<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Sports News, Sports Teams, and Scores for the Sharks, 49ers, Raiders,Giants, Bears and More]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:52:05 -0700 Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:52:05 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Raw: Hundreds Line Up to Exchange Rice Jerseys]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:17:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_ray_rice_baltimore_ravens.jpg Hundreds and hundreds of people lined up outside of M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland Friday to exchange the jersey of running back Ray Rice.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pa. School Board Bans Boys From Field Hockey Team]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:42:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/field+hockey_generic.jpg

No boys allowed. A school board in Lehigh County confirmed a committee's decision to ban boys from its field hockey team after concerns they caused injuries to girl players.

The Allentown School Board ruled 8-1 that boys would be prohibited from playing on school-sponsored teams that are usually all-female in the United States.  The vote upheld a decision made by a school committee in the Pennsylvania county Sept. 4.

"We had an injury where there was an incidental collision between a boy and a girl," Russell Mayo, Allentown School Board president, told NBC10 earlier this month. "Upon legal counsel, we decided that we would err on the side of safety."

The PIAA - the state's governing body of high school sports -- decided earlier this summer that boys who do play on girls' teams are not allowed to participate in post-season games.

But not everyone in the Allentown School District, which includes William Allen High School and Louis E. Dieruff High School, is in agreement with the decision.

"The girls were disappointed because [the boys] were a great part of the team," Inez Seyler, Dieruff's field hockey coach, told LehighValleyLive.com. "I'm disappointed because they don't really have a sport that is comparable to field hockey for boys."

"It's going to be heartbreaking to them," added Karen Nilson, William Allen's coach.

Mixed gender teams are allowed under the PIAA's rules, but only under special circumstances that protect girls on the team from injury or disqualification for size differences from potential male teammates.

Other standards for Pennsylvania schools, under the Pennsylvania Department of Education, support the right to a "physical environment for safety." This includes physical standards along with social, emotional and intellectual. These policies are intended to protect students' wellness and physical health.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

<![CDATA[All Eyes Will Be On Kaepernick vs. Cardinals]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:09:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/kaepgame3.jpg

A number of factors will come into play Sunday to determine the outcome of the 49ers-Cardinals game.

But No. 1 on the list is 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Will he be the bad Kaepernick who turned the ball over four times in a loss to the Bears this past Sunday night? Or the good Kaepernick who was so efficient in a Week 1 victory on the road over Dallas?

Though the Cardinals are 2-0, atop the NFC West, and the 49ers are 1-1 and on the road, NFL oddsmakers are betting that San Francisco and Kaepernick will rebound for the game, which kicks off at 1:25 p.m. Sunday. They’ve made the 49ers 3-point favorites.

Though Kaepernick had major problems against the Bears in the second half, the Cardinals are preparing for the strong-armed, quick-footed Kaepernick who can take over a game.

To contain him, Arizona’s defensive coaches are preaching responsibilities and containment. They want to put pressure on Kaepernick, but not so much that they forget about his running ability.

“He’s a tall, fast, rangy guy,” said Arizona defensive end Kareem Martin this week. “Watching film, I’ve seen where guys collapse the pocket and even get a hand on him, but he still finds a way to escape. When you have a guy like that, you have to rush as a team. Everybody has to be where they’re supposed to be, so if he’s flushed you’re where you need to be.”

In fact, the Cardinals cite stats that show how dangerous Kaepernick is when flushed from the pocket. In 2013, he threw 12 TDs and 10 interceptions from the pocket, but had 12 TD passes and just one interception when he was outside the pocket.

The 49ers have won their last four meetings with Arizona, including the regular-season finale of 2013 when they needed a last-second field goal by Phil Dawson.

The 49ers are likely to face backup quarterback Drew Stanton on Sunday. No. 1 QB Carson Palmer is still dealing with a shoulder injury. Stanton was solid last week, committing no turnovers, in completing 14-of-29 throws for 167 yards in a victory over the Giants.

But the 49ers have their own injury issues, too, with tight end Vernon Davis looking unlikely to play because of an ankle injury sustained against the Bears.

But even without Davis, Kaepernick will have plenty of options to throw to against Arizona. With a full stable of wide receivers, a solid running game and an offensive line that now has Aaron Boone back, the 49ers should be able to move the ball.

The question is, will Kaepernick have trouble with turnovers again? If he does, the 49ers could be in trouble.

But if he tightens his game Sunday, San Francisco should be able to come away with victory No. 2.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Face Huge Challenge in New England]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:35:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/183*120/AllenvsPats.jpg

The good news for the Raiders Thursday was that three key players were back at practice.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew, cornerback Carlos Rogers and defensive end Justin Tuck, who had all been nursing injuries, will be ready to play the Patriots in New England on Sunday.

The bad news, however, is that middle linebacker Nick Roach, who has yet to play this season, and outside linebacker Sio Moore – who has played very well – are in danger of missing the game.

That’s not good news for a defense that has given up 400 rushing yards in back-to-back losses to the Jets and Texans and now must face a 1-1 Patriots team that likes to run the football.

Oddsmakers have made the Raiders 14-point underdogs, certainly understandable for a team that has so far had no consistent running game, a porous defense and has lost 14 straight trips to the Eastern time zone.

Oakland head coach Dennis Allen – who some speculate is already in trouble after his 0-2 start – told reporters this week that the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady are a formidable foe.

He noted that the Pats are 11-1 in openers at Gillette Stadium and that Brady is 49-3 in his last 52 starts at home.

“This is a good football team,” said Allen. “They’re well coached, they’re good on offense, they’re good on defense, they’re very sound in what they do special teams-wise and they’ve been that way for a long, long time. So we understand that it’s a great challenge.”

