Stanford’s 96-74 win opens the season against Seattle U

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

By Joey Friedman

PALO ALTO, Calif. — The 2018-2019 regular season got off to an energetic start for the Stanford Cardinal on Tuesday night as they hosted Seattle University at Maples in the season opener. The Cardinal beat the Redhawks by a score of 96-74.

Stanford’s return to the court got off to an energetic start, however, the energy didn’t translate into a favorable score for the Card. Despite collecting the opening tip, a Daejon Davis bucket on the first offensive possession, and a shot clock violation on their first defensive possession, Seattle kept pace as the Stanford defense began to yield easy buckets and the offense began to stagnate.

Two early fouls on Josh Sharma sent him to the bench and gave Trevor Stanback substantial playing time, however his play was inadequate as he provided little support to Stanford on both offense and defense. Seattle’s lead grew to eight points with the score 24-16 at which point Stanford seemed unwound and lacked defensive discipline.

Stanford was able to climb within two points of Seattle on three separate occasions as the clock wound down on the first half. The first two times, Seattle was able to counter with the three-point shot, however, they couldn’t respond the 3rd time and Stanford was able to tie the game on a pair of foul shots for KZ Okpala. A Jaiden Delaire three-pointer took the lead with a minute and a half left and Stanford closed the first half with a 40-36 lead while shooting only 42% from the field.

KZ Okpala led the force in the first half with a team-leading 13 points and 6 rebounds. Alternately, for the Redhawks, Junior forward Anand Hundal came off the bench to contribute a team-high 11 points while going 3 of 4 from beyond the arc.

Stanford rode the 3-ball to a twelve point lead within the first ten minutes of the second half; Cormac Ryan hit 4 consecutive three-pointers just as Daejon Davis and KZ Okpala each hit one. Fittingly, after the game, Ryan couldn’t remember the last time he lost a game of horse.

Stanford started to heat up on the backs of KZ Okpala, who contributed another 3 as well as a number of points in the paint, and Josh Sharma who contributed six points of his own, Stanford stretched the lead to 20 points with just under six minutes to play. Stanford only got hotter as the lead grew to 29 points by the time there were only three minutes left.

KZ Okpala finished a double-double with a whopping 29 points to pair with 10 assists in 36 minutes of play. The others to collect double digits in the points column were Cormac Ryan with 16 (5/6 from beyond the arc), Daejon Davis with 15, and Marcus Sheffield with 10. Despite KZ’s big night, after the game Coach Hasse was quick to recognize the 3 turnovers he had, the high ceiling he posesses, and room for growth KZ still has as only a sophomore.

For Seattle, the following four players scored more than 10 points: sophomore guard Terrell Brown had 16, junior guard Matej Kavas and junior forward Anand Handal each had 13, and junior guard Morgan Means finished with 11.

Stanford shot an immaculate 73% (11/15) from three while finishing the game with a 52% overall field goal percentage. Seattle finished shooting 44% from the field. Stanford outrebounded Seattle 39-28 but unfortunately turned the ball over more as well, by a 13-11 margin.

Stanford will be back in action on November 9th on the road against UNC Wilmington at 1:00 PM PT. They will have the 8th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels on the road on November 12th before they return to Maples to play Wofford at 7:00 PM on November 16.

Earthquakes fail to play spoiler, lose 2-1 to Sounders in season finale

Photo credit: @SJEarthquakes

By: Ana Kieu

The San Jose Earthquakes’ season was a lost cause, but despite all the setbacks, the Quakes were looking to play spoiler in their final match of the 2018 MLS season at the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.

Yes, Chris Wondolowski was a starter for the Quakes. And, if there’s anything else positive to say about this match, San Jose battled with Seattle until the very end. The #DecisionDay match was 90 minutes plus three minutes of stoppage time.

The Quakes and Sounders played great amounts of defense to keep themselves in the match. The match was in a scoreless draw at the end of a hard-fought 45-minute first half.

