Depriving, Deflating 

Raiders' new password: Defense

SAT 8/13

D is the name of the game for the new-look Oakland Raiders as they dip their toes in the chilly waters of the NFL preseason this Saturday against the 49ers at SF's breezy Monster Park. The Raiders are making a show of improving their defense, pointing to the addition of Number 1 draft pick cornerback Fabian Washington (Nebraska), a speedster, to beef up their defensive secondary. If he makes the team, Florida native Washington will join the likes of the legendary Charles Woodson and safety Calvin Branch in the defensive backfield. This weekend, in the first preseason game of 2005, they'll probably get a good look at the 49ers' new acquisition, quarterback Alex Smith. Smith, a two-year player from Utah who just signed the richest contract in 49er history, is competing with Tim Rattay and Ken Dorsey for the starting job. Let's hope the Raiders' newfound Deadly D will make it tough for him. Kickoff is 7 p.m. Saturday at Monster. Go to for the complete poop. -- Kelly Vance


Footie Jr.

Kicks for Kids

How many future Landon Donovans and Freddy Adus are out there on America's soccer fields? Find out beginning Monday at one of two East Bay MLS Camps 2005 -- in either Clayton/Concord (Boatwright Fields) or Castro Valley (Canyon Middle School). The five-day sessions (three hours per day), sponsored by Major League Soccer, are for kids as young as four and as old as sixteen, and cost from $61 to $155 depending on age and skills level. Price includes a ball, a shirt, and an Earthquakes ticket. All campers must bring shinguards and a water bottle. Register online at
-- Kelly Vance

SUN 8/14

And Then, After Lunch, ...

A few weeks ago, it was runners escaping from Santa Rita jail. This Sunday, it's nothing less than the Rock. Hardy triathletes who think they can top Clint Eastwood will raise the stakes with AlcaTRI XXV -- Escape from the Rock Triathlon -- The 25th Annual Ultimate Escape, a notoriously grueling event that features a chilly 7 a.m. 1.5-mile swim in the bay from Alcatraz Island to SF's Aquatic Park, a 2.5-mile run to Crissy Field, a 13-mile bike race on a hilly, looped, closed-course route through the Presidio, and finally a 7.5-mile run through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, including up the infamous Sand Ladder at Baker Beach. And you have to pay $200 (individual) or $360 (relay) to do it. Register, if you dare, at -- Kelly Vance


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