National SOB League can never forget the noble man who brought them together

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AP

National SOB League can never forget the noble man who brought them together

So after one day, the NSOBL (the National Son-Of-A-Bitch League, as if you couldn’t guess) has survived the contemptible brain-burps of the Panderer-In-Chief. Now we’ll see if the players’ fury has true staying power.
 
And by staying power, we don’t mean whether they will continue to defy the call of the National Anthem (an easy enough task), but whether they view their newfound solidarity as something that needs to be nurtured to truly endure.
 
After all, it’s easy to be galvanized by the noisy neighbor who spends his day on the porch shouting irrational obscenities at the neighbors. But Donald Trump isn’t the issue; he never was. All he did was put a face to the idiocies that prevent us from being the country we should be.
 
But this started a year ago with a single knee, a single person, and a broader cause than a President who needs to pick fights the way a vampire needs naked necks. Colin Kaepernick, whose career as a football player is essentially over because he caused the NFL a headache by honoring his conscience, took his knee to protest police excesses, and didn’t need to be called a son of a bitch to do so. He was later, of course, part of the medley of all the other insults that followed, but he didn’t kneel because he was insulted. He knelt because other were, and worse.
 
But the beauty of these days is that we take any idea or action and immediately change its meaning to fit our own prejudices. Kaepernick’s message was too nuanced for a lot of people’s facilities because they value symbols more than people, but nobody doesn’t understand being called a son of a bitch by a boss you hate.
 
So the new NSOBL is just starting to coalesce. There will not be a shortage of reasons for players to find their voice and conscience, and to break the bonds that required them to ask permission before speaking or thinking. If they are as they purport to be, they will remember that change happens with a single son of a bitch.

Being singled out by Trump should be among Curry's greatest achievements

Being singled out by Trump should be among Curry's greatest achievements

So I guess the Warriors don’t need to have that White House meeting any more. And who’d have guessed it – the reason is that noted Trotskyite, troublemaker and rouser of rabbles, Stephen Curry.

Donald Trump withdrew the mythical White House invitation to the Warriors – again, in a tweet, where he does his most hilarious thinking – and singled out Curry of all people as a reason worth mentioning.

Curry. The quietest, most mild-mannered of public figures, the one who seeks the most placid path of daily existence, seemingly the most traditional of family men. He’s the problem.

I’d say you can’t make this stuff up, but you clearly don’t have to.

I don’t live Curry’s life – a fact which I am sure he regards as a very good thing – but I would like to think that being called out by this President is among his five greatest achievements.

He can arrange his family, his two championships, his college career and his friendships above it in any order he wishes, but having an invitation to the place that guy lives withdrawn in a tweet should be in his top five.

The invitation was mostly a conversational media gambit, in fairness. Nobody ever thought the Warriors would be invited, or that they would have gone if they had been. You could not have gotten Steve Kerr or David West to go at gunpoint, just to name two.

But you also could not have gotten Trump to stand next to the Warriors. Theirs was and is a symbiotic relationship built on utter revulsion.

But the fun part here is choosing Curry as the fulcrum. It’s as if one of his advisers thought Curry was the weak link that would make the Warriuors feel bad about themselves.

Except that we pretty much know that Trump doesn’t submit his tweets to vetting.

In fairness, though, Trump did do us all a favor. We no longer have to speculate on what might happen if a mythical invitation was proffered. We mercifully got to the end-game because the President doesn’t shut up. And because the Warriors can’t hide their nauseated faces when the topic comes up.

But Trump’s involvement might have slightly improved the team’s street cred by being the first team to be aggressively not invited by the White House to honor a championship since the Reagan administration. The Warriors may cause a lot of people’s teeth to grind for being so Warrior-y, but they sassed back the most sassable President since Richard Nixon. That counts for something.

But Stephen Curry singled out as the leading Bolshevik in the crew – now that’s funny. His family must be incredibly proud.

49ers achieve rare feat done just 40 times since 1940

49ers achieve rare feat done just 40 times since 1940

This is how far the 49ers came in one evening: They played well enough to convince their fans that the officials screwed them.
 
I am not here to take a side on this. You play in a league with indecipherable rules, you take your chances with the officiating. Besides, if you want to avoid getting whistled out of a game, don’t give up 41 points.

Worse, don’t score 39 and lose. That’s happened only 40 times since 1940 out of nearly 15,000 games, so that’s an achievement in and of itself. 
 
But the complaining is a sign that, for the first time since 2013 perhaps, the 49ers mattered enough to their shrinking audience to haul out the old “Jeff Triplette did us dirty” meme. 
 
That is significant progress in a non-technical way, because as the shots of the stands have showed us, the modern 49er fan is more used to walking (as in out) than talking (as in smack). They are not by and large interested in the gestation period -- they want to see the baby.
 
And, rarely for the NFL, the 49ers’ greatest eras did not come with long rebuilds. They happened almost in a flash. Bill Walsh was 2-14 and 6-10 before the heavens opened in 1981. Jim Harbaugh went 13-3 after eight non-winning/stagnant seasons which didn’t come close to being an actual structured rebuild. 
 
In other words, around here, patience is for saps, the journey is not entertaining on its own, and progress is declared only upon arrival.
 
The real world, though, is different, and though everything about Thursday’s loss speaks to advancement here/regression there and has in no way a relationship to the 12-9 loss to Seattle a week ago, blind officials are a nice cheap way to pretend that there is. Nothing is more satisfying for a chronic loser than to say, “We would have won if those thieving bastards blah-blah-blah.”
 
It is also a dose of empty calories, but if you can’t have something nourishing, a bag of candy will do in a pinch.
 
In any event, the 49ers are 0-3, but good enough to moan that they can be unlucky or cruelly treated. It may not be progress inside the building, but it is outside, and judging by the sea of empty stadium seats, the 49ers need all that they can get.