Those Whom Speak the Truth Will Suffer For It.

Eric Holder,  President Obama’s first attorney general,  had only been on the job for a month when he called out the whole damn U.S. of A. for its timid reluctance to talk about race in an open and honest way.   Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards. Though race related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race.”

Conservatives already didn’t like Holder before,  but they were really pissed at him for being rude enough to remind the nation this isn’t a post-racial paradise.   When Black people tell White people things like this they are going to get crushed for doing so.    This is where Colin Kaepernick finds himself in today.

If you’re a professional athlete and you’re actively supporting Black Lives Matter, you’re putting yourself in the frying pan.   If you refuse to stand for the Star-Spangled Banner, you’re cooked.   America loved Muhammad Ali  after he got sick and no longer dangerous, but they don’t want NFL players walking in his shoes.

As a longtime San Francisco 49ers fan, my interest was rekindled when Jim Harbaugh selected  Colin Kaepernick as the quarterback to lead the 49ers back to somewhere Alex Smith never could get to:  The Super Bowl.  They came up three points short to the Baltimore Ravens, but the future looked bright for the  Niners and Kaepernick looked like the guy to return the franchise to its Montana/Young glory days.

Only four players remain from that 2012 Super Bowl runner-up and after today’s final  roster cuts today while Kaepernick is  still one of them,  it’s only as the $11 million back-up to the wretched Blaine Gabbert.

The scourging of Colin Kaepernick takes several different lines of attack.

“Kaepernick is a rich, well-paid football player who should shut up because where else is he going to enjoy this level of success.”

Because only poor people have the right to protest?

“Kaepernick is a lousy football player who should be cut, traded or ride the bench in San Francisco. Who is he to say anything?”

It’s true Kapernick is not the hot property he once was, but he is an American citizens and American citizens are not required to stand and observe the National Anthem. This right extends even to professional football players. Incredible, yes I know.

“Kaepernick isn’t Black so what does he know about how Black men experience racism?”

That one came courtesy of NBC Sports’ Rodney Harrison. Harrison, who suffered at least 10 concussions in his playing days and was suspended four games in 2007 for using Human Growth Hormone, later “apologized” for questioning Kaepernick’s racial roots because he didn’t know Kaepernick was Black.

You may not believe it, Rodney Harrison, but this IS a Black guy. (Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

You may not believe it, Rodney Harrison, but this IS a Black guy.
(Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

I can’t even.

“I acknowledge Kaepernick’s right to protest, but since America is one of the least racist countries on the planet, he’s protesting about the wrong thing.”

Here’s the thing:  if you only agree someone has the right to protest when you agree with what they’re protesting about, you don’t really believe in the right.

Kaepernick is not the next MLK. He’s not the next Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Muhammad Ali or any other Black athlete who has stood up (or sat down) to protest the racial inequities of America. He’s the first Colin Kaepernick and he’s following the light all those before him cast upon the darkness of American racism.

Some guys don’t get it. Like Rodney Harrison. Some guys do like Bart Scott.

“I think the death of Muhammad Ali has stirred the pot. It has moved the needle to where athletes are becoming socially conscious. They’re not concerned about the bottom line. They’re not concerned with their dollars. They understand that they have a voice and [they’re] almost ashamed of how they used their voice in the last 20 years since Jim Brown, Lew Alcindor, Muhammad Ali stepped up for social change. Now, guys are ashamed and I think they’re going to try to do something about it.

“We just honored the same man that we persecuted back in the day. It’s always the right time to fight for justice, fight for what you believe in. It’s never a convenient time to talk about what you believe in. You’re supposed to wait til tomorrow? Until he’s not a player? Who’s going to listen? If he had tweeted, who would have cared?”

The way this supposedly washed-up, scrub QB is being vilified, scorned, mocked, and damned, you would think he came out of the huddle, ripped off his jersey revealing a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt, and then pulled out an American flag and set it on fire on the 50-yard line. All he did was remaining seated on the bench instead of standing for an anthem that has lost its meaning for him.

Maybe Kaepernick eventually goes and maybe he stays.  Either way, the 49ers are going to suck.  This is a rotten team. and the bookmakers give them the least chance to make it to the Super Bowl.   I knew this before this drama jumped off so where Kap stands on the national anthem, Black Lives Matter or being able to check down to a receiver probably isn’t going to make much difference to the overall product on the field.

