Kelly at Cal never was good idea
It sounds as if Chip Kelly wasn’t a serious part of Cal’s search for a new coach, and allow the Lounge to speak for many alums: That’s good news.
There’s no question Kelly would represent an upgrade from Sonny Dykes; the deposed 49ers head coach has more bigtime experience and a superior command of strategy. But his heart wouldn’t have been in the Cal job.
“He’d just be a guy passing through,” said one very prominent alum, relaying what he portrayed as widespread opinion. “You know he’d be looking at other jobs the whole time. So he’s an up-tempo offensive guy? Well, we’ve seen that already. And I could see him becoming disenchanted with the academic realities at Cal — not to mention a half-dozen other Pac-12 teams looking at a Top 25 ranking next year. So, please, no Chip.”
Justin Wilcox may not be a big name, but he’s the perfect hire: a man with Cal experience (having coached there from 2003-05 under Jeff Tedford) and devotion to defense. The ultimate candidate, in the eyes of many? Ron Rivera, the former Cal star who is said to consider it his dream job. But not just yet, not with Rivera in charge of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.
Dykes is taking far too much heat for the Bears’ faltering attendance. That falls squarely on the Pac-12 Conference and the preposterous television deal it arranged with networks and school administrators. Cal had three 7:30 starts at home this season and another at 6 p.m. The only thing close to a “day” game was the 2:30 start against Stanford, and that ended in darkness. Just as troubling were the weekday games and a “schedule” that left most starting times in doubt until just a few days before.
We’ve printed letters of outrage before, but they just keep coming:
Bob Cobb: “There are few things better in the Bay Area than an afternoon football game in Berkeley. Walking up with the band after their concert in Sproul Plaza, having a beverage in the afternoon sun, maybe tailgating. You can take your grandchildren, teaching the ways of the Berkeley campus. Not with those night starts.”
Don Beeson: “No more picnics, no more Big Game parties, no more postgame dinners with friends. We, and others we know, have given up our season tickets and no longer attend games. I hope the administration of these schools stops to reflect on what they’ve done and why their fan base is eroding.”
Ron Rubenstein: “We really resent the arrogance of people who give us virtually no advance notice of game times. If my grandson’s birthday party is on a Saturday, are they supposed to hold off scheduling it until we know what time the game starts? It’s as if they’re making a conscious effort to make the Cal football experience as difficult and undesirable as possible.”
Signing with Minnesota was no desperation move for exGiant Ryan Vogelsong. He said it was one of the few teams he’d targeted, and at the moment, the Twins see him as a starter ... Saw “Fences,” a great film set in 1957 Pittsburgh. Noticeable glitch: Mentioning that Sandy Koufax was “leading the league in strikeouts.” He did that in 1961, but didn’t come close beforehand ... Nolan Arenado may have set aside his Puerto Rican roots for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic next month, but how’s this for the P.R.’s infield: Carlos Correa playing third as he defers to Francisco Lindor at shortstop, with Javier Baez at second ... Before signing with the A’s, Santiago Casilla reflected on his final Giants season and said, “I think they forgot all the great moments I’ve had here.” No, they haven’t. Not the fans with even a trace of perspective.
So much troubling news on Thursday, from the Warriors to a longtime San Francisco establishment to the catastrophic incident near Yoshi’s nightclub in Oakland. The Warriors came off as insensitive and tone-deaf when they hired, then quickly fired, former San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr. The backlash came quickly, and they’ll take the heat. From what we can gather: Suhr was not going to be an employee, but rather a part-time consultant and adviser on security matters. The Warriors did extensive homework on Suhr, finding him to be well-regarded as an individual and a man — in the opinion of many sources — who took responsibility for some troubling incidents within his staff. But the mere mention of Suhr’s name raises ire throughout the Bay Area, and the Warriors didn’t anticipate such intense reaction. So they did the smart thing and corrected their mistake ... I was a frequent visitor to Lefty O’Doul’s, the Union Square hofbrau reportedly set to close on Feb. 3, and it’s a place dear to my heart. My first date with Martha, who became my wife, took place there after Game 4 of the 1990 World Series (the night the A’s were swept by Cincinnati). We sat there chuckling as the piano player and an out-ofthe-audience singer tortured a few old standards ... As for the injuries to Tower of Power drummer David Garibaldi (my all-time personal favorite in any genre) and Marc Van Wageningen, a renowned bass player sitting in for Rocco Prestia, it’s a time of shock and prayers. It seemed inconceivable that they could be hit by an Amtrak train as they crossed the street on their way into Yoshi’s, but they weren’t aware of another train heading in the opposite direction. Reports indicate that the injuries are severe but that they will recover. Best to them both and the entire band, a timeless treasure that literally gave the Bay Area a “Soul Vaccination.”
Fired 49ers head coach Chip Kelly would “just be a guy passing through” had he gotten the Cal job, says one alum.