The Quakes finally broke things open in Seattle when Danny Hoesen helped generate his own goal for a 1-0 lead at the 64th minute. However, that was the lone goal for the Quakes, and the #WondoWatch was in effect…but without a sight of a Wondo goal.

The Quakes made their first substitution of the match at the 73rd minute. Magnus Eriksson took the field to replace Eric Calvillo. That substitution, however, was ineffective as the Sounders tied the match 1-1 just six minutes later on a Raul Ruidiaz goal.

The Quakes made a late substitution at the 87th minute. Luis Felipe went in for Jackson Yueill. Again, that didn’t make a difference in the outcome of the match.

Sure, Tommy Thompson shot his shot for what could’ve been a go-ahead goal, but his shot went just wide of the net. The match saw three minutes of stoppage time, which was in favor of the Sounders. Ruidiaz scored his second goal of the game to seal the 2-1 win for the Sounders…and spoil the Quakes’ hopes of crashing the party in Seattle.

Notes
Quakes’ starting lineup

Sounders’ starting lineup



Up Next
See you next season, Avaya Stadium faithful!

Warriors rout the Kings 122-94 for preseason win in Seattle

Photo credit: @warriors

By: Ana Kieu

The Golden State Warriors returned to the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington for the first time since 2007. It was a long time coming for the Warriors, who took on the Sacramento Kings in a preseason game in the Emerald City. There was a sellout crowd, and that wasn’t the only thing that got the Warriors fired up. Warriors star Kevin Durant recently said that Seattle is a basketball city that deserves an NBA team. In case you need a refresher, Durant was selected second overall by the ex-Seattle SuperSonics and spent the 2007-08 NBA season with the SuperSonics.

The Warriors tweaked their starters with Tyler Ulis, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Marcus Derrickson and Damian Jones. All these five starters made a positive impact on the court.

Just moments after the tip-off, Thompson opened the scoring with a 3-pointer that sparked Golden State’s 10-0 run early in the first quarter. Durant picked up where he left off. Other players like Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell added some points to the scoreboard. The Warriors led the Kings 39-18 at the end of the first.

Golden State resumed their 3-pointer streak in the second quarter. In other news, Shaun Livingston picked up a dime and handed it to Jonas Jerebko, who threw it down, late in the second. Durant then got the slam before the buzzer to close out the first half. The Warriors brought a 74-44 lead to the locker room at halftime.

Thompson and Durant continued to dominate to kick things off in the third quarter. Durant also notched the alley and Damian Jones collected the oop. Durant later knocked down yet another 3-pointer to give himself 26 points on the night, The Warriors put the game out of reach with a 102-69 lead over the Kings at the end of the third.

Bell made plenty of jumpers in the fourth quarter. Also, Thompson refused to back down as he threw down more 3-pointers late in the fourth. The Warriors had this preseason game from start to finish and downed the Kings 122-94.

Durant proved to the critics that he was still a big deal in Seattle. Durant finished with 26 points, six rebounds ans assists. Moreover, Thompson was just as a big deal as he recorded 30 points, 10-for-15 field goals and 6-for-10 3-point field goals.

Notes
According to the NBA GMs, the title of best pure shooter in the league came down to four NBA players. Three of them were Warriors players.

Up Next
The Warriors return home to host the Phoenix Suns in a preseason game on Monday, October 8 at 7:30 pm PT on NBA TV.

Raiders head to Seattle for final preseason game against the Seahawks

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The 2018 preseason comes to a merciful end Thursday night, when the Raiders travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. This matchup will mark the 13th consecutive season that the Raiders have finished up their preseason schedule against the Seahawks, with nine of the 13 matchups in Seattle, the first being in 2015.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT.

Last week, the Raiders defeated the Green Bay Packers 13-6 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. With the score tied 6-6 late in the fourth quarter, undrafted rookie running back Chris Warren III would score the go-ahead touchdown to put the Raiders up for good.

