10-13-18 - 49ers - Darren Yamashita
The Injury Tree sits adjacent to an entrance to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
Photo by Darren Yanashita.

Andy Dolich -- 2015
Andy Dolich
The Injury Tree

By Andy Dolich

Before the San Francisco 49ers began their 2018 season I attended an event at Levi's Stadium in August. While crossing the pedestrian bridge from the parking lot over San Tomas Aquino Creek, I turned to my left and spied a large tree looking deader than dead on the creek bank. I expected to see a bunch of hungry buzzards perched on its scrawny, leafless, barkless branches.

I don't picture myself as a sporting Nostradamus but this skeleton of sickly sticks jumped out as a dangerous omen for the 49ers. While at the event I mentioned to a stadium official that it might be a good idea to cut down this deceased deciduousness before the season kicked off.

In truth, the ominous omen should have been turned into kindling. Thousands of 49ers fans would have been spared from seeing its lifeless limbs as they entered the team's home turf with their optimism meter at ten for the new season.

I was informed that since the tree was on county land and part of the Aquino Creek watershed it would take significant time to work through the bureaucratic hurdles necessary to remove the deadwood.

Being a major supporter of the environment, I figured Mother Nature would take care of her dearly departed tree in her own way. But throughout September she was extremely busy in other parts of the country. As of Monday, October 15, this woeful wood, aka The Injury Tree, remains Rooted in Santa Clara.
Impact of The Injury Tree
Who is to say what player calamities might have been avoided if The Injury Tree had been removed by human hands before September 2. As we all know, injuries are part of everyone's favorite NFL team. In an unofficial poll of 49ers fans, 100% of them would have called for uprooting The Injury Tree before:

Jerick McKinnon tore his right ACL in the last play of practice on September 2. He went under the knife and was lost for the season.

Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL on September 24 vs. the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Jimmy G is expected to be back in six to eight months and on track to be ready for training camp in 2019. The 49ers are the only team in the league to lose their starting quarterback and running back this season.

The cascade of casualties have hit the 49ers extremely hard during the first five games of the season, with many key contributors dinged up and missing plays, quarters, halves, games and the 2018 season.

2018 San Francisco 49ers Casualties
Matt Breida
Garrett Celek
Adrian Colbert
Antone Exum Jr.
Reuben Foster
Jimmy Garoppolo
Pierre Garcon
Joshusa Garnett
Garry Gilliam
Marquise Goodwin
Mike McGlinchey
Jerick McKinnon
Erik Magnuson
Alfred Morris
Dante Pettis
Mike Person
Weston Richburg
Richard Sherman
Malcolm Smith
Joe Staley
Jaquiski Tartt
Trent Taylor
Jimmie Ward
Dekoda Watson
Cole Wick
K'Waun Williams
Ahkello Witherspoon

The poet Joyce Kilmer (no relation to former Redskins quarterback Billy Kilmer) penned Trees long before he would have rooted for or against the San Francisco 49ers. (He was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey -- 1886-1918 -- and figures to have been a Jets or Giants fan.)

"I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree."

Hey Joyce, put a sock in it! The heck with lovely! This terrible tree contains Bad Juju. Just look at the weekly 49ers injury reports.

The Injury Tree has got to go! But there's no doubt tree huggers will come to the aid of the ailing arbor. To those Faithful Forty Niners Fans I say, "Ladies and Gentlemen, start your chain saws."

Andy Dolich has over five decades of leadership in the sports industry, including executive positions in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, pro soccer and lacrosse. Dolich teaches sports business at Stanford's School of Continuing Studies and is co-author of the new book:

10-15-18 - Raiders - Ed Jay

The death of a beloved franchise: the demise of the Silver and Black
by Outlaw

On March 27, 2017, the NFL officially approved the Raiders move from Oakland to Las Vegas. It felt like the death knell--because it was. And yesterday the Raiders got demolished, 27-3, in London by the Seattle Seahawks, thus signifying the full-circle completion of the disintegration of a once-proud franchise.

Like the wonderful 95.7 broadcaster and East Bay native Rick Tittle, I have been a Raider guy since their inception in 1960. As a nine-year-old football-infatuated quarterback growing up in Washington, D.C., I needed a good team to root for, and when the AFL burst forth chucking passes like there was no tomorrow, I became a Raider fan. Little did I know that I would end up living in Oakland, putting down roots and raising a family. To this day I believe that, for all of his faults, Al Davis did more for pro football than anyone. For 58 years I have lived and died with the Silver and Black. Today they died--and I am in mourning.
The tragic irony of it all is that just when we get Chuckie back, swearing to avenge the infamous tuck rule loss, the team is leaving Oakland, probably never to return. This season, although only six games old, is a never-ending nightmare. From the firing of Greg Papa (how could they?!) to the brain-dead Khalil Mack trade, to the offensive line injuries to the mistake-addled plays, this Raider squad is a shadow of its former glory, a pathetic team that cannot have the season end soon enough. There are no villains--only karma.
For 19 months I have resisted abandoning ship--after all, it would be like giving up on the A's or the Warriors when they were mired in losing--and look where they are now. But to continue to support this sorry iteration of a once-proud franchise is a bridge too far, even for this die hard. It's time to cut bait, painfully. It is somehow fitting that the team will move from a wonderful, vibrant city to the only American town that can make purgatory look like nirvana. Somewhere up there the Snake and Al are sharing a few drinks and shedding some tears. Meanwhile down here, the wails of millions of Raider Nation faithful are drowning out the referee's whistle. It's fourth and forty--time to punt.
Oakland, CA October 14, 2018

3-6-17 - Pops

Michael King (left), with an associate from USF (center), and Karla Granadino-King, are pictured at the Olympic Club in San Francisco,  proudly sharing with the world their  Pops Premium Rumpopo. A King family secret, Pops Premium Rumpopo is a  delicious rum cream liqueur recipe brewed in the family tradition.  The award winning recipe is a Belizean family favorite and now available at all Total Wine & More stores in California and Bay Area retailers.
For more information, visit

Pops - Original
Pops Back Label