Bay Area Sports Beat: What You Need to Know Right Now
Well, now that the NFL is dead to most of the Bay Area, what is there to do? There’s a game next Sunday?
That team that shall not me mentioned from Seattle is in it?
News to us.
Some people are simply counting down the days until Opening Day. Others are now just devoted in full to the excitable Warriors.
Then there are those who simply jump on 40-foot waves. The Body Glove Mavericks Invitational surf competition at nearby Half Moon Bay concluded on Friday.
Mavericks famously boasts some of the world’s biggest and most dangerous surf. Surfing aficionados and those who are awed simply by the theatrics of the competition typically flock to it.
This year’s competition had a repeat winner; Grant “Twiggy” Baker, a South American, had previously conquered the event in 2006. Ryan Augenstein of Santa Cruz finished in third place.
The waves were big enough that spectators weren’t allowed to watch on the beach or the cliffs that hang over as a result of safety concerns. A festival-like atmosphere instead was set up at a hotel for those who wanted to watch.
About THAT sport…
OK, after the unfortunate end to the San Francisco 49ers’ season, we’d be remiss to simply ignore the sport. In the aftermath of the gut-wrenching loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game, much was made about the nature in which the game ended.
Richard Sherman doesn’t care for Michael Crabtree, etc. etc.
But if anyone came out of the drama unblemished, in spite of an admittedly poor fourth quarter for his high standards, it was Colin Kaepernick. In only his second NFL season (and first as the full-time starter for the season’s entirety), he accounted for three 49ers turnovers in the fourth quarter. He shouldered the blame instead of looking to pawn it off elsewhere.
Pretty standard stuff there. But he also showed that he’s classy even in defeat. Even in the heat of a bitter defeat, he reportedly told Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, “Hey, good luck to you. Go get yourself a ring, baby.”
In other 49ers-related news, they seem on track to keep together the majority of the team that got so incredibly close to a Super Bowl return. Seventeen of the team’s regular 22 starters on offense and defense remain under contract.
Kaepernick’s base salary from his rookie contract is only $740,844, so the superstar who is only entering his third year is likely due for a highly lucrative contract extension.
“We have to keep these guys together,” tight end Vernon Davis told the San Francisco Chronicle. “You run into problems when guys leave, can’t afford guys. But if we can keep the majority of guys together, we’ll have a good shot of making it again.”
The 49ers’ most pressing concern will be bringing back wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
His 1,179 receiving yards were the most by a 49ers receiver since 2002. He also was a key down the stretch when teams focused on stopping Crabtree, opening things up for Boldin to thrive.