In order to beat the Patriots Sunday, Allen’s team is going to have to do all the things it has yet to do: stop the run, put pressure on the quarterback and put together long scoring drives early in the game. The Raiders have consistently played from behind so far.

Can they do all those things on Sunday? Based on the first two games, it seems unlikely. But the Patriots’ Brady and coach Bill Belichick have been saying all the right things this week, saying they respect the Raiders.

“They’re off to a start they obviously didn’t want to get off to, but they’ve got a lot of really good players, especially on defense,” Brady told reporters. “I think we’re going to get their best shot. It’s a very good defense. They’re hungry for the ball.”


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sacramento River Cats Ink Deal for Giants' Minor League Team]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:43:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/455345110.jpg

Going down to the minors now means a trip to Sacramento for San Francisco Giants players.

The Sacramento River Cats, long the Triple-A affiliate for the Oakland Athletics, dismissed the A's and inked a deal to become the AAA squad for the Giants on Thursday, according to reports.

The Sacramento Bee noted that the Giants are just more popular than the A's in Sacramento and the surrounding environs. A "wealth of fan feedback" precipitated River Cats management to pursue the change.

And with the Giants' old farm team in faraway Fresno, the decision may have been easy.

Most things for the River Cats will remain the same from an outsider's perspective: same team name, logo, uniforms and same Raley Field in downtown.

The Giants had sent top prospects and struggling starters alike down to Fresno for 17 years, the newspaper noted.

Meanwhile, the A's will now have a farm team in Nashville, the newspaper reported.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Called to McDonald's House After Female Held Gun]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 05:57:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP13080214223.jpg

San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald on Thursday night provided no comment when NBC Bay Area asked for a reaction to a new report released by San Jose police.

McDonald was arrested on Aug. 31 on suspicion of felony domestic violence. A report released by police on Thursday shows that was not the only time officers were called to his home after a dispute involving McDonald and his fiancee.

“An engaged couple (a male and female subject) were in an argument when the female subject became upset, grabbed a firearm (handgun) registered to the male subject, and held it at her side,” according to the report.

The woman fled when the man threatened to call 911, police said. Officers did not make any arrests that night.

"This 911 tape evidence that the police submitted today is going to be a bombshell potentially for the Ray McDonald case," said Steven Clark, a legal analyst.

The incident described in the police report came before McDonald's high-profile arrest last month after a party at his home. Police report that his fiancee had visible injuries.

"If Mr. McDonald can show that on a past occasion he was the one that felt threatened because his fiancee picked up a gun that could explain his conduct in August," Clark said. "It gives credibility to a potential self-defense case."

The McDonald case comes as the National Football League, along with its commissioner, are under heavy scrutiny on how it is handling a number of domestic violence cases involving players.

In addition, Bay Area Congresswoman Jackie Speier spoke out against McDonald on the house floor this week and questioned why the player has not been benched.

"What we have here is merely an accusation and I think the 49ers are being very careful in making sure they don’t rush to judgment," Clark said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Best of NFL: Week 3]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 19:45:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/455677434.jpg Don't miss the most dramatic images from the third week of the 2014 NFL season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Jeter's Rousing NY Sendoff in New Ad]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 05:19:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Derek-Jeter-Day007.jpg

Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York"  is a soothing sound to Yankee fans, accustomed to hearing it over the Yankee Stadium speakers when the Bombers win a home game.  But another signature Sinatra song may soon take its place in Yankee lore alongside that classic.

A new Gatorade commercial uses  "My Way" to say goodbye to the Captain, as it shows Derek Jeter exiting a cab near the stadium and feeling the love from New Yorkers in the streets of the Bronx before buttoning up his No. 2 jersey and stepping onto the field to the roar of the crowd.

Even the most bitter Mets fans may find themselves wiping away a tear at the rousing commercial shot in iconic black and white, and hardcore Bombers fans may need an entire box of tissues. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cardinals Hope to Make Statement vs. 49ers]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:08:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/nynrskardds.jpg

The 49ers go into Arizona with plenty of concerns for Sunday’s game with the 2-0 Cardinals.

After losing to the Bears on Sunday night, the Niners are hoping quarterback Colin Kaepernick can get over his turnover woes and that injuries to tight ends Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald, cornerback Tramaine Brock and tackles Anthony Davis and Joe Staley will quickly heal.

But in Arizona, the Cardinals have their own concerns.

Though they’ve started fast with victories over the Chargers and Giants, it appears Arizona will have to turn to backup QB Drew Stanton this week over Carson Palmer (shoulder injury). Plus, the 49ers seem to bring out the worst in the Cardinals.

The 49ers have won nine of the past 10 games against Arizona, and the Cards came close twice in 2013 to beating San Francisco but couldn’t close the deal. Last season at Candlestick Park, Arizona was trailing just 22-20 in the second half when Larry Fitzgerald lost a crucial fumble that helped the 49ers win 32-20. And in the regular-season finale in Arizona, Phil Dawson had to kick a 40-yard field goal at the end of the game to seal the victory.

“Until we finish one, it won’t be a rivalry or anything else,” Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians told reporters this week of the NFC West matchup. “It can’t be a rivalry if you get your ass kicked this many times.”

Added Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson: “Last year we let those two games get away from us. Now we see that we can compete, not only with those guys, with the best of them.”

Arizona, in fact, beat the Seahawks in Seattle last season and won 10 games overall and has won nine of its past 11 games. Arians has turned the franchise around, and it has some terrific playmakers in Fitzgerald, rookie wideout John Brown, Peterson, safety Tyrann Mathieu and running back Andre Ellington (the cousin of 49ers’ rookie receiver Bruce Ellington).

