NFL treats officials as disposable


NFL treats officials as disposable

Finally, a rooting interest for the upcoming NFL season has revealed itself.

In the first two weeks, each team loses one game directly because a replacement officiating crew makes a obviously hideous call. That is to say, nobody is happy as quickly as possible.

According to reports, the NFL and its officials are so far apart on a new deal that no settlement seems likely until the season begins. And given what we know about the new emboldened owners, theyll happily sacrifice the games for a principle.

In this case, less security and money for the officials.

Oh, the argument is about other things as well the league wants to add three extra crews, and one full-time crew, presumably for leverage, especially against its older whistles but mostly its about money. And their philosophy about money.

And to save that money, the owners are willing to put a dent in a new season one more tribute to their actual respect for the product. In short, they know youll watch anyway, and they already have most of the TV and ticket money, so theyre basically dismissing the sport to fuel their need to remind the labor force just how replaceable it is.

And thats the philosophy behind the money.

There were no egregiously bad calls in Mondays Dallas-Oakland game, largely because there werent any deeds in Mondays Dallas-Oakland game. But August football isnt the important product. August football is for people who admit they have a problem and decide they dont care. September is when it matters, and when leaks are allowed to make sure the word gets out that the two sides are far apart, that word is to remind everyone how little the officials truly matter in the eyes of the owners.

So a gentle reminder of the difference between NFL quality and non-NFL quality needs to be delivered. Hence, the distribution of officiating mistakes that outrage everyone.

If everyone gets hosed once, theyll know that a game has been taken that cant be retrieved. If everyone gets hosed once, theyll be able to speak up and remind the people that provide the games that there actually is a minimum entertainment standard the league must meet.

If everyone gets hosed once, theyll know that professionals arent as disposable as theyd like them to be.

Will, they learn this? Probably not. The modern sports owner has largely concluded that the games are really first and foremost about them and their needs. It is why the NBA gave up two months of last season, and why the NHL is likely to do the same, and why the NFL played the brinkmanship game with the players union so well that the union is now suing to try and attack parts of the deal they themselves signed.

This is the moment where they send a message to the officials that they are lucky to have jobs, and that they will be treated not as professionals but as freelancers, no more a part of the game than a hammer is to a house. So the NFL should get what it's willing to pay for games that end in chaos, players, coaches and fans enraged at what has happened to the sport.

Or they can go out and bring family and friends and do it themselves. Apparently they can use the extra money a game check will provide.
Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions


Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions

SANTA CLARA – While rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard is taking a micro view of his promotion, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is not shy about admitting he is looking at the big picture.

Shanahan said how Beathard performs after replacing Brian Hoyer as starting quarterback will have “a ton” of influence on how the 49ers proceed during the offseason.

After all, the 49ers know every position will come under tremendous scrutiny as the organization looks to add the pieces that will make the club competitive.

“That’s for every position. That’s for every player on our team. That’s for every coach on our team,” Shanahan said. “We’re 0-6, and that’s extremely tough. But I’m extremely excited about this place and excited about where we’re at and where we’re going. There’s not a moment that I don’t waste thinking about that stuff.”

Beathard will make his first NFL start on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium.

Hoyer failed in his bid to earn consideration as the 49ers’ quarterback for the remainder of this season and beyond during his six starts. Hoyer completed just 58 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and four interceptions. His passer rating was 74.1.

Now, Beathard gets his chance. But he said he is not thinking about the big picture and what it might mean for the future.

“I’m really just trying to take it one day, one week at a time,” Beathard said. “I’m not looking that far ahead. Right now, my focus is on today’s practice and geared towards beating the Cowboys and doing the best we can to get better and improve.”

Beathard was pressed into action last week when Hoyer’s struggles continued at Washngton. Beathard stepped in and completed 19 of 36 passes for 245 yards with a touchdown and an interception. For the first time, Beathard is getting the first-team practice snaps with a game plan that is designed specifically for him.

Said Beathard, “Getting those extra reps, reps with guys that you don’t usually throw to, in the huddle with the guys that are out there, I think it’ll help a lot.”

Joe Montana: Dwight Clark appreciates all the support from former teammates


Joe Montana: Dwight Clark appreciates all the support from former teammates

More than 35 players from the 49ers’ first Super Bowl champion will be in attendance on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium to show support for Dwight Clark, who revealed in March he was diagnosed with ALS.

Clark, 60, will have ample opportunity to reconnect with some of his old friends on Saturday evening and again on Sunday. At halftime, Joe Montana, surrounded by most of the 49ers' 1981 team, will introduce Clark before a video tribute.

Clark is also expected to make some remarks while situated in a suite for the 49ers’ game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Montana and his wife, Jennifer, have remained in close contact with Clark and his wife, Kelly. The Clarks recently watched the Blue Angels in San Francisco with the Montanas during Fleet Week.

“He’s getting pretty inundated with everyone staying in touch with him at this point,” Montana said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

“It’s fun for him. At one point, he was telling his wife, Kelly, ‘This is what it’s all about. This is what I want and what I miss, seeing the guys.’ So any of the guys reaching out to him, he surely appreciates it.”

Montana said Clark has not lost his positive outlook or his sense of humor, as evidenced by some not-fit-for-print words he recently had about his wheelchair. Montana said there are always some good laughs and stories any time Clark gets together with his friends.

“That’s the fun part," Montana said. “You just try to get him to forget what’s there, and that you’re there for him whenever. I think the support is the biggest thing right now. In that stage of ALS, it's got to be getting tough, where all of a sudden, things are becoming more and more difficult.”