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Mud Bowl

first_imgI recently read in the Lawrenceburg paper that Lawrenceburg High School is putting a synthetic surface on their football field.  For the past several years the “Bowl”, as it is known in Lawrenceburg, has been subject to poor drainage and it is almost an impossibility to keep grass growing on the field.  No one can fault the Tigers for wanting to keep the tradition of Dick Meador Field going. If you have been at the high school, you know they have a new facility behind the high school for track and soccer, but the field near US 50 has been the football home forever.Just a few years ago on a rainy Friday night, Batesville and Lawrenceburg almost set a national scoring record because no one could tackle anyone on the slippery surface that night.  When the Bulldogs travel to Lawrenceburg this fall, it won’t matter if it is a clear starry night or another downpour, the field will be playable.  Tradition will survive for the Tigers!last_img read more

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All or nothing for McDowell

first_img Press Association McDowell missed the cut in last week’s Irish Open but reaped the rewards of staying on at Carton House over the weekend to work on his game, the first prize of 500,000 euro (£431,000) taking him less than 30,000 euro (£26,000) behind US Open champion Justin Rose at the top of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. “It’s very special after the last couple of months,” McDowell admitted. “It’s been a bit of a battle. It’s been a funny year. My game has not felt far away most weeks but I have missed a lot more cuts than normal and missing cuts hurts. “It certainly motivated me a lot the last few weeks. The US Open was a tough one to take and missing the cut in Ireland last week; it made me more hungry to want to be in positions like I was this afternoon.” The 33-year-old began the day tied with Sterne and went out in 34 with three birdies and one bogey, but found himself one behind after Sterne reached the turn in 33. A birdie on the 10th got McDowell back on level terms and he reclaimed the lead when Sterne dropped his first shot of the day on the 12th after driving into heavy rough. Luck certainly appeared to be on McDowell’s side as he pulled his tee shot on the 16th but saw the ball take a fortunate bounce away from the heavy rough and kick 90 degrees right. That left him with a relatively simple up and down, but he needed more good fortune after pulling his par putt and the sheepish grin after it somehow found the left edge of the hole told its own story. Sterne had called for a “G-Mac bounce” after also pulling his tee shot but was not so fortunate and a bogey four gave McDowell a two-shot lead with two to play, the Northern Irishman then making certain of victory with a superb birdie on the 17th. If current form is anything to go by, Graeme McDowell will either miss the cut or win his second major title in next week’s Open Championship at Muirfield.center_img Usually a highly consistent player, McDowell admits 2013 has been a “funny year” that has brought either a missed cut or a victory in each of his last eight events, the most recent coming in the Alstom Open de France on Sunday. McDowell carded a closing 67 at Le Golf National to finish nine under par, four clear of South Africa’s Richard Sterne, who had been only one behind until bogeys at the 16th and 17th. Sterne eventually did well to par the 18th for a final round of 71 to make sure of outright second, with 2007 winner Graeme Storm and Spain’s Eduardo de la Riva a shot behind. last_img read more

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Bony delighted with City move

