Section 925 Bracket Pool

Attention Section 925ers:

The ball is tipped, there you are... The Section925 Bracket is open for business. This years bracket winner will take an Oakland A's prize pack (see below) and can pick it up at the Section 925 A's Opening Day Tailgate in Lot A on April 6th.


Here is the link for the Section 925 Bracket:

The password to get into the group is: hoops

As always we will use +Seed scoring and a 'Ship tiebreaker. Section925 will provide round-by-round updates.

Feel free to share with fellow Section 925ers or 415ers or 212ers or 209ers or whatever...

Bob Melvin is My Spirit Animal: Thoughts on the Upcoming Season

Bob Melvin, or BoMel as those of us who know and love him refer to him, is the brightest star shining in the Athletics' sky. BoMel came to the A’s right around when my fandom was beginning to move from an every now and then kind of viewer to an every game possible fan, back in 2011. 2011 was a great year for our household. I will never forget opening day of that year. We were in Columbus, Georgia as my husband (and fellow Section 925er, @Jphunsucker) was gearing up for the Best Ranger Competition. Out walks Josh in every piece of A’s gear he had packed with him and demanded I take an opening day photo. This photo marks the dawn of a new era of Athletics baseball in our house.


In May of 2011, we moved from Kansas back to the great state of California and back to televised A’s games. A month after we moved home BoMel was named intermin manager. In the fall, Josh took up law school and I had a lot of time on my hands with a baby and another on the way. Enter: A’s games. Each day passed with the soothing sounds of Glen Kuiper and Ray Fosse. These broadcasters and the players were my saving grace. I would see BoMel out there managing the team with a controlled calmness about him. No matter which way the game was swinging, if the camera panned over to him, I felt reassured. He was a steady force of nature, never swaying in the face of adversity. I would ask myself, as children were melting down, throwing a tantrum, or existing on minimal sleep… how would BoMel handle this?

Now obviously I’ve never seen the man manage the team on a day-to-day basis. But looking at the last four years, his stats speak for themselves: clenching the AL West in 2012 and 2013 and limping to an early wild card game exit in 2014. I can only assume that he has extraordinary motivating skills. He has foresight to allow the players to be themselves and he fosters an environment that is conducive to bonding amongst teammates.


I think this year is when we will see BoMel thrive. Last season had some extreme highs and lows. We lost a lot of players in the offseason and I think the general feel is that fans are just unsure at this point what the team is going to look like. This is the moment when I look to my spirit animal and feel comforted. Don't worry guys, he’s got this. He’s going to get the team to gel and come together in time for opening day.

Yesterday at Fanfest he said this, “Our fans are as constant as anything we have around here. They come out and support this group, root them on, and inspire them. We brought on guys that we think are going to make us better. It’s as simple as that.”

I think its safe to say he’s not worried. Therefore, neither am I. I’m the opposite. I haven’t been this excited for the season… maybe ever. I love how we operate when we’re the underdogs. A little bit of adversity goes a long way with this club. That, combined with some fresh new faces who are just excited to be in Oakland (who wouldn't be?), is going to make for an exciting season. Get me to April 6th!


Section 925 Podcast Episode 44 - "The Bro" Talks Deflategate

A relic of the Candlestick Era,

Former 49ers intern-equipment manager "The Bro" (@TheBro49) sits down with Tripper (@Tripperino) to set the record straight on #Deflategate. The Bay Area cult hero discusses his football playing days in Oakdale, his time on the Candlestick sidelines, football air pressure, and his predictions for Super Bowl XLIX.

Find it here:

Or on iTunes:

Fresno State’s Paul George Attempts to Dethrone King James in Game 7

Paul George is not afraid to attack the rim

By Connor Buestad (

At a certain point, when you hear something repeated over and over enough times, you start to believe it 100%. You just buy in completely and disregard all alternatives. I’m sure someone, somewhere, has proven this with a certified psychology experiment. Nevertheless, I did this with LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

Talk to anyone in the know about the NBA, especially two weeks ago, and propose an alternate scenario to the Heat boat-racing the field and cruising to an NBA title. What you’ll get in return is a “what have you been smoking” type look, followed by a laundry list of reasons why the Heat are unbeatable. How LeBron James is “a physical specimen that simply cannot be stopped.” How they have far too many weapons, how they reeled off a 27 game winning streak during the regular season. Even how “LeBron is better at the game of basketball than Michael Jordan.”

Fortunately, Fresno State product Paul George has stood up and had something to say about all of this, and by golly, it has been a pleasure to watch.

Rewind to last month and the Indiana Pacers were a marketer’s worst nightmare. The Pacers-Hawks first round series was billed as virtually unwatchable by the networks, as ESPN and Turner Sports wanted no part of it. Most games were relegated to NBA TV. Think of Knicks-Pacers in the 90’s on NBC, now imagine the opposite, and there you have Pacers-Hawks, Round 1.

