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Morning Jolt: Niners annoy another team

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Monday, November 21

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Niners annoy another opponent

The 49ers tend to bring out the worst in their opponents, including the Lions earlier this season and, most recently, the Cardinals, whose defensive coordinator derided an effective tight-end shift as "cute." The derision provided trash-talk material for at least one 49er. On a 4th-and-short play Sunday, left tackle Joe Staley said he heard the Cardinals warning each other: "Watch out for those shifts." Staley said he taunted them by cooing sarcastically: "Yea, watch for those cute things." When the teams got into their stance, he said, "I was still going: 'Here comes something cute.' Then we passed for the first down, and I was saying: 'Aw, that's so cute.'" (San Francisco Chronicle)Comment

Smith suffers knee injury in China

It didn't take long for a player, an NBA team and his new Chinese team to become case studies in what could go wrong. Guard J.R. Smith suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury while playing for his Chinese team Sunday. Smith, who played the last five seasons with the Nuggets, signed to play for Zhejiang, a Chinese Basketball Association team, during the NBA lockout. Sunday's game was the CBA regular-season opener for Smith and Zhejiang. Video and photos that surfaced from the game show Smith going for a pass while cutting through the lane, then seemingly jamming his leg on the court. He limped off the court. Photos from the game show Smith grimacing in pain. (The Denver Post)Comment

Valentine a meeting away from Sox job

The relative success of a Bobby Valentine-Ben Cherington would figure to play a role in whether Bobby V lands in Boston. [On Monday, they will] trade philosophies, assess personnel and feel out each other's personalities. Then Cherington, Boston's new general manager, will return to ownership with his verdict. If Cherington approves, sources said Sunday, Valentine in all likelihood will be the Red Sox's next manager. If he doesn't, we'll learn just how much the Red Sox's oft-criticized ownership values the opinion of the highest-ranking person in its baseball-operations department -- a tug of war over power that pervaded Theo Epstein's time as GM and looks to be changing no time soon. (Yahoo! Sports)Comment

Must-See Photo

Ravens receiver finds that long hair may be fashionable but it can also be a job hazard in the NFL. (AP)

Must-See Video

The Bucs' LeGarrette Blount goes beast mode against the Packers Sunday in Greem Bay.

Game To Watch

Tyler Palko gets a chance to match skills with Tom Brady when the injury-riddled Chiefs visit the Patriots in Foxborough, 8:30 p.m. ET

  1. Kansas City Chiefs
  2. New England Patriots

SI Vault: More Earl Monroe

This Day in Sports

  • 1944 -- Former NBA star Earl "The Pearl" Monroe is born.
  • 1977 -- Orioles first baseman Eddie Murray is named the AL Rookie of the Year.
  • 1971 -- The New York Rangers score a record eight goals in the first period.