first_img Bony’s move was confirmed by both Barclays Premier League clubs in synchronised statements on their club websites on Wednesday afternoon, although the Ivory Coast Football Federation had earlier announced the transfer on Twitter. The 26-year-old is currently on international duty with the Ivory Coast ahead of the African Nations Cup, which starts in Equatorial Guinea this weekend and could prevent his City debut until the middle of next month. “I believe we can do it.” Bony scored 20 Premier League goals in 2014, more than any other player, but promised there is much more to come from him after linking up with his Ivory Coast colleague Yaya Toure at club level. “I speak with Yaya every day on international duty and I think he will help me to become a better player and a more clinical striker,” Bony said. “I’ll be playing with great players here at City and this is an opportunity for me to work hard and to take my chance. “The Premier League is a tough league – my power is to always be in the box and in the right position. “I’m always working hard to be there to score the goals and to improve.” City manager Manuel Pellegrini said he was delighted to be adding the muscular Bony to a strikeforce which already includes Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic. “He is very difficult to mark because he is so strong,” Pellegrini told the official club website. “He is an intelligent footballer who has skill and power. “His goals record has been excellent since he came to England. He adapted very quickly to the game here and I think he will settle in at City quickly. He will be a very good addition to our squad. ” We now have four top-class strikers and I am looking forward to seeing them work together.” Bony’s departure means Swansea have almost doubled their transfer record for selling a player, the previous highest fee being the £15m Liverpool paid for Wales midfielder Joe Allen in 2012. The Ivorian took time to settle in South Wales and previous Swansea manager Michael Laudrup often left him out of the team due to concerns over the player’s fitness. But Bony’s double in a 3-2 defeat to Manchester City on New Year’s Day 2014 was the start of a prolific year and he ended up winning four awards at Swansea’s end-of-season function. “Everyone at Swansea City would like to thank Wilfried for his superb service to the club, and wish him well for the future,” said a statement on the Swansea website. Manchester City have completed the transfer of Swansea striker Wilfried Bony for a £25million fee. Bony has signed a four-and-a-half year contract at the Etihad Stadium and will wear the number 14 shirt. His fee could rise as high as £28million. He joins the English champions after scoring 34 goals in 70 appearances for Swansea following his £12m move from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem in the summer of 2013. “It’s a great feeling for me, it’s a big honour to be here and it’s a great challenge,” Bony told the official Manchester City website. “As a player it’s always good to be part of one of the biggest clubs in the world and it’s a good opportunity for me to be in that situation now – I’m really proud. “I felt excited to wait for this moment and now it’s come, it’s fantastic. “I think it’s a great decision for me – Manchester City is in the Champions League. “You remember at the end of last season I said that if I want to move it will be to a team in the competition because it’s a great tournament that I really want to play in and one that I want to win. “It’s a motivation for me to give my maximum to be in that place. City is a big club with great players with a lot of experience. Press Associationlast_img read more

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The Latest: One positive test in English Premier League

