49ers

Why these four moments belong on Bay Area sports' Mount Rushmore

Why these four moments belong on Bay Area sports' Mount Rushmore

Let's get this over with right away: Read the rules, understand the fine print. 

On Friday, 95.7 The Game came up with their four greatest Bay Area sports moments. Here's what they came up with. 

This got us thinking, if we were to make a Mount Rushmore of the greatest moments in Bay Area sports history, would these be the four? First, back to the rules and fine print.

This is about the greatest moments, not the greatest teams, so just saying a championship or run of championships doesn't count. We also are talking about plays and/or moments that happened during games on the field or court. 

If we were talking more about the grander scheme of things in a broader sense, the 1989 World Series obviously would be added for the Loma Prieta earthquake. On the field, though, the A's swept the Giants and the games mostly are forgettable. Colin Kaepernick first kneeling during the national anthem in a 2016 preseason game certainly would deserve a spot as well. Take a look around at the world right now, and you'll know why.

So, as far as greatest sports moments go, the 95.7 The Game crew almost nailed it. They were right on three out of four, dropping the ball just once. Which brings us to how it should have gone. 

The Catch 

This list can't start any other way. From the play to the situation to the iconic photo and the nickname, "The Catch" has it all.

With 58 seconds left against the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC Championship Game, Clark stretched out his arms to snag Joe Montana's pass in the end zone, tying the game at 27 points apiece before an extra-point gave the 49ers the lead and the eventual win. San Francisco went on to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-21, in Super Bowl XVI to win their first of five championships.

"The Catch" not only is one of the most iconic plays in 49ers and Bay Area history, it also is one of the most memorable moments in NFL and sports history as a whole. 


The Play

Just like "The Catch," this is a moment that lives on in sports history. Close your eyes and you can see it happening. Actually, you can hear it happening as well. 

"The band is out on the field!" It's an iconic call in a wild scene that will be played until the end of time.

Cal came into the game 6-4 and Stanford was just 5-5. The stakes obviously weren't high, but in a rivalry game, records go out the window. This moment had to make the list. 

Madison Bumgarner, Game 7

This one wasn't easy. There were multiple times where I came close to making a change. What about Travis Ishikawa's walk-off home run in the 2014 NLCS? Or Edgar Renteria's go-ahead homer in Game 5 of the 2010 World Series? Or even just the final out out the 2010 World Series? 

During the Giants' dynasty of winning three titles in five years, from 2010 to 2014, there were plenty of iconic moments. None are like Bumgarner coming out of the bullpen in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.

Bumgarner had just thrown a 119-pitch shutout in Game 5. That didn't matter to him, he wanted the ball. So in Game 7, he threw 68 pitches over five shutout innings out of the bullpen to hold off the Royals. MadBum was a rockstar.

The iconic performance lowered his World Series ERA to 1.03 that year, and he was named MVP of the Fall Classic.

Game 6 Klay

Finally, we disagree. Let's let Steve Kerr explain. 

When the Warriors coach was asked Friday by 95.7 The Game what Steph Curry's defining moment is, he answered with three words: "All of them." 

Game 5 of the 2015 NBA Finals certainly is one of them. Curry scored 12 of the Warriors' final 13 points to give Golden State a three-games-to-two lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers. His 37 points put the Warriors within one win of their first title in 40 years.

That performance was one among a long list that Curry has given Warriors fans. The same goes for his "Bang! Bang!" game-winner in 2016 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and others -- including Baron Davis' dunk over Andrei Kirilenko in the 2007 Western Conference semifinals -- have given Dub Nation unforgettable moments. In this case, we're listening to Kerr once again.

"I've watched that game several times since, and it's almost impossible to fathom what Klay did and what he was able to do individually in that game to pull the game for us," Kerr said on 95.7 The Game while arguing Thompson's performance in Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference finals. "It was just an amazing performance."

With the Warriors on the verge of elimination after a record-breaking 73-win season, Thompson set a single-game NBA playoff record 11 3-pointers in Golden State's 108-101 win. He finished with 41 points and had every Warriors fan glued to their TVs as he quieted Chesapeake Energy Arena. 

"Game 6 Klay" was born and never will be forgotten.

Snubs

The list is too long. Yell at me on Twitter. @DaltonJ_Johnson

Ex-49ers teammate explains why Colin Kaepernick fits in today's NFL

Ex-49ers teammate explains why Colin Kaepernick fits in today's NFL

Around the NFL, every team is looking for the next Patrick Mahomes. The next Lamar Jackson, the next Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson. 

