Ron Agostini

Raiders know about timeouts

Reading time, two minutes:

Don't call a timeout. I was nearly ready to kick.

Say this about Raiders coach Lane Kiffin: He learns fast.

Unless invaders from Pluto kidnap Al Davis, Daunte Culpepper will start against the Dolphins.

A bow to Modesto Junior College, which opens its new track Monday, for identifying a need and acting on it.

The important point about Cal-Oregon the last 10 years: Whoever had Jeff Tedford enjoyed the edge.

An issue larger than Tedford: Cal hasn't won at Oregon in 20 years.

A story of the haves and have-nots: Today marks Michigan's first road game and San Jose State's first home game.

U.S. women's soccer coach Greg Ryan says he has no regrets about benching his goalkeeper. Worry not, coach. Your team and fans have done all the regretting for you.

Tennis has a phrase for Ryan's move -- unforced error.

Next to Tiger Woods, there are no better front-runners than Brazilian soccer teams. Cue the drums and watch the magic.

Had the Americans won the World Cup with Hope Solo in the net, you just knew a Star Wars sequel was on the way.

The longer the 49ers struggle on the ground, the worse it gets for Alex Smith.

While baseball celebrates the end of dramatic division and wild-card races this weekend -- silence in Oakland and San Francisco.

Overused to the point of nausea: statement wins.

A better "statement:" winning without cheating.

I was relatively OK with Mike Gundy's rant at Oklahoma State -- the columnist crossed the line -- until he blasted her for not being a mother.

Gundy received overwhelming support this week, further proof that ripping the media always is good business.

Another lesson: If you snap, you're famous (or infamous) on YouTube in about five seconds.

It's almost impossible to have a more tumultuous year than Tony La Russa in St. Louis. He'll walk and GM Walt Jocketty might join him.

Not exactly a shock: Don Nelson, still the coach of the Golden State Warriors.

The agony of the Irish: when a two-touchdown loss to Michigan State is a sign of progress.

Joe Montana's presence at an Oakdale football game last week says a lot about his love for the game and his passion for cutting horses. He was in the right city.

Umpire Mike Winters reportedly provoked Milton Bradley, which was something like a matador waving a red cape at a bull.

The patron saint of bad choices: Michael Vick.

Franklin High is being investigated for pipelining more than a dozen football players from American Samoa. Eye-opening: Franklin is a public school.

LeBron James is the guest host tonight on Saturday Night Live. He'll succeed. Turning the Cavaliers into a winner was more difficult.

When LaDainian Tomlinson loses his cool, something is wrong in San Diego.

That majestic fly ball to the warning track was a good metaphor, and more telling than all the home runs and the trouble, for Barry Bonds' 15-year tenure with the Giants.

Strange bedfellows: the Raiders and Stanford, both winning for the first time in nearly a year.

Mark it down: For the rest of the season, networks will plan commercials before every game-winning field goal.

Bee sports columnist Ron Agostini can be reached at or 578-2302.