Balls: Super Bowl City has got no game 

click to enlarge Despite Super Bowl 50 actually taking place in Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco will serve as the Super Bowl City and host festivities up and down Market Street. - COURTESY SUPER BOWL 50 HOST COMMITTEE
  • Courtesy Super Bowl 50 Host Committee
  • Despite Super Bowl 50 actually taking place in Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco will serve as the Super Bowl City and host festivities up and down Market Street.

San Francisco won't be just The City in the next few months. Now, it's also Super Bowl City, a designation that the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee announced at a feel-good get-together Tuesday.

The group unveiled a jazzy black-and-gold logo that has bridges and the Coit Tower in the background. Officials also talked about plans for a fan village at Justin Herman Plaza, where people will be able to mingle at no charge for eight days.

All of which is well and good. But wouldn't it be better if Super Bowl City actually, um, you know, hosted the Super Bowl game?

In his dream world, Ronnie Lott thinks so, too.

"If I could, I would play the game on Mission Street," Lott told Balls. "The reason I would want to put it there is that's probably the most eclectic, most diverse area in San Francisco. This is the heart of where the 49ers were founded."

Sure, we know how stadium deals work these days. The 49ers and San Francisco were on the verge of one a few years ago, but the economy and the dollar signs weren't in alignment. So The City held tight while the 49ers accepted a sweetheart offer from Santa Clara to bring the team there. Turns out Super Bowl City got a pretty good deal itself — it stands to make a financial killing off the Super Bowl 50 celebration. Still, you'd think more creative ways could be found to make it work for both sides.

"We're not one of those cities that's in the Super Bowl rotation," Lott said. "I would love for us to be part of it. Hopefully, we'll earn that by showing that this is a great community. I mean, if you're a traditionalist, you never want to leave your roots. I've met so many fans who wish the 49ers were still in Kezar Stadium."

Sounds like a plan to Balls.

SUPER ZINGER: Mayor Ed Lee had the best line at the Super Bowl kickoff when he said, "I'm the last play, and I'll make sure I run it across the goal line."

Yep, just what the 49ers need — bulletin-board fodder for the Seattle Seahawks before the first game has been played.

KERR WAS ROBBED: The NBA Coach of the Year went to Mike Budenholzer — God bless you — while the real Coach of the Year finished second. That would be Steve Kerr, of course.

In his first season, Budenholzer took a below-average Atlanta Hawks team to first place in a conference that featured the Cleveland Cavaliers and a bunch of YMCA teams. Hey, not bad. Yet it's harder to elevate a playoff team to historic levels, which is what Kerr pulled off in his debut behind the bench. Take into account that Kerr walked into a potentially volatile situation and his team played in a loaded Western Conference, and his performance becomes that much more impressive.

Balls just hopes that Budenholzer doesn't rest himself on the night of the presentation ceremony. He's a Gregg Popovich guy, you now.

NO FINER 49ER: The last time Balls spoke with Bob St. Clair was years after the Kezar Stadium field was renamed in his honor, but the monstrous Hall of Fame tackle still couldn't get over it.

"I can't believe they actually did that," said St. Clair, who passed away Monday at 84 years of age. "Heck, I was just happy to have had the privilege to play there."

Actually, it was the other way around, because no athlete had deeper roots in the Bay Area than The Geek, as he was known back in the day. He attended Polytechnic High School, starred at USF, was drafted by the 49ers and played 189 home games at Kezar Stadium, which has to be a record of some kind. He served as Daly City mayor and, San Mateo County supervisor.

How cool was it that one of the greatest 49ers of them all was alive while Bob St. Clair Field was around?

COACHES GONE NUTSO: New Orleans coach Monty Williams suggests the NBA investigate excessive crowd noise. Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price F-bombs the local media for reporting injury information. A sign that says "We don't lose to Spanish players" appears in the Portland Trail Blazers' locker room, then coach Terry Stotts defends it ...

So where's Billy Martin when we need him to restore some sanity around here?

Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? (A compliment?!?) Send them to pladewski@sfexaminer.com and you may get your name in the paper one day.

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