American history is soaked in the blood of Black people. It is the nation’s Original Sin and it didn’t end as much as it evolved. If it hasn’t why are we still having this discussion. Racism is a cancer, not a bruise. It goes dormant and then it blazes back to ferocious life.

White Americans have a remarkable talent to ignore the past, sugarcoat the future and hope the future never comes. This works for them until every so often someone like Colin Kaepernick comes along to remind them, that’s the America they created for themselves. It’s not the one Black Americans live in.

Thanks,  Colin for reminding the rest of America, but its gonna cost you.

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The Colin Kaepernick/49ers Soap Opera Will Never End.

Colin Kapernick left not just his heart but his game in San Francisco (Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

Colin Kapernick left not just his heart but his game in San Francisco
(Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

Stepping back on the sports beat for an  update of the San Francisco soap opera  of  “Will Colin Kaepernick Finally Find Happiness Somewhere in the NFL?”   After playing “should-he-stay-or-should-he-go” for most of the off-season,  the Niners neither cut nor traded Kaepernick and guaranteed his $11 million salary.   A few days later trade talks heated up again with the Denver Broncos.   The hold-up this time is the Broncos only want to pay $7 million of Kap’s salary  and want the Niners to pick up the rest.   The Niners don’t see why they should have to pay a player who wants to leave.

I don’t either, but I really don’t care anymore.  The Niners are going to stink either way, so whether Kap stays or goes, it’s not going to make a bad team good and the 49ers are very bad.   They’ve gone from a huge success under Jim Harbaugh to a NFL dead zone under GM Trent Balike and owner John-Boy York.

After last season’s 17-week shitshow, for the first time in eight years of blogging I said nothing about the 2015 edition of San Francisco 49ers, the NFL’s long-running soap opera. This off-season is no exception. There’s an excellent chance by this time tomorrow,  Kaepernick will be on his way out of the city by the bay to become Payton Manning’s replacement as the quarterback of the Broncos.

Whoopie-damn-do. Stay or go.  Does it even matter? The Niners would probably be better with Kap than without it, but nobody wants to keep an unhappy employee around and especially one who’s been angling for a ticket out-of-town for months now.

Even if he stays, there’s a good chance Kap could still be moved if the 49ers draft a qb in next month’s NFL draft.  Because he’s maintained a stony silence, nobody knows for certain what he wants to do. Personally, I believe there were two teams he was best suited for: the Browns with Hue Jackson and the Eagles, before Chip Kelly was fired and became the Niners coach.

Will be your quarterback for $11 million.

The 49ers set the price high on Kap based on his past performance, not how awful he’s been for the past two seasons. Nobody was going to give up a 2nd round pick for him, but the Broncos offering a 4th round pick they didn’t even have was a joke and then a 5th was a bad joke.

The Browns made a better offer, but they wanted Kap to take a big pay cut and he balked at that. There’s no upside going from one bad team to another bad team. The Browns are probably better off with RGIII. He’s another QB whose career was once brimming with potential, but he got injured and went to war with his coach and teammates and lost badly. How many fallen stars does any team really need on the roster? At least Griffin’s not coming off a lousy season and still recovering from surgery.

Kaepernick and his agents gambled their was a hot market out there for his services and could bluff the 49ers into dealing him away. Problem was the team had no incentive to give him away for nothing. The Niners started asking for a high price for damaged goods, negotiated it down to a lower price and walked away from the Browns and Broncos when they couldn’t get the deal they wanted. Donald Trump would approve. Stuck with nowhere to go, Kaepernick’s refusal to take less than the $11 million he had guaranteed was the only smart decision he’s made.

These days $11 million is a lot for a backup, not for a starter. Even now, I’m sure Kap can beat out Blaine Gabbert. Not that the team is any better since they did nothing in free agency. This is a last place team and will continue to be for some time.

It would be nice if Kaepernick realized the best place to revitalize his career is right where he’s at. It would be nice if Chip Kelly could take that rocket arm, that mobility, that athleticism and add some touch, some ability to read defenses, check down to available receivers and the other things Kaepernick should be proficient at by now.

He isn’t and I wonder if he ever will be.    If Kaepernick doesn’t want to try to resuscitate his career with the 49ers, it’s probably going to have to be in Denver or nowhere.   There’s just not a lot of other teams beating down the doors to trade for a guy who looks like he’s been badly rattled and lost all his confidence.

