SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS PHOTOGRAPH BY GARY REYES--02/12/2003           Dennis Erickson is introduced as the new Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers during
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS PHOTOGRAPH BY GARY REYES--02/12/2003 Dennis Erickson is introduced as the new Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers during a press conference held at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco in 2003. He signed a five-year contract worth $12.5 million, but his tenure was largely forgettable.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a column by Bay Area News Group Sports Editor Bud Geracie that originally ran in the Mercury News in January 2004 -- 10 years ago -- and wraps up the best of 2003. This is the first in a series of archived columns taking a look back at the sports world as he saw it then.

  • The man who fired Steve Mariucci did not attend the news conference, making Dr. York Mr. Hide.

  • Suggested headline after Dennis Erickson was hired away from Oregon State: "49ers Leave it to Beaver."

  • In the Super Bowl, neither the Raiders' offense nor the Raiders' defense proved to be Tampa-resistant.

  • The surprise wasn't that Jerry Jones hooked The Tuna, but that he swallowed enough pride to bait the hook.

  • Instead of filing for bankruptcy, the Ottawa Senators should have contacted the law offices of Stephen M. Moskowitz.

  • Petco Park is where those dogs, the San Diego Padres, will play in2004.

  • The Great Lakes Storm of the Continental Basketball Association signed center Marvin Gay. I heard it through the grapevine.

  • If convicted, Kobe Bryant's next team will be a prison-yard dynasty.

  • The Arizona Cardinals wasted 320 pages worth of tree for a season review that could have been put this simply: 5-11.

  • Only logical explanation for the poor outing by UC-Santa Barbara pitcher Eric Posthumus: dead arm.

  • On the other hand, David Wells was half-sober when he pitched his perfect game.

  • Livan Hernandez ate up a lot of innings, in addition to a lot of everything else.

  • Houston's Minute Maid Park actually was constructed over a longer period of time.

  • Roy Williams isn't in Kansas anymore.

  • There weren't many dumb mistakes when Stanford played Yale.

  • Talk about poor judgment: Larry Eustachy was photographed drinking a Natural Light.

  • Mike Price met his Destiny.

    Former Raiders head coach Bill Callahan once said his Silver & Black squad had to be "the dumbest team in America."  Photo by Jim Gensheimer/San
    Former Raiders head coach Bill Callahan once said his Silver & Black squad had to be "the dumbest team in America." Photo by Jim Gensheimer/San Jose Mercury News.

  • Our Man of the Year, succeeding the guy who saved his son by shooting a bear with a bow and arrow, is the guy who cut off his arm to free himself from a boulder that had fallen on him.

  • Four months after the Super Bowl, Rich Gannon threw the ceremonial first pitch at the Twins game. It was intercepted and returned for a touchdown.

  • Bill Callahan is the guy on the Raiders sideline with the shirt that reads: "I'm with Stupid."

  • John Elway's Arena Football League team fired Coach Bobby Beers and offensive coordinator Bobby Beers Jr., leading to the headline: "Elway Downs Two Beers."

  • I don't care what Tiger says, he's in a Major slump.

  • An A's fan threw a cell-phone at Texas Rangers outfielder Carl Everett. Can you hear me now?

    Former San Francisco 49ers kicker Owen Pochman was little more than a footnote in team history -- and not a good footnote. (AP Photo/Roy Dabner)
    Former San Francisco 49ers kicker Owen Pochman was little more than a footnote in team history -- and not a good footnote. (AP Photo/Roy Dabner)

  • Put a cork in it, Sammy.

  • The price of ballpark food is out of control. Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Randall Simon knocked down one Italian sausage in Milwaukee and it cost him $2,432.

  • This is your brain on drugs: Damon Stoudamire allegedly wrapped his marijuana in aluminum foil before going through the metal detector.

  • If only rednecks watched auto racing, the new sponsor would change its name to Necks-tel.

  • Owen Pochman, shanks for the memories.

  • They should just call the bike race the Tour de Lance.

  • The U.S. Field Hockey Association announced the resignation of executive director Amy Frankenstein. She's going to pursue her doctorate.

  • The WNBA made strides as a legitimate basketball league; in one week, it had a player charged with sexual assault and another suspended for drug use.

  • You won't have women's professional soccer to kick around anymore.

  • Grady Little's hook on Pedro Martinez was slower than Don Zimmer's.

  • Joe Angel, let go by the Giants, can put that one in the loss column. Wave him bye-bye.

    Follow Bay Area News Group sports editor Bud Geracie at www.Twitter.com/WakeofWeek.