That’s Amury News and Commentary: Why can Sports be Just Sports?

Philadelphia Flyer Ivan Provorov who did not skate last Tuesday with teammates because of his religious reasons over the pre game Pride Night sweaters. Legal experts say that punishing Provorov for not skating with the team over the Pride sweaters are infringing on his rights. (AP News file photo)

Why can Sports be Just Sports?

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

National Hockey League, Philadelphia Flyers defense-man Ivan Provorov was criticized for refusing to wear LGBT colors on his uniform during Pride Night with the Flyers, sitting out their pregame warmups. Provorov cited his religion, Russian Orthodox, as he said: “I respect everybody, everybody’s choice” and “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion”.

Flyers head coach John Tortorella defended Provorov; “Provy did nothing wrong,” he added. “Just because you don’t agree with his decision, doesn’t mean he did anything wrong.” Provorov did play in the eventual 5-2 win in which the Flyers wore their standard home jerseys, after skipping the warmups.

Most people that pay to see a sporting event (which is not cheap) are there to escape and enjoy themselves, most do not care what a hockey player believes or doesn’t believe, they want to see a good game, a few goals and maybe even a good fight. That’s the truth. Most of the time nobody cares, they are attending and paying good money for a sporting event, and they’re not there to debate sociopolitical issues, if they wanted that, Yale, Harvard or Stanford is the place.

However, things happen in sports that have little to do with sports, here are a few:

In 1967 Muhammad Ali was the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world. On April 28 of that year, with the United States at war in Vietnam, Ali refused to be inducted into the armed forces, saying “I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcong.” On June 20, 1967, Ali was convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to five years in prison, fined $10,000, and banned from boxing for three years. Ali was at one time the most recognizable American on the face of the earth, in many countries much more than the President of the United States and Hollywood movie stars.

On August 2016. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat down (took a knee) during the national anthem at an NFL preseason game between the 49ers and the Green Bay Packers. It divided the NFL and the country. Kaepernick said about his action: “It is to protest the injustices that are happening in America, the oppression that is happening in America”. Kaepernick played for the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2016, he did not get a chance to play again with the 49ers or any other NFL team after his famous knee.

Perhaps the most famous and memorable incident was during the 1968 Olympic Games in México City. US Athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith were banned from the US team and the Olympic Village after holding up their fist during the American national anthem from the winner’s podium of the 200-meter. Smith and Carlos protested against racial discrimination in the US.

Enes Kanter Freedom was an NBA player who frequently spoke against the Chinese Communist government (not the people of China) for their repression and human rights abuses against minorities. This is well documented by Amnesty International, a Human Rights non-profit watchdog.

Human rights in China continue to deteriorate, with arbitrary mass detentions, torture, and forced labor against Muslims in various provinces of the country. Also, there is no secret China represents a huge money maker market for the NBA. Enes Kanter (born in Switzerland) became a US citizen last year and added Freedom to his last name.

I am not against protests, we have the right under the First Amendment of the US Constitution to protest, which falls under freedom of speech, as well as freedom of the press or the right for people peaceable to demonstrate. However, in a such complicated world, sports is one area that we should all enjoy, and leave our grievances at home.

During the recent World Cup in Qatar Iran’s soccer players refused to sing their national anthem ahead of the World Cup opening match. These players feared possible execution once they returned home. They were supporting worldwide demonstrations following the death of Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini who was arrested by The Guidance Patrol, the religious morality police of Iran’s government for not wearing the hijab in accordance with government standards. She was killed for that, These Iranian Soccer players showed incredible courage, considering they were facing death when they returned home. One thing is to lose your job, another is to lose your life.

The world is complicated, what’s perfectly legal in the US could cost a person their life in other countries. That is why when we travel abroad we should also make sure we obey the laws of the country we are in. Just like if you get invited to a friend’s house and the host ask you “please do not smoke” it is simply common sense.

We all know what happened with basketball star Brittney Griner in Russia, who was arrested carrying a substance that in Russia is illegal, when she was impassioned for months and used as leverage for a deal with a world famous criminal, all in the middle of a war between Russia and Ukraine.

I have always noticed: In sports, a lot is done in the arena in a short amount of time, but that is not possible with politics, they talk and talk and talk, and takes forever to get results. In the end, when it comes to the world of sports, that is one of the few places in this complicated world where we should be able to forget our problems. That is why I often wonder, Why can Sports be Just Sports?

Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary podcasts Tuesdays at

Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: All eyes on LeBron to take the Lakers to the promise land; Broncos has no intention to sign Kaepernick; plus more

LeBron James leads the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat which started on Wednesday night in the bubble at Disney World in Bradenton Fl. Here he exchanges words with game officials during the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets Sep 26, 2020 (AP News photo)

On Headline Sports podcast with Jessica:

#1 Jessica taking a look at the NBA Finals game 1 was on Wednesday night in the bubble at Bradenton Fl at the Disney World bubble the odds makers have the Los Angeles Lakers favored in the series as they defeated the Miami Heat 116-98.

#2 Despite there’s no fans for the Finals is there any kind of advantage for the Miami Heat playing in Florida for the Finals.

#3 A sonic boom shook up the French Open on Monday, the boom startled fans, players and those working the Open thinking it was an explosion or fireworks nearby.

#4 The Denver Broncos have no intention of bringing former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick on board with the team according to Broncos head coach Vic Fangio Kaepernick’s name hasn’t come up in discussions and Fangio and team general manager John Elway look for someone else “who will be a the best fit.” Does this look like collusion is still in effect against Kaepernick?

#5 No one expected the San Francisco Giants to amount to anything close to a post season team and while the Giants just missed making the last and final eighth spot in the National League Wild Card race by one game they weren’t expected to compete for a playoff position during the 60 game regular season and so the Giants manager Gabe Kapler’s name has been floated for National League manager of the Year how do you see his chances to get the award?

Join Jessica every other Thursday for Headline Sports at

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Will Kaepernick ever throw another pass? Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick arrives at a workout for NFL football scouts and media, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Riverdale, Ga

By: Amaury Pi-González

In the media world we live today, where 24-hour news cycles are furious and non-stop, it seems like a decade ago since the last time Colin Kaepernick threw for a touchdown pass. Did we forget that his college career was a great success? He is the only player in NCAA history to pass for over 10,000 yards and rush for over 4,000 yards in college. He is the greatest player in the history of the University of Nevada football.Then, as a professional, he led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in his second season.

Recently, Kaepernick was getting another chance. A workout for 26 teams. It has been more than three seasons he has not played in the NFL. His biggest enemy is his ego. Let us don’t forget the fact he was a backup when the 49ers decided to let him go. When you are a backup in the NFL,you are not as big as you might think you are, in this case, Kaepernick. He has also made over $40 million from the NFL,not to shabby for a guy that today is not remembered as a very good football player but the man “that took a knee and became world famous.”

At the time, Kaepernick took the knee and started a conversation in the country,which depends on your opinion, I defended his rights to free speech as an American citizen, and I said in an interview with Telemundo (Channel 48) that although I did not agree with his action, he had all the right in world to do what he did, as unpopular as it was. You might call me “old fashioned.” but I believe sports is truly a escape from the real world, and politics should not be mixed with sports. It is as simple as that. He could have called a press conference, at any time and place to give his opinion.

Kaepernick should understand that the NFL is a business and businesses stay in business only when they make a profit. The NFL is not a non-profit organization. It is capitalism. This recent workout was a debacle because his inability to understand he is just a guy that played in a popular league, that at the end respected but not agreed with his actions on the field. He is not bigger than the sport. When he played, he was an employee, not an owner.

In the end, how the league organized a workout for the quarterback was a fiasco. He still very much toxic to the NFL.

He is 32 years old in a sports league where the average career is between three to four years. His time might have passed or might have not.

The question remains: Will Colin Kaepernick ever throw another pass?

Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary each week and podcasts each Tuesday at

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Washington sending scout to watch Kaepernick practice; 49ers look to get back in win column Sunday against Arizona; plus more

photo from tmz: Seeking work in the NFL Colin Kaepernick will be trying out his handwork this week in his quest for an NFL job.

On Headlines with Tony Renteria:

#1 Washington is one of the NFL teams that will be taking a look at quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his tryouts to get back on an NFL team. It was mentioned that Washington might not be interested in Kaepernick because they have rookie Dwayne Haskins as a team starter.

#2 49ers host the Arizona Cardinals next. It’s just one day less to rest as the 49ers are coming off that tough loss on Monday Night Football to the Seattle Seahawks. After a loss like that, how quick do you see the 49ers regrouping?

#3 The Oakland Raiders just edged out the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football last week 26-24. The Raiders’ Derek Carr threw for 218 yards and went 21 for 31 with one touchdown.

