana's Last Game
19. 1971 NLCS Game 1
18. 49ers 38 Saints 35
17. Dave Dravecky
16. 2011 NFC Divisional Playoffs
15. 1989 NLCS Game 3
14. 1998 NFC Wild Card Game
13. 1987 NLCS Game 4
12. Young's Run
11. The Greatest Game Ever Pitched

90 Down - the Ten Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History Begin Tomorrow

2013 Athlete of the Year

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December is here.

2012 is here.

LeBron James.

First back-to-back winner since Barry Bonds in '01-'02 and rightly so; James is the most dominant American athlete since Bonds and Tiger Woods.  Right now, if he never played another minute, he's one of the 20 best basketball players who ever lived.  He's already had a better career than Larry Bird; more Win Shares in fewer games.  At worst, by public opinion, he'll retire as one of the five best players ever.

Runners up: Peyton Manning, Mike Trout

SI went with Manning, had he a better playoff performance at the beginning of the calendar year that would be more defensible.  Trout's opened his MLB career with two straight seasons in which he was the best player in baseball.

Here's each months' winner:

January - Colin Kaepernick
February - Joe Flacco
March - LeBron James
April - Justin Upton
May-Clayton Kershaw
June - Patrick Kane  
July - Andy Murray
August- Mike Trout
September - Peyton Manning
October - David Ortiz
November - Paul George
December - Jamaal Charles

Here's the history of my Athlete of the Year winners:

1990: Joe Montana
1991: Michael Jordan
1992: Mario Lemieux
1993: Michael Jordan
1994: George Foreman
1995: Hakeem Olajuwon
1996: Michael Jordan
1997: Tiger Woods
1998: Mark McGwire
1999: Tiger Woods
2000: Tiger Woods
2001: Barry Bonds
2002: Barry Bonds
2003: Lance Armstrong
2004: Peyton Manning
2005: Reggie Bush
2006: Roger Federer
2007: Tom Brady
2008: Usain Bolt
2009: Manny Pacquiao
2010: Maya Moore
2011: Aaron Rodgers
2012: LeBron James
2013: LeBron James

Athlete of the Month, December 2013

November is here.

Jamaal Charles. Runners-up:  Tre Mason,  LeSean McCoy, Damian Lillard

December's short so we can get to the Athlete of the Year, that will come before the end of the week from among the following candidates:

January - Colin Kaepernick
February - Joe Flacco
March - LeBron James
April - Justin Upton
May-Clayton Kershaw
June - Patrick Kane  
July - Andy Murray
August- Mike Trout
September - Peyton Manning
October - David Ortiz
November - Paul George
December - Jamaal Charles

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #11

#12 is here.

#11 July 2, 1963 The Greatest Game Ever Pitched

Juan Marichal beat Warren Spahn 1-0 in 16 innings. Both men threw complete games.

Warren Spahn was 42 years old. He fought in the goddamn Battle of the Bulge.

Both men threw over 200 pitches. Marichal threw 227 and struck out ten.

Oh - and he had the first Giants no hitter in 40 years a couple of outings prior.

Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, two of the half dozen greatest players who ever lived, went a combined 1 for 12.

The game ended on a Willie Mays walk off home run.

I mean, I don't even know what to say to you. It's a freak of nature this game.

90 down - I'll do a recap of the list so far tomorrow, and then the Ten Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History begin the day following.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #12

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

#13 is here.

#12 October 30, 1988 Young's Run.

The greatest run in 49er history?

The Niners were 5-3, in third place in the NFC West, coming off a loss, and facing a Viking team which had the NFLs second ranked defense and had bounced them from the playoffs the year before.

With less than 2 minutes to go and down by 4, the Niners had third down at the Viking 49; a failure to convert most likely means dropping to 5-4 and out of contention.

Then Steve Young made the greatest run in 49er history.  San Francisco beat the Vikings, went on to win their third Super Bowl, and then their 4th the following year.

The 11th greatest moment in Candlestick History is tomorrow.

2013-14 Bowl Game Predictions

Monday, December 16, 2013

I finished the regular season 49-43-2 ATS.

I'll pick every game both straight and ATS.

