The 49ers are apparently the most popular team in the NFL when it comes to selling shmata, memorabilia, doodads, gewgaws and miscellaneous bric-a-brac. This means nothing, of course, except that the prices for their stuff will go up when you need that Christmas gift.
And one other thing. It means that Jim Harbaugh’s daily outfit, which he adheres to as though he were a grammar school nun in the 1950s, is not moving any product of his own, because nobody is buying The Full Harbaugh. Unless, of course, there is a Halloween costume of black sweatshirt, khaki pants, black 49er hat and Winston Churchill mask.
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Washington First People In North America coach Mike Shanahan says he will stump for rules to better protect special teams players in helmet-to-helmet contact situations, and he was inspired to do that after seeing his player Reed Doughty incur a concussion on a kickoff play.
Which is swell and all that, but it would make far more impact if the coach of the team inflicting the concussion, in this case Marc Trestman of Chicago, were the one waving that flag. Were Trestman to say, “Our guy belted their guy in a way that the game can no longer tolerate,” the needle toward action action would actually move.
But no, it will never happen that way. Coaches never complain about anything that doesn’t victimize their own teams, which necessarily reduces their point to whiny complaining about their own problems.
Under this rubric, of course, no coaches would ever complain about anything ever, which means they would have far less to say on a weekly basis, which would reduce the methane in the air, which would slow the deterioration of the ozone layer, which would prolong life on this planet. So I guess if you’re not going to ever get the NFL to actually make this kind of thing stop, that’s a decent consolation prize.
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Michael Silver of NFL.com just turned out a fairly severe takedown of Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano with quotes from former players who say essentially that the entire roster hates his living guts.
But the details have stopped being important. This is the real takeaway.
THE OFFICIAL INTERNET ORGAN OF THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE HAS A STORY ON IT THAT SAYS ONE OF ITS 32 COACHES IS A BULLYING MARTINET WHO IS MOCKED AND/OR LOATHED BY ALMOST EVERY EMPLOYEE OF THE FRANCHISE FOR WHOM HE WORKS.
Let me iterate.
THE OFFICIAL ORGAN OF THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE.
Damn. I mean, DAMN. It doesn’t get better than being condemned by what often serves as the company newsletter.
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If the Bloomberg people are to be believed with their Major League Baseball valuations, the A’s have risen in value to $477 million, or roughly 40 percent more than a year ago. In the meantime, they also more or less tied for first in revenue sharing with Kansas City with $36 million.
We mention this in case you wonder why your cries for regime change in the owners’ suite have fallen on deaf ears. This may be the freest money in all of sports, especially when you throw in the fact that the baseball games are more fun to watch and the baseball people are more fun to hang around. I mean, $150 million in increased value, plus $36 million from the home office, plus 96 wins . . . hell, it’s Carnaval!
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The St. Louis Rams wanted Brett Favre to make a comeback. He declined. I’m not sure what comes closer to being actual news, but it surely must hearten Jeff Garcia’s comeback hopes. Also Terry Bradshaw’s, Ken Stabler’s, Milt Plum’s and Steve Spurrier’s.
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And finally, current WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, whose brother Wladimir just recently won the hand of actress Hayden Panettiere, is planning to run for the presidency of his homeland of Ukraine.
Now we will sit and wonder how long it will take for Vitali to ask Wladimir, “Hey, can I borrow your wife for a quick campaign tour of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast?” And then we will sit and wait to see how long it will take for her to shriek, “No, no, no, I’m shooting a movie in Burkina Faso and I’ll be busy until after the election! Or is it Honduras? No, wait, it’s Vanuatu! That’s it! Vanuatu!”