first_imgThe Latest: One positive test in English Premier League Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___One person has tested positive in the latest round of checks for COVID-19 on players and club staff in the English Premier League. Zurich also has to play title contender Young Boys and St. Gallen and says it wanted to avoid the league being annulled.The 10 teams are already playing in midweek and on weekends to finish the season on Aug. 2 and meet a UEFA deadline for European competition entries. It is unclear when Zurich can play a re-scheduled game against Sion.Zurich is in sixth place but in contention to earn a Europa League entry by finishing fourth.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports “Out of an abundance of caution, we think it makes sense for the six of us to wait for clarity,” Ross said in a release. “Situations like this have not been a worrisome indicator of a positive test result to date.”The Cubs say there should be “further clarity” later in the day.___The Atlantic Coast Conference has postponed its virtual Football Kickoff media event.The league says the event to preview each teams’ prospects heading into fall training camp is delayed until further notice. The three-day event was originally scheduled to be held beginning July 21. Associated Press July 13, 2020 Athletes will be permitted to practice and train with coaches and in team facilities “provided health and safety conditions support such activities,” the conference said.___Swiss soccer club Zurich says it will field an under-21 team to try to save the season from being canceled because the first-team is isolating at home.Zurich’s game on Saturday was postponed because multiple players and staff tested positive for the coronavirus.The club says it will play Tuesday against third-place Basel by selecting young players from its backup roster.center_img “Hope drives us as runners and as humans,” Carey Pinkowski, the executive race director of the Chicago Marathon, said in a release. “My hope was to see everyone on the start line on Sunday, October 11, but our highest priority has always been the safety of our participants and our volunteers.”Organizers say they are working on plans for a virtual experience “to recognize the dedication and commitment of everyone who would have taken part in the 43rd running” of the marathon.___The NHL says 43 players tested positive for the coronavirus from June 8 through the end of the league’s optional workouts.That number announced Monday includes 30 who tested positive at team facilities and 13 the league is aware of who tested positive outside the league’s protocols for its Phase 2. The league says a total of 2,071 people were tested last week.The person has not been identified. ___The Chicago Marathon has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.The race was scheduled for Oct. 11. Organizers say registered participants are eligible for a refund or can defer their place and entry fee to the Chicago Marathon in 2021, 2022 or 2023. The ACC says future decisions and announcements will take place “at the appropriate time.”___The Patriot League has joined the Ivy League in canceling fall sports, including football, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Division I conference says it has still not determined whether winter and spring sports competition will be held and that it will consider holding fall sports in the second semester. The Ivy League made a similar announcement last week. The Patriot League is the first conference in the Football Championship Subdivision that competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision’s playoffs to suspend its season.Army and Navy compete in the Patriot League in many sports, including basketball, but not in football. The Patriot League said Army and Navy are exempt from the fall sports cancellation, which also includes women’s soccer and volleyball. The NHL opened Phase 3 Monday with the start of training camps for the 24-team playoffs, scheduled to open in two hub Canadian cities — Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta — on Aug. 1. Players had until Monday evening to elect to opt out of competition without penalty.All players who tested positive self-isolated. The NHL is not sharing names of the players who test positive or the teams involved.___Los Angeles Angels left-hander Patrick Sandoval is back with the team after contracting coronavirus last month.Sandoval disclosed his positive test Monday from the Angels’ summer camp, calling the virus “unlike anything I’d ever felt before.” He says he tested positive on June 22. Sandoval thinks he caught it while golfing with a friend,because he had been careful about being out in public for several weeks beforehand. He said he endured three days of body aches, chills and fever before his symptoms lessened. He rejoined the Angels last week.Sandoval went 5-3 with a 3.66 ERA last season as a rookie with the Angels, making three starts. He is among several candidates for a spot in the back end of the Halos’ rotation.___Chicago Cubs manager David Ross is skipping the team’s Monday morning workout because he is awaiting his completed result from his Saturday coronavirus test.The team says five other Tier 1 individuals also missed the workout for the same reason. Tier 1, according to baseball’s 2020 operations manual, includes players and other on-field personnel.last_img read more

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Trojans fail to address elephant in the room