#4 The Sacramento Kings are believing in themselves. They have won four of their last five games and are getting great offensive production from Bogdan Boganovic, Buddy Heild, Nemanja Bjelica, and Harrison Barnes.

#5 After former Houston Astros pitcher Mike Fiers said that the Astros were stealing signs during the 2017 season and 2017 World Series, how far down does the Astros’ credibility go down from here?

Tony Renteria does Headline Sports each Thursday for

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Raiders open up regular season on MNF; The shock waves of the Khalil Mack trade; plus more

Photo credit: @steverosenbloom

On the Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 The Oakland Raiders open up their regular season this Monday night September 10th at the Oakland Coliseum. There are lots of expectations for the Raiders on the primetime show.

#2 The talk throughout the NFL is the Khalil Mack trade to the Chicago Bears and getting a record $114 million deal. London discusses how this will work out for the Bears.

#3 Trump says that Nike is sending a “terrible message” with the Colin Kaepernick ad. Trump still doesn’t see unequal treatment and police brutality going on in the African American and Latino/Hispanic communities.

#4 The San Jose Earthquakes, who took a tough 2-1 loss last Saturday in Vancouver, have another two months worth of soccer left with only three wins for the season. Can they make the best of it or will they just go through the motions and suffer through it?

#5 After former Sacramento Kings player DeMarcus Cousins left Sacramento, who will carry the Kings this season? Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, Bogdan Bogdanovic, D’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, or another player to be named later?

London Marq does the Headline Sports each Wednesday at

New rule requires NFL players to stand for National Anthem

Photo credit: @NBCNews

By Jeremy Kahn

In a unanimous vote by the 32 owners of the National Football League, there will be a different policy to the National Anthem.

Effective this season, the new policy will require players to stand if they are on the field during the playing of the National Anthem. This also will include kneeling and sitting, something many players have done since the 2016 season.

Since the 2016 season, dozens of players have protested the National Anthem due to racial inequality and police brutality around the United States.

Teams will have the option to fine any team personnel, including players if they protest the anthem.

“We want people to be respectful of the national anthem,” commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We want people to stand — that’s all personnel — and make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something we think we owe. [But] we were also very sensitive to give players choices.”

All 32 teams approved the policy, that will become part of the NFL’s operations manual and will not be subject to collective bargaining. The National Football League Players Association will review the policy and will “challenge any aspect” that looks to be inconsistent with the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling for the National Anthem during the 2016 preseason, and continued it during the entire season. The league did not have a rule for players to kneel for the National Anthem, and the league was not able to stop him.

President Donald Trump criticized Kaepernick and other players for kneeling during the National Anthem, as did fans and owners of other teams, who thought that it was disrespectful to the United States.

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, New York Jets owner Christopher Johnson and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wished to avoid having players protest against the anthem.

If Jon Gruden is “surprised” that Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned, then he should sign him

Photo credit: @BleacherReport

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

Speaking from the coaches breakfast at the NFL owners meetings Tuesday, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden offered his thoughts on why Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned.

“I think there’s a lot of intrigue,” Gruden said via ESPN staff writer Paul Gutierrez. “His performance on the field wasn’t very good, on tape. I think, Robert Griffin, a rookie of the year, [I’m surprised] he’s out there. Tim Tebow takes a team to the playoffs, there’s some surprise that he never came back. You know, Johnny Manziel, he’s out there.

“Back to Kapernick, he got beat out by [Blaine] Gabbert to start the [2016] season. I think that say’s something. [But] I am surprised he’s not in camp with somebody. He probably will be soon.”

Memo to Gruden: No one, not even you, should be ‘surprised’ that Kaepernick remains unsigned by an NFL team.

Not due to the fact that he knelt during the national anthem to protest social injustice and police brutality, but he’s got a pending lawsuit against league owners for collusion, which was filed last October by Kaepernick.

But if Gruden is truly that ‘surprised’ that Kaepernick isn’t on an NFL roster, my only question to him is: why haven’t the Raiders signed him?

It’s a good idea, right?

No one is saying that Kaepernick would overthrow Derek Carr as Oakland’s signal-caller in 2018, but Kaepernick is much better than E.J. Manuel and Josh Johnson combined.

Both Manuel and Johnson are on the Raiders roster.

Since being drafted by the 49ers in 2011 out of Nevada in the second round of the NFL draft, Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards with 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions while completing 59.8-percent of his passes in 58 career starts.