Clearly, David Stern and co. were pulling hard for a Heat v. OKC NBA Finals, and who could blame them. Durant v. LeBron could, and still can, be the closest thing we’ve had to Bird v. Magic in quite a while. But god forbid if the Finals ended up being Pacers v. Spurs. The College Baseball Super Regionals on ESPN2 could potentially challenge those ratings.

Of course, this is sports, and there is a reason why you play the games. And after last night’s Pacer win in game 6, NBA fans will be granted a special treat on Monday, an Eastern Conference Finale featuring the untouchable, God-like LeBron James, vs upstart Paul George.

The media blitzkrieg began Saturday night and will continue up to tip-off on Monday, and the question is quite simple. Does LeBron re-announce his presence with authority and captivate America with a 35 point performance on the way to a resounding Heat win? Or does he try to get D Wade and Bosh involved too much, lose, and take all the blame?

Quietly, the even bigger story, is that Paul George has arrived on the scene out of nowhere and is primed to crash the NBA’s well crafted party.

Sure, Paul George has had a presence during All-Star Weekend in the past few years, and yes, he led the Pacers through an undeniably impressive 2012-2013 campaign, but taking LBJ the brink in the East Finals this early in his career seemed a bit of a stretch.

Palmdale, California, the desert community on the other side of the San Gabriel Mountains from LA, is where Paul George grew up, and it is safe to say he was never mistaken for a future NBA superstar. One of the few schools that came calling during George’s Senior year was Fresno State. Not the Fresno State of old that featured Jerry Tarkanian, Chris Herren, and Rafer “Skip to my Lou” Alston, but the Fresno State that was a fairly bad WAC team that was hardly a threat to make the NCAA’s come March.

In his two years in Fresno, George developed a singular reputation for being a talented dunk-artist, who routinely posterized victims up and down the West Coast. Perhaps his signature collegiate dunk came inside the hallowed grounds of McKeon Pavillion in Moraga, when the 6’8” swingman plastered St. Mary’s guard Mickey McConnell all over the Contra Costa Times Sports Page.

Inevitably knocked for being just another super-athlete who loved to dunk but couldn’t shoot, George instead found the focus to develop all aspects of his game, blossoming into a knockdown shooter, all the while never sacrificing great effort and effectiveness on the defensive end.

No one would ever accuse LeBron james of being a manufactured superstar created by the NBA to sell jerseys and tickets. Looking for substance over style? Look no further than LeBron. A player that produces, and produces, and produces. Yet there is no denying the fact that wherever LeBron has gone in his career, drama has followed (much of it self-imposed).

It has been written many times over that once LeBron got that monkey off his back and broke through and won his first title he would never look back and take a complete stranglehold of the league. This could very well still be the case. Take care of business at home vs the Pacers on Monday night, then cruise past the aging/boring Spurs in the Finals, and LeBron suddenly has two in a row, with a Jordan-esque three peat in the crosshairs. Lose to the likeable, understated, electrifying Paul George in Game 7, and the LeBron James/NBA story takes a major, major twist.

A LeBron-Durant title fight apparently wasn’t in the cards, but I’m confident an LBJ-Paul George bout under the bright lights of South Beach will do more than suffice.

Casting over the beast that is LeBron

Section 925 Podcast Episode 26 - NBA Playoffs

The Heat advanced past the Bulls in Round 2, but not before things got chippy. Kevin Weeks (@kpluswax) and Mike Carley (@BigWoaf88) join Connor on the Bianca's Fresh Take Hotline in a memorable Ménage à pod. 'Woaf calls in from Minneapolis with a stadium-souvenir cup full of Gin & Tonic, while Weeks checks in from an undisclosed location in Gotham City. The trio bounce around an array of topics, all loosely related to the 2013 NBA's Conference Finals.

Click here to listen:

It's Opening Day

Image By: Josh Hunsucker (@jphunsucker)

It’s Opening Day And the new spring brings the same dream, As the green and gold faithful awake. Throw on your cap, bitter winter has given way.

Echoes of familiar cracks, Line drives in the dry and distant Arizona sun. Cold, hardened hearts warm, The season has begun.

Forget the sting of seasons past. Forget bitterness and doubt. Buy into possibility That we will be standing after the final out.

Today is our new chance To raise up together and stand. So we can shout over and over, Let’s Go Oakland.

That is why we come. That is why we stAy. That is why we cheer. And that is why they play.

It’s our year, See you at the ballpark, It’s Opening Day.