first_img“Inside the 20s” runs on Thursdays. To comment on this story, email Nick at nselbe@usc.edu or visit dailytrojan.com. Tuesday marked the latest chapter in a season full of bumps and bruises for USC’s baseball team. In a hard-fought 6-4 loss to No. 4 Cal State Fullerton, the Trojans were reminded that no matter how much they tried to overcome countless obstacles, 2013 just wasn’t going to be their year.Not that this should be a surprise to anyone who has followed the program in recent years. USC hasn’t reached the College World Series since 2001 and hasn’t posted a winning record since 2005. Barring an improbable second-half run, USC should fall below .500 once again this season. To be blunt, the Trojans should expect to lose to Cal State Fullerton, a perennial national powerhouse.Actually, hold that thought for a moment — let’s examine that.Why should USC expect to lose to a school like Cal State Fullerton in baseball? There must be a key difference between the schools that gives the Titans an edge. What could it be?Location can’t be the answer. The schools are located roughly 35 miles from each other and, as a result, they compete for the same local high school players in the miles-deep talent pool that is Southern California.Program tradition plays a big factor in recruiting players; perhaps that is the key difference. Fullerton has a storied baseball history, to be sure, with four national championships and 52 alumni that have played in Major League Baseball.But USC blows both of those numbers away. The Trojans are the all-time leaders in both categories, with 12 national championships and a staggering 106 players sent to the MLB, both figures more than double Fullerton’s output.So historical prestige is now thrown out as well. Could financial security be the key? Hardly. Few schools in America can rival USC’s deep private-school pockets, with the seemingly endless line of well-to-do alumni just dying to throw money at the school. Fullerton, on the other hand, has suffered budget cuts for the past several years and could only dream of having the resources USC does.That rules out finances as Fullerton’s secret edge. Could academic prestige be the deal breaker? U.S. News & World Report ranked USC at No. 24 in its 2013 rankings. Cal State Fullerton? Let’s just say they are a little further down the list. I don’t mean to disrespect Fullerton as an academic institution; both of my parents are proud Titan alumni (they are also the ones currently paying my tuition). But I can say with some certainty that the levels of academic rigor of USC and Fullerton are beyond comparison.But that still leaves us without an answer to the million-dollar question. Maybe an iconic head coach is the reason for Fullerton’s recent dominance over USC? The Trojans had their greatest success under the legendary Rod Dedeaux, who led the program to 11 national championships and is a member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Fullerton’s version of Dedeaux would be Augie Garrido, who led the Titans to three national championships in 19 seasons at the helm.But Garrido left the program for good after the 1996 season, and since then the school has had three different head coaches. George Horton made six College World Series appearances in 11 seasons, with one national championship in 2004, before leaving for Oregon in 2007. Dave Serrano was 175-73 during his four seasons as head coach, with one College World Series appearance. Current head coach Rick Vanderhook is in his second season as head coach and now has a 65-25 record after Tuesday’s win over USC.The point of this is that it doesn’t seem to matter all that much who is calling the shots for the Titans. They always win. In fact, since the school began playing baseball in 1975, Fullerton has never finished a season with a losing record. It’s as if the school was destined to succeed at baseball, circumstances be damned.For the same reasons that USC Athletic Director Pat Haden says USC should have a “relevant” basketball program, the same can be said double for USC’s baseball program. It has all of the same benefits going for it, with a huge dosage of historical tradition heaped on top. It couldn’t be in a better position to succeed, which makes its decade-long struggle all the more puzzling.I understand why Haden has basketball at the top of his agenda at the moment. He just made a big splash hire, and he needs it to be a successful one. USC’s basketball program has never enjoyed an era of significance, let alone dominance, and Haden is right in believing that the time is now to change that.But the Trojan baseball program should be treated with a similar sense of urgency. I have to believe that if USC really wanted to succeed in baseball, it could. There are just too many resources at the school’s disposal for the program to continue to fail. Haden would be wise to make baseball item No. 2 on his agenda, if not No. 1, because if he doesn’t, the gap between USC and schools such as Fullerton, Long Beach State and UCLA will continue to grow.But back to the original question: What does Fullerton have that USC doesn’t? Your guess is as good as mine.last_img read more

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GBGB reveals ‘five-phase approach’ to resume sport