New Mexico Washington St. -4.5 Colorado St. (ATS loss, SU loss)
Las Vegas     USC -6 Fresno St. (ATS win, SU win)
Idaho Potato  Buffalo -1 SD St (ATS loss, SU loss)
New Orleans  Tulane over La-La (ATS loss, SU loss)

ATS 1-3
SU 1-3

St Petersburg  ECU -13.5 Ohio (ATS win, SU win)
ATS 2-3
SU 2-3

Hawaii            Boise +3 Oregon St. (Boise wins) (ATS loss, SU loss)
ATS 2-4
SU 2-4

Little Caesars  Bowling Green -5.5 Pitt (ATS loss, SU loss)
Poinsettia         Utah St. +2.5 NIU (Utah St wins)(ATS win, SU win)
ATS 3-5
SU 3-5

Military           Marshall -2.5 Maryland(ATS win, SU win)
Texas               Minn -5 Syracuse (ATS loss, SU loss)
Fight Hunger   Washington -3 BYU (ATS win, SU win)
ATS 5-6
SU 5-6

Pinstripe                      Rutgers +15.5 ND (I switched that pick, ND wins)(ATS win, SU win)
Belk                             UNC -3 UC(ATS win, SU win)
Russell Athletic         Miami +3.5 Louisville (I switched that pick, Lville wins)(ATS loss, SU win)
Buffalo Wild Wings    Michigan +3.5 KSt (UM wins)(ATS loss, SU loss)
ATS 7-8
SU 8-7

Armed Forces    Mid Ten St. +6.5 Navy (Navy wins)(ATS loss, SU win)
Music City         Mississippi -3 Geo Tech (ATS win, SU win)
Alamo                Texas +14.5 Oregon (Oregon wins)(ATS loss, SU win)
Holiday              TTech +14.5 Ariz St. (Switched pick, ASt wins)(ATS win, SU loss)
ATS 9-10
SU 11-8

Advocare          Arizona -7.5 BC (ATS win, SU win)
Sun                    VTech +7.5 UCLA (UCLA wins) (ATS loss, SU win)
Liberty               Rice +7 Miss St (Miss St wins)(ATS loss, SU win)
Chik-fil-a           Duke +13 A&M (A&M wins)(ATS win, SU win)
ATS 11-12
SU 15-8

Gator                  Nebraska +9.5 Georgia (Switched pick, UGA wins)(ATS win, SU loss)
Heart of Dallas  NTexas -6.5 UNLV(ATS win, SU win)
Cap One             SCarolina -1 Wisc(ATS win, SU win)
Outback              Iowa +7.5 LSU (Switched pick, LSU wins)(ATS win, SU win)
Rose                   Stanford -4.5 Mich St.(ATS loss, SU loss)
Fiesta                 UCF +17 Baylor (Baylor wins)(ATS win SU loss)
ATS 16-13
SU 18-11

Sugar                  Oklahoma +16 Alabama (Alabama wins)(ATS win, SU loss)
ATS 17-13
SU 18-12

Cotton                Ok St. +1.5 Missouri(ATS loss, SU loss)
Orange               Ohio St. -2.5 Clemson(ATS loss, SU loss)
ATS 17-15
SU 18-14

Compass          Houston +3 Vandy(ATS loss, SU loss)
ATS 17-16
SU 18-15

Go Daddy         Ball St. -9.5 Ark St(ATS loss, SU loss)
ATS 17-17
SU 18-16

BCS                   Aub +7.5 Florida St. (Florida St. wins)(ATS win SU win)
ATS 18-18
SU 19-16

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #13

#14 is here.

#13 October 10, 1987 One Flap Down

Down 2 games to 1 in the '87 NLCS The Cards got 2 off Mike Krukow in the second (the only two they'd get in a Krukow complete game) a Robby Thompson 4th inning homer cut it in half – and that man again, Hac Leonard – one flapped down his way around the bases with a 2 run homer in the fifth; his 4th homer in the series.  Buster Posey’s 2010 was our best season by a catcher since Bob Brenly’s in ’87 – and Brenly homered in the 8th to give us a 4-2 lead. Krukow – still today, right now, this very second, an enormously popular radio voice for SFG, finished them off to tie the series in his biggest performance ever.

The 12th greatest moment in Candlestick Park history is tomorrow.  

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #14

Sunday, December 15, 2013

#15 is here.

#14 January 3, 1999 Owens. Owens. Owens.

5 straight losses to the Packers.  3 in the playoffs.

4 dropped passes for Terrell Owens.  And a fumble.

Charles Haley's return as a 49er, after 8 years in exile - retired two years and a Cowboy before that.

Also exiled - Eddie DeBartolo, firmly asked to transfer ownership by the league; Carmen Policy, who left town for the Browns relaunch a year prior, and Dwight Clark, who joined Policy at midseason.

Reggie White's last NFL game (both Reggie White and Lawrence Taylor end careers on the losing side at Candlestick).

4 lead changes - the 4th coming after Brett Favre drove the Packers 89 yards for a TD pass to Antonio Freeman to give Green Bay a 27-23 lead with under two minutes to play.