Warren rushed for 54 yards on 15 carries.

Oakland’s defense feasted on Packers’ quarterbacks (not named Aaron Rodgers), recording a preseason-high five sacks.

The Seahawks lost to the Vikings in Minnesota, 21-20, last week.

Former Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski converted both of his field goal attempts, one booming shot from 55 yards out in the third quarter that gave the Seahawks a 13-7 lead.

Janikowski, who spent his first 18 seasons in Oakland before signing with Seattle in April, is the Raiders all-time leader in points (1,799), games played (268) and seasons of service (18).

Oakland and Seattle will meet each other in the regular season, when the two teams face off in Week 6 in London, England on Oct. 14.

Crisp’s First Walk Off Homer In the 12th Beats Mariners 3-2

Oakland Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp is congratulated after hitting a walk off home run during the twelfth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach)
Oakland Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp is congratulated after hitting a walk off home run during the twelfth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach)

By Kahlil Najar

OAKLAND – Coco Crisp hit his first walk off home run of his career in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the A’s (2-2) a 3-2 win over the previously undefeated Seattle Mariners (3-1).

“I was just going up there to swing as hard as I could. Probably nine times out of 10, I ended up with a strikeout with that approach. Tonight was that one time that it ended up working out. I’m not going to have that as my everyday approach but I’m just grateful that it worked out tonight,” said Crisp on his game winner. Head Coach Bob Melvin said, “That was his intent, and that’s tough to do. Going up there trying to hit a home run especially when you’re a leadoff-type guy.” Then when asked about Coco’s power and if many teams take his power for granted Melvin said, “Some teams do. But we don’t.”

Jesse Chavez took the mound for the A’s tonight for his first official game of the year after leading the majors in wins in Spring Training and he performed well. Chavez scattered five hits over six innings and struck out four Seattle batters and only walked two.

The start of the game didn’t look like it was going the A’s way as Alberto Callaspo; who was starting at first for the first time in his career, let a grounder from Almonte go through his legs and the ball ended up in short right field. Nick Punto who was playing second tonight went to back up the ball but after he picked it up, he threw the ball wide to Callaspo who had hustled back to first and gave the A’s their second error on the very first batter of the game and landed Almonte at second.

The Mariners capitalized on this error when after a Brad Miller fly out moved Almonte to third, Robinson Cano hit a hard grounder to A’s second basemanb Nick Punto who tossed him out at first but allowed Almonte to score and gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead. Seattle scored again the top of the fifth when Almonte hit a single into center field that scored Logan Morrison who had singled earlier in the inning and gave the Mariners a two run lead.

The A’s had been held hit-less into the bottom of the fifth until Punto smacked a sharp single to left field. With the momentum switching, Punto stole his first base of the year and landed at second with new fan favorite Sam Flud up to bat.

Fuld didn’t disappoint as he hit a line drive into center field that Almonte dived for but missed and allowed Punto to score from second. The ball traveled so far on the ground that it looked like Fuld would have his first career inside-the-park home run but with some great fielding by the Mariners they were able to pick him off at home and only give the A’s one run. Umpire Crew chief Fieldin Culbreth called for a replay review of the play at the plate to see if  Zunino was in violation of the collision rule and gave Fuld a lane to get to home plate. The review proved that Zunino wasn’t in the way and confirmed the out and end the inning.

The A’s waited until the bottom of the Eigth to tie the game at two when Yoenis Cespedes hit his first triple of the year and scored Coco Crisp who had walked at the beginning of the inning.

After the issue with Jim Johnson and the longevity of the games over the past two days, Melvin brought in Sean Doolittle for the ninth and tenth inning and he only gave up one hit on 20 pitches and kept the game tight.

In the bottom of the twelfth Coco Crisp hit his first homer of the year and his first walk off homer ever into right field off of newly entered Seattle pitcher Hector Noesi.