Section 925 Podcast Episode 17

Boobie Dixon and the 49ers are #TurntUP for the Super Bowl in NOLA Mike Carley (@BigWoaf88) calls into the Section925 Mobile Podcenter from a snowed in Minneapolis. 'Woaf gives his two cents on the Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Weekend, Royce White and Mantei Te'o. Carley also chimes in on Randy Moss calling himself the GOAT, Joakim Noah leading the league in assists, and half baked ideas to make All-Star Weekend better.

Check it out here or on iTunes.

Section 925 Podcast Episode 10

Click to listen... Section 925 Podcast Episode 10

Connor brings his buddy Spinelli back inside the Section 925 Podcenter for a half hour chat. The two chop it up on topics ranging from the LA Lakers slow start, the Warriors quest for an 8 seed, the Knicks throwback roster, the Giants title run, the Raiders struggles, the Jeff Tedford era, and the SMC Gaels hoop season.

"Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" - Week 8

By: Josh Hunsucker (@jphunsucker)

Despite the booming Bay Area sports scene, world titles and all, we've be admittedly slacking. But not without good cause. Anyway, I'm back for your Niners pleasure with a quick Week 8 preview.

Let's get the un-pleasantries out of the way. The 49ers and Cardinals don't like each other. Especially Joe Staley. The feeling is mutual for the Cardinals D-Line.

The funny thing is, just like Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, they've got a lot in common but are pitted as enemies. Both bolster stout defenses, good special teams, an array of offensive weaponry at the skill positions, quarterbacks that are enigmatic (that the closest I can go, obviously big edge for Alex here), and good coaches. And just like Pat and Billy, they are out to kill each other tonight.

I would be remiss to say that the Niners D isn't likcing their chops at an Arizona offensive line that is missing their starting tackles and on pace to give up 80 sacks. I predict a big day for Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks. Let's see if Zona can effectively counter with screens or quick stuff.

On offense this week will be a another stepping stone week. The offense has taken a few steps back over the last couple weeks but we'll see if Frank Gore can continue to run strong and if Mike Crabtree can build on his already strong season. PS Alex Smith, Vernon Davis is on the team.

Niners 20-10.

Section 925 Podcast Episode 9

Section 925 Podcast Episode 9

Connor brings Mike Carozza of into the Section925 Podcenter to discuss the American Pastime. The two discuss the Oakland A's AL West triumph and also preview the MLB playoffs. Topics covered include Miggie Cabrera's Triple Crown, Chipper Jones' swan song, the Greg Maddux era of Atlanta Braves baseball, the merits of Colin Cowherd, Stephen Strasburg's shortened season, the Tim Lincecum-Buster Posey feud, and much more...

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Section 925 Podcast Episode 8

Section 925 Podcast Episode 8

Josh and Andy revel in the A's unbelievable run to the AL West Championship and an MLB playoffs featuring both the A's and Giants. Andy mulls over the Giants pitching rotation and seeks Josh's advice on who should be his "casual A's fan" favorite player. Josh rants on the A's "House Money" season, then both slip into the inevitable Battle of the Bay Part Duex scenarios.

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"Bedlam in Oakland" - An A's Diehard Recounts an Electric Night at The Coliseum

By Devin Reno Wright (@TheRealReno)

I feel like I should first point out that I have been going to A's games since I was around 12 years old, and I have seen some amazing moments at the Coliseum. Jason Kendall stealing home on an errant throw from the catcher to pitcher against the Angels, Bobby Kielty hitting a grand slam that was called by Cheese Robertson, Scott Hatterburg winning the 20th game in The StreAk on a fucking walk off bomb after not even starting. But never before have I been to an A's game like the one I witnessed last night. It was an absolutely unbelievable night made believable by a team that nobody thought would do anything memorable this year.

As I left my office to join my coworkers for a few drinks before jumping on BART, I couldn't help but notice how much A's gear I was seeing in downtown San Francisco. Jerseys, hats, t-shirts... green and gold everywhere. I was thinking to myself "maybe this game might have like 15,000 folks." But as I got off the train to walk across the bridge to the stadium, I quickly realized that this game was going to be as full as I have ever seen

Getting to our seats, the chants of "Let's go Oakland" hit me like a wall. It was so loud and crazy, I just could not believe it. My stomach turned into a knot and I felt a rush of adrenaline as the A's took the field. I knew instantly that this could be an unforgettable night. A quick 3-up and 3-down for the Rangers gave the crowd something more to cheer about as the A's came to bat. The players and fans knew getting an early start would set the stadium on fire, and that is exactly what happened. A quick 2 runs by the A's and the fans could smell the blood in the water. My ears were ringing with "Let's go Oakland". The "booop.....boooooop" game was going strong from the A's fans as the Rangers bullpen started getting warmed up before the inning was over. It seemed like the Rangers were frazzled already. Like they didn't expect this when they flew into Oakland. And why should they in all honesty? If I have never seen anything like what was going on, then the Rangers players certainly hadn't either. I only wished C.J. Wilson was still playing for Texas, so he could finally stop with all the shit talking he does about the city of Oakland, the team, and it's fans.

