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▪ The Central Catholic Raiders have played 63 games to win four consecutive state titles. They probably deserve a rest, but the Valley Oak League won’t let them.
▪ The Raiders have packed six-plus seasons into four. No one in the state has been that busy. The players should unionize and demand overtime.
▪ The VOL boasts two state champions in Central Catholic and Sierra. That’s a good league.
▪ The 49ers will improve when general manager Trent Baalke signs or drafts players who 1. are not injured, 2. are not facing suspension, or 3. are specializing in football, not rugby.
▪ The 49ers’ starting point: Quarterback, followed closely by everywhere else.
▪ What’s especially vexing about the 49ers: Not only are they a bad team, they’re also tough on the eyes.
▪ Can’t figure out which is worse: Christmas traffic or Blaine Gabbert on third down.
▪ 49ers coach Jim Tomsula has referred to the team’s shortage of “fine focus.” As opposed to the not-fine focus.
▪ About the planes trailing anti-Jed York signs above Levi’s Stadium: The 49ers may start selling overhead ad rights.
▪ After all is said and done in 2015: Derek Carr and Amari Cooper may not exactly be finished products.
▪ Here is a finished product: Charles Woodson, who was given the perfect sendoff Thursday night.
▪ Woodson, 18 years later, puts the lie to the Heisman Trophy curse.
▪ Only 11 of 32 NFL teams have winning records. And I thought the Bay Area monopolized all the league’s hard-to-watchness.
▪ Thirty years ago: Manteca’s Ted Nuce won the world bull riding championship.
▪ A Jackie Robinson statue will be dedicated next season at Dodger Stadium. Methinks that’s overdue.
▪ The Giants are gearing up for another even-numbered season by signing Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. They’ll also need a bounce back from Matt Cain.
▪ The Giants’ and Athletics’ journey through the winter should be titled, “In Search of a Left Fielder.”
▪ Regarding Pete Rose: You can be a bad citizen and be in the Hall of Fame. You can do jail time and be enshrined. But you can’t run Rule 21 through a shredder and lie about it for 15 years.
▪ Abby Wambach has retired after scoring a record 184 international goals. She passes the baton to Carli Lloyd.
▪ Another American soccer star on the rise post-Wambach: Midfielder Lindsey Horan.
▪ Another icon soon to follow Wambach to the sideline: Peyton Manning.
▪ We’ve been waiting: Modesto’s Michael “Mayday” McDonald returns from a two-year hiatus against Masanori Kanehara in UFC 195 on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas.
▪ The last time McDonald visited the octagon, he got choked out by Sacramento’s Urijah Faber at Sleep Train Arena.
▪ While McDonald sat out: Bret Harte grad T.J. Dillashaw won the UFC bantamweight championship. Dillashaw will defend his title against Dominick Cruz on Jan. 17.
▪ Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld (Modesto Christian) will conclude his impressive career against Duke on Saturday in the Pinstripe Bowl. There are worse places to finish than Yankee Stadium.
▪ Duke-Indiana sounds like a great basketball matchup.
▪ Still the No. 1 deciding factor in a bowl game: Which team is more motivated to be there.
▪ Just because: Michael Olowokandi.
▪ The Warriors won their first 24 games to honor Rick Barry’s old number.
▪ There was a loss, by the way, before the Milwaukee Bucks beat them. Luke Walton had his car stolen.
▪ Dominance: Central Catholic has outscored its last four state finals opponents 189-70. Or 47-18 per game.
▪ Mike Glines may have been the architect of the Central Catholic dynasty, but Roger Canepa and staff are doing more – much more – than just sustaining it.
▪ The team’s success mandates its move next season to Division II, after the speed bump that was D-III.