Editor's note: Read Ray Ratto's The Miserablist every weekday, an off-the-cuff take on all the major national news headlines
This is the last business day in the history of David Joel Magnificat Nebuchadnezzar Don’tScrewWithMe Stern, who leaves his post as NBA commissioner for that of NBA Commissioner Who Never has To Actually Turn Up In The Office.
Stern’s legacy has been discussed in many other places, some very well indeed. He was as smart and imperious and charming and bullying and insightful and pigheaded as everyone has said he was, and then some. Legacies are tricky things, you see, and many of them have less to do with the person in the crosshairs and more to do with circumstances beyond said person’s control.
[RELATED: David Stern does Letterman's Top 10]
So with all deference to the things he actually did do to help make the league a proud and going concern, here’s to the other folks and circumstances who made David Stern David Stern during the David Stern Era, in no particular order:
Cable television and the Internet.
The other owners who knew how to take directions during lockouts and league votes.
The non-owners like Larry Ellison and Chris Hansen who even in defeat drove franchise prices through the ionosphere.
Ernie, Kenny and Charles.
A bent and battered union, now ready to comply with any whim from the On High.
Seattle, for serving as both example of what happens to the obstinate and as future scarecrow to cities not willing to take a knee for the teams they already have.
There are others, but that should do for now.
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Speaking of commissioneriana, Roger The Red does his State of the Me address in New York Friday, and already people are preparing to call it the finest performance slipping punches since the time you imagined a Floyd Mayweather-Bernard Hopkins bout. Among the topics around which he will dance – concussions, weather, officiating, expansion, Los Angeles, Europe, the jihad against kickers, and the topic you never thought he would ever touch – medicinal chronic. He’ll be delightfully bland, distant and Goodellian.
That is, unless someone holds up a giant cardboard head of the Fainaru Brothers, who consolidated the little dented skulls in his sport’s closet with “League Of Denial.” He could become unhinged at that point and suspend Peyton Manning for those Buick commercials.
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Noted typist and raconteur Drew Magary caught Colin Kaepernick at the Deadspin Super Bowl party and got him to speak about a number of items in a brief period of time, thereby showing us one of the secrets of cracking the Kaeperkode: Throw a party at which he is paid to appear. You don’t even have to call anyone “boss.”
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Ben Scrivens’ 59-shot shutout of the Sharks was all the talk of the NHL last night, but the best part for the Edmonton Oilers is that the performance did not jeopardize their traditional place in the NHL Draft. As for the Sharks, they have now lost their last three games by shutout, and have managed to lose to both the Oilers and the equally hideous Buffalo Sabres while getting off a total of 189 shots. They have also lost to the equally non-playoff New York Islanders while taking 95 shots, Phoenix while taking 87 and Dallas while taking 86.
Efficiency, thy name is Fin.
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Joe Montana’s explanation for not going to the final 49er game at Candlestick Park had all the convincing elements of “My wild boar ate my homework.” I mean, if you’re not going to tell the truth about why you passed on it, at least make a decent attempt at a lie. Even, “I thought they were closing the stadium in 2014!” would have fooled a few more people.
That’s why Marshawn Lynch’s reason for not wanting to spend time with the media this week – a version of the time-honored classic “I don’t want to, and I’m only doing this because I have too much respect for my money” – resonated far better with the hundreds of millions of people who have never given a moment’s thought to the problems of the Pro Football Writers of America.
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Saturday marks the annual meeting of the Pro Football Hall of Fame committee, and from that meeting several new inductees will issue forth. Our guess: Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Will Shields, Michael Strahan, Ray Guy and Charles Haley.
Our hope: That Strahan’s acceptance speech includes a demand that Warren Sapp’s bust be removed. Otherwise, there isn’t a lot of reason to listen to the speech now, is there?
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The Internet was all abuzz with the apparent resignation of WWE performer CM Punk, apparently over Vince McMahon’s decision to have an upright refrigeration unit named Batista win the Royal Rumble in Pittsburgh six days after coming out of dry dock and is going to play-act for the world heavyweight title at WrestleMania in New Orleans.
Yes, I know, this is so nouveau who-gives-a-fig, and may even be a classic work, or put-on. But fret not. Punk is scheduled to do a cameo in Downton Abbey as Ned, the twitchy stable boy. Hey, a man needs to eat.
Oh, and apparently no truth to the suggestion that he was the one who stole Austin Carr’s Cavaliers banner out of the rafters.
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And finally, THIS is why reporters want Marshawn Lynch to share more, from a question in which he was asked about Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable, the former Raider coach best known for clocking assistant Randy Hanson in a Napa hotel room: “Being from Oakland, all I knew about him was he punched people,”. “That’s my type of person.”
Laugh at the PFWA all you want – this stuff is pure platinum.