With Dolphins' new initiative, York and the 49ers have opposite problem


With Dolphins' new initiative, York and the 49ers have opposite problem

The Miami Dolphins are doing something I thought for sure the San Francisco 49ers would have seized on by now – and no, I don’t mean hiring Adam Gase as the head coach. The 49ers would never consider something as daft as that.

No, the Dolphins are creating standing-room only areas at Dolphin Stadium in which, for $40, you get a chance to lean on a rail and fiddle with your phone, like you apparently like to do at bars.

No seat. No parking. The beers are just as expensive. But you get to stand and either watch a game, or not, depending on your already unreliable attention span.

The Dolphins claim they got the idea from the Chicago Cubs, who sold standing room seats for their World Series run. But the Cubs were doing something that hadn’t been done in 108 years. The Dolphins were doing something they do every year – be bland.

And for two twenties, plus about $100 in incidentals, you can have that experience, plus sciatica, plus tingling in your extremities, plus you’ll be dripping sweat onto your phone because Miami owns the national concession on humidity.

How this escaped Jed York’s notice is . . . well, actually, it’s kind of understandable. He’s got the opposite problem. He has people standing around checking their phones, but they are people who have tickets on the east side of the stadium choosing not to broil while their team gets its collective hat blocked every week. Jed WANTS those seats filled, and he can’t get that done until the team becomes too compelling for sunstroke.

But maybe he can charge fans for buying those seats, and then charge them again for leaving them vacant and standing in the concourse, bribing the bartender to turn on Raiders-Chargers.

I think they call it the in-game experience. Or in Miami, they call it, the grabbing-the-patron-by-the-ankles-and-shaking-everything-out-of-his-or-her-pockets experience.

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine


49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

The NFL fined 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon $24,309 for unnecessary roughness in last week’s game against Washington.

Garçon, who was not penalized on the play, lowered his helmet and struck Washington safety Montae Nicholson at the end of an 8-yard pass reception in the second quarter.

In 2013, the NFL passed a rule that bans the ball carrier from initiating contact with the crown of his helmet in the open field.

Nicholson’s helmet flew off and he remained on the ground for a couple of minutes. He was evaluated for a possible concussion and shoulder injury. However, Nicholson was cleared and he returned to action.

After the play, Garçon and Washington safety D.J. Swearinger exchanged words, and Swearinger took a swipe at Garçon’s facemask. Swearinger was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The NFL fined Swearinger $9,115 for unnecessary roughness.

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care


Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

SANTA CLARA – In less than a year since a group of former 49ers players came together to form the Golden Heart Fund, the non-profit organization has provided valuable assistance.

“We’ve made some progress with the idea of knowing there are some people in need, so we’ve been able to make some grants to some of the ex-Niners,” Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“We’ve been able to respond. This is more about us being able to give guys the ability to know they can have, as (former 49ers linebacker and Golden Heart Fund board member) Ron Ferrari says, a hand up not a hand out.”

The organization is in the midst of a fund-raising drive this week in conjunction with "Dwight Clark Day" on Sunday. The 49ers face the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium, and Clark will be the guest of honor. More than 35 players from the 49ers' first Super Bowl championship team are expected to be in attendance.

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and provided the most memorable play in franchise history with “The Catch” against Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship game, which propelled the organization to its first Super Bowl. Clark served as a front-office executive for a decade after his playing days.

In March, Clark announced he was diagnosed with ALS. He is scheduled to attend Sunday’s game and make some remarks at halftime from a suite.

“It’s unbelievable we are having an opportunity to celebrate an incredible day for this gentleman,” Lott said. “We can all say there was a moment in time in which we stood on his shoulders after making that catch. Now, we get a chance to lift him up a little bit and let him know how much we all care.”

Lott said Clark has been a champion of the Golden Heart Fund from its inception. Past and current 49ers ownership has supported the organization, which provides financial support for former 49ers players in times of physical, emotional and financial need.

“It’s the spirit of Dwight,” Lott said. “It’s more about the funds going in through his efforts. He’s paying it forward.”

--The public can made a direct contribution to the fund at GoldenHeartFund.org.

--Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle at Sunday’s game will benefit the Golden Heart Fund.

--Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the sales of Dwight Clark apparel purchased on game day will go to the fund.

--Half of all proceeds from admission to the 49ers Museum at Levi’s Stadium throughout the year will go to the charity.

-- On Sunday, Nov. 19, Levi’s Stadium and race grand marshal Roger Craig will host the first Golden Heart 4.9K Run with all proceeds from the event going to the Golden Heart Fund. Runners can register GoldenHeartRun.com.