This is a big game for the 49ers, who need to rebound from last week’s loss to get to 2-1 before hosting the Eagles next weekend. But for the Cardinals, it’s a chance to knock off a nemesis and stay atop the NFC West.

“Any time you go head up against a division opponent, it’s a two-game swing every time,” said Arizona’s veteran center, Lyle Sendlein. “Especially with a team like San Francisco, which has been at the top the past few years.”


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Hope Brown is a Quick Study]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:07:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/veebrwncharg.jpg

Last season at O.co Coliseum, Vincent Brown had the best game of his young NFL career, catching seven passes for 117 yards.

At that time Brown was wearing a San Diego Chargers uniform. Now he’s a Raider.

What can Brown, who was waived by the Chargers after a calf injury wiped out his training camp this summer, bring to the Raiders?

Brown is neither really big (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) or exceptionally fast. But the third-round pick by the Chargers out of San Diego State has had a knack for catching the ball, running good routes and making plays when healthy. Staying healthy has been the problem. He missed the 2012 season because of a broken ankle and then had injury problems this summer.

But as a rookie in 2011 he caught 19 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games; in 2013, playing all 16, he caught 41 balls for 472 yards and a TD.

“He catches the ball really well and he’s got some vertical threat down the field,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen told reporters this week. “I think probably the biggest thing when you watch the guy is, when the ball goes in his direction, he generally makes the catch.”

In 2013, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said he had a lot of trust in Brown’s ability to beat cornerbacks on contested throws. Brown proved to him he can go up over defenders to make catches.

“I’ve thrown Vincent a bunch of those balls,” Rivers told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It’s trusting that he’s going to come in there, and he’s going to go up high and make a good, tough catch. He’s a great route runner and he catches it as well as anybody.”

The Raiders signed Brown to a one-year deal after working him out, and Oakland coaches indicated Brown could play as early as Sunday when the 0-2 Raiders fly to New England to take on the Patriots.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr told the media this week that Brown is getting plenty of action in practice to bring him up to speed.

“We’re throwing a lot at him,” said Carr. “Our goal is obviously, they signed him so we want to get him going. But how fast, I honestly wish I could tell you. I don’t know. Hopefully soon.”

The key to Brown’s success in Oakland may be his ability to stay healthy. Even then, some doubt Brown is a top-flight receiver. ESPN analyst and former NFL scout  Matt Williamson told ESPN.com this week that he “highly doubts” Brown will be an impact player.

Said Williamson: “He isn’t real dynamic and is purely a possession guy.”

Brown, however, is an aggressive pass catcher. He was taught by his father, a former Canadian Football League receiver, to attack the ball when it’s thrown in his direction.

“It was instilled in me in an early age, when the ball’s up in the air, it’s your ball, so you’ve got to do whatever it takes to come down with that,” Brown told the Union-Tribune last year. “When you see it up, it’s like, turn on the jets. Wherever it’s at, I’ve got to make sure I’m in that area.”


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Angels Beat Mariners, Win AL West]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:11:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/455630948.jpg

The Los Angeles Angels clinched the AL West title Wednesday night, getting seven dominant innings of one-hit ball from C.J. Wilson in a 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

C.J. Cron hit a three-run homer for the major league-leading Angels (95-57), who wrapped up their first division crown since 2009 when Oakland lost to Texas about an hour after Los Angeles' game ended.

The Angels had already secured a playoff spot Monday. They have won 12 of 14.

Howie Kendrick sparked the Angels' five-run rally in the seventh by scoring from first base when Chris Denorfia misplayed David Freese's single to right for an error.

Los Angeles' surge broke up a pitchers' duel between Wilson and Seattle rookie James Paxton, who traded zeros until the seventh.

Wilson (13-9) earned his third straight victory in intimidating fashion, striking out seven and allowing just four baserunners in a major improvement from recent starts. He escaped his only jam in the seventh, stranding two runners.

Paxton (6-3) yielded four hits and had eight strikeouts for the Mariners, who have lost six of eight. Seattle managed just one hit and is two games behind Kansas City and Oakland for the second AL wild card.

Paxton kept the Mariners in contention until his teammates made two errors and reliever Danny Farquhar flopped in the seventh inning.

After Kendrick's one-out single, Denorfia thought about diving to catch Freese's drive, but instead pulled up and allowed it to roll past him to the right-field wall. Austin Jackson then double-clutched the ball while retrieving it, and Kendrick scored easily.

Farquhar relieved Paxton with two outs and two runners on, but Cron mashed his 11th homer into the fake rock pile behind center field. Kole Calhoun followed with an RBI double as the Angels batted around.

Paxton was even more dominant than Wilson, retiring 17 of the Angels' first 18 hitters. Paxton allowed only two bouncing singles in the first six innings while striking out Mike Trout three times.

Trout also struck out to end the seventh, tying Baltimore's Chris Davis for the AL lead with 173 strikeouts.


Mariners: LHP Roenis Elias headed back to Seattle for an MRI after feeling stiffness in his elbow. Manager Lloyd McClendon said Elias is probably done for the season.

Angels: Josh Hamilton was out of the starting lineup after feeling a bit sore following his return from a shoulder injury Tuesday. The cleanup hitter likely wouldn't have started anyway against a tough left-hander.


Two aces meet in the series finale when Seattle RHP Felix Hernandez (14-5, 2.14 ERA) takes on Jered Weaver (17-8, 3.50).

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sports Programs Turning to Crowdfunding After Budget Cuts]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 05:59:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0917-2014-crowdfunding.jpg

Cuts to sports programs in schools have forced some teams to get creative while fundraising. New numbers show more teams are turning to crowdfunding.

The girls volleyball coach at El Cerrito High School is using gofundme.com to raise money for his team.