Hang 'em up and move on, Kap. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Hang ’em up and move on, Kap. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

 

Don’t Believe the Superhype

"I left my Dab in San Francisco..."

Sorry. There is no dabbing in the Super Bowl.

The only thing we like in America more than celebrating our winners is tearing apart our losers. We wildly cheer them one week when they thrill us and we boo them without mercy the next when they do trip up and do a face plant.

Cam Newton smiled and threw touchdowns and dabbed and danced his way to a Superhype Bowl. Then a funny thing happened. He essentially wet the bed in front of 111 million people.

Superhype Bowl 50 did likewise. Two teams clenching, grappling, and throwing half-hearted pokes at each other (at least both the offenses were pretty anemic) until someone screwed up in a way their defense couldn’t cover for their ineffectual asses.

How bad were the Panthers and Broncos on offense? This bad.

The Panthers had 21 first downs. The Broncos had 11.
The Panthers converted on 3 of 14 third downs. The Broncos on 1 of 14.
Cam Newton and Peyton Manning tasted the tacky, torn-up turf of Levi Stadium a combined 12 times in sacks.
The two teams fumbled seven times losing four of them.
Both quarterbacks threw more interceptions (1 each) than touchdowns (none).
Both quarterbacks combined for slightly over 300 net yards passing which is pretty awful in Roger’s Goodell’s pass-crazy NFL.
The two teams punted 15 times.

That’s some lousy football, folks.

Didn't do much to win it. Just didn't too much to lose it.

Didn’t do much to win it. Just didn’t too much to lose it.

The Panthers lost ugly and the Broncos won ugly and everyone still had to go to work the next day. The game was bad and the commercials were bad and Coldplay was really bad. Where’s so super about that?

Cam Newton led the Carolina Panthers to a 17-1 record going into Super Bowl 50. Then for the next 60 minutes he played like shit and now those 17 wins before that second loss don’t count?

Newton didn’t lose the Super Bowl. Not by himself though it’s his contributions which will be scrutinized without pity or mercy. He fucked up over under sideways down, but the hammering the Panthers took on Sunday night in San Francisco? That was a team loss.

Newton didn’t play well enough but Jonathan Stewart and the running backs didn’t run well enough and Ted Ginn, Jerrico Cothcery, Greg Olsen and the receivers didn’t catch enough passes. Graham Gano shanked a makeable field goal. The offensive tackles couldn’t block a busload of angry nuns let alone DeMarcus War and Von Miller who regularly snatched the jocks of Mike “Turnstile” Remmers and Michael “Don’t Put Me On The Blindside” Oher on their way to smash Newton again.

Head coach Ron Rivera fussed and cussed and wasted his red flag challenges and pretty much stood on the sidelines looking like a man who just knew he had left his wallet in the toilet before the National Anthem. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula had no clue what to do to keep Cam from getting creamed because whoever the offensive line coach is hadn’t told him before leaving the stadium at halftime and was updating his resume on Linkedin in a cab on his way to the airport.

After the game Manning shamelessly plugged Budweiser and denied CBS an announcement that this was indeed his last rodeo which indeed it needs to be because his right arm has all the strength of a wet noodle. For what his contributions were to the Broncos 24-10 win, there are third-string scrubs on 31 other teams who could eke out a limp stat line of 13 completions on 24 attempts for 141 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.

Please retire, Peyton. You got your 200th win and your second Superhype Bow ring. Now go sit down and hum that horrible Nationwide Insurance theme while you pound down some rancid Papa John’s pizza and wash it down with some nasty-ass Bud. See you in five years when you go into the Hall of Fame.

Go away, Peyton.

I repeat: THERE IS NO DABBING IN THE SUPER BOWL.

I repeat: THERE IS NO DABBING IN THE SUPER BOWL.
As for Cam and the crew, there is no dabbing at the Superhype Bowl. For your immediate future there is only an incoming storm of endless condemnation of how immature you are and how you need to grow up and respect the game.   Oh, and you and your team are a bunch of choking dogs.   They’ll probably remind you of that too.

Shake it off, Cam. If they didn’t like you before, they’re loving how much they get to hate on you now. If success has a thousand fathers and failure is an orphan, you’re all alone in the end zone as you gloomily reflect upon how close you came and how far you still have to go.

