It Didn’t Start With Trayvon.

James C. Anderson: dead. His crime? Walking while Black.

Most of the time when someone says they have an open mind, they really don’t.   It’s just important to them to act as if they really do.   Every now and then— certainly not often—you put the germ of an idea into an actual open mind and much to my pleasant surprise it takes hold.

For example, I received the following question from someone wondering why I said the Trayvon Martin case is just the latest example of Walking While Black.

How is the claim that Martin was killed just for “Walking while black” not a claim of racism? Or am I misunderstanding what you are trying to say?

Because Black teenagers get killed all the time for Walking While Black. It just that usually its by someone else who’s Black as well and nobody pays any attention.


When Amadou Diallo got shot 41 times what was he doing besides Walking While Black? What was James Byrd doing wrong when three White men chained him to the back of their truck and dragged him to his death but Walking While Black? What was James Anderson doing when Deryl Dedmon and his friends beat him, taunted him and after Dedmon smashed his truck over the auto worker bragged later, “I ran that nigger over?”

Is Walking While Black totally unlikely?

When the NYPD disproportionally stops Black males under their “stop and frisk” policy despite the overwhelming number of them being completely innocent, what is the justification besides Walking While Black?

It’s an old game and Black men lose every time.

When George Zimmerman, a wannabee Dirty Harry who had a pattern of calling the cops whenever he saw a Black male he considered suspicious, decided he would ignore a 911 dispatcher’s caution not to follow Trayvon Martin, what crime had the unarmed teenager committed besides Walking While Black?

It could have been Will Smith, Clarence Thomas or Barack Obama under the hoodie that night and it would have made no difference to George Zimmerman. ANY Black man would have been a moving target to him.  All that would have mattered is that asshole was in his neighborhood and didn’t belong there.

And that’s all it takes to justify killing someone who’s Black walking somewhere they aren’t supposed to be. They used to call them sundown towns. Places where if you weren’t White you better not be when it got dark. Now they call it Sanford, Florida.

It didn’t start with Trayvon Martin.  It won’t end with him either.   That much I can promise you.

James Byrd III died on this road. The circles are where pieces of his body were found.

Seeking Justice, Not Vengeance

These are the REAL Black Panthers. Accept no substitutes.

There is no situation so tragic that someone can’t find a way to either exploit it or make a buck off of it and the shooting of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer/vigilante George Zimmerman is no exception.   Nobody asked the so-called New Black Panther Party to jump into the middle of the protests and calls for Zimmerman’s arrest.   They just invited themselves into the situation to make an already volatile situation worse.

The so-called New Black Panthers announced they had placed a bounty of $10,000 for the arrest of Zimmerman and called for a mobilization of 10,000 Black men to capture him.  It’s unlikely anyone will collect the bounty, and I have serious doubts it even exists.  What this reckless and irresponsible action will do is make Trayvon’s killer a martyr for racists and allow the right-wing media machine to run to their microphones and  laptops to scare the hell out of their readers and listeners that a few guys dressed up in paramilitary gear are putting a price on the heads of their enemies.

I hate to burst the bubble of anyone who think that it’s great to put the fear of God into White folks, but these are not the Black militants you’re looking for.

There is no such thing as the “new Black Panther Party.” These are a  bunch of wannabee militants playing dress up.. They couldn’t raise TEN BUCKS to put a bounty on George Zimmerman’s head, never mind $10,000.

Two things are happening here. The Right is trying to dirty up Trayvon Martin’s reputation and the parasites and publicity whores are trying to make a buck off of him. It’s been said before and it bears repeating: DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE.

The feminist poet, Audre Lorde cautioned, “The master’s tools will never be used to dismantle the master’s house.” Apply this warning to the Martin tragedy and the ramping up of tensions by these psuedo-Panthers and everyone who seeks a just end to this story should know once we start going down the road of using the same evil tactics of our enemies, we become just as evil as they are.

Zimmerman was a vigilante and a gun-toting thug who felt his gun gave him the right to take the law in his hands. That arrogance cost a young man his life. How can it be justified to applaud a bunch of Black vigilantes trying to take the law in their hands?

I have no use for the so-called “new Black Panthers” and the real Black Panthers don’t either.

