Leading Off

Raiders hit the road, 49ers play at home

Raiders quarterback Daunte Culpepper makes his first start in the building where he became a Pro Bowler when Oakland visits the Minnesota Vikings. The 49ers are at home in San Francisco, where they will play host to the St. Louis Rams in a battle of the NFC West's two worst teams.

Memoirs of a boxer

Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion, had numerous tales of his life and career published for all to see. But a new 127-page book, "My Life & Battles", offers a story shared with a French sports magazine in 1911.

Father of 49ers coach remembered

To his grandkids, Dick Nolan was Pop, an advice-giving, storytelling source of love and joy. Dick Nolan's kids knew and appreciated that side of him, too. However, they also knew their dad's tough-guy side, the persona that helped him succeed as a safety for the New York Giants on the 1956 championship team and later as a division-winning head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. About 200 people, including Dan Reeves, Lee Roy Jordan and several more former NFL players and coaches, joined Nolan's widow Ann, their children and grandchildren for a remembrance service in Grapevine, Texas, on Saturday.

Bragg heading to NCAA Championship

Manteca's Ja-Neil Bragg helped Pacific finish third at the 21-team Nike Cup. On Friday, the senior qualified for the NCAA Championship in the 400 IM with a meet and school record of 4:14.81 in the preliminaries. Bragg chose to concentrate on the 200 free rather than swim the 400 IM finals, and won the shorter race in 1:49.14. Her 400 IM time was two seconds better than the top finals time. No mohawks allowed

About 25 high school football players in Pennsylvania who got mohawks before their traditional Thanksgiving game have been told to shave their heads or risk suspension. The Easton Area High School players had their hair shorn as a display of unity before the game against longtime rival Phillipsburg, N.J. "We saw it as a symbol for power and strength, and that's how we wanted to be represented," senior Giovanni Simmons told The Express-Times. "But we were told they had to go." The district's dress code, approved last year, specifically prohibits "mohawk-type haircuts" or "spike haircuts in which the hair is sectioned and brought to a point." Principle William Rider said he understood the attempted symbolism but had to enforce the district policy.