sports columnists

VAN DIEST: Iceland set good example for Canadian men’s national soccer team

VAN DIEST: Iceland set good example for Canadian men’s national soccer team

The Canadian men’s national soccer team can learn a lot from Iceland. Not just on the field when they face each other in an exhibition game in Irvine, Calif., on Wednesday, but also in regards to
NFL notebook: Luke Kuechly announces retirement

NFL notebook: Luke Kuechly announces retirement

Luke Kuechly retired from the NFL on Tuesday night. In the second stunning NFL player retirement in less than five months, arguably the top inside linebacker of the 2010s, Kuechly of the Carolina
NFL notebook: Guess wrong on 4th down, pay the price

NFL notebook: Guess wrong on 4th down, pay the price

The only sure things in life are death, taxes, picking the wrong line at the grocery store, and howls of outrage from fans and critics whenever an NFL head coach’s decision to either go for it, or not
LONGLEY: Packers dial it up when pressure is at its highest

LONGLEY: Packers dial it up when pressure is at its highest

GREEN BAY, Wis. — There are any number of ways to measure a team’s ability to withstand the pressure of the post-season. And we certainly saw some of the worst of it in the four games of the
Hubris is all that stands between the 49ers and the Super Bowl

Hubris is all that stands between the 49ers and the Super Bowl

So long as the 49ers show up to Levi’s Stadium correct, they’ll be heading to Miami on the team jet.
The 49ers found their identity, broke the Vikings’ will, and cracked the NFL Playoff code

The 49ers found their identity, broke the Vikings’ will, and cracked the NFL Playoff code

The 49ers' dominated both lines of scrimmage against the Vikings and put themselves one win away from the Super Bowl.
SIMMONS: Have you see a goal better than the one McDavid scored? I haven’t

SIMMONS: Have you see a goal better than the one McDavid scored? I haven’t

You see it the first time and you’re not sure what to think. You watch it a second time and it looks even better on the replay. Then you watch it and stop it and rewind and watch it again in slow
Seahawks rookie receiver Metcalf is underrated no more

Seahawks rookie receiver Metcalf is underrated no more

SEATTLE – A pain in the neck for D.K. Metcalf turned out to be a diamond in the rough for the Seahawks and a big reason they’ll be at Lambeau Field on Sunday night. A season-ending knee injury at Ole
Revived Rodgers leads new-look Pack attack into post season

Revived Rodgers leads new-look Pack attack into post season

GREEN BAY, Wisc. — It is still among the most cherished sporting landmarks in North America, a football shrine towering over a small Wisconsin town to welcome its rabid fan base. But Lambeau Field,
TRAIKOS: Quebec premier right on need for Habs to either trade Price or Weber

TRAIKOS: Quebec premier right on need for Habs to either trade Price or Weber

Normally, politicians don’t make the best hockey analysts. But in this case, Francois Legault might be onto something. It was a week ago when the Quebec premier, who had grown increasingly frustrated
TRAIK-EOTOMY: Oilers need a top-line winger to ensure playoff spot

TRAIK-EOTOMY: Oilers need a top-line winger to ensure playoff spot

Ken Holland doesn’t make trades. At least, he didn’t make many of them when he was the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings. But as the GM of the Edmonton Oilers, he needs to make one now. If not,
‘MISSING THAT GOLD MEDAL’: After injury setbacks, Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse is ready to chase glory again at Tokyo Summer Games

‘MISSING THAT GOLD MEDAL’: After injury setbacks, Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse is ready to chase glory again at Tokyo Summer Games

When the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro came to a close in 2016, there were some certain conclusions. Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps were unassailable legends. Ryan Lochte had just learned the concept of
TRAIKOS: Has Oilers’ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins lived up to the hype?

TRAIKOS: Has Oilers’ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins lived up to the hype?

Eight years later, how would you describe the Edmonton Oilers’ decision to draft Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? It’s not an easy question. Compared to who was selected after him, it wasn’t necessarily the right
Bills QB Josh Allen ‘halfway’ there after OT playoff loss

Bills QB Josh Allen ‘halfway’ there after OT playoff loss

HOUSTON — After two seasons of evidence, can we conclude yet whether Josh Allen is the Buffalo Bills’ long-term answer at quarterback? Probably it’s still too early. But he might be halfway there,
The 49ers now have a gold-paved path to the Super Bowl

The 49ers now have a gold-paved path to the Super Bowl

The Vikings took out the 49ers' top competition in the NFC playoffs — but don't think Minnesota is now a juggernaut
TRAIKOS: Oilers’ McDavid, Draisaitl are doing the job of five players

TRAIKOS: Oilers’ McDavid, Draisaitl are doing the job of five players

TORONTO — The Edmonton Oilers have two players who are tied for the lead in the Art Ross Trophy race. But if you want to know whether things have changed in Edmonton this season, it’s best to ignore
Patriots playoff ouster triggers the breakup of Brady’s bunch

Patriots playoff ouster triggers the breakup of Brady’s bunch

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Gutted yet gracious in defeat in the late hours of Saturday night, Tom Brady admitted he doesn’t know the next step in his football future. The six-time Super Bowl champion with
SIMMONS: Keefe uses rare human approach to get Leafs on his side

SIMMONS: Keefe uses rare human approach to get Leafs on his side

It isn’t complicated. It’s not done very often. But Sheldon Keefe has adopted a rather human approach to gaining the trust of his Maple Leafs players. So far, it appears to be working splendidly for
Kurtenbach: I thought the Niners would go 7-9. Here are all the ways they proved me wrong in 2019.

Kurtenbach: I thought the Niners would go 7-9. Here are all the ways they proved me wrong in 2019.

Looking back at how the 49ers made me look like a fool is also an opportunity to reflect on a season for the ages.
How the 49ers went from the No. 2 overall pick to the No. 1 seed

How the 49ers went from the No. 2 overall pick to the No. 1 seed

The 49ers win over Seattle brought catharsis and validation — it also set up San Francisco with an optimal path in the NFL Playoffs.