Starting at the 24, Steve Young hit JJ Stokes to the 41 and then again to midfield.

Marc Edwards picked up a first down on a Young pass that should have been a five yard loss.

An incomplete pass and Jerry Rice's only catch of the game gave the Niners a third and 4 at Green Bay's 42 with 27 seconds left.

A pass to Terry Kirby picked up the first down at the Green Bay 33 with 20 seconds to go. To Garrison Hearst for 5, causing the Niners to use their final time out with 14 seconds left.

A near interception with 8 seconds left.

And then Owens.

The 13th greatest Candlestick moment is tomorrow.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #15

Saturday, December 14, 2013

#16 is here.
#15 October 7, 1989 1989 NLCS Game 3 

Tied a game apiece in the NLCS this game was also tied, 3-3 in the top of the 7th, Don Robinson – replacing Jeff Brantley who replaced Buffy Lacoss – gave up a leadoff double to Rick Sutcliffe (consider that with your modern eyes, Sutcliffe hit for himself in the 7th inning of a 3-3 Game Three in the NLCS) – he moved to third on a Jose Uribe error – and then scored (actually -Maddux, pinch running) on a Ryne Sandberg sac fly, putting us down 4-3. 
Sure, if you’re committed enough to Sutcliffe to let him hit – maybe you let him run from third base in that spot, but I’m not Don Zimmer.
Les Lancaster came on – and Robby Thompson beat him with what would turn out to be a game winning 2 run homer.  They got a couple hits off Robinson in the 8th – but we held on to take the series lead.
The 14th Greatest Moment in Candlestick History is tomorrow.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #16

Friday, December 13, 2013

#17 is here.

#16 January 14, 2012   Vernon Davis

The 49ers hadn't won a playoff game in 9 years.  That looked to end in this divisional round game when we went up 17-0 early in the second quarter on Alex Smith TD passes to Vernon Davis/Michael Crabtree.

With 4 minutees left though, the Saints had come all the way back, going up 24-23 on a 44 yard Drew Brees to Darren Sproles touchdown.

Two minutes later, Alex Smith was taking a 3rd and long 28 yards into the end zone on a planned quarterback sweep to give the Niners the 29-23 lead.

That lead held up for only 30 seconds, Brees going 66 yards to Jimmy Graham - the Saints were up again, 32-29 with 1:37 to play.

Then it was Davis - a 47 yard reception getting the Niners into position; and then on third and 4 at the Saints 14, the winning score from Smith.

180 yards receiving for Davis - and the Niners were back in the NFC Title Game.

2013 - 10 Best Television Shows

Thursday, December 12, 2013

1. Mad Men
2. Breaking Bad
3. Arrested Development
4. Veep
5. Orange is the New Black
6. The Americans
7. 30 Rock
8. Enlightened
9. Parks&Recreation
10. Big Brother Australia

Mad Men's the best show on TV; deeper and richer than the rest of the field, I feel about it the way most people feel about The Wire.

Speaking thereof - how much unanimity would there be on a list of the Top 10 TV Dramas of All Time?

Not the order, necessarily - but the composition.  If we were to ask 100 television critics for their top tens, wouldn't 80 ballots contain all of the following five:

Mad Men
Breaking Bad
The Wire
Hill St. Blues

There'd be a greater dispute about the rest of the list (and the order, oh the order) but I'd be super surprised is there weren't 80 ballots with those 5.

Let's do the rest of my list while we're here, no particular order:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Shield
The West Wing
Friday Night Lights

Were I composing a list of the 10 Best Sitcoms of all time (not today) Arrested Development would be on the list; its return will be better appreciated when the level of intricacy of its use of the Netflix model is appropriately understood.  Veep took a leap forward in its second season; Orange is the New Black was as good as its twitter buzz; The Americans is the show Homeland isn't anymore; on that Top 10 sitcom list (really, it's not coming today, stop asking) is 30 Rock, which finished strong; if you gave up on Enlightened, you missed its strongest (by a wide margin) season; Parks is the most consistent sitcom on television - and the show you didn't watch was Big Brother Australia, the best effort from my favorite global franchise.

NFL Supercontest Week 15

Last week is here. I'm 33-36-1.

Houston +5.5 Indy loss
Miami +2.5 NE win
NYJ +11 Carolina win
GB +7.5 Dall win
San Diego +10.5 win


#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #17

#18 is here.

#17 August 10, 1989 Dravecky

In Dave Dravecky's first baseball game in over 14 months, having surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from an arm he would later need to be amputated, he returned in a pennant race to go 8 innings, giving up 4 hits and striking out 5, beating the Reds (in Pete Rose's last ever trip to Candlestick Park) 4-3. Dravecky walked more times (2) than he gave up walks (1).

