Everything in life can be labeled one of two ways: Good for Ball, or Bad for Ball. Doesn't have to be ball- or sports-related, either.
For instance: HBO's “The Newsroom” is Good for Ball. Fast-paced, topical, intelligent, never boring, and often funny in a subtle, smile-to-yourself way. Oh, and it has Olivia Munn, for whom special dispensation — Phenomenal for Ball — must be made.
The highbrows who criticize the show? Bad for Ball. Why? Because it seems as though their primary complaint is that the show, and showrunner Aaron Sorkin in particular, is too … highbrow. Huh? Look, all I want out of an hour in front of a television set is to be entertained. “The Newsroom” delivers. Ergo, GFB.
Sure, it was initially a challenge to wrap the old noggin around Harry from “Dumb and Dumber” as a prosecutor-turned-ultraserious-national news anchor. But hey, I bought Ludacris as one of Santa's elves, too.
See how it works now? OK, good. 'Cause I've been doing this for years, both in writing and on radio, and now it's going to be in my starting rotation at the hallowed Ex, allowing for a quick weekly spin around the sports world, slapping labels left and right.
And away we go …
n Draymond Green, the Warriors' Swiss army Knife, is a throwback in every way, most prominently in that he actually stayed in school — college, that is — through his senior year. Here's hoping his NBA success prompts more kids to follow suit. The versatility, the polish, the maturity, the leadership? All the product of a full-bodied campus experience. Good for Ball.
n Michael Crabtree, you just made an incredible play to help save the Niners' season. What are you going to do now? Disney World? “Nah. I'm gonna pout, piss and moan about my role in the offense.” AFTER A WIN! What a tool. Drop another pass, meat. Bad for Ball.
n Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter are the most significant and recognizable players of their generation in their respective sports, representing further proof that there's more than one way to oil a chassis. Jeter ran with the concept of a farewell tour. Somehow even managed to class up a typically Walmart affair. Kobe? Paraphrased, “Mamba” says, “If you booed me in Years 1-19, boo me in Year 20, too.” Tough to argue that logic. Good for Ball.
n The Raiders are so pathetic at this point, any criticism leveled at the franchise isn't just picking low-hanging fruit. It's stomping on the soft, brownish apricots that fell to the ground a week and a half ago. But come on, Raiders fans, you're the very people who wanted Derek Carr to start as a rookie, and now that 0-16 looks real and Carr is coming off a crap game, you want to sit him down and throw Matt Schaub a bone? Good lord. You DESERVE 0-16! Bad for Ball.
n If you caught Madison Bumgarner on with Jimmy Fallon last week, it's not hard to see the suits on Madison Avenue salivating at the notion of MadBum hawking virtually any product imaginable. Dude came off as relatable as any human being alive, and if he knocked on your door right now and tried to sell you assless chaps, you'd buy in bulk. What an unexpected treat, getting to know this kid's been. Good for Ball.
n And then there's Colin Kaepernick. The anti-Bumgarner. Great athlete, horrible advice-taker. Bad for Ball.
Always end on a positive. I tell my girls that all the time when they're shooting free throws in the street, so I have to walk the talk:
n I love me some Mike Vick. I know I shouldn't, but I do. Give me a sleek lefty QB in a cool uniform, throwing darts into the end zone and I'm 10 years old again, running post patterns to the stop sign. Good to see you back, Mike. Good for Ball.
Mychael Urban, a longtime Bay Area-based sportswriter and broadcaster, is the host of “Inside the Bigs,” which airs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon on KGMZ “The Game” (95.7 FM).