first_img DraftKings CBO – Industry ‘only just scratched the surface’ of US sports betting July 16, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon Better Collective cautious on quick recovery as COVID drags growth momentum August 25, 2020 The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) has outlined a five-phase approach to resuming the sport behind closed doors once government restrictions are lifted.The GBGB has worked alongside an industry-led working group to establish a balance between the necessary requirements for health and safety, greyhound welfare and the sport’s integrity.Each phase is expected to last ‘at least two weeks’, and will be ‘entirely dependent on the cooperation, conscientiousness and compliance of all those involved in the sport’.Phase one will see only trial meetings take place behind closed doors. Resumption of racing behind closed doors will take place in phase two, with a maximum of ten races at a minimum of 30 minutes’ gap between races.Under phase three, there will be a maximum of 12 races behind closed doors, with a minimum gap of 25 minutes between races. Phase four will remove the limit on the number of races, but a minimum gap of 20 minutes will still be applicable.And phase five will see the sport return to normality, subject to government guidance on social distancing and public gatherings.Commenting on the release of the Operational Policy, Managing Director of GBGB Mark Bird said: “Throughout the cessation of racing, we have been actively preparing for the time when the government feels able to ease some of the restrictions of this ‘lockdown’ period. For several weeks now, our dedicated working group has worked tirelessly to ensure that every possible consideration is made towards enabling a safe, effective and phased resumption of greyhound racing under the government guidance available.“It will be clear to all in viewing the Operational Policy just how much time and energy has gone into this work and I am very grateful to everyone who has been involved in the consultation process. In everything that is being set out, our priorities have been to find a way forward that safeguards the health of every person involved in greyhound racing, and of the country more widely, whilst retaining our high levels of welfare and integrity.“As the sport’s regulator, we continue to be led by what is in the best interests of the greyhounds at the heart of our sport. We all recognise that a rapid return to some form of racing is the right course of action – not only because of the financial impact on trainers and owners, but because of the physiological needs of greyhounds as canine athletes. However, we have been vocal throughout that it would be irresponsible to seek to resume racing without taking the time to prepare fully and adopt all the appropriate health and safety protocols.“This Operational Policy, therefore, presents an effective means for phasing in a return to greyhound racing – prioritising in the first instance graded races to support the vast majority of greyhounds and with the minimum amount of movement between racecourses. We have incorporated strict controls for monitoring and validating the hygiene and social distancing measures in place so that, at each stage, we can be sure of their success. We are confident that the process we are proposing gives us the best chance of progressing quickly and safely through the phases to an eventual resumption of normal racing activity, albeit behind closed doors.“We have now shared our plans with colleagues at DCMS and DEFRA, in advance of the government announcements expected later this week on changes to the current ‘lockdown’ period. Subject to this update, we hope to be able to begin Phase 1 – behind closed doors trials – as early as Monday 18th May. At the very least, with the release of this Operational Policy, we want to give racecourses, trainers, kennel staff and owners the information they need to begin preparations to return to racing behind closed doors.“During this difficult time, we appreciate the financial burden, worries and concerns of trainers, owners and racecourses and are thankful for the sport’s patience and understanding as we do our best to deliver for you all and for your greyhounds. This Policy provides the firm foundations for the return to racing that we all want and demonstrates how, with everyone’s support and cooperation, we can do so safely and successfully in short order.” Mark Moisley joins GBGB as Executive Commercial Director August 6, 2020 Share Share Submitlast_img read more

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Augustine Arhinful remains coy on Black Stars job interest

first_imgFormer Black Stars forward Augustine Arhinful has stated that he will not put forward his name for the vacant Black Stars job but won’t turn it down if he is approached either.The position became vacant after the Ghana Football Association took the decision to dissolve the technical directorates of all the national teams in both the men and women’s division.In the process Kwesi Appiah lost his job with the rest of the technical handlers.“I’m not going to apply for the black stars job but In the wisdom of the handlers if they think I can do the job and call me, why not”. he stated.He also confirmed that he has all the required certification needed to assume the position.“I’ve successfully acquired all by coaching badges but let see” he added.last_img read more

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Sixty Second Inspiration winners to be honored this Friday

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, Mich. — Nineteen community members will be honored this Saturday at Bay Athletic Club’s annual fitness inspired gala.The event will recognize every person who has been featured on 60 second inspirations over the past year.The audience will vote on the most inspiring story of 2019 at the end of the night. The community is welcome to attend the event, which will be held this Saturday, January 11 at 5:30 p.m. At Fletcher Street Depot.Tickets are $25 and can be reserved by calling (989)356–5600.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: 60 Second Inspiration, bay athletic club, GalaContinue ReadingPrevious Michael Mahler fills economic director position at Alpena Area Chamber of CommerceNext Michigan DNR to Host Virtual 5K with Bob Ross Inc.last_img read more