This was an unsatisfying end to an extremely satisfying season. Winning 17 games and a league MVP does not suck. The Panthers are young and tough and if the front office is smart, they’ll find some more receivers and some offensive tackles that can roadgrade oncoming linebackers. Put that on your “to do” list, and I guarantee the Panthers will be back in the Superhype Bowl before the Broncos are.

But until then, Newton and the Panthers will hear it loud and hear it loud. Hear it good and don’t forget how it made you feel when you heard it. Then next season, remember those names and make them laugh out of the other side of their mouths along with the split lips and broken teeth.

The Panthers aren’t going to sneak up on anyone next season. Good. When they see you coming with blood in your eyes it will make the ass-whupping you’re bringing with you all the worse.   Let their hate be your fuel.

I hope those Panthers are not playing the 49ers next season. That is, unless they get rid of Colin Kapernick and the Niners run Blaine Gabbert out there. Then I want the Panthers to stomp the cowboy shit out of them.

See you at SB100?

See you at SB100?

Why Hate Cam Newton Because He Has More Fun On His Job Than You Do?

Cam is the Man for the Fans.

Cam is the Man for the Fans.

One of the smarter moves I made last year was calling up DirectTV and asking for a discount on the NFL Sunday Ticket (and I ended up getting it for free).  Last year was the first year I actively avoided Niners games.  It made zero sense to pay $300 to watch the 49ers stack up 5 wins against 11 losses.  That would have been an expenditure even my extremely tolerant wife would have given the side eye too.

I can’t say what any other Niner fans did to escape watching a deadly dull football team stumble through such a rotten season even the Cleveland Browns put a foot all up in that ass,  but my refuge was to follow the Carolina Panthers and their charismatic QB, Cam Newton, the likely NFL Most Valuable Player.

The Panthers went 15-1 in the regular season and crushed the Seahawks and Cardinals on their way to the NFL Championship and punched their ticket to Super Bowl 50 where they face the Denver Broncos, hoping to win what appears to be a last run for a ring for 39-year-old Payton Manning.   The Broncos feature a kick-ass defense and an aging, creaky QB who looked frail and fragile at times this season, but rebounded somewhat in the playoffs.

It should be an epic match-up between the old gunslinger trying for one last shot at glory and the new fast draw who is cocky and on top of his game.    As dreary and miserable as slogging through the 49ers’ Season in Hell was, the tonic was watching the Panthers’ wide-open offense and take no prisoners “D” plow through the NFL, and it was enjoyable to watch Newton play with a smile on his face  and making plays with his legs as well as his arm.

Newton had the sort of season where it wasn’t only fun to watch him, he was having fun doing it.   The trouble is if you have too much fun in the No Fun League you’re going to take some from the fans (not Carolina fans mind you).

15-yard penalty for Dabbing While Black.

Don’t Hate Me Cuz U Can’t Dab Like Me.

Here’s a sampling of the dogpile from Pro Football Talk:

Newton’s style is obnoxious, juvenile and bush league that’s why people don’t like him. Not because he’s black. Russell Wilson is black and NFL fans respect his style because it is professional and shows humility.

·         Cameron “the thief” Newton celebrates a first down when he is losing by 24 points. The guy is the definition of ME ME ME.

 ·         Newton has always been about trying to get as much attention as he can get. It doesn’t matter to me whether or not it can be backed up. I just can’t find it possible to actually like him.

 ·         I don’t think any fan has a problem with celebrating. But Newton celebrates every TD like he just won his 15th straight super bowl, cured cancer, and created an unlimited source clean, free energy for the planet.

 ·         Once Cam Newton starts acting like a Professional he will be elite like Peyton.

I always enjoy when someone says “it’s not because he’s Black” and then immediately follows up with an example of a Black person they find acceptable.  It’s even more hilarious to say when Newton starts acting professional like Peyton Manning that will make him elite.

Does that mean Newton has to start shilling lousy pizza for a right-wing millionaire and be investigated for using human growth hormone?

Football is both a kid’s game and a billion dollar business. Cam loves the kids and the kids love Cam, especially when after the Panthers score, Newton hands a ball to a kid who is usually so excited they’re probably going to sleep with that ball for the next five years.

Young, Incredibly Gifted, and Black. Rich, too!

