NFL reading time, two minutes
We don't know if "game manager" Alex Smith would have led the 49ers to victory against the Rams, but it's unlikely he would have run out of bounds late in the fourth quarter, as Colin Kaepernick did when he should have been burning the clock. On the other hand, we don't put all the blame on Kaepernick for the botched pitchout (a baffling call by the coaches) or the safety (the officials blew it) in Sunday's 16-13 overtime loss. But when you elect to go with the young "hot hand," you also get the inexperience that comes with it.
The apparent murder-suicide by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher was the biggest national story over the weekend. The response has been all over the board: teammates, coaches, fans and others mourned Belcher, 25; the media focused on him more than his actions and his victims; others called him a coward for leaving his 3-month-old daughter. But name-calling is too simplistic and doesn't solve anything. Belcher lived in the macho world of professional football, where guys are taught to "man up" no matter the situation. No one knows the demons Belcher battled; all we know is another kid will grow up without a mother and father.
The other big story Sunday was the amazing finish to the Colts- Lions game. Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck passed to Donnie Avery for a touchdown on the final play to give the Colts the 35-33 victory. The Colts are 8-4 and likely headed to the playoffs one year after going 2-14. Luck's stats might not have been stellar 24 of 54 and three interceptions but he proved again that he's a big-time quarterback.
What to watch
NBA, Oklahoma City at Brooklyn, 4:30 p.m., NBA: The young Nets aspire to someday match the Thunder's success.
Should the 49ers keep Colin Kaepernick as the starting quarterback?
Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Where's the best place to play NorCal high school football championship games?
Sacramento State: 48%
Hughes Stadium: 27%
UC Davis: 14%
Bay Area: 4%
Home sites: 7%
Total votes: 605
The last word
What you're saying on sacbee.com comments: "The Maloofs have communicated loudly and clearly to Kings fans and the city, with that communication coming in the form of a giant middle finger. So, really, what else is there for them to say? chuckjitsu on "Plain talk from Maloofs would be welcome"