Enter the Warzone, leading with the crown of the helmet.
▪ Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium is stuffed with compelling story lines. The opportunity for Peyton Manning to go out on top and rewrite his legacy. Cam Newton’s ascension from star player to superstar icon. The Panthers’ No. 1 scoring offense vs. the Broncos’ top-ranked defense.
And to the Bay Area’s collective relief, no chance for Tom Brady to win his fifth Lombardi Trophy on Joe Montana’s home turf.
▪ After CBS announcer Jim Nantz referred to a certain ex-49ers quarterback as “Nick” Montana during Sunday’s telecast, we’re looking forward to Earl Woods teeing off at Augusta.
$4,049 Lowest listed price for Super Bowl 50 tickets on StubHub.com
Provided they’re not stuck in gridlock.
▪ Our standard caveat before the breathless hype of National Signing Day: The number of stars next to a high school kid’s name isn’t nearly as important as the coaching and development he’ll get in college.
Or in Fresno State’s case, just keeping their best prospects in school.
▪ Edison High product A.J. Greeley took 100 percent responsibility for the academic shortcomings that left him ineligible to play for the Bulldogs.
Greeley didn’t blame anyone but himself and warned future athletes that if they’re not serious about their education, “then colleges and coaches aren’t going to be serious with you.”
What’s this world coming to?
▪ That said, Greeley should feel absolutely no shame in either attending or playing football for Fresno City College.
Great school, great program.
I have great talent, but I just wasn’t getting it done in school.
▪ For Fresno State to have any chance to play in a “real” postseason tournament (i.e., NCAA or NIT), Cezar Guerrero needs to do more than hit clutch three-pointers in the final seconds.
The 6.1 points per game Guerrero is averaging during conference play simply isn’t enough. He needs to be more involved, and some of that is the fault of the coaching staff.
▪ Fifty-four men’s college basketball teams are either ranked or receiving votes in this week’s polls, and not one of them plays in the Mountain West Conference.
Remember that next time someone says how tough a league the MW is.
▪ The Fresno State women’s tennis team upset No. 9 UCLA on the Bruins’ home court, just the program’s fourth win over a top-10 team since 2000.
And you thought we didn’t pay attention to women’s tennis …
▪ Cavs GM David Griffin might be telling the truth when he said LeBron James was not consulted before the team fired coach David Blatt.
But here’s one thing that’s indisputable: Blatt would still be the coach if that’s what James wanted.
▪ An NBA trade that makes short-term sense for one team and long-term sense for the other: Chris Paul for Kyrie Irving.
NBA trade that makes sense for both teams: Chris Paul for Kyrie Irving
▪ Florida State and the former student who accused Jameis Winston of rape settled out of court for $950,000.
Guess her claims weren’t completely baseless, after all.
▪ For no particular reason: Cornelius Bennett
▪ We’ll be sure to ask Panthers special-teams ace (and former Bulldog) Ben Jacobs about his propensity for “Creedbombing.”
Belting out Creed lyrics in the faces of unsuspecting teammates? That won’t win him any friends.
▪ Bill Walton spent 30 seconds during a recent broadcast pontificating about recent volcano eruptions around the Pacific Rim.
That guy is always spouting off about something.