His arm snapped in half in his next start.

Matt Williams homered, doubled and drove in 3 runs; the Giants extended their NL West lead to 3 games in what would become their first pennant winning season in over a quarter century.

The 16th greatest moment in Candlestick Park history is tomorrow.

Top 10 WWE Matches 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Here are the 10 best WWE matches from 2013

1. CM Punk v. Brock Lesnar SummerSlam

08.18.13- CM Punk vs Brock Lesnar- Summerslam by Kyle_Dixon

2. Damien Sandow v. Wade Barrett v. Cody Rhodes v. Dean Ambrose v. Fandango v. Jack Swagger v. Antonio Cesaro Money In the Bank

3. Daniel Bryan v. John Cena SummerSlam

WWE SummerSlam 2013 - John Cena vs... by BuuPetit

4. CM Punk v. John Cena RAW, February

John Cena vs CM Punk WWE RAW 25th Feb 2013 by IamRamCena

5. Randy Orton v. Daniel Bryan v. RVD v. CM Punk v. Christian v. Sheamus Money in the Bank

6. Brock Lesnar v. HHH Wrestlemania 29

Triple H vs Brock Lesnar Wrestlemania 29 No... by anthonywalker24

7. Daniel Bryan v. Antonio Cesaro RAW, July

8. Daniel Bryan v. Seth Rollins RAW, June

06.10.13- Seth Rollins vs Daniel Bryan by Kyle_Dixon

9. Antonio Cesaro v. Kofi Kingston Main Event, May

10. CM Punk v. Chris Jericho Payback

Top 10 Wrestling Matches - 2013

I watch professional wrestling.  More than I should.  The following are the 10 best professional wrestling matches from 2013.

1. Kenta v. Takashi Sugiura May NOAH

2. CIMA v. Shingo Takagi July Dragon Gate

CIMA (c) vs. Shingo Takagi (Dragon Gate) by JAHMAL1111

3. Suwama v. Go Shiozaki July AJPW

4. Kota Ibushi/Katsuhiko Nakajima v. Kotaro Suzuki/Yoshinobu Kanemaru August D-Ring

04. Nakajima & Ibushi vs Kanemaru & Suzuki... by SenorLARIATO

5. Fujita Jr. Hayato v. Koji Kanemoto June Mich Pro

06. Fujita 'Jr' Hayato (c) vs Koji Kanemoto... by SenorLARIATO

6.Takashi Sugiura v. Naomichi Marufuji June NOAH

7. Akira Tozawa/BxB Hulk v. Naruki Doi/Ricochet July Dragon Gate

8. Hiroshi Tanahashi v. Kazuchika Okada April NJPW

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada (NJPW) by JAHMAL1111

9. Kenny Omega v. Harashima February DDT

06. Kenny Omega (c) vs HARASHIMA - (DDT 02/17/13) by SenorLARIATO

10. Kenta v. Naomichi Marufuji July NOAH

I Watch 4 Star Matches

This clears through my backlog.

Bucks v. Mochizuki/Fox (Nov DGUSA) 4 1/4
Hero v. Gargano (Nov DGUSA) 4 1/4
Naito v Tanaka (Sep NJPW) 4 1/4
Nakamura v. Benjamin (Sept NJPW) 4
Okada v. Kojima (Sept NJPW) 4
Shibata v. Ishii (Oct NJPW) 4 1/4
Yujiro v. Naito (Oct NJPW) 4
Okada v. Tanahashi (Oct NJPW) 4

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #18

#19 is here.

#18 December 7, 1980 Niners 38 Saints 35

More than 30 years later, Joe Montana's 6th career start is still the greatest regular season comeback in NFL history.

The Saints led 35-7 at halftime, the Niners limited to 21 yards of first half offense, their touchdown coming on a Freddie Solomon punt return.  New Orleans had over 300 yards and 20 first downs.  Archie Manning had thrown 3 touchdown passes.

Down 4 scores at the half to a winless Saints team hardly seems like the script for the 18th best moment in Candlestick history.

The Niners got half of that back in the third; Montana ran one in and then threw a 71 yard score to Dwight Clark.

An 83 yard 4th quarter drive culminated in a scoring pass to Solomon - and with under two minutes to go, a 78 yard drive ended with a Lenvil Elliott game tying touchdown.

In overtime - a Ray Wersching field goal wins the game. 38-35.

The 17th Greatest Moment in Candlestick History is tomorrow.

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