There Is No New Black Panther Party: An Open Letter From the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation

In response from numerous requests from individual’s seeking information on the “New Black Panthers,” the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation issues this public statement to correct the distorted record being made in the media by a small band of African Americans calling themselves the New Black Panthers. As guardian of the true history of the Black Panther Party, the Foundation, which includes former leading members of the Party, denounces this group’s exploitation of the Party’s name and history. Failing to find its own legitimacy in the black community, this band would graft the Party’s name upon itself, which we condemn.

Firstly, the people in the New Black Panthers were never members of the Black Panther Party and have no legitimate claim on the Party’s name. On the contrary, they would steal the names and pretend to walk in the footsteps of the Party’s true heroes, such as Black Panther founder Huey P. Newton, George Jackson and Jonathan Jackson, Bunchy Carter, John Huggins, Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, and so many others who gave their very lives to the black liberation struggle under the Party’s banner.

Secondly, they denigrate the Party’s name by promoting concepts absolutely counter to the revolutionary principles on which the Party was founded. Their alleged media assault on the Ku Klux Klan serves to incite hatred rather than resolve it. The Party’s fundamental principle, as best articulated by the great revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, was: “A true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.” The Black Panthers were never a group of angry young militants full of fury toward the “white establishment.” The Party operated on love for black people, not hatred of white people.

I want Zimmerman to be arrested, indicted, face trial and be convicted so he can spend the next 40 years behind bars. I do not want him to become some sort of martyr for racists and reactionaries. I want JUSTICE for Trayvon Martin, not VENGEANCE.

It’s a pathetic joke that these frauds are biting off the name of the genuine Panthers and presenting themselves off as the inheritors of their legacy when the truth is quite different.  If the press would bother to do their jobs and engage in a bit of fact-checking they might stop taking these importers seriously as the Black iron fist of righteous wrath.

Could the absence of justice in the Trayvon Martin case lead to riots like the Rodney King verdict?  It’s not impossible, but 2012 is not 1992 and Martin is a much more sympathetic figure than King ever was.  The passions are running high but there is a long way to go before windows start breaking and cities start burning.  It’s okay to be angry , but  caution must be taken not to allow themselves ourselves to be led around by the nose by the pseudo-Panthers.

Does the system deserve a chance to succeed where the police in Sanford failed?  Look at it this way.  If Trayvon’s parents are willing to wait and see, everybody else needs to do likewise.

Taking up the gun and following Zimmerman’s path of self-righteousness and vigilantism is not the smart move here and it isn’t going to get anyone closer to the elusive justice we all should want.

Dressing up like you're hard don't mean you are.

Guns Don’t Kill (But Hoodies Do?)

President Obama was asked about the Trayvon Martin shooting.  He replied cautiously but he didn’t duck the question

President Barack Obama said Friday that “every aspect” of the death of Trayvon Martin, the black teenager shot in Florida last month, must be investigated.

“My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin: If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said. “I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we’re going to get to the bottom of what happened.”

Asked by NBC’s Mike Viqueira to comment on the Martin case, which has prompted national outrage after the shooter evaded arrest for claiming he shot the unarmed teen out of self-defense, Obama said, “Obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids.”

He added, “I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together – federal, state, and local – to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.”

“All of us have to do some soul-searching to do figure out how something like this happens,” Obama told reporters.

The president’s remark were measured, thoughtful and sympathetic to the Martin family.  He hit all the right notes which would be slightly offset by the tone-deaf and brain-dead remarks of Geraldo Rivera, the Fox News personality (you couldn’t call him a “journalist”) who despite nobody having asked for his opinion declared wearing a hoodie killed Trayvon as much as Zimmerman’s bullets did.

When you see a kid walking down the street, particularly dark-skinned kid like my son Cruz — who I constantly yelled at when he was going out wearing a damn hoodie or those pants around his ankles. “Take that hood off!” People look at you and what’s the instant identification, what’s the instant association? It’s those crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone stickin’ up a 7-11, the kid’s wearing a hoodie. Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera or they get the old lady in the alcove, it’s a kid wearing a hoodie. You have to recognize that this whole stylizing yourself as a “gangsta”… You’re gonna be a gangsta wanna? Well, people are going to perceive you as a menace. That’s what happens. It is an instant reflexive action.

