Giants' funeral dirge?


Giants' funeral dirge?

I believe a New Orleans funeral is the way to go its essentially a party celebrating the life of the dead, with some miscellaneous burying involved. Beyond that, Im not sure what goes into it, but it sounds a hell of a lot better than just about anything else you do with the dead. Youre here, then youre gone, and you may as well leave em smiling as you pay the bill.Enter the 2011 Giants, about to be just as dead.With their magic numbers for elimination from the NL West race at 1, and the postseason entirely at 3, you may want to cling to hope, pigheaded optimists that you are, but if Im the Giants, Im making arrangements. Im having a wake, Im burying everything I can get away with, and Im serving beer and shots at the usual exorbitant prices.I mean, other than Cal football, what the hell else are they going to use the building for?In short, they need to gather up 2011 and dig a wide, shallow hole (going deep causes issues with the cove, and nothing ruins a funeral like flooding). They need to invite 40,000 of their closest friends, without charging them you know, a one-time freebie thank you that isnt disguised by saying Its for the Giants Community Fund, so cough up, suckers and do it down in true New Orleans style.Okay, San Francisco style. I forgot, Copernicus wrong. This is the center of the universe. My bad.In this hole, you place: The 2010 World Champion flag, or a facsimile thereof, in case you need to make sure all the flagpoles are accounted for. One cap, one T-shirt, one jersey, one hoodie, one set of black-and-orange argyle pants, one nightie and whatever other delicates they sell in the store in fact, one of everything, right down to the barbecue tongs, the board games, the foil cutters, the jeroboam of Old Wombat Select repackaged with a Giants logo. Like Noahs Ark, only for inventory. Team photos of the 1944 White Sox (record, 71-83) and 1985 Pirates (record, 57-104), the two teams whose average runs per game bracket that of the 2011 Giants. You know, as sort of a there but for the grace of God go thee kind of deal. And effigies of those who gave their positions so that 2011 would be the hilariously futile parade it was, to wit:1. Aaron Rowand.
2. Miguel Tejada.
3. Zach Wheeler.
4. John Bowker.
5. Bill Hall.
6. Jonathan Sanchez strike zone.
7. Buster Poseys ankle.
8. Freddy Sanchez shoulder.
9. Brian Wilsons elbow (part of the Charlie Sheen surprise Everything I Touch package).
10. Aubrey Huffs confidence.
11. Andres Torres joie de vivre.
12. Bruce Bochys genius (even though he probably exceeded last years performance flogging 84 wins out of this crew).
13. Brian Sabeans trading mastery.
14. One seventh of Pablo Sandoval.
15. The bat rack.
16. The batting cage.
17. The pitching machines.
18. The bats.
19. Anything, in short, that had anything to do with batting of any kind.
20. And of course, Billy Neukom, bow-tie and all. He was Icarus with flannel underwear, and paid the price that all minority owners who forget that they are minority owners eventually pay. They get buried in some outfield dirt and get run over periodically by Nate Schierholtz.We were going to mention Ryan Rohlinger as well, given that he had one at-bat all year and struck out in it, thereby providing context for the entire season. But that would be, well, gratuitous.Anyway, you put it all in a heap, let the folks walk by and pay their respects with little trinkets and mementos, or just some spit, if youre that disgusted. And then either bury it all, or if you can get the fire department to sign off on it, burn it and make the ozone layer feel your pain.Going out like whimpered curs just because their buzz got harshed is not the Giants Way. I know. I got the book. Its on Page 27, next to Even if you think you have the powers of Charlemagne, pretend you care about others opinions.And yeah, that goes in the pile too.The point here is this: They cant take your memories, unless the wrong guy ends up as President in 2012. But a funeral is demanded, and a funeral must happen. And remember, in the immortal words of the King of Swamp Castle after his daughters wedding was ruined by a mass slaughter during Monty Python and the Holy Grail:Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion! Lets not bicker and argue about who killed who.In fact, that should be on a banner in front of the stadium for all of 2012.Ray Ratto is a columnist for

Very bad 49ers stay tumbling in truly lost 2016 season

Very bad 49ers stay tumbling in truly lost 2016 season

You can almost hear the sound whistling between the 49ers’ teeth at this point, beneath the droned platitudes and vague responses to what is a fully lost season:

“Look, what do you want from us? This is who we are.”

You can almost hear it, that is. They wouldn’t dare express such rampant defeatism – I mean, if they didn’t after Sunday’s 34-17 muzzling at the hands, arms, torsos and feet of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s unlikely you would hear it at any point.

But they must surely know by now that this is a season already in the rear-view mirror. There are no secret plans, or stashed players, or untried ideas left to unearth, sign or try. The coming bye week will not clear their heads and give them new inspiration, save that of having a week off from the steady beatings. They are 1-6 on merit, and proved it again yesterday before another dispirited two-thirds-of-a-sellout crowd which is coming to realize that their hope is a mile wide and an inch deep.

[MAIOCCO: Kelly: No changes to 49ers defensive staff after loss]

Sunday, for example, Colin Kaepernick was their best running back, Shaun Draughn was their best receiver, the downed kickoff was their best special teams play, and their best strategic decision – well, they lost the coin flip so they didn’t even get a chance to defer the opening kickoff.

And their defense? It only allowed whatever Tampa Bay wanted, and only on demand. Jacquizz Rodgers became the sixth running back to gain 100 yards against them (and the first to do it in one half), which is noteworthy only because they allowed five all last year in a bad season, and nine in the four seasons before that, four of those by Marshawn Lynch.

