Tottenham Hotspur

Retired 49er Joe Staley has impressive sports memorabilia collection

Retired 49er Joe Staley has impressive sports memorabilia collection

You don't play 13 years in the NFL without picking up some cool memorabilia along the way.

Recently retired left tackle Joe Staley is a testament to that. The now-former 49er showed off his impressive collection Tuesday in a video conference call with local reporters following the announcement of his retirement this weekend.

Staley's home office featured signed and framed jerseys from former teammates, and his wife, Carrie, a former soccer player who won two Big East Defender of the Year awards at Notre Dame. 

The 35-year-old's collection even included a nod to his fandom. If you thought Staley losing Super Bowl LIV -- the last game of his playing career -- was heartbreaking, get a load of the soccer team he supports.

Staley is a diehard fan of Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, who've had their fair share of nail-biters go the other way during a decade-plus (and counting) trophy drought. He told reporters at the Super Bowl that he swapped jerseys with Bale, the former Spurs star who now plays for Real Madrid, when Tottenham played the San Jose Earthquakes in a 2010 pre-season friendly.

[RELATED: McGlinchey sees one area Staley retiring won't hurt 49ers]

Tottenham's Twitter account even wished Staley well in his retirement on Saturday.

The year-old Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will host (at least) two NFL games every year through 2027. Something tells me Staley, who said Tuesday he won't be a stranger around the 49ers' facility, will make the trip to London if -- and when -- the 49ers play at Spurs' new ground.

He'll probably have a few more items for his collection, too.

Best Premier League season storylines before coronavirus suspension

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AP

Best Premier League season storylines before coronavirus suspension

The Premier League suspending its season last month due to the global coronavirus pandemic delayed Liverpool’s inevitable clinching of their first top-flight title in three decades by at least two months.

The Reds, who were six points from winning their first-ever Premier League title, won’t lift the trophy until May at the absolute earliest. The season is suspended through at least April 30, and league executives reportedly will discuss what the remainder of the season could look like in a Friday conference call.

There wasn’t much drama remaining in Liverpool’s title challenge, but the same couldn’t be said for the rest of the Premier League by the time it closed its doors. Every club had at least nine matches remaining, with multiple spots for next season’s European competitions, all three relegation places still up for grabs and bragging rights in some of England’s best rivalries still unsolved

Which storylines would’ve captured our attention? Here are the five we’d be most closely monitoring had the Premier League season continued uninterrupted.

CLICK FOR THE TOP PREMIER LEAGUE STORYLINES

Why Eric Dier fan clash should result in easy FA discipline decision

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AP

Why Eric Dier fan clash should result in easy FA discipline decision

Eric Dier started Saturday for Tottenham Hotspur at Turf Moor against Burnley. When he'll start next remains to be seen.

The Spurs defender charged into the stands at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium during the Lilywhites' FA Cup loss to Norwich on Wednesday, confronting a fan who Dier alleged was abusing his brother. The Football Association is investigating the altercation, as are Tottenham and London Metropolitan Police. 

Dier had the sympathy of manager José Mourinho and the backing of Tottenham Hotspur supporters, who sang "I love Eric Dier, Eric Dier loves me" from the away end at Turf Moor on Saturday. NBC Sports soccer analysts Robbie Earle and Kyle Martino sympathized, too, but they fully expect Dier to face discipline from the FA. 

"I think protecting your family is almost like a basic instinct, and I think his instinct to protect took over his control as a professional," Earle said on "Premier League Mornings" on Saturday. "He saw a situation where his brother was involved and felt he had to go into the stands. I think he will end up in trouble. I think the FA will have to look at it. Stands are places that players shouldn't be just like fans shouldn't be on the football pitch, and I sympathize with him for his actions. But I do think that the FA will look at it."

Earle played nearly two decades for Port Vale and Wimbledon, while Martino played seven seasons for MLS' Columbus Crew and LA Galaxy. Both dealt with abuse from fans and understand why Dier was drawn into the stands Wednesday. 

They viewed the field's boundaries and a stadium's barriers as sacrosanct, however. Martino noted that fans going onto the pitch can result in stadium bans, and he felt players can't cross the line the other way, either. 

"What if that fan started coming towards him, and a fight ensued?" Martino rhetorically asked. " ... It's tough because I totally feel for him, and I understand why he wanted to do that, but for the safety of not doing those things because of what it can start, you've gotta stay out of the stands."

[RELATED: Liverpool claw back into win column with comeback victory]

Mourinho told reporters he didn't think the club should discipline Dier, and he didn't want to address the situation in a pre-match interview with Sky Sports before Tottenham's match at Burnley. 

The FA's decision likely will be just as clear-cut, but don't expect Dier to be spared punishment. Even if they understand why he ran into the stands in the first place.