Oh, shut up, you miserable HACK.

Rivera takes blaming the victim to an absurd new low.  If only Tracy Martin had dressed his son better before allowing him to leave home, why he still might be alive according to Rivera’s perverse logic.

Then the equally swinish Newt Gingrich got in on the act to criticize the president for saying if he had a son, that son would look like Trayvon.

“It’s not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background,” Gingrich said. “Is the President suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot that would be ok because it didn’t look like him?”

Earlier in the day Gingrich told reporters that he thought the case should be investigated and suggested the shooter was at fault.

“That’s just nonsense dividing this country up. It is a tragedy this young man was shot,” Gingrich continued on Hannity’s show. “It would have been a tragedy if he had been Puerto Rican or Cuban or if he had been white or if he had been Asian-American of if he’d been a Native American. At some point we ought to talk about being Americans. When things go wrong to an American. It is sad for all Americans. Trying to turn it into a racial issue is fundamentally wrong. I really find it appalling.”

This definitely is a racial issue and it is definitely was a case of someone who didn’t look White suffering the consequences because a bully and punk with a gun didn’t like those kind of people in his neighborhood.  Why can’t Gingrich figure that out if he’s supposed to be a smart guy?

Probably because he’s not and this is way outside of the right-wing comfort zone.  They like their Black teenagers as predators, not victims.  Fox News was slow on their coverage about Trayvon Martin and now they’re chasing the story trying to catch up.  But this is not the kind of subject the Right has comfort with.  If only Zimmerman had been a cop.  Fox would have no problem rationalizing this all way as a justified shooting.

Minus that angle, people who historically have shown indifference and hostility towards Blacks now have to try to show they can be sympathetic instead. Could they look any more awkwardly inept trying to?

Why do Geraldo and Newt say stupid shit?  For the same reason a dog licks his own balls: Because they can.

The hoodie is not the problem. The perception of the hoodie is.

Did the Sanford Police Bungle the Trayvon Martin Investigation?

With Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, Jr., temporarily suspending himself after a no-confidence vote by city officials, the Miami Herald found the cops made some curious calls in their “investigation.”

As evidence that the incident was not a case of racial profiling, Lee told The Miami Herald that when the police dispatch operator asked Zimmerman the race of the suspicious person he saw, the Hispanic neighborhood watch captain did not know. Yet when the recording of that conversation was made public, Zimmerman clearly says, “he looks black.”

Initial police reports never mentioned that Zimmerman had a bloody nose or a wet shirt that showed evidence of a struggle. Attorneys for the dead teen’s family believe the information was added in a second report to justify the lack of an arrest.

• Police said witness statements supported Zimmerman’s account. But several of the witnesses expressed surprise, telling The Herald that they reported hearing someone crying for help just before a shot ended the cries. The 911 tapes of witness calls bolstered their claims.

• One of the witnesses who heard the crying said she called a detective repeatedly, but said he was not interested because her account differed from Zimmerman’s.

• For nearly a month, police never noticed a profanity Zimmerman mumbled under his breath when he called police, which some people believe was accompanied by a muffled racial slur.

• Even though investigators have the dead boy’s cell phone, it was Trayvon’s father who combed through the phone records to discover that his son was talking to a girlfriend in the moments that led up to his death. Police never contacted the girl, who told lawyers that Trayvon was alarmed because he was being followed.

“I have never seen such an incompetent investigation,
” said Walt Zalisko, a former Jersey City police commander who now owns a police management consulting company in Central Florida. “There are so many problems with this case. The problem up here is that officers receive very little training, and there is very little understanding of diversity issues.

The good ol’ boy network is so prevalent here.”

There is an assumption that we’ve left the days of Bull Connor and the paunchy redneck cops of In the Heat of the Night long behind us. Now everyone is so much more enlightened and bias-free as crimes are doggedly investigated with CSI-style technology and justice will be pursued no matter where it leads or whom it discomforts.

This is a Black man wearing a hoodie. He must be a threat.

It’s a damn lie.