No kid who gets a football from Newton thinks he’s a selfish showboat who only cares about himself.  Newton pisses off other players and purists, but he’s delighting the Panthers fans and developing a national following for the team.  That’s good for the business of the NFL which is far from being the most fan-friendly sport.

Cam Newton does not take games off because he’s getting drunk and lying to his employers or fighting in strip clubs or depositing babies across the NFL     If the worst thing anyone can say about Newton is they don’t like how he celebrates a touchdown, they should be mad at the other team’s defense for not stopping him.

I don’t know if Newton reads James Baldwin, but he explained it a long time ago when he said, “The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world’s definitions.”  All those small-minded types clutching their pearls and grumbling how Newton doesn’t act like that nice Russell Wilson or that elite Payton Manning are missing the point.  Cam Newton chooses to define himself and that threatens the White world that insists only they can do that.

They will never forgive Newton for that so he might as well keep on dancing and dabbing and having a good time all the way to a Lombardi Trophy on Sunday.

If Cam Newton scowled and frowned his critics would say he needs to smile more.   He can’t win with them and shouldn’t bother to try.

Thankyouforlettingmebemyselfagain.

 

How Burfict and the Bengals Bungled In the Jungle

Vontaze Burfict: It’s no fun to watch a man meltdown in public.

It is a testament to the power of the NFL that on a weekend of mostly lousy football games they can come up with a compelling story when two players choose at the last minute to show their butts and turn a memorable win into a catastrophic loss.

Meet the 2015 Cincinnati Bengals, but wave “bye-bye” because they pulled out a choke job of epic proportions as they gave away a game they had won to their hated rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 18-16.

I can take bad football…to an extent. The Chiefs/Texans game was nothing but bad football. The Steelers/Bengals was bad, then it got good, then it got crazy, then it went right off the rails with some of the STUPIDEST football I’ve seen in a loooong while.

The Bengals had come all the way back from a 15-point deficit and all they had to do was run out the clock.  Pittsburgh was missing starting QB Ben Rothelisberger after a sack delivered by linebacker Vontaze Burfict.   Jeremy Hill coughed up the ball on a fumble and a few moments Burfict’s big play was negated when he went headhunting for Steelers receiver Antonio Brown.  That got the Bengals flagged for a 15-yard penalty and then cornerback Adam Jones added a second unsportsmanlike penalty thus turning a 50 yard field goal into a 35 yard which kicker Chris Boswell put through for an improbable win for the visitors.

Burfict and Jones were morons, but so were the officials whose non-call of  Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier helmet-to-helmet kill shot to Bengals running back Giovani Bernard in the 1st half.  There’s NO excuse for the Bengals melting down at the end and giving the Steelers 30 YARDS in personal fouls. That’s just stupid. At the very least the Bungles should cut Jones loose and send Burfict to anger management classes.

“Now Taze, make plays, but don’t do anything stupid out there, ‘kay?”

Burfict is a wrecking ball on the field. He causes havoc on opposing offenses. He sacked and knocked Big Ben out of the game and made an interception. You want him out there and you need him out there, but he has to control the fury he plays with or he’s gonna get flagged and cost his team a game.

If they can’t block you, they’ll bait you. Which is what happened.

Football is as much a mental as it is a physical game. As we’ve seen before Mike Tomlin isn’t above playing head games to get an edge. Steelers coach Mike Munchak scrapping with Bengals’ Reggie Nelson on the sidelines?  Head game. Another Steelers coach Joey Porter coming out on the field (and you know he was yapping) and baiting Jones into losing it?  Head game.

Ask Bill Belicheat if you don’t believe me. Head games work!

Even injured starting quarterback Andy Dalton knows how badly Burfict’s brain cramp cost the Bengals.

“You can’t have stupid penalties at times like that,” Dalton said. “Vontaze is obviously a great player for us. He’s done a lot of really good things. So, I’m not saying he’s hurting this team. But the penalties are.”

The Steelers didn’t choke and lose their poise in the clutch and the Bungles did. Which is why Pittsburgh has so many SB rings and Cincinnati has so few–like none.   It is a true blessing for Starvin’ Marvin Lewis to play for Mike Brown, a cheap skate owner who runs his team like a corner carry-out.

You think  Jones would keep around a coach with an 0-7 record in the playoffs after 12 years? Nah. Brown should fire Lewis because he can’t close. He won’t. Same old sorry ass Bengals. Lewis and Brown deserve each other.

