Bay Area: Where damaged reputations come to annoy us

Bay Area: Where damaged reputations come to annoy us
March 16, 2014, 7:15 pm
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This would be the first time the Bay Area had hosted such a confluence of damaged reputations since . . . oh, hell, we completely forgot about pre-Harbaugh Alex Smith and JaMarcus Russell.
Ray Ratto on Matt Schaub and Blaine Gabbert

Apparently there is a huge furor over Louisville only being a 4-seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament, which means one thing and one thing only:

People’s ideas of what constitutes a furor are frankly embarrassing.

[RELATED: Stanford reaches NCAA Tournament for first time since '08]

Really? A four-seed is a crime against nature and humanity? Nancy Grace is shrieking at an empty apartment building in rage over this? Morgan Freeman is lining up scientists for the next Through The Wormhole: When Brackets Go Rogue?

Well, let us help you with this: Seeding is arbitrary nonsense done by a committee built solely on the idea of patronage and favors done and power coveted, and the more brackets you plow through, the more you realize it. The NCAA Tournament is and has always been about matchups and time zones rather than anything else, and even at that, someone still wins six games in a row and nobody remembers where the winner was seeded when the post-tournament “He’s a genius and they’re all first-round draft picks” blatherization.

So if you want to take Louisville to win the tournament, and that’s what you want your bracket to say, go for it. You’re not winning anyway, no matter what teams you put in what slots. You may as well just lie to your boss about needing to see all the Thursday and Friday games, and then just lay on your couch drunk and wearing only a robe, sweats and an old sweat-stained Pirates’ bellman’s cap and watch on-demand reruns of Deadwood. Nobody’s asking you what you thought of the tournament on Monday


One more swift knee in the nethers of the tough-guys-don’t-say-when-they’re-hurt ethos was delivered by St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, whose career was shortened due to concussions and collisions from his catching career, re: ESPN’s Jayson Stark:

“I did a very poor job, at the end of my career, of really telling people how weird and how tough the circumstances were for me after getting that last concussion, how that impacted my life,” Matheny told Stark. “Because I didn't want to be the guy for change. I didn't want to be the guy whose name was on this. I also didn't want to look like a guy who was bitter and trying to gain something personally. None of those were true. What I did was, I kind of sat back. And the only people that really knew were my family, for about 18 months. I aged 50 years in the blink of an eye. And every time I'd read these articles about some of these hockey guys and football guys, I'd know exactly where they're coming from.”

Matheny said he'd “apologized to the league" for not coming forward earlier, and said he feels guilty “because it was only a matter of time” before other catchers suffered similar issues, or other serious injuries, as a result of a collision.

Buster Posey forgives you. At least he’d damned well better.


The rumors out of Houston suggesting that the Texans and Raiders are talking about a trade to send quarterback Matt Schaub to Oakland are interesting in at least one sense: It would put the two most savaged quarterbacks of 2013 in the same general area -- Schaub in Oakland, Blaine Gabbert in San Francisco.

This would be the first time the Bay Area had hosted such a confluence of damaged reputations since . . . oh, hell, we completely forgot about pre-Harbaugh Alex Smith and JaMarcus Russell. Time sure flies when you're trying to claw out your own eyes.

[RELATED: Report: Raiders, Texans in Schaub trade talks]


I’m so totally good with having a whip-round to raise money so that this guy can buy a Didier Drogba jersey instead of going so revoltingly DIY.

Then again, I’ll bet Drogba feels the same way, and he’s got to live with that image with his name attached to it for the rest of his life.


And finally, in case you’re also asking what Phil Jackson can do to “fix the Knicks,” try to keep the image of a veterinarian waving a cleaver around like Gordon Ramsey on crank. It probably is the only solution and conceptually would make fabulous television, but in execution it’s just not really workable.


Ray Ratto is a columnist for


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