New guys Sam Flud and Nick Punto impressed the crowd and Melvin tonight with their tremendous play.

“They both run the bases well and in the field. They were key to the win today and usually you need vets to come off the bench but these guys performed well,” said Melvin.

In addition to his almost inside-the-park homer, Flud had an amazing diving catch to end an inning and Punto had a head-first slide into first to load the bases.

The A’s and Mariners head back at it tomorrow night when Oakland’s Dan Straily takes on the Mariners Chris Young, game time 7:05 pm PST.

Kings downtown arena: STOP withdrawal signatures signals momentum for Kings arena

by Ken Gimblin

SACRAMENTO–The campaign by the anti arena group STOP or Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed To Pork which looked like they were picking up some momentum this past summer as it looked as they would have enough signatures to put a disclaimer on the ballot before any new sports or entertainment facilities could be built, that would ask the voter if they apporove public monies to pay for such new buildings.

The campaign was required to present 22,000 signatures to be turned into the Sacramento registrar of voters, so far 14,012 withdrawal cards of the 15,277 forms that had been turned in by the downtownarena.org/Crown Downtown have not been counted. What hurts STOP’s campaign even worse is that there are a good number of reported unregistered voters who will be dropped out of the petition drive if that can be verified by the county registrar.

As of Monday 9,576 were counted as valid voters well short of the 22,000 needed to make the disclaimer a requirement on June ballot. It was also reported that some of the voters that signed the petition were not in the boundaries of Sacramento when the signatures were checked by the register’s office. Also it was said that some of the 34,000 signatures that were turned of those signatures the names might have been of voters names of who didn’t even sign the petition in the first place.

According to Jill LaVine Sacramento county registrar not only were there people who might not have signed the petition or did not live in Sacramento but they also may not have signatures that match against their registered signature in previous balloting or their registration cards on file with the county, “We will verify the voter was an eligible voter in the city limits, at the address listed, on the dates the petition was circulated, and the signature matches. If there is a withdrawal on file, it will link up and that signature will be noted as ‘withdrawn,’ said LaVine.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson also said that STOP will be resposible for the bill for the time and labor from the office of registrar. At one time STOP looked like they would have enough signatures to get the disclaimer on any future ballots but with all these factors now involved the Mayor and the city are planning one final crushing blow to STOP’s efforts by deferring the costs of the registrar’s office to the non-profit group, “(STOP) are not folks who have Sacramento’s best interests in mind. For me this isn’t what it appears to be, this initiative is like a trojan horse, it’s like a bait and switch.” said Johnson in a recent interview with the Sacramento Bee.

Johnson said that Sacramento was misled into thinking that STOP got these signatures legitimately, “we are ready to fight especially attacked from outside our community, we’re not going to be fooled. We’ve been here before.” Hedge fund manager Chris Hansen who tried to buy and move and build a new arena for the Kings in downtown Seattle. Later the NBA ruled that Sacramento should keep it’s team if they can get a new arena built by the 2016 season. Since Hansen lost his bid for the Kings and later he spent $100,000 of his own money for the petiton drive to get the facility subsidy disclaimer on the coming June ballot in Sacramento.

Hansen who would have had another shot at an NBA team in Seattle lost his credibility after it was found out that he was behind the campaign to undermind the Kings aspirations to build a new arena in downtown Sacramento.

Worse Hansen was fined by the registrar of voters for campaign violations to the tune of $50,000. STOP continued the campaign taking the signatures. STOP’s president Jullian Camacho says the mayor is misleading the public over his fight against the signatures, “he’s grasping at straws, if there are outside interests, they are centered at Region Builders (a pro arena group) not in STOP’s organization. Moreover the mayor’s statement is highly indicative of the misinformation that’s plauged this effort, an effort by local folks to be more involved in the long term direction of the city.” said Camacho. STOP turned in roughly 40,000 signatures on Tuesday at the city clerks office.

