Cal must focus on product before Big Game locale

Cal must focus on product before Big Game locale
August 25, 2013, 11:45 pm
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Is this a good place for the Big Game? It won't matter if Cal can't compete with Stanford.

Cal pulled a nifty little PR maneuver Friday, announcing that it wants to play the 2014 Big Game at the 49ers’ new digs so it can host the game in odd-numbered years rather than even-numbered ones to even out the attractions on the home schedule.

In a telling statement, there was almost no reaction to the news, reminding us all that (a) the Big Game continues to lose its cache in a competitive pro-heavy market and (b) Cal’s job is to BE the attraction, not schedule it. No pressure on Sonny Dykes, though. He’ll be there for as long as it takes for the alumni to object to him.

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My faith in humanity has been restored: The entirely estimable Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN chased down the persistent rumor that Bobby Riggs tanked the Battle of the Sexes against Billie Jean King, and came to the conclusion that that it might very well have happened. But that it also might not have. Depending on whom you talk to.

Good. I always love when a morality play turns creepy, criminal and completely ambiguous.

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Farmers Almanac tells us the weather forecast for Super Bowl IIL will be nasty-level cold, with the likelihood of a snowstorm sometime during the week. Then again, who carries an almanac around any more? Now if you get some secret code from a game of CandyCrush, then we’ll bite.

Not that we wouldn’t like a paralyzing/hellish/ ice/snow/locusts/rivers-of-blood storm that week. We just know we don’t live that well.

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Speaking of New York, with Geno Smith bombing in preseason and Mark Sanchez injured Saturday night against the Giants, how much longer must we be forced to wait before some idiot writes, presents or mimes a “The Jets should have kept Tim Tebow” story?

The meter is running.

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The Kazakh soccer team Shakhter Karagandy has sacrificed a sheep before each of its Champions League matches so far for luck, and won each one, meaning the only unlucky one so far has been what our Kazakh brethren like to call сырғыт- қой. Now, as the side preps for its return meeting with powerhouse Celtic, another sheep will give its all for the Miners.

And if they go deep enough in the tournament (they are already deeper than any other Kazakh team ever), the players will be paid in woolen T-shirts and mutton pregame meals. After all, one should never waste a sheep one has just wasted.

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Raiders draft choice Menelik Watson will start the final practice scam . . . er, game . . . in Seattle at left tackle, which almost makes up for his beloved Manchester City taking the whizz against Cardiff City.

Almost, that is, because he’s about to find out what “I can’t hear my quarterback” is in sign language.

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Chicago White Sox bench coach Mark Parent was ejected by umpire Jerry Layne during Sunday’s lineup exchange, and since the White Sox won, we presume, that will be Robin Ventura’s new way of keeping the boys interested until their season mercifully expires.

Although since Ventura got tossed Friday, it might also be that he sent Parent out to deliver a message that he forgot to include on his way out of the building that night. And most amazingly of all, you wise-asses, Angel Hernandez had the weekend off.

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Marion Bartoli, who won at Wimbledon 50 days ago and announced her retirement 12 days ago, now says she will “never say never” about a comeback. Swell. Her entire life is flashing before her eyes, and the U.S. Open starts today. I mean, Sugar Ray Leonard at least waited a month before he pulled this sort of thing, and he unretired more times than a Sutter played in the NHL.

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And finally, UniWatch’s Paul Lukas ranked the 122 pro uniforms ensembles (hey, it’s a living, so don’t get snotty), and it turns out that fashion-wise, Oakland kicks the hell out of the rest of California. Lukas, who has been doing this since players stopped competing nude, ranked the Raiders sixth, A’s ninth and Warriors 23rd (even with the idiotic, embarrassing and Lacob-mocking sleeves). The 49ers limped in 19th (bad sleeves), the Giants 40th (orange is not the new black), the Sharks 78th (practice uniforms are not uniforms, they’re just practice) and the Kings a humiliating 121nd.

But we don’t want the oversensitive denizens out of our state capital to get snippy. They leaped up a spot, replaced by Jacksonville. Party down, Mayor Kev. And don’t screw around with sleeves, Vivek. You’ll just make everyone look and feel ridiculous.