49ers

Al Madrigal: Levi's Stadium 'so much better' than Candlestick

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AP

Al Madrigal: Levi's Stadium 'so much better' than Candlestick

Comedian Al Madrigal, whose family has owned 49ers season tickets since the days of Kezar Stadium, does not use Levi’s Stadium as a punch line for any of his material.

Madrigal spent countless games in the upper deck at Candlestick Park above the Jumbotron, which was visible to nearly everybody outside of Section 62. Because Madrigal might have thought he was dying up there at Candlestick, he has a largely positive opinion of the 49ers’ current home.

And – before you ask – yes, Madrigal’s seats in Santa Clara are on the east side, where it seems as if the customers might as well be wearing eclipse glasses for a safe view of the action on the field.

“I’m on the microwave side,” Madrigal said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “I’m on the walk-away-ten-shades-darker side.”

Madrigal did refer to the “sun issue” as a major problem, but he said he has no other significant complaints about Levi’s Stadium after experiencing the deteriorating conditions of Candlestick, as well as the lengthy hikes along a cramped concourse just to find an edible burger.

“I hear people complain about Levi’s – and there are complaints – but it’s just so much better than The ‘Stick,” Madrigal said.

Madrigal recalled the 49ers-Raiders game in 2011 that ended the annual preseason series.

In the Candlestick parking lot after the game, one man was shot in the face. In a separate incident, another man was beaten unconscious and when his friend tried to rescue him, he was reportedly shot four times. Madrigal witnessed another incident in the restroom that night.

“I saw a guy, huge man, smash another guy’s head against the bathroom sink,” Madrigal said. “I’m escorting my father out – a little old man. And I’m acting like I’m Secret Service. Mayhem everywhere.

“You want to be able to take your kids to the game. I’m a big Levi’s guy. There was a bad element at Candlestick after a while and it needed to go.”

Madrigal is a San Francisco native who grew up in the inner Sunset District and attended St. Ignatius High and the University of San Francisco. He now lives in Southern California and travels to the Bay Area for as many 49ers games as possible.

Madrigal, who spent six years as a correspondent on “The Daily Show,” might miss more games than usual this season. He was cast for a role in Kevin Hart’s movie, “Night School,” which is scheduled for an upcoming 30-day shoot in Atlanta with a release scheduled for next year.

Showtime recently renewed “I’m Dying Up Here” for a second season. Madrigal is a regular on the series.

He does his best to make sure business does not get in the way of his passion for the 49ers. Madrigal, an accomplished stand-up comedian, will appear at Kennedy Center in Washington on Nov. 18. It’s no coincidence the 49ers have a bye that weekend.

“It is insane, but it is by design when I get offered work, I do check a (49ers) schedule to make sure,” Madrigal said.

Madrigal said his distaste of the Seahawks has also prompted him to take a stand on ever again visiting or performing in Seattle.

“I will not go to Seattle under any circumstances,” Madrigal said. “I don’t care how much money people offer me. I will never, ever go to Seattle. . . . I will never perform in Seattle, and I will never go to that place.

“I used to go when they were not in our division. I think they’re horrible people. They paint their faces with neon when they added neon to their uniform. I think the whole 12th Man is bulls---. I just think it’s one of the worst fan bases in sports. I just can’t stand those people.”

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

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USATSI

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

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AP

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”