Jones is a moron, but he’s a moron with Super Bowl rings and the NFL’s most valuable franchise. What’s Brown got but a plastic ring he found in the bottom of a Cracker Jack box?

The Bengals had pulled off one of their greatest comebacks in a critical game with a backup QB. They had it right there. Hill’s fumble was costly, but the dumb and frankly, selfish plays of Burfict and Jones made it fatal.

You cannot lose your cool or go headhunting at that point of a game and hand Pittsburgh 30 free yards. Play smart, play in control, win the game and send the Steelers to the showers. That’s all it took and they blew it.

This one is on the Bengals. Win as a team and lose as a team. They lost because they lost their cool when it mattered most to keep it.

Hey, Marvin? Mike Tomlin owns your butt. Again.

This Is How Tom Brady Sacked Himself

Same as Watergate, the cover-up is always far worse than the crime.

If Tom Brady were smarter than he is egotistical he would have said, “Hey, I like the football to be soft. I like any competitive advantage I can get. It’s not cheating, but I apologize. Bill me” and probably skated with no suspension, a $25,000 fine and a stern “don’t do that again.”

Do that, and we’re all over and done with Deflategate, the dullest and  least insignificant “scandal.”   The Patriots cheated?  In a game where they anally violated the Colts 45-7?   In God’s name WHY?   Brady is as close to a football god as we’re likely to see.   Swallow the icky medicine Lady Brady and go make another Super Bowl run.

But oh no, that wasn’t good enough. Tommy Boy decided not only did he want NO suspension and NO fine and NO punishment for cheating, he wanted the NFL to bend over and apologize to him. Hubris and dickish swagger, thy name is Brady, Belicheat and Kraft.

Sorry, but no player, no coach, no owner and no team is bigger than the rest of the NFL. Brady wouldn’t cooperate, came up with a bullshit story about destroying his phone and dared Roger Goodell to suspend him.

Dare accepted. See you in court.

Bradys-soft-balls

Nothing is certain in a court of law, but judges do not like overturning the decision of an arbitrator. That’s why there is arbitration in the first place; so these matters don’t end up in a judge’s courtroom. That’s where the Patriots will be placing their hopes Brady will be able to play in the season opener

Brady is risking delaying his suspension until later in the season when the Patsies might need him for a playoff push, but hey, better to feed his ego and hurt the team than own his screw-up and take his medicine like a big boy.

Hope it’s worth it to you, Tom. Pride is a nasty mutha.  Lose this match against the league and you lose big, baby.

Guess we’ll find out how a judge sees it. I’d still take Lady Brady in my fantasy football draft team, but I’d still want a good back-up for the first four games.

One, We’re Done! Cowboys Choke (Again!)

The Cowgirls aren’t’ America’s team. America loves WINNERS!

Live by the lucky call.  Die by the unlucky call.

A week after benefiting from one of the worst blown calls in the history of the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys traveled to the not-quite-frozen, but pretty torn-up tundra of Lambeau Field to take on a noticeably hobbled Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers.   This time Tony Romo didn’t throw the big interception at the worst time.   In fact, he threw a high one for loudmouthed but undeniably talented receiver Dez Bryant to go up…up…UP for and seemingly pull down over a flailing Packer defender to put Dallas on the one-yard line to put them in position to score the go-ahead TD.

That’s how it was supposed to play out.  What happened was Green Bay’s coach threw the challenge flag and the referee overturned the call.  Bryant didn’t have possession of the ball all the way to the ground.  Bad call?  So sad, too bad.  Ask The Detroit Lions what it feels like to get screwed by the zebras without lube.

Shed no tears for the Dallas Cowboys.  Actually, if you’re a fan,  you can shed all the tears as you want.  Me, I’m laughing my ass off because nothing is more fun in pro football than seeing Jerry’s Kids sent to the showers.  As a 49ers fan in the unfamiliar position of having nobody to root for in the playoffs, I’ll take pleasure in rooting against America’s  Republican Team.

He's fallen and he can't get up.

He’s fallen and he can’t get up.

It’s a good thing for the NFL the Cowboys are finally worth hating again.   It was getting old kicking around Jerry’s Kids when they were stinking like piss-soaked winos lying in the gutter.   It’s fun to hate the Cowgirls now they have finally returned to respectability.   All the sometime-fans pull their Dallas gear out of the back of the closet, squeeze into in and start screaming, “How ’bout them Cowboys?”