Ken Gimblin is covering the NBA for Sportstalk radio

San Francisco and Seattle rivalry continues

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 08: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers scrambling with the ball gets grabbed by his jersey from Bobby Wagner #54 of the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at Candlestick Park on December 8, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – DECEMBER 08: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers scrambling with the ball gets grabbed by his jersey from Bobby Wagner #54 of the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at Candlestick Park on December 8, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

By: Phillip Torres and Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO- The San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks have developed a huge rivalry over the years, but it has never been as fierce as it is right now. These two power house teams met for the first time on September 26, 1976 that resulted in a 37-21 victory for San Francisco in Seattle.

Before the 49ers 19-17 victory on Sunday at Candlestick Park, Seattle lead the series record 15-14. With the triumph on Sunday San Francisco evened the series at 15-15 through their first 30 meetings. As expected, each team has a better overall record against their rival at their home field. San Francisco improves to 8-6 at The Stick while Seattle has a 9-7 record at the very loud CenturyLink Field.

The 49ers victory improved their second best home divisional record to 14-0-1, only behind the 14-0 home divisional record of the New England Patriots. San Francisco has not lost to Seattle at home in over five years. Both teams acknowledge the rivalry that is forming between these two NFC West foes, and they know that it will not be leaving anytime soon.

“I wouldn’t say I enjoy it, but you have to be tough. This game is only for the tough.” Jim Harbaugh said of the rivalry with the Seahawks.

Linebacker NaVarro Bowman stated, “I love it, I love it. I love the rivalry. Both teams are very physical and that’s what football is all about.”

Seahawks tight end Zach Miller said when asked about the rivalry, “Anytime it seems like when we play it is always a tough hard-nosed football game, real physical.”

The win for the 49ers over the Seahawks could not have came at a better time. San Francisco played Seattle with Michael Crabtree in the lineup for the first time this season, and it made a difference in the passing game. Crabtree’s presence paved the way for Aquan Boldin who had six receptions for 93 yards. Crabtree also added four catches for 40 yards on the day. Boldin needed only 13 receiving yards on the day to become just the 30th player in NFL history to record 11,000 career receiving yards.

Even with the 49ers playoff type win over the Seahawks, it is still almost certain that the road to the Superbowl will have to go through Seattle. This victory will definitely be a boost of confidence for San Francisco as there will be a chance that these two teams will meet again at some point in the playoffs.

49ers sneak past Seattle on Dawson’s field goal in the final minute

Image

By Morris Phillips

After snarling at the officials, exhorting his team, and stalking the sidelines on a bitterly cold afternoon with a constant grimace on his face, 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh wasn’t about to declare the experience of besting the Seahawks, 19-17, an enjoyable one.

“Enjoy it?  That’s not the word I would use,” Harbaugh said.  “It feels like you go to the dentist chair and three-and-a-half hours of getting root canal work done.”

Now that Harbaugh’s found a better place, the nicked up players in both team’s training rooms have been cleared, and the game of the season—so far—has been played, we assess:

For the Seahawks, a bump in the road, and for the 49ers, a win in a game that they had to have in advance of bigger games that they have to have with all but one of them most likely to be played away from Candlestick Park.

Phil Dawson’s 22-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining capped a carefully-orchestrated final drive and allowed the 49ers to overcome Seattle’s one-point lead and keep the drama in the NFC West alive for at least one more week.  The 49ers (9-4) trail the division and conference-leading Seahawks by two games with three to play.

If the task of catching Seattle seems daunting, that’s because it is.  The Seahawks travel to New York next week to face the 5-8 Giants before finishing at home against the Rams and Cardinals.   The 49ers get the rejuvenated Bucs—winners of four of five—before the finale at Candlestick against the Falcons and a season-ending trip to Arizona to face the Cardinals.   If the 49ers can’t catch the Seahawks, they would open the playoffs on the road as the fifth or sixth seed.  If they win there, road games at New Orleans and at Seattle could be next.