And quarterback Jameis Winston threw the ball to wide-open receivers and into coverage with the same sense of well-placed bravado. Though his numbers didn’t exactly aurora the borealis (21-of-30, 269, 3/1, 117.2), he never emitted a sense that he couldn’t do whatever he wanted – save get the officials to give him a better spot when he snapped and cost his team a potential touchdown with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for headless-chickening.

In other words, this was not materially different than the Buffalo game, or the Seattle game, or the Carolina game. The only game that has been different is the opener against Los Angeles, when everything worked and made sense and life was happy and Jed York hummed “I Am 16 Going On 17” all through the suite all night long.

That game was 50,000 years ago. These are who the 49ers are now, and who they are going to be for awhile to come.

They speak of consistency, and yet they are the very model of it – leading the league in punts, and ranking second in three-and-outs, 27th in first downs and 31st in plays per drive. They don’t stay on the field, in other words, and when on defense, they allow 118 more yards per game than their offense gets them.

And they swear with unanimity that they are together as a team, and work hard each week to achieve the acme of their talents and learning. So this, if that is so, must be at or near the top of their game – which, as head coach for now and the future Chip Kelly (stop thinking this is just a coaching problem, please) put it, “We’re not doing what it takes to be successful right now.”

That was in response to a question about whether the 49ers were going backwards. He ducked the issue by saying, “I don’t think forwards or backwards,” which is probably a lie, but we can help anyway.

They have gone dramatically backwards since Game 1, and essentially stagnated since Game 2. It’s how they have gotten to where they are right now, and how they have become who they are right now.

It may be that stranger things have happened in the NFL than a team starting 1-6 and rallying to win eight, nine or 10 in a row, but on this team, based all the available evidence, this team won’t be that strange. They have revealed themselves for what they actually are, which is not good enough to change what they actually are.

And if that is too tough a sentence for you to swallow, well, go out and write some of your own. You can tell any tale you want, but this is the tale of the 2016 San Francisco 49ers, a team awash in unpleasant self-realization and the knowledge that there is nothing to be done but to go out each week and do it again.

Except next week, of course. Bye may be a favorite, but Bye must be played, just like all the others.

NFL disregards domestic violence, as Giants extend its tolerance scale


NFL disregards domestic violence, as Giants extend its tolerance scale

The National Football League has been reminded yet again that it neither understands nor cares to understand about domestic violence.

But it will do better, you may rest assured. They’ll have a week where all the on-field personnel wear purple to commemorate the bruises.

That’s what the NFL does when it can no longer ignore its own tone-deafness – they turn their stupidity into a marketing opportunity. After all, every social problem can be solved in the league’s eyes by figuring out a way for the league to monetize it.

The latest example of the NFL’s slack-jawed world view comes from New York, where the Giants could not and still cannot figure out what to do about kicker/serial domestic abuser Josh Brown except not let him go to London for the weekend.

This means the league has learned nothing from the Ray Rice incident, even as Rice of all people is showing on a regular basis how to learn from it. More than that, it means it has no interest in learning anything about it, and will never prioritize it beyond crisis-management level – “Uh-oh, something bad just happened. Quick, put it behind us.”

Then again, the league has been so relentlessly ham-handed on so many things that, as convenient as this may be for it, we should stop expecting it to do so, to the point that when someone from the league wants to explain some social issue to us we should simply say with one voice, “Oh, shut up, you yammering frauds.”

It is difficult to prioritize the number of ways the Giants failed to comprehend the problem currently smacking them between the numbers, although owner John Mara’s “He admitted to us he'd abused his wife in the past. What’s a little unclear is the extent of that” may summarize it nicely.

Put another way, one could make a case that the Giants extended the universal talent-tolerance scale (if you have the talent, anything can be tolerated until it can’t) to include placekickers.

That seems less likely, though, than the more obvious point that the league doesn’t regard domestic violence as something worth concerning itself with, while bloviating all the time about all the things with which it is concerned. The league is the beat cop who never gets out of his car to see what is happening on his beat, and is shocked when something does.

And while it will be handy to pile this atop the list of reasons why Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t get it, the truth is he is merely the painful rash that reveals the league’s case of shingles. The league’s 32 constituent elements are culpable here because ignorance in the face of so much evidence becomes willful, and Goodell’s skill is not in guiding the league but in figuring out where his 32 bosses want him to go, and avoiding all the places they don’t.

Hence, domestic violence. This is not an easy problem to solve, as any expert will say, but Mara trying to decide how many punches are enough isn’t it. The league’s six-game suspension guideline that is now four years old has never been imposed on any player. It wants the power to use the talent-tolerance scale at whim to do what it wishes when it wishes to do it.

Or in this case, not do anything at all until it has to, and then in as minimal a fashion as it can manage.

So, Josh Brown loses a week in a foreign country on the company dime as a trade-off for continually terrorizing his wife. The league says it punished him for a game but was powerless to do anything else while knowing all along how severe the problem had become.

In short, it did the minimum. Now that everyone knows the fullest extent of Brown’s abuse, and how much the league knew without doing anything, it will now extend the minimum out to what it thinks is a new minimum.

So we now know that the NFL is looking for some metric that will determine the transactional “extent of that,” as John Mara so eloquently put it for us. When it comes up with that formula, it will surely ignore that standard, because the real standard is still “talent-tolerance,” and the world is made up of concentric circles surrounding the people who make the league and its members a dollar more tomorrow than it made today.

And spouses are a long way from the center.