Manuel does have a career completion percentage of 58.1 to go along with 20 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in 18 starts (which includes one start for Oakland last season), while Johnson is 0-5 in his  five career starts.

But Kaepernick would provide better insurance for Gruden and the Raiders in the event that Carr was injured than either Manuel or Johnson in my opinion. I know I’m not the only one that feels that way too.

It wasn’t too long ago that Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback in Super Bowl XLVII, was making defenses look foolish trying to tackle him in the open field with the dreaded read-option. In 2016, Kaepernick’s last season in the league, he was recovering from three surgeries when Gabbert beat him out for the starting the job.

But once he proved to be healthy, Kaepernick replaced Gabbert as San Francisco’s starting quarterback and posted a 92.6 passer rating in his final six starts of the season. Kaepernick threw for 2,241 yards with 16 touchdowns to just four interceptions with a 90.7 passer rating, but the 49ers were just 1-10 in his 11 starts as the team dealt with injuries and inconsistency along the offensive line.

San Francisco finished 2-14 that year.

After sitting out all of 2017, does Kaepernick even want to play football or continue to bring awareness to social injustice and police brutality in 2018? Kaepernick has already gone on record saying that he wouldn’t kneel during the national anthem if signed by an NFL team.

There was the internet video recently of Kaepernick working out in Houston throwing the football appearing to be in tremendous condition. Maybe there’s a chance that Kaepernick does play again in the NFL after.

But could it be in Silver and Black?

Gruden and the Raiders should give the idea some serious consideration.

The Philadelphia Eagles, who won Super Bowl LII, showed how important having a capable backup quarterback like Nick Foles on the roster was after losing franchise quarterback Carson Wentz late in the year with a torn ACL.

It’s good to have an insurance policy in case of emergencies, Oakland.

Did Trump play a role to keep Kaepernick out?

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick talks during a news conference after an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Los Angeles. The San Francisco 49ers won 22-21. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

By: Ana Kieu

Did the NFL collude to keep Colin Kaepernick out? The obvious answer is that he’s a distraction, but the hardest question is how all of this happened.

Before the San Francisco 49ers hosted the Green Bay Packers in a preseason game last August, Kaepernick refrained from standing up during the national anthem, choosing to kneel on the sideline. His refusal to stand stirred the pot and bothered a lot of people including veterans. However, there are some gray lines when it comes to the idea of not standing because it can signal a lack of allegiance to the nation he currently resides in.

Kneeling wasn’t the only thing Kaepernick has done that generated controversy. He also spoke out about the reasoning behind his protest. A number of African-American athletes have spoken out about the higher rates of police violence in black communities, including Kaepernick. He said that he protested the crimes against people of color in the United States.

Kaepernick doesn’t want to show pride in the American flag because the country oppresses people of color. To him, the protest is more important than the sport of football. He dislikes how there are dead bodies laying in the streets and officers are getting paid leave instead of receiving prison time. He could care less if he receives approval, he just wants to stand up for what’s right.

The 49ers mentioned that the national anthem will always be a special part of the pregame ceremony. It’s an opportunity for people to honor their country and reflect on the great liberties they have as citizens. They respect traditional American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression. That being said, they already said that Kaepernick could make his own choices so his actions are technically not illegal.

As Kaepernick waits for a job opportunity, he’s continuing to do charity work. Shortly after he began his protests, he announced that he would donate $1 million of his salary to help organizations that assist troubled communities. He has a section on his website,, dedicated to the donations he has made so far. He has also donated shirts, hats, shoes and books to men’s shelters and orphanages such as the Know Your Rights Camp.

Here’s the question: Why is Kaepernick still unemployed?

Kaepernick’s inability to get signed during the 2017 NFL free agency has surprised even his own teammates. He has been a free agent since March 3. That’s not good news considering the fact he can play at a professional level. He led the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVIII against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2012 NFL season.

Kaepernick has 72 touchdowns and a 59.8 pass completion percentage along with 12,271 yards gained in 69 career games. He has seven touchdowns and a 58 pass completion percentage along with 1,374 yards gained in six postseason games. These numbers aren’t too shabby. Yet, he remains out of the league while several quarterbacks have found new jobs such as Brian Hoyer, Case Keenum, Geno Smith, Josh McCown, Mark Sanchez, Matt McGloin and Nick Foles.