“We don’t feel like we’ve put it all together just yet,” Anquan Boldin said after the game.  “I do feel like we are getting better each week and we’ll continue to strive to get better.  Hopefully, you guys will see us play that complete game coming soon.”

On a day of touchdowns in the NFL—85 were scored in the afternoon games- the 49ers found themselves in a tight ballgame attempting to survive on just one touchdown, nursing a 16-14 lead midway through the fourth quarter.  Then Seattle’s Golden Tate set up the Seahawks with his 38-yard punt return.  Six plays later, Russell Wilson faced a 3rd and 8 at the 49ers’ 13-yard line.  With his initial target blanketed, he scrambled left with room to run or pass.  But with Jerome Kearse having a step on his guy at the goal line, Wilson played it safe, sailing one past Kearse out of bounds.

“Try to make the smart decision, too, to not force anything.  We have a field goal and it will give us the lead.  So that was kind of the decision there,” Wilson said.

Just like Colin Kaepernick, Wilson was having a tough afternoon.  Lacking talented deep threats in the absence of injured Percy Harvin, Wilson would go without a completion of a pass thrown more than 10 yards downfield to a wide receiver.   The second-year starter earlier threw a well-executed play-action pass to tight end Luke Willson that went for a 39-yard touchdown and a 14-9 Seattle lead.  But on this day, the Seahawks’ offense started slow and finished dull as the 49ers’ defense was up to the task unlike the last two trips to Century Link Field in Seattle.

“That’s a very tough offense,” Harbaugh said.  “Their run game and just their weapons and the way the quarterback moves around, it’s tough to contain.  To hold them to 17 points is really a great accomplishment.”

With the 49ers trailing by one, Kaepernick found himself on the spot, having lost to Seattle in his only other appearances and needing to engineer a game-winning drive.   But he did, while throwing just one pass in an 11-play drive.  The key was a Frank Gore run through an interior gap that the veteran broke for 51 yards and the presence of mind to stay in bounds at its conclusion.  The same type of Gore runs had keyed the 49ers’ second half surge in last season’s home win over the Seahawks, 13-6.

“(Offensive coordinator Greg Roman) G-Ro had been saving that call in his back pocket and picked the exact right time to call it,” Harbaugh said.

“We just got out played on that play,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.  “They blocked us really nicely and they took advantage of it.”

Three plays later it was Kaepernick’s turn: his 7-yard run on third down surprised in what appeared to be a pass-situation, and picked up a critical first down at the Seattle 8-yard line.   After two more plays and a couple of timeouts, Dawson added his game-winner.

It was Dawson’s 20th consecutive made field goal, setting a team franchise record.

“I think we showed championship effort,” Donte Whitner said.  “I think everybody around the country knows who the 49ers are now.  But that was a championship football game in a playoff atmosphere and we just made a few more plays than they made.”

“Penalties hurt us, really got us off schedule,” Carroll said, referencing nine penalties that erased 85 yards.

But that was about as far and as upset as Carroll would get.  A big game no doubt, but afterwards just one of 13 in the rear-view mirror.

“All of our goals are still in front of us,” Carroll said.

49ers report: In the grand scheme of things Niners glad not to be playing in Seattle Sunday

by Ken Gimblin

SANTA CLARA–The 49ers had a lot of trouble whenever they had to play the Seahawks in Century Link and they lost their last two contests when they had to play there including the second game of this season where they just got demolished. It was a little closer than it appeared because the Niners were only trailing 12-3 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Niners weren’t really in that game running back Vernon Davis got injured, Ian Williams got knocked out and the team just could not move the ball at all on offense. A large part of that was obviously the Seahawks fantastic defense and it was the insane crowd in Seattle that is just so loud that the offensive players can’t hear anything.

