It sure stinks to be a 49ers’ fan these days. Your team has a 1-3 record, a rookie head coach who’s in over his head, a general manager who lost his touch years ago and a team owner who never had any touch.
And those are the nicest things anyone has said about Santa Clara’s team in the last 24 hours.
But there is a place for The Faithful to unite in their frustrations, Balls is glad to report. It’s called Change.org, where Santa Clara resident Alex Ortiz has started a petition to have the York family sell the franchise. As of late Wednesday, it had close to 700 signatures and counting.
“Jed York has done a terrible job being the CEO and Face of the organization,” Ortiz writes. “He has told the public to hold him accountable continuously, but the lack of communication he shows means it’s impossible to have him answer to his actions. Also, his mishandled firing of a well-respected employee of the organization has led to turmoil in the months following his exit. As a result, this family is no longer competent to run this organization.”
We’re assuming the well-respected employee is Jim Harbaugh. But there were so many departures, who knows?
The 49ers will win Super Bowl 50 before the York family sells their cash cow, but at least fans can feel better about their hopeless cause.
AT IT AGAIN: York subscribes to the Attila the Hun School of Public Relations, but he outdid himself last week, when he offered free tickets for the Green Bay game.
Tweeted the Yorkster: “I have a few tickets left for the game Sun. Let me know if you can make it #FaithfulFanTix”
As one might expect, the misguided generosity triggered an avalanche of angry replies, many from fans who paid an average of $117 to witness a bore of a football game.
A few of the better ones:
“@JedYork no one cares since you dismantled the team and coaching staff. Keep losing with class!! #49ers”
“@JedYork wouldn’t take Anything from you, cheapskate!! Worst owner in NFL HISTORY! Boycott JED”
“@JedYork That’s weird, I know a bunch of people who can’t give their tickets away either #accountable”
BEAR MARKET: It’s time for Baalke to follow the lead of the Chicago Bears and back up the van in mid-season, because his team is gonna be bad for a while. A major rebuild is as inevitable as Colin Kaepernick’s next interception.
The Bears say they will consider all trade options — even star running back Matt Forte is available — and Baalke shouldn’t waste any time dangling the nine 30-somethings on his roster.
If the result is a two- or three-win season, then all the better. Sure, season ticket holders will be peeved for a while, but if the result is Cal quarterback Jared Goff in red and gold, one lost season may be well worth it.
WHERE IS THE LOVE? No college team leans on its quarterback like Cal does Goff, who ranks third in touchdown passes and seventh in passing efficiency in the country, but rarely is his name heard in Heisman Trophy discussions outside the area.
Sports Illustrated’s latest list of top Heisman Trophy candidates is fairly indicative of the national consensus — LSU running back Leonard Fournette, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, Alabama running back Derrick Henry, Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott and Baylor quarterback Seth Russell in that order. Goff isn’t even among its top risers, which include Elliott, Russell and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. At least USA Today finally noticed.
Goff and Cal will need a signature victory against a ranked opponent on the road to get on the map, and they can get it at No. 5 Utah this weekend.
CAUGHT IN THE DRAFT: The Warriors are the latest to jump on the DraftKings money train — along with the Giants, A’s and Raiders — but is it about to leave the tracks?
DraftKings will sponsor the Champs’ open practice next Wednesday, when the first 5,000 fans will receive VIP tickets and a commemorative shirt. Earlier this week, the New York Attorney General’s office demanded a log of the fantasy sports giant’s internal data that range from the win-loss records of players to the algorithms that determine their prices. It also asked for details on their policies to prevent fraud.
Until recently, FanDuel and DraftKings employees had been allowed to play on rival sites for money. Internal data showed that DraftKings employees won 0.3 percent of the money that FanDuel had awarded in its history. Since the company has paid out nearly $2 billion, that puts the employees’ take at $6 million, and that seems to have “insider trading” written all over it.
HARDEN NOT YOUR HEART: Doesn’t the Houston Rockets’ James Harden ever shut up?
“I am the best player in the league,” Harden whined about his favorite subject the other day, this time to NBA.com. “I believe that. I thought I was last year, too. I know I was the MVP. That’s 100 percent given all the things that happened last season. … Credit the Golden State Warriors for an unbelievable year. They had an unbelievable team, coaching staff, everything. But that award means most valuable to your team …”
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
HELP IS ON THE WAY: The Athletics have invited Justine Siegal to serve as a guest instructor for their Instructional League team this month. She currently serves as head coach and founder of Baseball For All, a national nonprofit group that provides instruction and opportunity in baseball, especially for girls.
Balls has only one question: Can Siegal play shortstop?
YOUR TURN: “The Raiders lost to a [Chicago Bears] team that isn’t as good as them, and at the same time, if they were playing a team like Denver or of that caliber, it might have been outright embarrassing. I know people say they will have an off game, but for right now, they can’t afford excuses, so it’s all on [Jack] Del Rio!” — Forrest Ebert, San Francisco.
Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? (A compliment?!?) Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and you may get your name in the paper one day.Alex OrtizDraftKingsGolden State WarriorsJames HardenJared GoffJed YorkPaul LadewskiSan Francisco 49ersTrent Baalke