So what about them Cowgirls?

Bashing Jones as a swaggering douche is easy because he provides so many reasons to boo and hiss him.   Head coach Jason Garrett always has the confused look of a guy who can’t remember if he flushed the toilet after a particularly foul dump.   But Romo is the easiest target to take down.  In a decade as quarterback Romo has amassed an unimpressive 3-5 record in the playoffs with no Super Bowl appearances.   Romo is paid like an  elite quarterback without ever producing elite results , but I’m cool with it because Jerry Jones blowing his dough on a second-rater like Romo sits well with me because my two favorite teams are always the 49ers and whoever beats Dallas’ ass.

I’m like to say I’m sorry but I’m really not sorry at all for Jerry’s Kids..  Jones can go get some more Botox because there’s a few muscles in his face which aren’t completely frozen yet.  Drop Bryant back off at the daycare.   Garrett is a free agent who can go anywhere anyone wants to offer him a job.  Nobody will, so he’ll be back and the sucking will continue.   The biggest loser is Chris “Kool-Aid Man” Christie who came out as a Cowgirls guy (figures!) who may have had lap band surgery, but that dramatic weight loss hasn’t dramatically kicked in quite yet.

Am I bitter my 49ers didn’t make the playoffs, but the Cowgirls did?  Sure.  I’m not above being petty.  I have no shame in finding pleasure in the miseries visited upon Jones, Romo, Bryant, Garrett, Christie and the entire Cowgirl Nation.

I know I suck. I’ve ALWAYS sucked!

The fall of America’s Republican Team augers well for the NFL.   The worst case scenario would have been a Patriots vs. Cowboys Super Bowl (otherwise known as Hitler vs. Satan).   Half of our national nightmare has been averted.   If the Cowgirls return to the Super Bowl the terrorists win and who wants that?

Buh-bye!

Good Goes Bad, Bad Gets Worse.

"Oakland?  I gotta move to OAKLAND?"  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

“Oakland? I gotta move to OAKLAND?” (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Tomorrow is the last day of the 2014 NFL season. An elite few will be still be ballin’ hard as they try to make the playoffs. Everybody else is just getting this last meaningless game the hell out of the way, try not to get hurt (though some guys may try to hurt somebody else if only to take out their frustrations) and then clean out their lockers.

“What will happen, will happen,” Harbaugh told reporters when asked about his future coaching plans, “What will not happen, won’t happen.”

What will not happen is another season with James Harbaugh freaking out on the sidelines as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

Four years ago, Harbaugh was The Man, the chosen One who would lead the 49ers out of the poverty of the Dennis Erickson/Mike Nolan/Mike Singletary years back to the Bill Walsh Super Bowl riches.  Didn’t turn out that way.   The history of how the good times turned bad have been detailed by reporter Tim Kawakami but suffice it to say, it’s not really a shock the 49ers and Harbaugh are about to break up badly.

To be a 49ers fan is to be shooting for the future while simultaneously shackled to the past. It’s not Jim Harbaugh’s fault he isn’t Bill Walsh (or even George Seifert). It’s not Colin Kapernick’s fault he isn’t Joe Montana or Steve Young (but he’s not Jeff Garcia or Alex Smith either).

When Harbaugh packs his bags to return to Michigan and a reported $8 million yearly check, he will be the highest paid coach in college football. This would be a nice pay raise from the $5 million the 49ers are paying him and would bump Harbaugh into the Sean Payton/Pete Carroll/Bill Belichick neighborhood without actually winning a Super Bowl like those guys. To put this in perspective the 32nd lowest paid NFL coach was the already whacked Dennis Allen of the Raiders.   Even a nobody like this was pulling down $3 million, so never feel sorry for a fired NFL coach. They’re all overpaid.

“Aw man! The singer forgot the lyrics of the National Anthem!”

 

 

In his wake the 49ers will either promote one of their defensive coaches, Jim Tomsula or Vic Fangio. If they decide to start fresh, look for the team to seek out an offensive coordinators such as Denver’s Adam Gase or New England’s Josh McDaniels in hopes someone can resurrect the 49ers DOA offense and if he isn’t traded, Kapernick’s career.