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Scott still believes Bryant will play in Lakers’ opener

first_img“You can take all of those things into consideration,” Scott said. “This is 20 years for him. The body doesn’t heal as fast as he used to.”Lakers second-year guard Jordan Clarkson practiced on Saturday without limitations two days after having soreness in his right shoulder. But Bryant has not healed enough in the past week to complete any running drills.“He wants to be make sure he’s able to run; cutting and lateral movements are important,” Scott said. “I don’t know if he’ll be 110 percent. But I think the closer we can get to him being to that number, the better.”Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell saw the silver lining. He argued Bryant’s absence indirectly spurred the Lakers to compensate, something they might have to master throughout the 2015-16 season.“It forces you to mature early and know how to play with the ball when a dominant player like him is not in the game,” Russell said. “Then knowing how to play with it when he is in the game. You have to adjust. He’s giving us a good taste of being able to play and learn without him. I feel like it will be that much easier.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I’m not trying to predict what he can do” on Sunday, Scott said. “I just want to see him out here and go a little bit more. If he can do that, we’ll make progress.”• HEISLER: Jim Buss sticks head up, gets pie to faceThe Lakers held Bryant out for the last three preseason games after he bruised his lower left leg in the team’s loss to Sacramento in Las Vegas on Oct. 13. Bryant has not spoken to reporters since after the Lakers’ preseason win over an Israeli professional team, Maccabi Haifa, on Oct. 11.Scott has downplayed Bryant’s persistent absence. The coach said Bryant can put weight on his leg and reported Bryant calling his left leg “a little stiff.” Scott also said he limited Bryant partly so he could rest up for the regular season. But Scott conceded on Saturday that Bryant’s latest ailment stems from other factors. The 37-year-old Bryant is entering his 20th and perhaps final NBA season. He has suffered season-ending injuries for three consecutive years.center_img The conviction in Byron Scott’s words, tone and body language hardly wavered, even if Kobe Bryant remains limited with a bruised lower left leg that has sidelined him for more than a week.Sure, Scott admitted he “can’t guarantee” Bryant will play in the Lakers’ season opener against Minnesota on Wednesday at Staples Center. But the Lakers’ coach did not change his outlook on his star player’s health.“Do I think he’ll play? Absolutely,” Scott said after practice Saturday at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. “I think he’ll play, knowing him like I do.”But Bryant has plenty of work that he will have to complete before ensuring he will not miss the Lakers’ season opener for the second time in three seasons. He only took part in shooting drills on Saturday in what Scott described as a “real light” practice before watching his teammates from the sideline. Scott hopes Bryant can “ramp it up a little more” in Sunday’s practice before having full sessions on Monday and Tuesday.last_img read more

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Jimmy Garoppolo trade, revisited: How QB quickly turned 49ers’ big risk into Super Bowl reward

