Walcoff: Niners will be in trouble against Colts 

Hey 49ers fans, here’s a ghoulish thought for your Halloween weekend: No matter who plays quarterback at Indianapolis on Sunday, San Francisco is likely headed for a third straight loss.

Sure, Alex Smith is the wise choice to face the Colts. I’m on record as saying Smith should have had the starting job back in September. But imagine the excitement of Pro Bowl defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis facing an offensive line that continues to struggle with pass protection.

It’s the right side where things have gone all wrong for the Niners. Past his prime veteran Barry Sims starts at tackle for the injured Tony Pashos while Chilo Rachal and Adam Snyder continue to tag team the spinning turnstile at guard.

Adding to Mike Singletary’s woes is a defensive secondary that dearly misses former Pro Bowl safety Michael Lewis, knocked out three weeks ago with his second concussion of the season.

If you thought Brett Favre, Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub torched the 49ers the past three games, wait until Peyton Manning gets a chance to work his aerial magic.

Meanwhile, Sunday in San Diego JaMarcus Russell gets another chance to boost his 34th worst in the league QB rating against the resurgent Chargers. The “Big Enigma” isn’t solely responsible for another disappointing Raiders season, but dropping some pounds and that indifferent look on his face would go a long way in rallying his team. Nevada oddsmakers don’t have a line for missed tackles (by Tom Cable’s count it was 15 last week against the Jets) but if they did, take the over.

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch

Let’s see if I have this right. On Nov. 5, a group of Cal professors will be asking the faculty senate to approve a non-binding resolution to end university subsidies for intercollegiate sports. The UC Berkeley annual athletic budget is $65 million with a $6 million deficit.

Debts are often forgiven or paid for by a fund of discretionary interest income and gifts from Bear Backers.

Apparently, the Sports Grinch Club doesn’t think much about Cal athletes who have won more than 100 Olympic medals and have finished seventh in three of the last four years in the prestigious National Association of Collegiate Directors Athletic Cup.

There are over 1,000 student athletes competing for 27 varsity teams at Cal providing a great boon to campus and community pride.

I was a varsity soccer player at the University of Connecticut and the experience resonates to this day.

I wonder if Grinch Club spokesman, Professor Michael O’Hare, realizes that the man who donated millions to the school where he teaches and for which it is named, the Richard Goldman School of Public Policy is one of the many Cal alumni who may not be as inclined to support a university that didn’t support intercollegiate sports.

KGO (810 AM) Sports Director Rich Walcoff can be heard weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on the KGO morning news and is also the co-host of “Raiders Gameday” and “Recap” talk shows on KSFO (560 AM). He can be reached at RichWalcoff@gmail.com.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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