"So we're trying to be as efficient as we can,” coach Scott Bishop said.

Bishop has coached other teams to state titles before, but this is his first year coaching the Gauchos. He says funding is needed for new balls, nets, and tournament fees. They also need money to hire a Freshman volleyball coach.

“We need quality equipment to be able to train. I'm used to running a successful and competitive program and those are kind of the building blocks to doing that,” Bishop said.

"In the past years we tried to do all the fundraising stuff, it didn't really amount to much,” said senior co-captain Melany Puente.

Instead of selling candy bars to raise money, the team is turning to crowdfunding. New data shows many other teams are doing it too.

According to fundraising website gofundme.com, nearly $10,000 was raised for teams in 2010. It’s increased every year since, and this year more than $9 million has been donated to teams.

The lady Gauchos are trying to raise $6,000.

"We've got a lot of good momentum going so far,” Bishop said.

They’ve raised $450 so far.

Bishop says if the goal is met, the team will give back by teaching younger kids in the community how to play volleyball.

"Good people make good volleyball players. So the more I can work on both ends of that the better."

The lady Gauchos page can be found here.

Photo Credit: Ian Cull]]>
<![CDATA[Pelosi: McDonald Should Not Be Allowed to Play]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:04:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mcdonald-pelosi.jpg

More pressure is being applied to the San Francisco 49ers as the team continues to let defensive lineman Ray McDonald play and play practice with the team.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that the 49ers, her hometown team, should not have let McDonald play against the Chicago Bears last weekend.

“Our coach says innocent until proven guilty, due process and all of that, but the fact is, he shouldn't have played,” Pelosi said.

McDonald was arrested in August and is being investigated for felony domestic violence involving his pregnant fiance'.

Pelosi said that for now the NFL's investigation into its handling of the domestic violence case involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is an appropriate response.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) called for the NFL on Wednesday to suspend any players arrested for domestic violence. "We are told to ignore what happens off the sidelines in disciplinary board rooms, or behind elevator doors — all for the sport," Speier said on the House floor. "Well, I refuse to ignore what is happening."

Speier wants the House Oversight Committee to hold a hearing on the NFL's handling of the recent domestic abuse charges.

Niners coach Jim Harbaugh, who has said he has zero tolerance for domestic violence, once again Wednesday defended the team’s position of allowing McDonald to play and to afford him the benefit of due process.

“I believe that our position on the issue has been well-stated, and we’re following that process,” Harbaugh said.

McDonald has been out on bail since his arrest last month and he has still not been charged in the domestic violence case, but Pelosi says pro football players are role models to our kids who should not get special treatment.

"We have to recognize that sports figures are in a special place in our country and young people look up to them as heroes in what they do," Pelosi said.

Pelosi said all the talk about domestic violence in the media is “the silver lining.” "People are getting a better understanding of what is happening,” Pelosi said, “that disrespect, it manifests itself in many ways.”

When asked whether NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should resign over the way his office handled the incident, the Pelosi sidestepped the question. But she didn't rule out that Congress would reconsider the NFL'S anti-trust exemption, which allows teams to negotiate radio and television broadcast rights together.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Sharks Raise Money for Sierra LaMar Search Effort]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:31:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/06-27-2014-sierra-lamar.jpg

The San Jose Sharks are helping out the search effort to find missing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar.

Several Sharks players will be at Britton Middle School in Morgan Hill on Wednesday night to sign autographs in exchange for donations. The money will go toward the search for Sierra.

The fundraiser was organized by Sharks forward Logan Couture.

“We are all proud residents of the Bay Area and we want to send a message to Sierra’s family, her friends and the entire community that we have not forgotten about her and we are not giving up hope,” Couture said in a statement.

Couture, 25, is one of the NHL's rising stars. The Sharks hope the event will keep the missing teen on everyone's mind. 

"She's a beautiful young girl," Couture said. "You try not to think about what happened or what possibly happened, but we just want to bring hope that she's out there."

Sierra's father, Steve LaMar, was surprised by Couture's efforts to help.

"It's just amazing how much initiative and maturity he shows," Steve LaMar said. "He's a great hockey player, but he's also a great person."

Couture in return spreads the credit and said many teammates eagerly offered to help. He also points to the many volunteers who have never given up in the search for Sierra.

"They've got a group there that are still going out and searching for her," he said. "I really respect those people."

Sierra disappeared in 2012. A suspect has been charged with her kidnapping and murder, but her body has never been found.

Volunteers still search for Sierra every Saturday morning.

Search director Roger Nelson said Couture and the Sharks reaching out to help is an emotional boost.

"It's a boost because we keep going out and searching for Sierra to bring her home and bring closure to the family," Nelson said. "And to have Logan Couture reach out like this and make this generous offer to the LaMar family is just amazing."

More information on Wednesday night's fundraiser can be found on FindSierraLamar.com or on the San Jose Sharks official website. All proceeds will go toward food, supplies and equipment for the search center.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: LaMar Family]]>
<![CDATA[Vikings Bar Peterson From All Team Activities]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:30:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/186722617.jpg The Minnesota Vikings have reversed course and placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, a move that will require him to stay away from the team while he addresses child abuse charges in Texas.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Charles Barkley Throws "Turrible" First Pitch]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:35:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Barkley_Cubs.jpg

Everyone knows Hall of Fame NBA player Charles Barkley has an ugly golf swing. Now you can add baseball to the sports Barkley has yet to master.

Barkley threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Tuesday's Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field, and let's just say it was a bit outside. Way outside.

One of the MLB announcers couldn't resist using a Barkley-ism to call it: the pitch was just "turrible."

