Whether you're a Twitter lover or hater, this past week completely reinforced your prior views. Throughout its relatively short history, Twitter has always been the kind of medium that constantly spits out rumors -- like one of those machines at the mall where you jam 50 cents in and twist the silver knob until a bunch of candy drops down at the bottom. But when it came to Jim Harbaugh after he led Stanford to a resume-boosting 40-12 win over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, the rumors were like a bad series of street racing movies: fast and furious.
Hey everybody, according to an NFL source Harbaugh's in some Peninsula hotel, talking to Jed York and Trent Baalke. But wait, another source said that the owner of the Miami Dolphins just flew into San Jose on his F-14 to offer Harbaugh the highest annual salary for a head coach in NFL history. Did you hear Michigan just fired Rich Rodriguez? No they didn't. Yes, they did! Now John Elway's in the mix, maybe Harbaugh's going to the Broncos. This just in: since Andrew Luck is going back to school, Harbaugh won't leave Stanford after all. Did you hear Harbaugh has a pro agent and a college agent? Breaking news: it has just been reported that Harbaugh is going on "Dancing With The Stars."
Okay, maybe that last one was fake, but every other conceivable rumor was flying around on Twitter last week, getting retweeted, cited as actual news, and then shot down minutes later, with another crazy rumor (or 20) taking its place. If you were wondering whether it's more important to be first or to be correct, the Harbaugh coverage we consumed this past week proved it's the latter that everyone in the Twitter world strives for these days.
And in the end, Harbaugh ended up with the Niners after everyone and their blogger nephew had spent the previous 24 hours ripping Jed for botching the whole process. That ended the rumors, right? Sure, unless you count the inevitable stories and tweets about who Harbaugh's coordinators and quarterback will be, and who will replace him at Stanford. Whether you follow every rumor in real time or you take a "wake me when everything's finalized" attitude, one thing can't be denied: the 49ers sure are more interesting off the field these days than they are on gameday. Perhaps Harbaugh will change that, whenever the NFL deigns to start their next regular season.
What about Stanford (and everybody else)?
- Somewhat lost in the Harbaugh shuffling was the fact that the best quarterback in the region, at any level, surprised many by heading back to school. Andrew Luck returns to The Farm looking to somehow improve on a 12-1 season. The Heisman race next year could be a rematch between the three guys that finished behind Cam Newton: Luck, Kellen Moore and LaMichael James.
- If David Shaw becomes Stanford's next head coach, we'll be able to see who the real offensive genius at Stanford was. If Harbaugh isn't able to lure Shaw to the 49ers to keep serving as his offensive coordinator (likewise with Vic Fangio on the defensive side), things could get mighty interesting.
- Speaking of the two major football teams in the Bay who don't wear red, former Cal Bear Nnamdi Asomugha may soon be a former Oakland Raider. His contract was voided because he didn't record one interception, sack or fumble recovery in 2010, in large part because quarterbacks don't throw to his side of the field.
- Edgar Renteria signed with the Reds, thankfully escaping the blatant disrespect shown by the San Francisco Giants. For those who were previously unaware, respect officially costs between $2 million and $3 million, depending on incentives.
- If reports are true that Pablo Sandoval has lost almost 20 pounds this off-season, Renteria and Juan Uribe will be forgotten almost as quickly as Tim McCarver after his forgettable part-time stint in the Giants' TV booth.
- F.P. Santangelo is going to be a color commentator now too, supplying his caffeine-fueled analysis as Rob Dibble's replacement in Washington. Good for the Playboy Mansion aficionado, but the real question now is: who's going to replace Santangelo as KNBR's "Sportsphone 680" host? Marty Lurie? Mychael Urban? Eric Byrnes? Ted Robinson? Ray Woodson? Will Damon Bruce come back? Who knows, maybe Lee Hammer will throw us all a curveball and hire someone from outside the area, like he did with Bruce when Larry Krueger's postgame rant got him canned.
- Warriors fans spent the week rejoicing after a startling comeback win in New Orleans. Everyone was healthy for the first time since MTV played music videos, they wouldn't have to leave California for a month ... and then the Clippers crushed Golden State yesterday afternoon. Yes, those Clippers. Back to the drawing board!
- The Sharks lost all four games they played last week, including three straight at home before losing last night 1-0 in Anaheim. Taking into account games played, San Jose is 11th in the Western Conference.
- The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl wasn't just a pretty good game, it was a good reminder that XFL aside, football games look awesome at Mays Field (on TV anyway, it was WAY too cold for me to sit outside and watch Colin Kaepernick last night). There may be no Tightwad Hill in San Francisco (actually, all the hills in San Francisco usually mean "things are way more expensive"), but Cal games in The City are going to be pretty awesome.
- Staying with Cal, Marshawn Lynch went into full-on beast mode on Saturday. Wouldn't it be fun to stiff-arm people like that in real life with no repercussions? Like instead of having to avert your eyes and avoid some cracked-out panhandler in the Tenderloin, you could just push them to the ground and high-step your way to Show Dogs for a brat and a beer? Just kidding! (Sort of.)
- The Raiders haven't replaced Tom Cable yet; one would assume there's a chance Hue Jackson will get the job sometime soon, maybe this week.
- The Sharks have three home games this week, facing Toronto, Edmonton and St. Louis. They're going to need to pull out of this slump pretty soon, or everyone whining about how they never make it to the Stanley Cup Finals will really have something to complain about - not making the playoffs at all.
- The best basketball team in the Pac-10, Washington, comes to the Bay Area this week, playing at Stanford on Thursday in in Berkeley on Saturday. UW has won 9 of their last 10 and ranks 3rd in the nation in scoring, and they have a point guard named Isaiah Thomas who leads the Huskies in points and assists. Also look out for Justin Holiday. He isn't quite the scorer his younger brother Jrue (starting PG for the 76ers) is, but his defense and athleticism can't be ignored.
- According to Matt Steinmetz, Joe Lacob watched Warriors practice today. Not to say Keith Smart is coaching for his job right now, but getting routed by the lowly Clips doesn't really scream "extension."
- The Warriors face the Lakers on Wednesday at Oracle, followed by the Clippers coming to Oakland for a much-anticipated rematch two nights later. Yep, that'll lead off SportsCenter on Friday night.