Great things are expected of the 49ers this season; predictions range from 10 to 14 wins, and anything short of winning the Super Bowl will be a disappointment. That's a lot of pressure on Colin Kaepernick, who starts his first full season as the 49ers' quarterback, and a team that turned over more than a third of its roster. Across the Bay, no one expects much from the rebuilding Raiders, with some pundits forecasting as many as 14 losses. Will the 49ers win more games than the Raiders lose?
Speaking of Oakland, where are the A's fans? The team is battling for the American League West title, yet the announced crowd for Thursday night's game against Houston was just 11,569, which means probably fewer than 10,000 were there. Sure, the Astros are awful, but the A's are having a dream season and they can't even fill a third of the seats at O.co Coliseum? We know the team wants and needs a new ballpark, but Thursday's showing is shameful. No wonder the A's were flat in a 3-2 loss.
In college football, if a power team loses its opener (as Georgia did last week against Clemson) and loses its second game (as the Bulldogs might today against South Carolina), any shot at the BCS title is over. It's a far different story in the NFL, and that's why the league is so popular. The Ravens got drilled by the Broncos on national TV on Thursday, but so what? And chances are they'll lose to the Texans in two weeks. But it won't matter. Last year, the Ravens lost six regular-season games yet went on to win the Super Bowl. That's why college football needs a real playoff system with 16 teams.
What to watch
Sailing, America's Cup, 1 p.m., Ch. 3: Check out the 72-foot catamarans in San Francisco Bay in the first two races of the 17-race final.
Which number will be greater this season?
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Are professional athletes given too many chances?
Total votes: 146