President Donald Trump criticized Kaepernick last August. He described his refusal to stand for the national anthem as a terrible thing. He also suggested that Kaepernick should find a country that works better for him. Despite the negativity, Kaepernick has continued his protests, which might’ve affected his job search.

Perhaps the government has played a role in telling Roger Goodell and the NFL what to do about Kaepernick. This isn’t the typical case of unemployment. The 29-year-old has made millions in his career. Goodell said that NFL teams just make decisions based on the level of talent a player might have. He respected Trump’s comment because everyone’s going to make comments. There’s nothing he can do about Trump’s comments.

Kaepernick’s not only a distraction, but his play has been questionable in recent years. So he’ll just have to play the waiting game before he receives another contract.

It’s Just My Opinion: 49ers, Kaepernick need each other

AP file photo:  Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Cassius Marsh (91) rushes San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) on Sunday, January 1, 2017, at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 25-23. Al Golub/CSM (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

SANTA CLARA Calif — With incumbent starter Colin Kaepernick most likely opting out of his contract, along with backups Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, and Thad Lewis (who spent the entire 2016 season on injured reserve) all set to be unrestricted free agents, the San Francisco 49ers could find themselves in murky waters at the most important position once free agency opens up on March 9 at 1:00 p.m. PT.

The NFL Scouting Combine begins next week where the likes of Clemson signal-caller Deshaun Watson and North Carolina’s quarterback Mitch Trubisky will be on display for teams in dire need of a quarterback.

San Francisco (2-14), who own the second overall pick in April’s draft, fall in line with the 1-15 Cleveland Browns who have the first overall pick and are in desperate need of a quarterback, after having a league-high six different quarterbacks take a snap in 2016.

New 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco’s fourth head coach in four years), who oversaw the NFL’s highest scoring offense at 33.8 points per game, doesn’t have a quarterback like Matt Ryan to run his uptempo offense currently on the roster for the 49ers.

Ryan passed for 4,944 yards with 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions while taking home the MVP trophy and being named the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year for his spectacular season guiding the Atlanta Falcons to NFC Championship, before losing to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

It may be tempting for Shanahan, along with new general manager John Lynch to spend their first round pick on either the aforementioned Watson or Trubisky and let him develop as the 49ers rebuild, but here’s a real idea: Kaepernick should opt-in and remain with the 49ers.

You may ask yourself, why would a natural, gifted athlete like Kaepernick, who started his 10th career game in Super Bowl XLVII (albeit a loss to the Baltimore Ravens), would want to continue a union with an organization that has gone down hill ever since parting ways with Jim Harbaugh in 2015?

It’s quite simple: Kaepernick could resurrect his career under a new regime (while pocketing the $14.5 million he’s owed by opting in for 2017, but gives the team the ability to trade him if the right deal comes along), and the 49ers as an organization, can begin to put the pieces back together with the help of a guy who can unite the locker room.

If you’re Kaepernick, staying with the 49ers gives you the best opportunity to be a starter and San Francisco seems like the more comfortable fit.

I can’t see Kaepernick playing for the Jets, whose head coach in Todd Bowles is entering the 2017 season on the hot seat.

Chicago, who wants to move away from the albatross that is quarterback Jay Cutler, is not an option. The Bears have been rumored to be interested in New England backup Jimmy Garoppolo and hold the third overall pick and could use that pick as trade bait to land the Illinois native.

For what it’s worth, if the Bears do dump Cutler as expected, many NFL insiders and “experts” believe that Cutler would be a fit with the 49ers.

Let me say this, “No.”

Cutler has no business being a starting quarterback in the NFL anymore and should retire, as he’s hinted this offseason.

Scratch off Cleveland and Buffalo from the list of possible landing spots for Kaepernick.

Hue Jackson is enamored with Watson and Trubisky and won’t pass up taking a quarterback this year after trading away Cleveland’s pick (No. 2 overall) last season to Philadelphia that turned into Carson Wentz.

Wentz threw for 3,782 yards and 16 touchdowns during his rookie campaign and looks like the Eagles’ franchise quarterback for the next 10 years.

Buffalo is expected to pick up Tyrod Taylor’s option worth $27.5 million in 2017. Taylor has enjoyed success in two seasons with the Bills, tossing back-to-back seasons with 3,000 yards to go along with 37 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

In 11 starts last season, Kaepernick threw for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns, and four interceptions, but the 49ers were just 1-10 during that stretch.

