Aaron Rowand

Wedding reception sports talk, a tradition unlike any other

What a busy weekend. Loads of baseball, a wildly interesting and comically entertaining Masters, and last but not least, my buddy Mac got married (congrats, duder). That last occurrence led to a couple things: a certain someone I know got too hung over to sit through yesterday’s rain delay, meaning the Giants tickets we purchased weeks ago went to waste, and I got a whole bunch of sports talk in during the reception.

Whether I bring the topics up or one of my friends — under the mistaken impression that writing a sports blog makes me some sort of “expert” (wait, did I say that out loud) — will ask me my opinion on stuff that I should have already been thinking or writing about anyway. It’s nice to get an idea of what the people are talking about, and by “people” I mean sports fans other than those sad souls who call KNBR five times a day.

1. Who are the 49ers going to draft?

People are split. Everyone knows the 49ers need a few things in order to fulfill their NFC West Championship dreams: offensive linemen, a cornerback to help Shawntae Spencer, someone who can return kicks and better quarterback play then they’ve had over the last 5+ years. And it’s impossible to figure out what they’re going to do with their two first round picks since all the teams ahead of them seem positively schizophrenic over the last month. All we know is that Sam Bradford is going to the Rams and will have Dr. James Andrews on speed dial for the next decade. Other than that, it’s all up in the air. The biggest controversy was when my buddy Carp openly worried that since the Redskins traded for McNabb, Jimmy Clausen would fall to the Niners and they’d choose him.

My thought was (and is), “What’s so bad about that?” The more pressure on Alex Smith, the better. What, we’re afraid of offending him by adding a quarterback who hasn’t been sacked 844 times and/or isn’t dyslexic? What do we expect out of A-Dot Smith in the playoffs if he can’t handle some twerp from Notre Dame (a twerp who happens to be the best QB coming out of college over the last three seasons, in my opinion)?

2. Will the 49ers ever move to Santa Clara?

This is a huge deal in San Jose, where they’re trying desperately to get away from being an NHL/MLS/AFL town. The 49ers have a stingy ownership group that is looking for the most public money to help finance a stadium. Period. If Santa Clara votes to give the 49ers more than the $100 million bond the city of San Francisco may or may not still give them to build whatever they planned to build in Hunters Point, they’ll move to Santa Clara. If some corporate entity based in Tha City told the 49ers they’d invest a bunch of money in a stadium in San Francisco, they’d stay in Tha City. Hell, the 49ers won’t even hire a general manager, they’re so cheap. I still wouldn’t count out the team moving to Los Angeles when and if that new stadium gets built in Irwindale or wherever (if the Raiders don’t beat them to the punch).

3. What do we do with Freddy Sanchez when he comes back?

Put him in the leadoff spot, and move Aaron Rowand to the No. 7 spot. However, I think we were reaching for topics on this one, because I suspect he’s damaged goods for at least this season.

4. What does golf need right now?

This came up due to my post on Tiger from last week, and I have to say I was pretty much wrong about Phil Mickelson. Even though he’ll be 40 in a few days, he’s still capable of captivating the entire world, and I’d say that whether or not his wife had cancer. He had a perfect Lefty moment when he blasted that amazing shot from the pine needles within 6 feet of the cup on 13, then missed the putt soon after. Still, the closest thing we’ve seen to Tin Cup has all the talent that Tiger does, and might jump ahead of him mentally unless Tiger goes back to being a complete asshole on the course.

People say Tiger wasn’t muzzling himself like he said he would during The Masters, but that isn’t really true. When he hit yet another errant tee shot and stopped himself from cussing, instead yelling, “Ti-GRRRRR. Jesus Christ,” I knew he was thinking too much about his own verbal reactions. Let’s face it, Tiger has everyone telling him what to do lately, and it’s made him a shell of his former self. His wife wants him to stop screwing other blond women all the time. His sponsors want him to play golf well and shoot ill-conceived commercials. The media wants him to answer questions. And these are all things he pretty much has to do, since he’s Tiger Woods. But does he really have to play golf in a mature manner just because Tom Watson said so? I don’t think so. People were never into Tiger Woods because of his sportsmanship and decorum, it was exactly the opposite. He played golf as if he were Michael Jordan mixed with John McEnroe. We like our individual athletes to be two things: American and brash. Honestly, I’d much prefer he spent entire rounds dropping clubs and f-bombs. We all know he isn’t a nice guy, wouldn’t you rather he was more Happy Gilmore than Shooter McGavin?

5. Yesterday’s Giants game…

Well, we were supposed to go. We had tickets, we woke up in time in our San Jose hotel, but with Hurricane Pablo flooding Highway 101, and no end to the storm in sight, we decided to go home so SGL could sleep the last night off and I could watch The Masters live. Not too bad a decision, but it made me more than a little sad to see the Giants play a fun, crisp, quick game that included a 10-strikeout performance by Lincecum and one of the more impressive non-Bonds homers AT&T Park has ever seen from Pablo Sandoval. I felt like a bad Giants fan, but at least I spent a good deal of the reception Saturday night checking out Game 2 of the series against the Braves, and that game SUCKED. So hopefully the baseball Gods will let this one slide.

Oh, and the Warriors got nary a mention. Wake us when you sell the team, guys.

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