Ron Agostini: A two-minute look at all things 49ers, Raiders, A’s, MJC and more

07/25/2014 3:22 PM

07/25/2014 6:52 PM

Reading time, two minutes:

• NFL camps opened this week and the mood was upbeat: Freshly mowed grass, the promise of tomorrow, the earth re-awakening ... sorry, got carried away. Wrong sport.
• This is what happens when you’re off for three weeks.
• I’m reminded of the famous George Carlin skit comparing football and baseball: “Baseball is played on a diamond in the park. ... Football is played on a gridiron in a stadium. War Memorial Stadium!”
• Coach Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers said he leads “the least unhappy team I’ve ever been around.” Give the man credit. Vince Lombardi never would have gone there.
• Harbaugh is right. Everyone in the NFL, at base, is unhappy.
• The Ravens’ Ray Rice was suspended two games for knocking his fiancée unconscious. Penalties for pot users start at four games. If I’m a female NFL fan, my face is slapped.
• Count on it: When Rice returns and crosses that goal line, 80,000 will cheer, the commercials will run before and after the kickoff, and the cash register goes cha-ching! Everyone wins.
• Ditto: The 49ers’ Aldon Smith after a sack.
• The Raiders are scaling back expectations. Suddenly, rational thinking from the Silver and Black.
• Then again, “The autumn wind is a Raider, pillaging just for fun ...”
• A beer at Levi’s Stadium will run $10.25. Accordingly, hot dogs will cost body parts.
• The best news in a long time: Dave Ashleigh, the former longtime Modesto Junior College swimming and water polo coach, campaigned through chemotherapy. His cancer is in remission.
• Why outgoing MJC Athletic Director Bill Kaiser smiles: The Pirates’ 21-team program ranked 11th out of 105 California community colleges in overall success in 2012-13 (according to the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators).
• The MJC football team opens Sept. 6 at American River, which was 7-0 before the Pirates scored the upset last fall. Methinks the Beaver sophomores will remember.
• The West Coast is rising again in baseball. How about a Giants-A’s World Series? Or a Dodgers-Angels World Series?
• Among the top five MLB teams in attendance: Dodgers, Giants and Angels.
• Not exactly “Moneyball” strategy: The A’s trade for Jeff Samardzija. Oakland, for once, is going for it.
• Why Samardzija is perfect for the lumber-company A’s: He’s 21-3 when he’s given at least three runs of support.
• Never gets old watching the A’s and their $77 million payroll (fourth-smallest) pounding teams into tiny particles.
• The Sacramento Kings are champions ... of the Las Vegas NBA Summer League.
• Fresno State has lured more than 4,400 new season-ticket holders. Must be that Sept. 13 date vs. Nebraska in the Doghouse.
• Knowledgeable fans nodded when Rory McIlroy won the British Open while, on the same day, ex-fiancée Caroline Wozniacki won a tennis event in Istanbul.
• The Giants’ Tim Lincecum became only the second pitcher to notch a save and a no-hitter in the same season. The first? Sandy Koufax. And he did it more than once.
• Unclear on the concept: Former coach Tony Dungy, who supported Michael Vick, believes Michael Sam would be too much of a distraction.
• Unclear on the concept Part 2: Bash Brother and admitted PED user Mark McGwire, comfy with his baseball job (Dodgers hitting coach), refuses to accept Jose Canseco’s apology.
• The All-Star Game forgot him, but we won’t: The late Tony Gwynn and his singles through the 5.5 hole.
• Barry Bonds turned 50 this week. OK. Next topic.
• Compelling TV from the World Cup: Brazil fans, tears smearing their face paint, in almost painful agony as Germany piles goal atop goal.
• The Ohio State band director was fired for the band’s “sexualized culture.” I’m confused. If you can’t trust the Best Damn Band in the Land, what’s left?
• Yes, we’re gearing for football, which (say it with a growl) depends on throwing bombs, conquering territory and reaching the end zone. In baseball (say it soft and sweet), the object is to go home. Safe at home.
• Rest well, George Carlin.

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