The 49ers had exactly that in Colin Kaepernick, a game-changing dual-threat quarterback.

Seven-year pro Michael Thomas saw that firsthand back in 2012, the first year Kaepernick took over for Alex Smith as the 49ers' starting QB and led them to the Super Bowl. Thomas was a safety on the San Francisco's practice squad that year before carving out a role with the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants. He even made the Pro Bowl in 2018. 

And Thomas finds it unexplainable how NFL teams aren't fighting to get Kaepernick's skill set on the field. 

"He’s the type of quarterback that today’s NFL is built for," Thomas wrote as the guest writer for NBC Sports' Peter King's "Football Morning in America" column. "It’s built for the mobile quarterback, it’s built for the quarterback who can run but also throw. He’s that dual-threat option. He’s mobile, and he has a big arm that can hit the deep threat. He causes confusion for defenses if he gets into any kind of zone-read option. And obviously the RPO game is bigger than ever.

"Set aside for a second what the league would gain in terms of credibility by bringing him back. From a pure football standpoint, his style fits the league perfectly."

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Over his six-year career, five as a starter, Kaepernick has totaled 12,271 passing yards and 72 touchdowns through the air. He also has 2,300 career rushing yards and another 13 TDs. 

But Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL since 2016, the same year he began first sitting then kneeling during the national anthem as a peaceful protest against racial and social injustices. Thomas, as a member of the Dolphins, played against Kaepernick that season and the QB was dominant. 

The less talented 49ers lost 31-24 in Miami, but Kaepernick's ability as a passer and runner were on full display. He completed 29 of 46 pass attempts for 296 yards, three touchdowns and was intercepted once. He also rushed 10 times for 113 yards, his last game with at least 100 yards rushing. 

[RELATED: These Montana highlights show 1989 playoff dominance]

The 49ers were just 1-9 going into the game against the 6-4 Dolphins. Kaepernick was tackled at the 2-yard line to end the game, just falling short of completely putting the team on his back in a rough road environment.

That also was nearly four years ago. There are no guarantees Kaepernick plays another game of football in his life. To Thomas, that's baffling, and understandably so.

Why Warriors could be new Washington NFL team nickname after change

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Why Warriors could be new Washington NFL team nickname after change

After starting a thorough review of its nickname July 3, Washington's NFL franchise announced it has decided on a nickname change Monday.

While the new nickname won't be revealed Monday, it might end up being one that is quite familiar to Bay Area sports fans: the Warriors.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Washington owner Dan Snyder previously has filed to trademark both "Washington Warriors" and "Warriors" multiple times, and The 980's Kevin Sheehan reported on his podcast that the name is the leader in the clubhouse to be the new nickname.

However, Snyder could run into some issues. Snyder owned the rights to any Arena Football League expansion in the Washington area, and was expected to name them the Warriors, but he ultimately abandoned his quest for the trademark.

In April 2019, the trademark office sent Snyder a letter saying he had six months to respond if he still was interested in the Warriors. He did not respond, and by October the trademark office issued a "partial abandonment" ruling, meaning Snyder could only use the trademark for football and not for memorabilia.

Another thing stands in the way of Snyder rebranding the team the Washington Warriors. A 61-year-old man named Martin McCaulay is a trademark squatter, a person who filed for trademarks so that larger corporations eventually will have to pay him for them. McCaulay's trademarks include the Washington Redtailed Hawks, Washington Americans, Washington Federals and Washington Monuments, per The Washington Times. McCaulay filed to trademark "Washington Warriors" in 2015. It now is suspended and under review. McCaulay said Snyder will have to "get in line" if he wants to use it.

[RELATED: Kittle questions how football players can socially distance]

"Warriors" also seem to be a popular choice among fans, with several logo and uniform mockups hitting Twitter in recent weeks.

Washington opened a review of its nickname after Snyder began to face pressure after protests for social justice and racial equality began in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody in May. Snyder previously has said he would sell the team before changing the offensive nickname.

But after FedEx said it would pull all signage from the stadium unless it was changed by 2021, and Nike pulled all gear from the website, it was clear a change was imminent. By the time the franchise announced the nickname was under thorough review, Snyder reportedly already had been in talks with the NFL about a name change, per ESPN.