Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston (99) reacts after the game against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving at AT

Bay Area Buzz 11/29: Things Could Be Worse For Raiders; Keep College Football On Saturdays; Celebrating VanDerveer


Oakland Raiders Learning How To Win

This is what learning how to win looks like.

Coming close and falling on your face is frustrating, irritating. But it can also be promising.

Sure, the 31-24 Turkey Day loss to the Dallas Cowboys might feel like the same ol’ Raiders, who probably doused their flickering postseason hopes with a come-from-ahead defeat. And, no doubt, this movie looks familiar to the faithful followers. The fact of the matter remains, though: These lessons must be learned if Oakland is to ever be a legit NFL contender.

Whether the Raiders can capitalize on this education via experience, and whether coach Dennis Allen is the right teacher, is another story. But for now, Raiders fans can be thankful for the consolation prize: Oakland is further along in the process than anyone thought it would be at this point.

Take your medicine with your team.

“I think this team has something here they can build on,” veteran safety Charles Woodson said. “I just don’t think we’re quite there yet as a team. But the great thing about being here this year is we’ve got some guys who will fight. That’s great to see.”

It’s hard on the heart, for sure, watching the Raiders flirt with legitimacy. Thursday’s showing was a microcosm for how this season has played out.

They were just good enough to ignite your fantastical side. A fumble returned for a touchdown on the opening kickoff had #RaiderNation spilling cranberry sauce on the carpet in celebration.

–Marcus Thompson II, San Jose Mercury News

Cal-Oregon At Levi’s Sounds Fun, But College Football Belongs to Saturdays

Regarding Cal football:

— There’s an element of coolness to Cal hooking up with the 49ers’ new stadium to host the Oregon game next Oct. 24. For a number of fans and media, it will be a nice, early look at the facility, and this isn’t like moving the Big Game out of Berkeley. This is Oregon, likely to hand Cal a thrashing along the lines of 55-20.

Moreover, even with the move – said to be worth roughly $1 million to Cal athletics – the Bears still have six games at Memorial Stadium, a solid number by any measure.

But, please: a Friday night?

Athletic director Sandy Barbour said the shift “gives our campus the ability to fully study the effects of weeknight games” as they impact school in session, parking and other logistical issues. Well, here’s a quick answer: Worst idea ever, no exceptions.

–Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle

Tara VanDerveer Claims Her Spot In Historic Coaching Club

Tara VanDerveer now has No. 900 under her belt, and the next question might be: How many more before she is done?

Sixth-ranked Stanford handed its Hall of Fame coach a huge milestone in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Wednesday afternoon, defeating Florida Gulf Coast 83-59.

VanDerveer. 60, is the fifth coach in women’s basketball history to reach the 900-win mark, joining Pat Summitt (Tennessee), Sylvia Hatchell (North Carolina), C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers) and Jody Conradt (Texas). She will likely pass all but Summitt by the end of the season. Hatchell sits at 908 wins (she is not currently coaching while undergoing treatment for leukemia) and Stringer has 905 wins. Conradt retired after her 900th victory.

Summitt is the gold standard, winning 1,098 games before stepping down in 2012.

VanDerveer would likely have to coach another five to six years to reach Summitt’s record, which currently stands as the most wins for a coach in the history of college basketball.

Had VanDerveer not stepped away from her Stanford program in 1995-96 to coach the U.S. Olympic team to a 60-0 record and an Olympic gold medal in Atlanta, she likely would already be women’s basketball’s second-winningest coach of all time.

“It goes fast,” VanDerveer said after Wednesday’s game. “I can remember my first game. I remember different dates and different places and obviously some really big games, but it goes really fast. I’m thankful to have coached in the places I’ve coached, for the assistants I’ve worked with, the athletic directors I’ve worked for and the outstanding players and fabulous fans. I’m very fortunate, I’ve lived a blessing life.”

–Michelle Smith,

Tags: Cal Bears College Football NFL Oakland Raiders Stanford Cardinal Tara Vanderveer Women's Basketball

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