Move over 50 Cent and Carl Lewis, you have company.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Orioles Clinch AL East With 8-2 Win]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:08:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*131/455561388.jpg

The Baltimore Orioles won their first AL East crown since 1997, using home runs by Steve Pearce and Jimmy Paredes to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 Tuesday night before a boisterous crowd of 35,297 at Camden Yards.

With their ninth win in 10 games, the Orioles clinched their second playoff appearance in three years following a run of 14 consecutive losing seasons.

Afterward, the Orioles converged behind second base, fireworks soared in the outfield and streamers sprayed throughout the crowd.

It was Baltimore's ninth AL East title and only its second since 1983, when the Orioles last won the World Series.

The franchise has enjoyed a rebirth under the guidance of manager Buck Showalter, whose 1,254th victory thrust him past mentor Billy Martin into sole possession of 36th place on the career list.

Baltimore is 42-23 in a division that includes the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, the free-spending New York Yankees and pitching-rich Tampa Bay. The Orioles led by only four games on Aug. 6 before going on a 27-11 run.

The clinching victory featured an unlikely list of contributors, not at all unusual for a team that often delved deep into its 25-man roster. Ubaldo Jimenez was making his first start in a month; Pearce has morphed from a bit-player to a key starter; and Paredes didn't join the team until Aug. 28.

Pearce provided the Orioles with the lead for good with a three-run drive off Drew Hutchison (10-12) in the first inning. Pearce has 18 home runs this year, one more than he had in 290 games as a part-timer from 2007-13.

Paredes hit a solo shot in the second to make it 4-2. It was his second homer in 10 games with Baltimore.

In addition, newcomer Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run triple in the seventh for a 7-2 lead. De Aza came to the Orioles in an Aug. 30 trade with the Chicago White Sox.

Jimenez (5-9) survived a rocky start to limit the Blue Jays to two runs and two hits over five innings in his third start since July 5. After signing a $50 million, four-year deal in the offseason, Jimenez struggled with his control for much of the season, sprained his ankle in a parking lot before the All-Star break and ultimately lost his place in the rotation.

Pressed into service because the Orioles played a doubleheader Friday, Jimenez issued four walks in the first two innings. But he bounced back to retire his last 10 batters.

Orioles fans have until Friday to register for a ticket lottery online. Winners will be notifed next Wednesday.

Photo Credit: MCT via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ward Hopes to Learn From Rough Night]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:48:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/wardbrned.jpg

Jimmie Ward had an unforgettable night against the Bears on national television. But not in a good way.

There he was, No. 25, giving up a touchdown pass to the Bears’ Brandon Marshall. And then another. And then a third.

It was among the lowlights in a game filled with them for the 49ers, who let a big lead slip away in a 28-20 loss to Chicago in the regular-season debut of Levi’s Stadium.

Yet as bad a night as it was for Ward, the rookie safety-turned-nickel corner, Ward actually wants to revisit it in his mind, again and again, to get the most out of it.

If a rookie year is a learning experience, then Sunday’s was an advanced course.

Though Ward sometimes was in excellent position, the 6-foot-4 Marshall dominated the 5-foot-11 Ward when it counted.

“It’s only gong to get me better,” Ward told Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group.

Ward knows he’ll have other matchups against other big receivers, and he’d better be able to adapt and overcome. If coaches spot a weakness in the NFL, they go after it.

“I feel like Marshall played like an All-Pro,” Ward told Inman. “I was challenging him. I was trying to press him and get in his face, but he made great catches. He’s good with his body and his height.”

After the game, Marshall and Bears head coach Marc Trestman said the 49ers defense had a great game plan for the game. For the first three quarters of the game, the Niners secondary was pressing the Chicago receivers, sitting on short routes and daring quarterback Jay Cutler to go long.

“They were smart about how they played us,” Marshall told a Chicago reporter. “We knew that if we did end up throwing it deep, it would just be a jump ball.”

In fact, all three of Marshall’s touchdown catches came when he had a physical advantage over ward – a leaping one-handed grab in the end zone, a short catch on which Marshall posted up on Ward to shield him and a fade route in the end zone that was placed perfectly where Ward couldn’t get to it.

San Francisco safety Eric Reid said defensive backs often were in position, but “Cutler made some good throws in the red zone (and) they made some good catches.”

Niners inside linebacker Patrick Willis said Ward actually was playing hard and “doing what we were asking him to do.”

“They just made plays,” he told Inman. “Hat’s off to him (Ward). My thing I said to him was to not get yourself down, to take this game and understand the magnitude of the NFL and the receivers here.”

It won’t get easier. Next up  Sunday for the 1-1 49ers are the 2-0 Arizona Cardinals, with tall standout wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald (6-foot-3) and Michael Floyd (6-foot-3).


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Patriots Will Run Right at Raiders]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:11:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/cantstprunn.jpg

Bad news for the Raiders:  The New England Patriots showed last week that they want to run the football.

If there’s one thing Oakland has shown it can’t do so far in going 0-2, it’s stop the run. Through two games, the Raiders have given up 400 yards on the ground. And, according to ESPN Stats and Information, most of those yards have come on straight-ahead rushes through the heart of the Raiders defense. In their loss to the Houston Texans in Week 2, the Raiders gave up 151 yards rushing between the tackles.

As ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson noted this week, the Raiders’ failure to stop the run has been the biggest factor in both losses.

“It affected every aspects of the game,” Williamson wrote about Sunday’s loss to Houston, in which Arian Foster ran for 138 yards on 28 carries. “This is why the Texans held the ball for more than 38 minutes and why the Raiders’ offense couldn’t get in a rhythm. Simply, the Raiders have to get tougher against the run if they want a chance to win.”

