I drive to work; the train is no longer an option. Later, I drive home.  The round trip is at least 3 hours, often closer to 4.  It gives me time to listen to sports talk and generally the presidential debates. Satellite radio is a wondrous thing.  But my mood has shifted.  I am reverting back to listening to music.  My mind collapses around the sadness that is the 49ers.  The Warriors are a bright spot and the Giants exude yearly hope.

But then there is the election, still 8 months out.  Am I the only one that see’s Trump inciting violence?  I was appalled when he suggested that if he didn’t get the nomination with plurality votes, which he will surely have, the people might riot.  Might?  Isn’t he telling them to?  I took it as a signal.  A blatant call to arms.  And we wonder why he is compared to Fascists.  There are no good choices.  My politics lean liberal and as bad as Trump would be – and he would be—Cruz is worse.  The manipulation of the media for air time, the cultish feel of some candidates.  Wondering if Cruz would really like to start the end of days as his father suggests.  And then I’m reminded the next SCOTUS depends on how the NRA feels.  It all makes me weary.

And Brussels, following Paris.  Some days it is indeed too much.

So I move to music.  And the lift I’m looking for is nowhere to be found.  Sad songs.  Reminders that Bowie and Kantner passed on.  That Morrison, Hendrix and Joplin died too young.  That Duane Allman cut a swath through the south but left it searing and incomplete.  John had me imagining, but even that leads down dark hallways in this year’s context.

Today, there is no joy in Mudville.   I’m sorry I’ve neglected you, my 3 or 4 dedicated readers, but most things haven’t gotten past my filters.

Here’s a little spot of joy. Maybe it will help, at least for a moment.  Who doesn’t like power pop about teachers spiking the punch of wee ones?


The Ballad of Young Lord York

Watching the 49ers again this weekend, my anger towards one Jed York flared.  Let’s be honest, I watched 3 straight 3 and out drives and bailed on the game for the Red Zone.  What a horrible team.  Under talented (Exhibit A right Tackle), under-performing (Exhibit B – the defensive line giving up 200 yards to an undrafted Rookie) and under coached (Exhibits C & D – let’s punt, that must be the winning strategy! Let’s take the field goal that will cut the deficit from 16 to 13 with 5 minutes left!).

In all honesty, I’m sure even Tomsula knows he’s over his head.  Do you believe his parents, high school acquaintances, and Facebook stalkers don’t tell him daily?  Every radio host does.  Local AND national sports announcers.  And, when the only way to win is to score touchdowns and take chances, he punts, conceding the game.  It doesn’t matter what he says, even he knows he was waving a white flag.  I imagine his inner monologue goes something like this:

Down by 16 we need 2 touchdowns and 2 2-point conversions.

I know those are long odds and its 4th and goal from the 3.  We can’t run for shit and receivers aren’t helping things.

If we try and fail, people will call for our heads

We can’t make it.

If we kick a field goal our point total will improve.  It is better than the 17-3 beating we took from Green Bay

I’m sure I’m being judged on improvement. Cutting the deficit is improvement.

Field GOAL!

I’m sure the logic behind punting was just as ludicrous.  He’s coaching to not lose worse, not to win.  Hell, I could coach to be 3-13 with the talent on the team.  And I wouldn’t have had ALL those “defections,” I mean “retirements.”  I might have kept Willis.  Or Borland. Instead we have Italian family dinners.  I think at this point his family is embarrassed for him.

But enough shitting on Tomsula, let’s call it correctly.  Everything that happens on the field is on Jed.  He wanted Harbaugh gone and made that happen.  Now he has created a culture of ineptitude the likes we may never see again.  Geep Chryst is the second coming of Jimmy Raye.  No one else wanted to work for him.  (Exhibit E – Adam Gase).  Who will want to work here in the future?  Oh yeah, they are already planning on hiring Hugh Jackson or some other in demand coach.  But we know they will turn Jed down.

Tomsula’s coaching is straight from the Jed playbook.  Jed cut Jim Harbaugh and saved $1.5 million.  Since Tomsula is the lowest paid coach in football, I’m assuming he couldn’t pay him less or else he would have. At least Tomsula can afford to buy his folks a nice house if he wants.  Jed’s about saving money.  Picking up 3 points for a field goal is like taking free money.  Don’t pass up the freebies, even if it leads to losing.  That’s Jed, let’s build the bank account and not worry how the fans feel.