Progress has been made, but not nearly enough as some would like to believe. The color of the skin of the victim and the suspect still matters. Trayvon Martin was Black and George Zimmerman appeared to be White though he self-identifies as Hispanic. It was his version of events that swiftly became the Official Story

At best the Sanford P.D. were lazy in their “investigation.” At worse, they dragged their feet, attempted to “correct” witnesses and behaved more like Inspector Clouseau than Joe Friday.

Cops deserve the support of the public when they do their jobs right. When they do their jobs wrong, the guilty go free and unpunished while the victims are buried and mourned. That’s when they deserve to be scrutinized critically and when necessary, called to account as they have in this case.

Even now, The thin blue line too often only sees tragedies such as the killing of Trayvon Martin in stark terms of black and white.

The deeper we go down the memory hole the more likely the possibility becomes the Sanford police department does not serve and protect their African-American citizens.

Any White kid in this country can go to the store and buy a can of iced tea and a bag of candy and not die for it. Can the parents of any Black kid say the same? Not in Sanford, Florida they can’t.

Color me so surprised.

Trayvon Martin’s Unforgivable Blackness

I’ve been in something of a fog for a few days over this situation.  Maybe because I’m a father of a Black young man and I have several nephews who wear hoodies and drink iced tea and eat Skittles.  I don’t think being Black, male, wearing a hoodie, drinking iced tea or eating Skittles is any justification to be shot down like a rabid dog by some douchebag with a gun.

And maybe it’s something closer to a cold rage.  Not a burning one.  I’m not ready to pick up a gun or a brick or a torch and burn something to the ground.  It’s not that kind of anger.  It’s a cold feeling of absolute hatred.   Hatred for George Zimmerman.  Hatred for his kind of paranoia and suspicion that makes all Black men guilty and never proven innocent.  Hatred for the Sanford police department covering up for Zimmerman and hatred for the apologists whom if they only had the nerve would like to publicly cheer his actions.

Apologists like the loathsome and repulsive Larry Elder.  A crazed Negro neo-coon from Cali who went on television to talk like a fool just fallen out of a tree that the Martin murder is a civic, NOT, a criminal case.

The first thing–THE VERY FIRST THING–that has to be done when the world finally becomes a better and finer place is to stuff Uncle Tom assholes like Larry Elder into a goddamn bottle and throw it out with the rest of the trash on its way to the landfill. The way sell-outs like Elder can be apologists for murder frankly turns my stomach.

Larry Elder is the worst kind of Uncle Tom.  That’s a phrase that has lost some of its luster, but any Black man who would attempt to justify the murder of an unarmed and innocent teenager isn’t Black.  He’s not even much of a man.  He’s a Uncle Tom.

Back in the day he would have been the bastard who sold his own people to the captain of the slave ship and walked away whistling a happy tune.  House Negroes don’t come much happier than this jigaboo.

Elder is about as useful as wet toilet tissue. Please God, just let me and Elder and my metal baseball bat all converge in the same blind alley one day.   I’d love to beat his bitch ass into the ground.

The Three Stooges: Afro, Larry and Rochester

The coldness has not abated.  Whenever it feels like it just might be ready to ebb, another splash of ice lands heavily on my heart.  The latest drop came from Trayvon’s 16-year-old girlfriend coming forward to reveal she was talking on the phone to him in what would be the last moments of his life.

“He said this man was watching him,” the girl said. “So he put his hoodie on, said he lost the man. I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast, I told him to run but he said was not going to run.”

Trayvon was probably feeling a mixture of confusion (why is this guy following me?) and fear (what does he want?), but he called up enough of his youthful courage that while he might quicken his steps, damned if he were going to run.

If his last act of courage didn’t cost him Trayvon Martin his life it couldn’t save it either.

But what do I know?  I am after all a Black male.  My biases are clear for the world to see.

As a responsible American journalist this is the part where I am supposed to say how George Zimmerman is innocent and he deserves his day in court and to let the legal system do its work.  I’m supposed to say that, but right now I don’t believe any of it.

It doesn’t matter if Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty because Florida’s overreaching “stand your ground” law may make it unnecessary for him to worry about his innocence because even if he is guilty he could escape punishment.