There are many reasons for Harbaugh and 49ers front office to part ways. A below .500 season after coming one completed pass from a second Super Bowl berth is an excellent one. Of all the disappointing underachievers in the NFL, nobody is as disappointing and underachieved more than the 2014 49ers.

Despite getting the Niners to the NFC Championship game three consecutive years, they only won it once and went on to lose a heartbreaker against brother John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens. Winners know how to close and Harbaugh never could. He repeatedly came up short in the biggest games. Coupled with an inability to win the arms race with arch-rival Seattle Seahawks, despite the impressive win-loss record, Harbaugh leaves San Francisco better than he found it, but still frustratingly distant from the Gold Standard days of Walsh and Montana.

If owner Jed York and general managerTrent Baalkie wanted to make the fans happen they would order Harbaugh to fire offensive coordinator Greg Roman, make him play out the last year of his contract and put down in writing a promise to make Harbaugh the highest paid coach in the NFL if he could (a) beat the Seahawks and (b) get to and win another NFC championship.

Hello, I must be going.

What Harbaugh wants as much as money is control. He wants to pick his own players, draft his own rookies, sign his own free agents. He wants to pick his own G.M. who will do all those things the way he’s instructed to do them and hammer out the messy and boring contract details. What Harbaugh wants most the 49ers won’t give him which leaves teams like the Raiders and Jets that might happily go along with Coach Khakis can do the kind of renovation job he did with the Niners with these two perennial bottom-feeders.

The failure of the Niners was a team effort.   All-time rushing leader Frank Gore is a free agent who wants to stay put, but at 32 year old and a $6 million salary, he’s not coming back at that price. Anquan Bolden is 34 and Kapernick’s most reliable receiver and that’s a worrisome combination. Ray McDonald has already been whacked for his off the field problem and Aldon Smith is probably right behind him. Justin Smith is thinking retirement, Vernon Davis has vanished from the gameplan and former first rounder Michael Crabtree is too slow to stretch defenses and too unreliable to be a go-to receiver.

An offensive line full of highly-paid first rounders has become a sieve as Kapernick is the most sacked QB in the league.   Stud linebacker Navorro Bowman was injured in the NFC Championship loss to the Seahawks and never made it back to the field.   The talented troublemaker, Aldon Smith served an eight gamesuspension which sapped the defense’s pass rush capabilities and he may not be back.   Last year the Niners ended the season with one player on injured reserve.   This season the number jumped to 16.    “Next Man Up” is the ruling philosophy in the NFL and the 49ers are about to apply it to a winning, but difficult head coach.

“He’s my best coach. I didn’t enjoy here until we started winning. Since he’s been here, I’ve been winning.” That what Gore said about Harbaugh.  Crabtree added, “He’s one of my favorite coaches I’ve ever played for… He’s a player’s coach. He’s just a good dude. Everyone has their own opinion, but he’s been a good dude to me. And this team.”

Yet Harbaugh came up short on discipline as time and again a Niners player would show up on a police blotter.  Instead of cutting the bad actors loose, Harbaugh and Baaike would make excuses and extend second, third and fourth chances.  There isn’t space to list all the Niners who posed for mug shots during Harbaugh’s tenure,  but the handling of defensive end Ray McDonald is a signature moment of this whole shitty season.  McDonald was investigated by the police for striking his pregnant girlfriend but not charged.  Instead of suspending him the 49ers allowed McDonald to keep playing.   After sliding by for beating up a pregnant woman, McDonald rewarded the team’s trust by his name popping up in a sexual assault.  That was a bridge too far even for the lenient and lax 49ers brain trust and they cut McDonald the same day.

The blame for the team’s flame-out will fall primarily on Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman and both will be gone next season and veterans Gore, Crabtree, Mike Iupati, Justin Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Aldon Smith and Vernon Davis all possibly decamping as free agents, salary cuts or retirement.   This will be a drastically changed 49ers team in 2015 and no matter who takes over its hard to see similar success forthcoming.

“Who’s Got It Better Than Us?” was the war cry Harbaugh rallied his players with when the Niners were one of the league’s best teams.   Now they’re not.   The answer to the question has become,  “Lots of other teams not named the San Francisco 49ers.”

Don’t worry for Jim Harbaugh.   He’ll do just fine wherever he lands.   It’s less certain the 49ers will do likewise.

 

Those khakis will be worn somewhere else next season.