first_imgInstead, in a serendipitous twist, at the exact time when Brady’s future with the Patriots is in doubt, it’s the 49ers who are hoping to reap the benefits of Garoppolo’s winning play in Super Bowl 54.San Francisco had multiple chances to go in a different direction at quarterback. New England could have either kept Garoppolo stashed for Bill Belichick or found another trade partner. Here’s revisiting the events that led to the 49ers acquiring Garoppolo for a 2018 second-round draft pick on Halloween 2017 and the fallout of the trade that pushed the team to play for a champonship only two-plus years later.MORE: How Jimmy Garoppolo gives 49ers best of Tom Brady and Joe MontanaThe Jimmy Garoppolo alternativesWhen the combination of general manager John Lynch and offensive-minded coach Kyle Shanahan were hired right before and after Super Bowl 51 three years ago, the 49ers operated with a clean slate at quarterback.The firing of Chip Kelly meant cleaning house at the position, with both Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert not being re-signed. The initial ideal target for Shanahan was Kirk Cousins, the quarterback he helped mold into a strong NFL starter while serving as the Redskins’ offensive coordinator.Cousins likely would have signed with San Francisco if he had hit the open market as a pending free agent. But in an unprecedented move, Washington slapped Cousins with a second consecutive franchise tag, exclusively, at a higher tender value, to keep him on a guaranteed one-year deal.“It’s pretty well documented the relationship I had with Kirk,” Shanahan said. “Just being in Washington and everything, I felt confident he wasn’t going to stay there.”With Cousins staying put, the 49ers were attached to the big free-agent trap of former Buccaneer Mike Glennon, who eventually was overpaid by the Bears. There were also the trade rumors with them going after either Tom Savage (Texans) or Trevor Siemian (Broncos). The 49ers settled for cheap veteran bridge QB Brian Hoyer, who played well for Shanahan while the latter was Browns offensive coordinator in 2014.MORE: Jimmy Garoppolo’s career timeline, from small college to big tradeBecause of Shanahan being locked into Cousins and given that he had only two-plus months to prep for the 2017 NFL Draft, the 49ers chose not to enter the first-round fray at QB, which meant trading down out of No. 2 to not take Mitchell Trubisky (Bears). That also meant they chose to pass on the Texans’ Deshaun Watson, and, yes, the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes — Garoppolo’s countepart in Super Bowl 54.Shanahan settled for Hoyer and possible No. 2 Matt Barkley in free agency to, in effect, table the position, and addressed it only with third-rounder C.J. Beathard in the draft, also adding Nick Mullens as an undrafted free agent.With one average veteran, one shaky one and two unheralded rookies, it was clear Shanahan and Lynch were place-holding in their first offseason together, instead focusing on starting a massive roster overhaul at most every other position.The confidence in that quarterback direction was helped by knowng there would be the fallback of Cousins in 2018 NFL free agency after he was certain to be not tagged for a third consecutive year by the Redskins.“Any time you go into a season and know a franchise quarterback is going to be available the next year, it made me a lot more picky with what we were looking at,” Shanahan said.The Jimmy Garoppolo rumorsDuring that 2017 free agency and draft period, Garoppolo would have been an option had the Patriots more actively sought to trade him a full year before his own pending NFL free agency in 2018.  The 49ers, however, looked like the third-best suitor behind the Bears and Browns, even though they were the clear best fit for Garoppolo because of Shanahan.The Patriots were perceived as being extremely smart for raising their demands for Garoppolo, as high as getting two back-to-back first-round picks for his services. Chicago went with the Glennon and Trubisky combination and Cleveland drafted second-rounder DeShone Kizer to put with Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler in what would be an 0-16 season.The 49ers went 0-8 to start the ’17 season with Hoyer and Beathard taking turns starting. They had to do something soon, given that their QB play was the worst in the league.With the Bears out of the mix because of Tribusky and the Browns stting on the No. 1 overall pick for a strong 2018 QB class led by Baker Mayfield, the 49ers were the last real sutior standing. The Patriots’ supply now had less demand, and the fact the 49ers were an NFC team made a trade for Garoppolo — a promising but unproven commodity — more logical and feasible.The Jimmy Garoppolo tradeThe 49ers could have waited for Cousins like originally planned, but Shanahan and Lynch couldn’t pass on Garoppolo with the asking price lowered by the Patriots before the ’17 midseason trade deadline. It was a semi-sneaky move by New England, to maintain another good trading relationship with a non-conference front office.From Lynch’s perspective, although he didn’t know at the time how special Garoppolo would end up being for his team, there was enough of a belief that he could be, and that was