And Jed screwed over Kap.  How?  Colin took a bit less so that other players could be signed or brought in.  The 49ers are $13.2 million UNDER the salary cap.  Not even close.  Even I’m not naïve enough to believe they couldn’t have found a significant upgrade for Erik Pears for $5-6 million.  Of course if no one wants to play here, that might explain why NOTHING HAPPENED.  What happened is the long term planning of how to cut Colin and be rid of the last piece of the Harbaugh legacy.

Let’s pretend this is an episode of Law and Order.  I’ll be Briscoe.  “Hey!  We’re out of leads.  Let’s follow the money!”  What a great idea.  Do you realize the 49ers are worth $2.7 Billion.  With a B.  That is a 69% increase from last year.  That’s $1.6 Billion increase in round numbers.  That’s long term income.  Over $1 Billion in added value.  Wow.

But the 49ers also a debt ratio of about 21%, one of the highest in the league so, they have about $570 million of outstanding debt.  So really, net equity on the team is $2.1 Billion or so.  Of course that’s only if they sell.  They could plead poverty.  Nope.

The 49ers made $124 million last year in operating income based on $427 million in revenue.  That’s retaining 29% in profits.   Clearly there are other costs, but they are very, very profitable.  The New York Giants make less and retain less.  Washington is similar with far less debt.  But then no one would say the owner in the capital is one to emulate.  Well, maybe his mother.

Anyway, the 49ers, once a proud, classy organization, make a lot of money.  And they should, as they charge an arm and a leg for anything at their soulless stadium.  The problem is, they want us to believe they are giving us a Nordstrom experience.  They are not. Their product is more accurately compared to the red tag remainders at Walmart.  Or, being generous, a nice Goodwill outlet.  So yet again, we are sold an inferior team.  A magic elixir that is really sugar water.  I recall two words, “championships” and “accountability.”  I don’t see either.  Do you?

So, what can we as fans do?  Clearly, Jed doesn’t care what we think.  Parag has spreadsheets that help him identify how to make more money.  Trent can’t find a free agent worth a darn. (No, Sean Droughn doesn’t count.) Jed sold his licenses, which fans are clamoring to return.  What can we do?

We follow the money.

How much do you think Jed and the league make from sponsorships and advertising deals?  It doesn’t matter because it is HUGE.  Jed is effectively a snake oil salesman that can’t be trusted.  Or he’s incompetent, but I believe his arrogance leads to making continual bad decisions, including surrounding himself with Yes Men.  Snake oil salesman.  Misrepresentation.  Cavalier disregard for his customers.  He holds himself higher than his customers with false promises and backstabbing campaigns.  What does he think he is, a feudal Nobleman a la Henry VIII?  Perhaps we should call him Young Lord York.  And in the Democracy that is the USA, we don’t need royalty.

Young Lord York needs to be seen as the business liability he is.

Hey Pepsi! Do you want to be aligned with Jed?  You are and we think less of you.

SAP, you want us to trust you with our company’s information?  But you are aligned with Young Lord York and we don’t trust him.

Yahoo? Wait, you have your own problems.  Do you really need more?

Intel, you want to be in my PC.  Stick with Jed and I’ll go to Apple.  Boot Jed.  How would Steve Jobs like his legacy of product loyalty and reverence for the customer feel about alignment with such a charlatan?

Toyota, I’m buying Nissan or Honda till you remove your sponsorship.  And yes, I’ve ruled out Lexus.

Brocade, I think I’ll buy Cisco for my company, thank you very much.  You can be reconsidered when you move on.

Levi’s I love your product, but you need to put some pressure on Young Lord York if you want my money or your name on my ass.

Hey Roger Goodell!  We will remind you often that Young Lord York and his feudal crushing of the public’s trust is ruining your brand.  I’m sure Kraft and Jones don’t mind.  But you saw what happened to Donald Sterling.  Abusing the public trust will ultimately make Jed pay a similar price.  It is that history thing, repeating itself. You have an anti-trust exemption.  What’s that worth to you?

So my fellow serfs gather your pitchforks, your torches, your shovels.  Let’s stop tending to Young Lord York’s fields.  He doesn’t care if we tend them or not. Let’s not storm his castle.  Follow the money and make sure his SPONSORS know how we feel.  Perhaps they don’t want to be associated with his “disreputable” practices.  Let’s let them know they are stained and shameful as well.