Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
News, sports, local and regional entertainment and more!

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
Local Sports

Buying into the hype

It is that time of year when hype rules the Internet and newspapers locally and nationally.

When teams have yet to play a game, it’s hard to think good things won’t happen.

I have been a San Francisco 49ers fan for my entire life. I grew up when Joe Montana and Jerry Rice were dominating the gridiron. Guys like Roger Craig, Merton Hanks, Charles Haley, Ronnie Lott, John Taylor and Brent Jones were guys I grew up watching and was a big fan of all of them.

In the offseason, the franchise hired John Lynch as the general manager and then brought in Kyle Shanahan as the head coach. It was a package deal essentially.

I always get excited when new hires are made. The 49ers were making their third coaching hire in three years, so positive news is bound to happen eventually in a league that tries to get as much parity as possible.

I was on board from the start, and then Lynch, Shanahan and the rest of the decision makers dominated the NFL draft, grabbing two potential starters in the first round and then they took former Iowa Hawkeyes C.J. Beathard and George Kittle.

Fall camp has not been going on for very long, but everything I read is positive. I think this team is going to go 16-0 based on what I reading.

OK. So that’s not true. I don’t really believe that, but it’s easy to get caught up in all the information you gather from reporters. I follow all of the beat writers on Twitter and I try to listen to as many podcasts as I can.

It sounds like this team is much improved. The quarterback knows the Shanahan system, and Lynch and Shanahan upgraded at running back and wide receiver. The defense should be better, too.

I am not sure what all of this means, but it appears that the franchise is at least improving.

I told a buddy that I thought the team could get to six wins this year. I really believe that. And then when a national NFL draft expert released his top five picks for 2018, the Niners were not listed as a team in the top five. That means he feels good about this team’s improvement, too.

Kittle has been hurt a lot, but he started training camp as the No. 1 tight end. He should make the team and will definitely play a lot if he’s healthy.

Beathard got off to a slow start, as most rookie quarterbacks do. But he has been really good this past week, and several media folks are predicting that he earns the No. 2 job behind Brian Hoyer before the team’s Week 1 game.

It’s preseason time. The hype is there for all teams.

That means Iowa State will be playing in a bowl game, and Iowa will get back to a nine- or 10-win season.

The Cyclones’ season will come down to Jacob Park. If they can score more than 30 points per game, I think Iowa State has a shot to get to six wins. That also would include a win over the Hawkeyes, who always seem to play better when everyone counts them out.

There is a lot of hype surrounding all of my professional sports teams right now. None of them — the 49ers, Reds and Timberwolves — have been very good lately but all three have some good young talent and a chance to flip the script in the coming years.

The Timberwolves brought in Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague to go with Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. That’s probably a team that goes from no playoffs to a top-five seed in the Western Conference.

The Reds still have Joey Votto. Jesse Winker is my latest man crush. And they have several guys in the minor league system they haven’t even asked to play on the big stage yet.

Ah yes. Hype. I have no choice but to buy in.

Contact Troy Hyde

Loading more