So screw the civics lessons. This has happened before and it will happen again. We will be reassured that cooler heads must prevail and the system will fix its mistake and let’s all have a Coke and a smile.  I don’t want to cool down and I don’t want to stop feeling this hate I’m feeling.  I’m not hearing any of that crap. I care about as much as Zimmerman’s innocence as he cared about the young man’s life he stole.

All Zimmerman could see was Trayvon’s skin color.  His unforgivably Black skin.  The bullet killed Trayvon, but the color of his skin condemned him in a crazed racist’s eyes.

Frankly, I hope Zimmerman burns in hell.  And he can tale Larry Elder with him.

If a society permits one portion of its citizenry to be menaced or destroyed, then, very soon, no one in that society is safe. The forces thus released in the people can never be held in check, but run their devouring course, destroying the very foundations which it was imagined they would save.

~ James Baldwin

Make the Call, Mr. President

Who will comfort the parents of Trayvon Martin?

If President Obama can express his horror over a U.S. soldier shooting down innocent men women and children in Kabul, Afghanistan, why isn’t he equally horrified over a vigilante shooting down an innocent teenager in Sanford, Florida?

If President Obama can offer his apologies to Afghan President Karzai and promise an investigation into the killings over there, why can’t he offer his condolences to Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, the parents of Trayvon Martin and promise the Justice Department will investigate his killing if the Florida officials fail to act?

If President Obama can offer his support to Sandra Fluke when she is denounced by Rush Limbaugh, why can’t he offer his support to parents of Black male teenagers for  but the grace of God could suffer a  similar fate as Trayvon?

If President Obama can invite British Prime Minister David Cameron to join him to watch a NCAA Tournament basketball game, largely dominated by young Black men, why can’t he make it equally clear acial profiling and “walking while Black” will not be tolerated by his Administration?

If President Obama can denounce acts of terror and brutality against innocents abroad, he can do likewise when the innocents live in America.    If he’s appalled by acts of cruelty and brutality far from home, he should be equally appalled when it happens close to home.

Unlike Samuel  L. Jackson, I didn’t vote for Barack Obama because he was Black and I certainly wasn’t expecting him to “act like a nigger.”.  I voted for him because he was a better choice than John McCain.   I’ll vote for him again because he’s still a better choice than Romney or Santorum.

But if Obama can’t find his voice when the innocent blood spilled is of a young Black teenager instead of a young White woman then he’s as shallow and as useless as any Republican seeking to replace him.  I already know Mitt Romney doesn’t give a shit about Black folks.  I can’t accept President Obama proving he doesn’t either.

There was both simple decency and possible political gain to the president lending his involvement in the Sandra Fluke situation.  If he can find his spine then he can find it once again now because Trayvon Martin’s spilled blood is every bit as much of a national outrage.   There’s no obvious political gain to the president by speaking out.    It’s only the moral thing for him to do as a man who holds a position of prominence and leadership.

But will he?

Some will say, “Hey, back up off of Obama.”  This isn’t remotely the same thing as what happened in Afghanistan.  That was premeditated murder and this is probably an unfortunate accident.  Taking on a gasbag like Rush Limbaugh is a good deal. The president can’t go around commenting every time a Black kid gets shot and killed.

Who’s asking him to?

If Obama spoke up every time a Black kid was gunned down, he’d be making sad speeches every damn day.   But if an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere, it isn’t expecting to much for the president to make it clear this kind of tragedy does not escape his notice.   Obama invoked his daughters, Sasha and Malia in his show of sympathy for Sandra Fluke.  There are millions of families with sons whom they love and for whose futures they fear for just as much as the president fears for his own daughters.

Those families are just as deserving as Fluke’s parents that the president shares their concerns.

Wearing a hoody when it’s raining is nothing to die for.  Eating Skittles isn’t a crime punishable by death.  Walking while Black shouldn’t mean an unnatural death and a early grave.

Pick up the phone, Mr. President.  Make that call to Trayvon’s parents.  I bet they would like to hear from you and they need to know you care as much about their dead son as you do about a living law student.  I happen to think a young man who was robbed off his future by an idiot with a gun is as important as a young woman whose future has been made by an idiot with a microphone.