Kaepernick showed flashes of the quarterback that had defenses on their heels at times, but the 49ers were just an eye sore to watch that had many fans staying away from Levi Stadium in droves and changing the channel quickly.

But with 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions (4:3 TD/INT ratio), Kaepernick still has the ability to grow into a serviceable quarterback and with the help of Shanahan, who has a history of working well with average quarterbacks like Brian Hoyer (44 TDs/26 INTs) and Robert Griffin III (42 TDs/26 INTs), Kaepernick could be the right man to lead the 49ers at quarterback in 2017.

Kaepernick, Shanahan, and Lynch all met with each other this past Wednesday, Lynch confirmed while appearing on KNBR radio in San Francisco, as first reported by ESPN Staff Writer Nick Wagoner.

Lynch was coy on the nature of the meeting, but mentioned that the group had a “great discussion,” and “Colin left excited, we left excited and I think as Kyle and I really believe, the evaluation is still very much fluid.”

During Lynch’s introductory news conference, Lynch mentioned that he and Kaepernick developed a strong rapport while the former safety was working as a color analyst on FOX.

Shanahan is certain to sign unrestricted free agent quarterback Matt Schaub, whom Shanahan worked with in Atlanta and Houston. Schaub could help Kaepernick learn the deep offensive playbook that Shanahan has developed over the years in the NFL while working for his father, Mike Shanahan.

The older Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the 49ers’ last Super Bowl title after the 1994 season, before leading the Denver Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowls at the end of the 1997 and 1998 seasons.

Quite honestly, Kaepernick should want to opt-in and sign a two-year extension giving him three more years with the 49ers and be the bridge to the real quarterback of the future of the 49ers: USC’s Sam Darnold.

Darnold looked NFL-ready, leading the Trojans to a 52-49 victory over Penn State in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. The freshman threw for 453 yards and five touchdowns and engineered an 80-yard game-tying drive with less than two minutes remaining.

His 473 total yards broke the Rose Bowl record of 467, which was set by Vince Young during the Texas quarterback’s all-time great performance against USC in 2006.

Darnold is a quarterback that I know Shanahan and Lynch would love to have as the face of the 49ers and build around in the upcoming years.

For now, Kaepernick and the 49ers are better together, rather than apart.


A whole bunch goes right: big, fourth quarter propels 49ers to win over the Rams, ending 13-game losing streak


By Morris Phillip

Down one, the 49ers went for two. Just one of the memorable moments in a second half on Saturday that eclipsed all the forgettable football San Francisco has endured over last three plus months since the team’s last win.

Colin Kaepernick’s designed run on a two-point conversion with 31 seconds remaining lifted the 49ers to a 22-21 win over the Rams, snapping the franchise-record 13-game losing streak with one bold stroke. Amazingly, Kaepernick’s game-winner was merely the capper to a fourth quarter like no other for a team that hadn’t shown this level of resolve at any point in recent memory.

“It worked out for us,” Kaepernick gushed. “It felt amazing, a feeling this team had been looking for for a long time now. It is something this team can build on.”

That the 49ers played so poorly for most of the afternoon, punting on eight, consecutive possessions at one point, then trailed by two touchdowns with 10 minutes remaining, made this victory improbable. And that conclusion was obvious without factoring in how decimated the 49ers were on both sides of the ball.  In fact, when starting running Carlos Hyde was felled by a vicious tackle at the fourth quarter’s outset, the team’s offense was without its starting running back (Hyde), its top receiver  (Torrey Smith), two of its top three tight ends (Vance McDonald, Blake Bell) and all five, presumptive starters on the offensive line.

But somehow in the face of all this inertia, the 49ers and Kaepernick surged, and the Rams collapsed, due to equal parts disinterest and fatigue.  Kaepernick even overcame his well-publicized pattern of poor, second half play, finishing 28 of 38 passing for 266 yards and two touchdowns.

“I thought he did a good job,” Kelly said of Kaepernick.  “We hade a whole new group up front.  There was some growing pains for some of the young guys as they were getting their first snaps up there.”

The 49ers struck first, capitalizing on an interception of No. 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff. Tremaine Brock made the pick, and set up the San Francisco offense with a 38-yard return.  Two plays later, and despite a penalty for too many men on the field on the initial play, Kaepernick connected with Hyde for a 19-yard scoring pass.

But as the afternoon wore on, and the punts by both teams quickly added up, the 49ers proved for more generous than the Rams.