A's fans know that a 2-0 lead is a great start, but in a game against Texas, no lead is safe. They're simply too talented offensively to think you are going to shut them down. But Jarred Parker did an amazing job of getting out of jams, not walking batters, and limiting damage. When the Rangers came back and tied the game at 2, there was no sense of panic, but it did make the crowd more intense. Literally every single pitch was huge. People were standing on every 2 strike count (it should be noted that the ump had a very delayed strike call, which only added to the intensity by having to wait for the ball strike call). Every contact made by an A's bat drew a reaction. Throw overs by the Rangers drew loud boos and jeers. The fans responded to every hit like they were home runs. And then in the fifth, the A's bats took control.

Back to back doubles had the crowd in a frenzy. A stolen base by Coco and a sac fly gave the A's 4 runs causing fans to go nuts. High tens, hugs, and the Bernie were all #trending HARD.

Between innings, the cavernous concourses of were filled with chants and horns. Bathroom and food lines were 30 people deep. They would only move when the A's came to bat, and people would just bail out of line to watch the A's hit. People in the stands were dancing like crazy when the Bernie song, and Call Me Maybe came on. It wasn't a rowdy drunk crowd like we are used to for Yankee, Giants, or Red Sox games. This was crowd that, as the game wore on, just seemed genuinely more and more happy to be there, and cheer on their underdog team of goofball party boys.

As the bottom the ninth came up, I checked my phone and saw a text from a friend (who shall rename nameless), who said "Does Ball Four have it in him?" This was no time to respond to pessimism I thought. For the last 3 hours, I had been surrounded by the most optimistic bunch of people that I have ever seen. There was no room for pessimistic thoughts in this place, I said to myself.

In the bottom of the ninth, "One" by Metallica started blaring and the crowd rose to their feet and began rolling their arms in beat to the song a la Daunte Culpepper circa 1999. The music was getting louder and arms started waving like crazy. I must have said it 1,000 times, but I have NEVER seen the Coliseum like this. I wasn't in shock, but I was in awe. Green, gold and white all standing and cheering and pumping their fists to the heavy drums and guitars of Metallica is a beautiful sight to behold. The scene was just.....Awesome. Balfour got 2 quick outs on 6 pitches. The crowd was screaming and so ready to rock I thought the upper deck was going to collapse. A 3-2 count set the scene, and with a dirty fastball, the fans erupted. Kool and the Gang could barely be heard over the roar of the crowd. People hugged, danced and high fived for what seemed like 30 minutes. Nobody left their seats as the players sprayed champagne and light domestic beer all over themselves and the fans behind the dugout. Josh Reddick even decided it was OK to plant a pie in his manager's face during an on-field interview. The fans of green collar baseball stayed and partied long after that last pitch. It felt like we were partying with the team.

As Dud and I left to start the BART ride home, neither of us could say much other than "wow...just wow". We asked, can you frame a ticket from a game that sealed a Wild Card spot? When we finally took our seat on the train, I realized that it didn't matter that it was just a wild card spot. This game will be remembered for more than that. It was a game that, for me, will always be remember for bringing out the positives from a city, and a team that people don't expect very much from. It was a game that, after all the bullshit Oakland has gone through, showed that this team is more than special. They are unforgettable.

"Dignity" - 49ers v. Lions Week 2

Image By: Josh Hunsucker (@jphunsucker)

*Author's note: If this post feels like a mail-in, just understand that I was busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest this week.

This week involves two teams that are looking for dignity in one way or another.

The Lions are looking to salvage a little from last years home loss and of course this. The Niners on the other-hand are still looking to solidify some of the knee jerk and fleeting dignity that the media mea culped all over them after last week's win in Green Bay.

The bottom line in this game is that the Lions' offense is extremely similar to Green Bay's. Therefore, our (yes our) defense should be well versed in handling a pass happy offense. PS- How about Navarro Bowman as the primary dime LB last week? What a tasty treat when you don't have to wear down your #1 LB all season and the backfill is an All-Pro.

Offensively, look for the Niners to build on what they did last week. Smitty (he earned the moniker this week) will likely be cross-pollinating the offense by giving the WRs and TEs all a little taste of the ball, with VD getting freed up for a big gainer as a result. Also, look for the Niners to counter the stout Lion D-line with some Kendall Hunter screens.

Well, that's all the time I have. And just to verify how busy I was, I passed up pregame field passes and free tickets because I was too swamped with school and work and school and life.

Niners win 27-23 and ask the media have you seen dignity?