The Niners couldn’t hear the snap count, they couldn’t hear their teammates, it made it really hard to get off the ball in a timely manner. It gave a huge advantage to the Seahawks who take advantage of that communication along the lines and getting an extra push out of it. There’s a reason that the Seahawks haven’t lost at home in a couple of seasons is because of that crowd gives them a huge homefield advantage.

The Seahawks are not the same team on the road as they get ready to come to Candlestick this Sunday against the 49ers that advantage they have at home completely vanishes and they become a slightly more beatable team. This year they only lost once and that was to the Colts in Indianopoilis. The Colts are one of the few teams to have beat the Niners and the Seahawks.

Just because the Hawks lost the one game on the road doesn’t mean their not going to lose any games on the road they still have the best record in the NFL and the 49ers certainly will have their hands full when they play them this weekend. The home field is the biggest thing and the Niners and the Seahawks match up very well we’ve seen the last couple times they played at Candlestick which is a good home field for the 49ers but it doesn’t offer any distinct advantage.

It’s not a dome stadium, it’s not artificial turfed that makes it a little faster for the Niners, there’s no advantagous noise factor going in there. When the Niners play anybody there yeah they have the homefield advantage but it’s not the same as a stadium like Seattle. I wouldn’t call Candlestick a neutral ground but it’s a much more balanced location for anybody to play.

For the Niners and the Seahawks, yes the 49ers won the last few games at the Stick against Seattle all of those games have been close  tough defensive battles, their not high scoring affairs it’s where you see how evenly matched these teams really are and that’s what the Niners have to look forward to.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Kings new arena: Local businessman donates 25K to keep subsidy question on ballot

 by Ken Gimblin

SACRAMENTO–Local business tycoon Chris Rufer has put up $25,000 in donated money to the campaign to stop the Sacramento Kings downtown arena which would place a subsidy question on the June 2014 Sacramento ballot. While the City, local government, and many supporters of the Kings proposed new downtown arena at Westfield Mall is under plans the opposition could turn out to be a wild card as they’re fund raising is starting to take on a life of it’s on.

Rufer whose business is in Sacramento is taking the opposing view. In addition to Rufer’s donation there are two groups working to oppose the arena build in downtown and they both have raised tens of thousands of dollars in their campaign to oppose it.

The groups are fighting to keep an intiative on the ballot that questions if public sudsidies should finance any new proposed sports or entertainment facilities in Sacramento. So far the group STOP Sacramento Taxpayers opposed to Pork and Voters for a Fair Arena Deal have stepped up raising nearly $40,000.

A group who is in favor of the subsidy has delivered collecting cash and checks in the amount of $26,000 and this group is fighting to keep the question of public subsidies being used off the ballot. The price tag for a new Sacramento downtown arena subsidy is $258 million.

The Voters for a Fair Arena Deal have raised $8,500 and STOP has raised $31,473 both groups who are pushing for the opposition to the new arena and putting the question about public funds being spent towards any new such subsidies need 22,000 signatures on the petition to get the queston on the ballot. The 22,000 signatures needed are due by mid December.

The campaign’s credibilty was in question over  the summer when Chris Hansen who wanted to buy the Kings and move them to Seattle funded the signature gathering effort to get the question on the ballot spending $100,000 and having a Los Angeles law firm manage the campaign. STOP said they had no idea that Hansen funded the campaign and Hansen later ended up having to pay a $50,000 fine for violating California campaign disclosure laws.

Rufer is the founder of a company group called Morning Star which is a tamato producer which profits $350 million annually. Rufer’s company now controls 40 percent of the tamato processing in America. Rufer had issues in his company when a former Morning Star executive Fredrick Scott Salyer was sentenced to six years in prison for rackateering and price fixing charges. Rufer said in court papers that alledgedly Salyer cheated the company by bribing executives from competing companies at Kraft foods and Frito Lay, Salyer also alledgedly bribed Rufer’s personal assistant to steal confidential company data.

Ken Gimblin is covering the Sacramento Kings new arena build for Sportstalk Radio