Certainly, that means defensive tackles Pat Sims and Antonio Smith need to get more push inside. It also means the Raiders sorely miss middle linebacker Nick Roach, who hasn’t played in the first two games after a solid first season in Oakland in 2013. Roach suffered a concussion in an Aug. 22 exhibition game at Green Bay and has not yet been cleared to play.

The Patriots, meanwhile, leaned on their ground attack in a 30-7 victory over the Vikings in Week 2, often using backup offensive tackle Cameron Fleming (6-foot-6, 325 pounds) as a blocking tight end (in place of Rob Gronkowski, a terrific receiver).

New England rushed 37 times for 150 yards, with Stevan Ridley (101 yards) getting most of the gains.

Offensive tackle Nate Solder told ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss that he and his linemates loved the fact that the coaching staff “put a lot of beef out there” and committed to running the ball.

“We loved the play calling today,” Solder said after the victory. “I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but if we can establish a good run game, that’s definitely a goal of ours.”

So expect the Patriots to line up with their extra beef on Sunday and come straight at the Raiders. Until Oakland can show it can plug its leaky ground defense, there’s no reason to expect anything else.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Claim Filed After Giants' Native American Heritage Night Incident]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:38:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/183*120/giants45.JPG

Two Native Americans removed from San Francisco's AT&T Park during a Native American Heritage Night at a Giants game in June are filing a claim of police brutality against the city and are urging the Giants to practice cultural sensitivity.

Kimball Bighorse, 35, of San Bruno, who is of Seneca, Cayuga, and Navajo descent, stood outside AT&T Park this morning recounting the incident that occurred inside the ballpark on June 23 that led to police detaining him and a fellow Giants fan who he met that night, April Negrette.

Bighorse said he and Negrette peacefully confronted a man wearing a backwards, plastic Native American-themed headdress.

Bighorse described the headdress as "counterfeit" and said it was being worn in an "offensive" manner on a night that was meant to celebrate Native American heritage.

They expressed to the man that what he was doing was an insult and a highly offensive instance of cultural appropriation.

In a video about the incident posted on the YouTube channel WeCopwatch, Negrette says the man eventually gave the pair the headdress when he saw how upset it was making her.

As the pair was heading back to their seats, San Francisco police officers stopped them, Bighorse said.

San Francisco police officers ejected them from the ballpark, allegedly throwing Negrette to the floor by her hair, violently twisting her arms behind her back and keeping her in a painful compliance hold for an extended period of time, Bighorse said.

Bighorse, a software engineer who works at a San Francisco startup company, said he decided to capture video footage of the police officers' conduct on his phone. He captured much of the incident on his phone before he too was removed from the stadium and handcuffed.

Negrette said in the YouTube video that police were violent and didn't readily supply a female officer to search her despite her request. She said she was "harassed and abused."

Bighorse said he hopes filing the tort claim will remind San Francisco police to think twice before stopping people from expressing themselves and will hold police accountable for their actions.

A letter delivered this week to the Giants' director of special ticketing, Faham Zakariaei, from the pair's attorney, Rachel Lederman, on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild urged the Giants to prevent a recurrence of "racist and culturally insensitive" actions.

Lederman urged the Giants to acknowledge and apologize for the incident and take measures to prevent it from happening again.

She said the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples was created to protect Native Americans from such abuse, but the laws must be enforced to better "promote respect for all peoples."

Lederman's letter asks the Giants not to allow appropriations of Native American culture, not to display what they say are racist team names or imagery and publicly encourage Bay Area sports teams and Major League Baseball teams to adopt similar policies.

She also urged the Giants to provide cultural sensitivity training to their staff.

The Giants have placed a message on a section of their team website saying, ""Any fan wearing culturally insensitive attire, using obscene or abusive language, engaging in antisocial conduct offensive to those around them or displaying any other offensive behavior is subject to removal from the ballpark."

The message says, "If you observe a fan acting in this manner, please contact Giants security by texting the word 'FOUL' to 69050, followed by your message. Please do not take the matter into your own hands."

Tony Gonzales, director of American Indian Movement West and a liaison to the United Nations, supports the pair's claim, saying that the incident "goes to the heart of racism in America."

Gonzales recommends that the Giants' staff meet with
representatives of San Francisco and Bay Area Native American groups to better understand how certain imagery is harmful to Native Americans and how they can work with Native American representatives to make changes.

Both Gonzales and Bighorse said today that they are longtime Giants fans and said they would like to see the Giants act in an exemplary manner.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Facebook: April Negrette]]>
<![CDATA[Radisson Suspends Minnesota Vikings Sponsorship]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:51:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/adrian-peterson-indicted_1200x675_328790083813.jpg

The Radisson hotel chain is suspending its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings after star running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse in Texas.

In a statement Monday, Minnetonka-based Radisson said it "takes this matter very seriously particularly in light of our long-standing commitment to the protection of children."

Radisson says it's suspending its limited sponsorship of the Vikings "while we evaluate the facts and circumstances."

Radisson's sponsorship includes a press banner that is behind those speaking at Vikings news conferences.

Peterson is accused of using a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son. The running back says he was using a form of discipline his father used on him as a boy.

A Vikings spokesman says the team has "respectfully honored" Radisson's request.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

<![CDATA[31 Arrests at 49ers' Home Opener]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:32:34 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/levis_stadium_tailgaters_pregame.jpg

Fans were mostly well-behaved at the San Francisco 49ers’ home opener at Levi's Stadium. Still, Santa Clara police arrested 31 people, most of them for alcohol-related offenses.

That's in line with previous arrest totals during games at Candlestick.

Sunday’s game was not the way the 49ers or their fans wanted to start the new era at Levi's Stadium.

