Referees-NFL labor dispute downgrades Goodell


Referees-NFL labor dispute downgrades Goodell

With the NFL and its officials about to come to an agreement, let us say thisoff the top:The owners lost. No matter how much money they saved, they lost.Roger Goodell lost. Big time. He has been downgraded by the public from AdmiredIntergalactic Constable to Highly Compensated Functionary as he became what heis paid to be the face of bad news so the owners dont have to be. He is nowa glorified Gary Bettman or David Stern, and not nearly as publicly adept asBud Selig.Let that one rattle your brain a minute. And then be sure to thank LanceEasley for making it all happen.Easley is the side judge who first concluded that Golden Tate really did defyrules and physics to catch the winning touchdown in Mondays Packers-SeahawksGamblers Giveaway. He is the guy who stood by the pile, peered in, and shothis arms up in the air like he just didnt care.And the nation melted down, and the owners and officials found a place to stopand rest after their tail-chase.Youd like to think the officials got everything they wanted, just so theleague would understand how important good officiating is. Not that the regularboys are blameless, but when you see the chaos that resulted from underpreparedofficials, you see how much better the real guys actually were.Now maybe the plan to increase depth will help, though a concerted effort tosimplify the rulebook and add yet another official or even two to help with theunconvered angles would help even more.For the most part, though, the league got kicked in the specials because itthought people wouldnt care about officials, and they were right, and wrong.People dont care about officials, but they care very deeply about officiating.At least they do when it lowers itself to the levels the league was apparentlycomfortable with until Monday.REWIND: NFL issues statement following blown call on Monday night
Will this serve as a deterrent the next time another league wants to squeeze afew dollars from its officiating corps? No. Owners think their competitivenatures matter too, and they cant compete by playing or coaching or evengeneral managing. Theyre not equipped or trained for it, and those who tryfail spectacularly. They can only compete at something theyre putatively good at in labor negotiations,and they consider it a win only when theyve hosed the employees. Thats whatthey tried to do here, and they failed, not because their offer was insulting,but because they presumed leverage they ultimately didnt have.RELATED: Dolich -- Referee pensions major sticking point in labor talks
Oh, they had the money and the power, but they didnt have the ability toreplace their officials with other officials, and they forgot that in sportsunlike nearly every other walk of life, the on-field personnel are the productyoure selling. Locking our players or refs is like car dealer trying to lowercosts by firing the cars.You cant play without players, and you cant keep them from killing each otherwithout officials who know what theyre doing. That was the lesson the ownersand their faithful ward Rog swallowed today, and it would never have happenedwithout Lance Easley. We owe him a level of gratitude that I expect we willnever be in the mood to pay. But at least he knows we are in his debt.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

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.