enough to make the move.”We felt it was a reasonable cost, albeit a high one, a second-round pick, to have an opportunity to find your franchise quarterback,” Lynch told Sporting News. “It is one thing in our conversations with Bill Belichick, when I talked to him and when Kyle talked to him — ‘You’re going to love this kid. His teammates love him.’”MORE: How do Super Bowl Squares work?The 49ers’ agreeing on the trade compensation was one thing; the other was the willingness to lock up Garoppolo to a lucrative market-value long-term contract before March 2018. Lynch didn’t mess around there, as Garoppolo signed a five-year, $137.5 million deal in February 2018.San Francisco had shown its aggressive nature in the 2017 offseason. There was no spending on a QB, but there was plenty of money under the salary cap thrown around to bring in core free agents, including essential blocking fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Shanahan and Lynch simply doubled down on that by getting Garoppolo.”To come in with Kyle and John, we kind of established everything, but once we traded for Jimmy, it just showed that these (guys) were committed to turning things around — and they weren’t going to wait around,” Juszczyk said. “They didn’t hesitate. They pulled the trigger on what some people might consider a risky trade at the time — he had started only four games — but they saw something in him that’s obviously panned out.”The Jimmy Garoppolo riseThe 49ers were patient in playing Garoppolo, waiting four games into the second half of the 2017 season. He quickly showed he was worth trading for, leading the team to a 5-0 record with immediate superb play in a new offense. His five-game numbers (260 yards per game, 96.2 rating, 8.8 yards per attempt) that season took the mysery off Garoppolo as it mirrored what he did starting two games for a Deflategate-suspended Brady to open the ’16 season (248 yards per game, 119.0 rating, 8.4 yards per attempt).“I didn’t know anything about Jimmy when we first traded for him, except he had that one game with the Patriots where he played really well against Arizona,” longtime 49ers left tackle Joe Staley said. “I knew he was highly thought of as the heir apparent to Tom Brady, so it was exciting to get him on the roster and see what he was all about.”Garoppolo has gone 23-5 as the 49ers starter, including the 2020 playoffs, after going 2-0 for the Patriots. His play is a big reason why, but so is what he puts into maintaining a competitive edge.”Once he got here, Jimmy really impressed me with his preparation and workman-like mentality he had every single day,” Staley said. “He didn’t come in with an attitude like, ‘This is my team now.'”That grinding nature, something Brady also had, also helped Garoppolo come back strong from a torn ACL that he suffered against the Chiefs in Kansas City in September 2018, which limited what could have a spectular first full season as the 49ers starter.As the 49ers struggled and finished 4-12 without him, Garoppolo’s value to the team was even greater, given that they shot up to 13-3 with him fully healthy for 2019.Lynch gushes now when he talks about Garoppolo the person and the player, sharing his well-earned pride in pulling off the deal key to getting the 49ers back to a Super Bowl. Lynch and Shanahan expected the best of Garoppolo, because of what all it took to get and keep him, and that his success was tied to theirs. As they bought into Garoppolo, he completely bought into them.”He understands that Kyle’s sole purpose is to try to get the most out of him,” Lynch said. “Kyle can be very demanding in doing so, and some guys don’t have the personality for that. I think it’s a perfect mix, because Jimmy almost gets better when Kyle’s chewing him out — so just keep chewing.”Garoppolo needed the perfect place to succeed after his time with the Patriots. He found it in Lynch, Shanahan and the 49ers after they made one of the best trades in modern NFL history.More Super Bowl 54 news by Sporting News• Full betting odds & prediction for 49ers vs. Chiefs• The 25 best Super Bowl commercials of all time, ranked• Super Bowl Roman numerals, explained: A guide to help decipher the NFL’s weird numbers game• Superb Owl Sunday 2020: The story about owls and Super Bowl 54 you didn’t know you wanted until now• Who is the fastest player in the NFL? Tyreek Hill has serious competition in Super Bowl 54• Jimmy Garoppolo trade, revisited: How QB quickly turned 49ers’ big risk into Super Bowl reward• Patrick Mahomes’ baseball career was filled with potential• Why Joe Montana left the 49ers for the Chiefs• How did 49ers’ Deebo Samuel get his nickname? • What is the Chiefs’ mascot? A history of KC Wolf’s pioneering place in the NFL• Nick Bosa and Donald Trump: Revisiting the 49er’s social media controversy ahead of 2019 NFL Draft• Way-too-early NFL power rankings for 2020 MIAMI — 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo saw his rookie season with the Patriots end with him getting his first Super Bowl ring as a backup to Tom Brady. If someone had said then that five years later, Garoppolo would be trying to win his first Super Bowl as a starting QB, everyone would have assumed it would be for New England, succeeding Brady.last_img read more