Make that call, Mr. President

Will San Francisco become Peyton’s Place?

The 49er faithful is dreaming this will be the reality

It’s hard to imagine Peyton Manning wearing any other uniform than the blue-and-white of the Indianapolis Colts.

BUT…

If by some twist of fate, stroke of luck (not the Andrew Luck kind), or divine intervention, the San Francisco 49ers beat out the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos in the teams vying to sign the 35-year-old signal caller, the 49ers immediately become Super Bowl contenders.

At least that’s what the hype will be. In truth, no matter who the quarterback is next season, the 49ers will be on the short list of teams favored to be in the Super Bowl. If they land the biggest free agent prize since Reggie White, the Niners will become the prohibitive favorite.

Truth is, getting Manning in his mid-thirties is not like getting him in his early twenties, but even a older Manning is worth a look and the 49ers would be stupid not to at least kick the tires on Manning to see how many miles he has left. Whether it’s for two or three years, Peyton Manning on the downside of his career is still light years ahead of Alex Smith, last year’s incumbent.

Smith, the former Number One draft pick, showed marked improvement under coach Jim Harbaugh and he can play in the NFL, but Smith isn’t in Manning’s league. Despite the jeers from opponents that Smith is little more than a “game manager” who is basically told not to make mistakes and cost the Niners, Smith showed he can win a game with his arm and legs as he did when the Niners beat the New Orleans Saints 36-32 in the best game of the season.

The NFL has been rocked by the scandal involving the Saints’ system of setting bounties to deliberately injure opposing players. The league is extremely image conscious and for the Saints, a former Super Bowl champion and the kind of feel-good story that’s hard to pull against to deliberately trying to take guys out is indefensible. That’s why the “Where will Peyton play?” storyline is such a welcome distraction.

If Manning chooses the 49ers he’s going to have some questions he wants answered. Who is he going to throw the ball to? The Niners have an All-Pro in tight end Vernon Davis who is probably drooling at the prospect of being on the receiving end of Manning’s passes and Michael Crabtree, whose potential to become a great wide receiver exceeds his production. Then there’s Randy Moss, once the best wide-out in the game, but trying to revitalize his career after a year off. Manning-to-Moss could be the best tandem the Bay area since Steve Young was throwing to Jerry Rice.

Now THIS is something I could get used to.

What the Niners don’t have is a right guard to protect Manning. Last year’s starter, Adam Snyder split in free agency and his backup, Chilo Rachal probably won’t be resigned either. The team could use another threat at wide receiver other than the aging Moss and the streaky Crabtree. There are still a few left in free agency and if Niners don’t grab one they will probably look for a stud in the April draft.

My expectation is Manning will stay in the AFC with the Titans or Broncos than join the Niners in the NFC where he would at some point butt heads with the New York Giants and brother Eli, the owner of two Super Bowl rings to Peyton’s one and the team that beat the Niners in the NFC Championship.

Still, it’s nice to have these expectations. If Manning goes elsewhere, Smith is probably the second-best option for the 49ers. He’s a nice QB, but he’s no Manning and every Niner fan knows it.  Young agrees as he told Pro Football Talk, “I know Peyton Manning is looking for a team to join now and win a division now and go to the Super Bowl now,” Young said. “That team is the San Francisco 49ers.”

Which is true. All of the three teams can afford to pay Manning the multimillion dollar contract he can command. But which team gives him the best chance to get back to the Super Bowl? The Titans are in the same division as the Colts. If Manning doesn’t want to face off against his brother, does he really want to play his old team twice a year and the Titans are good, but not yet a contender. The Broncos made the playoffs with Tim Tebow, but they aren’t deep or skilled at a lot of key positions.

The Niners made their first priority to keep their defense together. Their biggest needs are on the offensive side of the ball, but Manning has to be intrigued at the possibility of playing with Davis, Crabtree, Frank Gore, and a motivated Randy Moss.

I’m not getting my hopes up. I’d love it if the Niners won the Manning lottery, but am I expecting they will? No.

Still, I’m going to be crossing my fingers anyway that this time next week the future Hall of Famer is sporting crimson and gold with a “SF” helmet and a big smile.

Got Peyton? No, but...