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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

49ers, Sharks games not expected before November, health official says

levisnovap.jpg
AP

49ers, Sharks games not expected before November, health official says

A South Bay health official suggested this week that an optimistic goal might be for the return of sporting events in mid-November.

Santa Clara County executive officer Dr. Jeffrey Smith told the county’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that games -- presumably high school, college and professional -- might not return to the South Bay for at least another seven months due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Smith said he did not expect there would be “any sports games until at least Thanksgiving, and we’d be lucky to have them by Thanksgiving. This is not something that’s going to be easy to do."

His comments were first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The project would mean no games in Santa Clara County for the 49ers, San Jose Sharks, Stanford University and San Jose State University.

Listen and subscribe to the 49ers Insider Podcast:

The 49ers will follow the lead of the NFL, as well as local and national health officials, a team official told NBC Sports Bay Area. The 49ers stance is consistent with a statement the club released on March 12.

“Our organization continues to collaborate with federal, state, and local health organizations, as well as our League office, to monitor the evolving developments regarding COVID-19,” the organization said. “Our intent is to make the most informed decisions regarding the health and wellness of all San Francisco 49ers and Levi's Stadium employees, patrons, and the community at large.”

Last week, NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash said the league is proceeding as if there will be a full 16-game schedule this season.

"All of our discussion, all of our focus, has been on a normal traditional season, starting on time, playing in front of fans, in our regular stadiums, and going through a full 16-game regular season and full set of playoffs," Pash said. "That's our focus."

The NFL has proceeded with the free-agent signing period and the upcoming 2020 draft despite travel restrictions and shelter-in-place guidelines for all league personnel. The NFL is also expected to release its full regular-season schedule around May 9.

[RELATED: Oklahoma WR Lamb could be 49ers' Sanders replacement]

But the Santa Clara County official told the Board of Supervisors he believes the risk of exposure to the coronavirus is not going away any time soon.

“There will definitely be individuals who will get sick,” Dr. Smith said. “And because there are individuals who get sick, there will be individuals who die after the order is released, unless we come up with a foolproof immunization, which is highly unlikely.”

49ers' Richard Sherman criticizes fans booing Andrew Luck's retirement

49ers' Richard Sherman criticizes fans booing Andrew Luck's retirement

SANTA CLARA – Football is no ordinary job.

But 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman wishes people would be more cognizant of the fact that those inside the uniforms are just ordinary people.

“There’s something to be said about the fanship of this game, because that’s obviously what’s elevated our game to be the best sport in America,” Sherman said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

“But, at the same time, there is a degree of human that needs to be injected into these fan bases that I think they’re losing touch with. I think every day, every hour, every year, these fan bases are getting further and further from understanding that these are human beings out there playing.”

Sherman, like many around the country, was appalled that former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was booed by his home fans as he left the playing field Saturday night after it became known of his plan to retire.

Luck, 29, had his best season in 2018, and the Colts were considered a team primed for a playoff run.

“Let’s take the helmet off the guy and stop thinking about him as a football player and just think about him as a person,” Sherman said. “His injuries were well-documented. They were well-documented. You could see it. You could see the hits he was taking.

“Imagine you getting into 30 car wrecks and saying, ‘I don’t want to drive any more.’ and people saying, ‘Man, it’s so ridiculous he’s not driving any more.’ Well, he just doesn’t want to get in any more accidents.”

Sherman and Luck were teammates at Stanford University before both became stars in the NFL. Sherman said football players should not be held in any different light than people in other professions -- people who make career decisions in the best interest of their health and their families.

“I want them to separate football and people, just like they would their own jobs,” Sherman said. “I want them to think about them, whatever their occupation is, everybody’s job is important. I don’t care whether you’re a janitor at a high school or the CEO of Google. Everybody’s job is important; everybody’s role is important. And I believe that.

“I don’t know what you’re going through as the janitor at the high school. I don’t know what you’re going through as the CEO, but I think we’re losing the human element of sympathy and empathy.”

Luck explained his decision on Saturday:

"For the last four years or so I've been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab -- injury, pain, rehab,” he said. “And it's been unceasing and unrelenting both in-season and offseason. I felt stuck in it. The only way I see out is to no longer play football. It's taken my joy of this game away.”

Sherman said part of the problem is how NFL players are viewed -- in their pads and helmets – as individuals who are different from everyone else.

“You may see them as something more than human, but they’re not,” Sherman said. “They’re flesh and blood. They bleed, they break. They have mental struggles. They have the ups and downs just like you do on a day-to-day basis. And I think if more people took that perspective, and took that understanding … then we’d have less people attacking them on social media.”

[RELATED: Andrew Luck deserves praise for seeking happiness]

Luck was forced to sit out the entire 2017 season with a shoulder injury. He had been rehabbing an ankle injury throughout the entire offseason and training camp when he made the decision to step away. He left the field for the final time as a member of the Colts to a cascade of boos.

“That situation shook everybody because it showed the ugly part of this sport,” Sherman said. “That’s a man who didn’t just rehab for him and his family, but he rehabbed so he could get back out there for the city of Indianapolis and go help them win games.

“And then to boo him like he was being selfish, when he’s been selfless this whole time, it’s one of those (things) where you’ve given people everything for so long that the moment you take one thing for yourself, you’re a bad guy. He’s given himself to the city and been selfless and taken nothing for himself, and the moment he takes something for himself it’s like he never gave them anything.”