Eighteen sports happenings that make it time to consider dual citizenship


Eighteen sports happenings that make it time to consider dual citizenship

You know it’s time to consider dual citizenship when:

·     Two rival pizza chains decide to get into a Twitter beef over whether the NFL is bad for business or not.

·     When you find out the likeliest reason Papa John’s founder John Schnatter decided to complain that freedom of expression is killing the NFL is because Jerry Jones owns a huge chunk of the company.

·     When the fan base of a team that lost its 63rd game on November 1 is getting Twitter slag from the fan base of a team that lost its 63rd game on July 24.

·     When the head coach of a team that just made its most significant trade in years suggests the significant player the team traded for might not play until next year.

·     But still has him listed as active for Sunday’s game.

·     When a World Series victory sparks a proposal and a firm wedding date, meaning that Charlie Morton and George Springer are better than Match.com.

·     When we spend time trying to figure out how Ezekiel Elliott can still be suspended from playing football but not by the NFL, so that nobody wins.

·     When this headline appears on a credible web site: “The Magic Are The New Warriors.”

·     When Brian Hoyer is cut by the second-worst team in football on a Monday and has a massive promotion waiting for him from the best team in football the next day.

·     When the NFL decides that a 45-game suspension has cured Josh Gordon, but a lifetime ban for Colin Kaepernick is insufficient.

·     When people still think Kaepernick is going to be signed by any team for any but the most cynical lawsuit-negating reasons.

·     When the smartest people in football have decided to make their long-term plans contingent on a human being never aging.

·     When two teams trying to decide to trade two draft choices for a backup quarterback can’t understand E-mail.

·     When the backup quarterback is suddenly the most coveted player in the market.

·     When “bullpenning” is considered a word.

·     When a Warrior (okay, Shaun Livingston) calls this the team’s hardest season eight games into it.

·     When the Philadelphia 76ers have a .500 record other than 0-0 for the first time in 206 weeks.

·     And finally, when the Republican tax plan invokes Stephen Curry to distinguish him and his salary from a mythical bike shop owner – because there is no greater Bolshevik in this country than Stephen Curry.

Former 49ers lineman Keith Fahnhorst, 66, passes away


Former 49ers lineman Keith Fahnhorst, 66, passes away

Keith Fahnhorst, who played 14 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and started on two Super Bowl-winning teams, died on Tuesday. He was 66.

Fahnhorst was among a large group of players from the 49ers’ first Super Bowl championship team that gathered at Levi’s Stadium in October in a celebration of Dwight Clark. Fahnhorst and Clark were teammates for the 49ers’ Super Bowl-titlle teams of 1981 and 1984. Clark passed away on June 6 from ALS.

Fahnhorst, who was in a wheelchair during his trip to the Bay Area last season, battled many physical ailments since his career ended in 1987. He was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and underwent a kidney transplant in 2002. Fahnhorst was also later diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

A second-round draft pick of the 49ers in 1974 from the University of Minnesota, Fahnhorst was a mainstay at right tackle as the organization struggled in the mid-to-late 1970s, then found success in the 1980s under coach Bill Walsh.

“Everybody knew they could count on Keith,” Walsh said in the 2005 book, “San Francisco 49ers: Where Have Gone?”

Fahnhorst appeared in 193 regular-season games, ranking behind only Len Rohde among offensive linemen in 49ers history. He started 170 games, including all 10 postseason games in which he appeared. He was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team and was selected as a first-team All-Pro after the 1984 season. He was a two-time winner of the Bobb McKittrick Award for best representing the courage, intensity and sacrifice displayed by the longtime 49ers offensive line coach.

Keith Fahnhorst and his younger brother, Jim, were 49ers teammates for the final four years of Keith’s career. Jim Fahnhorst, a linebacker, played for the 49ers from 1984 to 1990. Neither Keith nor Jim Fahnhorst played for any NFL team other than the 49ers.

Jimmy Garoppolo focuses on 49ers' red-zone efficiency

Jimmy Garoppolo focuses on 49ers' red-zone efficiency

SANTA CLARA – In Jimmy Garoppolo’s first three starts last season, the 49ers’ won games in spite of a lousy red-zone offense.

The 49ers were 0-for-5 in converting possessions inside the Chicago Bears’ 20-yards line into touchdowns. They were 2-for-4 against the Houston Texans, and just 1-of-4 against the Tennessee Titans.

That would explain why Garoppolo singled out the team’s red-zone offense as an area he would like to see the team continue to improve.

“I think a big part for us, as a whole, offensively is just finishing in the end zone,” Garoppolo said Wednesday on the final day of the team’s offseason program.

“Last year we got stopped short a couple of times, more than we’d like to. And I think we’ve done a good job in OTAs and minicamp of finishing in the end zone, for the most part. Finishing drives and stuff like that.”

The 49ers finished the season strong in the red zone, converting 11 of their red-zone trips into eight touchdowns in games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams.

In 24 red-zone trips in the five games Garoppolo started, the 49ers scored 11 touchdowns and settled for 12 field goals. He also threw one interception. Garoppolo said the 49ers have enough weapons in the passing game to account for the added difficulty of scoring on those possessions.

“Those are point plays,” Garoppolo said. “They’re either seven-point plays or three-point plays. You know what I mean? Those are the ones that really matter.

The competition between offense and defense has led to some spirited matchups in practices. Garoppolo has routinely looked to tight ends George Kittle and team favorite Garrett Celek to get the touchdown celebrations going.

“It’s hard to complete touchdowns, especially in the red zone like that,” Garoppolo said. “Windows are tighter. Not as much room. So especially when Celek gets one, it gets everyone going.”