Coach Jim Harbaugh talked Monday about the disappointing loss.

“Nobody feels really good about it,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a bad feeling to lose a game, no matter how you lose it, or the circumstances there were.”

Along with the loss, many fans were frustrated leaving Levi's. Some said they waited for three hours to get out of the parking lots. Others took matters into their own hands and drove their SUVs over grass and sidewalk just to get out.

The Bears won the game 28-20.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[In Two Games, Kaepernick Has Peaked and Plummeted]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:18:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/164*120/kappybehrsss.jpg

In leading the 49ers past Dallas in Week 1, quarterback Colin Kaepernick was dynamic.

In leading his team to a loss to the Bears Sunday night in Week 2 – committing four turnovers – he was, in his word, “terrible.”

Kaepernick threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter that led to two Chicago touchdowns in a 28-20 loss on the regular-season opening night of Levi’s Stadium.

In Kaepernick’s relatively short tenure as San Francisco’s starting quarterback, 49ers fans have seen both the good and the bad.

There are times, such as in the first half Sunday night, when he looks like the best in the NFL. His passes have zip and accuracy, he escapes pressure, he makes all the right reads and he’s the most dangerous running quarterback in the league.

And then there are other times – such as late in Sunday night’s defeat – when he suddenly loses his accuracy and those bullet passes bury themselves into defenders’ hands.

After Sunday night’s debacle, scores of memes flooded the Internet, laying blame on Kaepernick and poking fun at his distress, posted by frustrated 49ers fans and diehard 49ers haters. One showed a Bears fan choking with the phrase, “Kaepernicking.” Another had a smiling Kaepernick saying, “I accepted the INT Challenge. Thank you Tony Romo.” And a third showed former 49ers starter Alex Smith, now in Kansas City, with the slogan, “Oh man. Miss me yet?”

Kaepernick mostly has had highs in his career. He has an 18-7 regular-season record and has taken his team to two NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl and his career QB rating is 93.0.

But every now and then, Kaepernick has a stinker. Sunday night was one of his worst. After posting a QB rating of 125.5 vs. Dallas, he plummeted to 57.0 vs. the Bears. He completed 21-of-34 passes for 248 yards and a TD, and also rushed for 66 yards, but threw three interceptions and lost a fumble.

Wrote longtime Bay Area columnist Tim Kawakami: “Those three interceptions and lost fumble added up to a titanic crash and burn.”

Yet Kaepernick accepted the blame and told the media afterward that his performance was awful. And in the past, Kaepernick has shown he can bounce back.

In 2013, Kaepernick threw three picks in a loss at Seattle in Week 2, completed less than 50 percent of his passes in a loss to the Colts in Week 3 and then was terrific vs. the Rams in Week 4, en route to a strong second half of the season and playoffs.

His propensity for throwing interceptions in bunches can be troubling, but it’s offset by his ability to lead his team from behind, too.

Kaepernick led four game-winning drives in 2013, three in the fourth quarter, including one against the Packers in the playoffs.

Now, Kaepernick needs to get back on track quickly. The Arizona Cardinals – atop the NFC West at 2-0 – await this Sunday.

“You have to come back,” Kaepernick told reporters Sunday night. “That’s your only choice.”


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["Not a Child Abuser": Adrian Peterson Apologizes]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:10:55 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_adrian_peterson1.jpg

Adrian Peterson is coming back to the Minnesota Vikings two days after he was charged with child abuse for using a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son, and the star running back said Monday he is not a child abuser and wants "everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child."

Peterson, considered one of the best running backs in the NFL, was benched for Sunday's 30-7 home loss to the New England Patriots. He had not commented publicly since news broke on Friday that he had lashed the boy with the switch earlier this summer, causing an unspecified injuries.

"I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser," Peterson said in a nearly 500-word statement issued through his agency and posted to his Twitter feed. "I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury.

"No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him. My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that's what I tried to do that day."

Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said they had decided to bring back Peterson for practices and Sunday's game at New Orleans "after significant thought, discussion and consideration." The Wilfs said they want to let the legal process play out before making any more definitive decisions on Peterson's future with the only NFL team he has ever played for.

"To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child," the Wilfs said. "At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action. This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing."

Peterson faces an initial court appearance in Conroe, Texas, on Wednesday on a charge of reckless or negligent injury to a child, which carries penalties of up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. His attorney, Rusty Hardin, said he will try to delay the arraignment until next week after Hardin returns from a vacation out of the country.

Corporal punishment is legal in Texas and non-deadly force against a child by a parent or guardian is permissible. But the punishment is abusive if it causes injury. A blow that leaves a bruise, welt or swelling, or requires medical attention, could be judged abusive. The guidelines also say use of an instrument "is cause for concern."

Hardin said Peterson used a switch because that was the way he was brought up by his parents in Palestine, Texas, and the NFL star agreed.

"I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen," Peterson said. "I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate."

The Vikings decided not to play Peterson against the Patriots, moving swiftly after a week in which the NFL came under heavy scrutiny for its handling of a domestic violence case involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

The Vikings clearly see Peterson's case as different from the 2011 case involving former cornerback Chris Cook, who was accused of choking his girlfriend. Cook was initially suspended by the team before being reinstated with pay. But the Vikings barred him from all team activities, including games, while the legal process unfolded.

Cook wound up missing 10 games and was eventually acquitted. He never faced discipline from the NFL and played two more seasons with the Vikings before signing with the 49ers.

The NFL is looking into Peterson's case, and if convicted he could face a minimum six-game suspension under the league's new tougher domestic abuse policy that was implemented after Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted he botched Rice's initial punishment.

The Vikings' decision to reinstate Peterson comes on the same day the NFL announced that three experts in domestic violence will serve as senior advisers to the league. Goodell sent a memo to teams Monday announcing that Lisa Friel, Jane Randel and Rita Smith will "help lead and shape the NFL's policies and programs relating to domestic violence and sexual assault."

"I accept the fact that people feel very strongly about this issue and what they think about my conduct," Peterson said. "Regardless of what others think, however, I love my son very much and I will continue to try to become a better father and person."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: EFE]]>
<![CDATA[Shark Splits Surfer’s Board in Two]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 06:00:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/surf-th.jpg

A surfer says he had to swim for his life after a 15-foot great white shark took a bite out of his surf board at a popular beach near Watsonville, California.

Beau Browning was surfing about 50 yards from shore at Manresa State Beach Saturday evening when he says the shark knocked him off his surfboard, mid-wave. The shark came out of the water and landed on his board, splitting it in two, then took a bite out of the board.

"I caught my second wave and barely got into it, and out of nowhere, I was popped into the air by probably like 10 feet, looked down, and saw a shark," Browning said.

Browning said he was still tethered to the board, so when the shark began to swim deeper, it pulled him underwater for 5 seconds. When the shark finally let go, Browning was able to get up to the surface.

Browning was not hurt in the attack, but his board is no longer usable. Browning said, the board's maker, Pearson Arrow, has offered him a replacement.

Browning told local NBC affiliate KSBW-TV he doesn't blame the shark.

"They were just doing what they're designed to do," Browning said. "And they thought I was something else. And that's all it is. I got no hard feelings against sharks."

Shark warning signs were posted Monday by state park rangers at multiple beaches in Santa Cruz County, the station reported. California State Parks Supervising Ranger Joe Connors says a shark was spotted attacking a seal in the waters off Seabright State Beach on Sunday.

Shark experts told KSBW great whites don’t have sharp eyesight and can't tell the difference between a surfer's body and board.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

<![CDATA[Allen Now 8-26 as Raiders Head Coach]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:42:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/172*120/ddeeeallynnn.jpg

The numbers aren’t pretty.

Dennis Allen has now been head coach of the Oakland Raiders for 34 regular-season games. His record: 8-26.

Allen entered this season on the hot seat, but hopes within the organization and outside of it were that Allen – after two seasons with not much talent and depth on his roster – finally had some players to work with.

Seemingly, that’s true. Yet Allen’s Raiders are 0-2, with both losses to teams that struggled in 2013.

And now the Raiders will travel this week to play the Patriots in New England – the Eastern Time Zone, where they have lost 14 in a row.

The Raiders’ performance in losing to the Jets in Week 1 and the Texans in Week prompted veteran safety Charles Woodson to tell a reporter that, “We suck.” And columnist Marcus Thompson III of the Bay Area News Group asked this question about Allen after the team’s home-opening loss: “What’s the reason to keep him?”

Unless the Raiders pull of a stunning victory over the Patriots in Week 3, the drumbeat to fire Allen will only get louder.

In Allen’s first two seasons, the Raiders at least started 1-2. A loss to the Patriots will put the Raiders at 0-3 and give them little hope of a 2014 turnaround.

And this comes with a roster with a young quarterback who looks like he can play in Derek Carr, a healthy Darren McFadden, a rebuilt and deeper offensive line, a touted rookie linebacker in Khalil Mack, veteran additions on defense and a draft class that appears talented.

Already there is a petition to fire Allen on Moveon.org, and Raiders fans have gone to Twitter to bash Allen, his coaching staff and general manager Reggie McKenzie. Wrote one late Sunday night: “What’s the earliest a NFL head coach has been fired into a season? Dennis Allen was asking for a friend.”

Meanwhile, those in the media, too, are noting that Allen’s start could get him quickly ousted. Wrote longtime Bay Area columnist Ray Ratto: “Dennis Allen really wants to spend more time with his family.” And Peter King of Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback, when asked on Twitter if Allen survives the season, wrote: “Not at this rate. Could be Sparano time at some point.”

Sparano is assistant head coach and offensive line coach Tony Sparano, a longtime NFL assistant and former Miami Dolphins head coach.

The Raiders performance in two games certainly is baffling. The roster still isn’t among the top echelon in the league, but it’s better than in 2012 and 2013, yet the defense has been flat, the running game has been largely ineffective and the pass rush – billed as potentially terrific – hasn’t materialized.

When a veteran such as Woodson tells the media he’s “embarrassed” this early in the season, it’s not a good thing.

Right now, Allen’s set has gone from uncomfortably warm to fiery.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Golfer Wins Trip to Space After Hole-in-One]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 05:13:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/455429326.jpg

An English golfer scored a trip into space by sinking a rare hole-in-one at a tournament on Sunday.

Andy Sullivan made the shot at the 163-yard, 15th hole at the KLM Open in the Netherlands, The Associated Press reported.

XCOR Aerospace, an Amsterdam-based company that sponsored the tournament, offered a 100,000-euro ($129,238) seat aboard a commercial flight into space to the first player to make an ace on the 15th hole, according to Golf.com.

The reward was aimed at promoting the company's space trips, which are set to open to the public beginning in late 2015.

"I'm not sure yet,” Sullivan said when asked if he would take the trip, Golf.com reported. "I'll see what the missus says."

Sullivan finished third at the KLM Open, two shots behind winner Paul Casey.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tailgating Tradition Continues at Levi's Stadium]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:53:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/levis_stadium_tailgaters_pregame.jpg Just like at Candlestick Park, 49ers fans treated tailgating very seriously at Levi's Stadium. NBC Bay Area’s Terry McSweeney reports from Levi’s Stadium with reaction from tailgaters.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>