49ers

Is it time to give up on a full NHL season?

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Is it time to give up on a full NHL season?

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- The little hope that existed for a full NHL season appears to be gone.Shortly after the players' reached out to the league on Tuesday night to restart stalled labor negotiations, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly rebuffed the union's attempt.NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said last week, in presenting the league's most recent offer to the players, that if a new collective bargaining agreement wasn't reached by this Thursday, it would be impossible for a full regular-season schedule to be played.No talks have been scheduled, and no last-minute discussions seem to be on tap."I don't anticipate any taking place for the balance of the week," Daly said in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday night. "The union has rejected the proposal we made last Tuesday and is not offering another one. We see nothing to be gained at this point by meeting just to meet."Following a call for the union's executive board Tuesday night, the players' association informed the NHL it is willing to meet on Wednesday "or any other date, without preconditions, to try to reach an agreement," the players' association said in a statement.The NHL's response wasn't what the union had hoped to hear.The sides haven't met since the league turned down three counterproposals from the union on Thursday, two days after the NHL's offer that included a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue. Because the players' association hasn't shown an inclination to negotiate off of that NHL proposal, a stalemate now exists and could last for a while."The league is apparently unwilling to meet," NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr said in a statement. "That is unfortunate as it is hard to make progress without talking."The developments on Tuesday night came hours after more discourse between the sides on the 38th day of the league's lockout.While negotiators for the NHL and union kept conversations to a minimum, club officials had a brief window last week to discuss the league's latest proposal.Those secretive discussions haven't produced any breakthrough, but they have inflamed an already unsettled atmosphere. The union hierarchy wasn't informed about the window then, and isn't happy about it."Most owners are not allowed to attend bargaining meetings," Fehr said earlier Tuesday. "No owners are allowed to speak to the media about the bargaining. It is interesting that they are secretly unleashed to talk to the players about the meetings the players can attend, but the owners cannot."The NHL said Tuesday that team officials were able to have temporary contact with players, although there were parameters regarding what could be discussed."From our perspective, this is a nonissue and a nonstory," Daly said Tuesday in an email to The Associated Press. "There is nothing -- legally or otherwise -- that precludes club personnel from communicating with their players."But, more important, is the fact that NHL officials aren't haven't productive talks with union leaders. Now it seems that a full season, starting on Nov. 2, won't take place.As of now, the league has called off all games through Nov. 1. Without a deal this week, those games are in danger of being called off for good.Last week, the NHL's most recent contract offer was presented to the union and then publicly released in full. The union returned to the bargaining table last Thursday with its various counterproposals, that would also get to an even split of hockey revenue, but each was quickly rejected by the league.There is a major divide between the sides over how to deal with existing player contracts. The union wants to ensure that those are all paid in full without affecting future player contracts.No negotiations have taken place since last week, but the sides held two conference calls over the weekend to address questions the union had regarding the NHL offer.After the NHL released it on Wednesday, club officials were given until Friday to speak to players and answer questions they might have about the proposal.In an internal league memo obtained by The Canadian Press, the NHL stated that those discussions must be limited to the contents of the proposal on the table. It also provided examples of questions that shouldn't be asked of players and noted that straying from the rules could "cause serious legal problems.""You may not ask (a player) what he or others have in mind," the memo stated. "If he volunteers what he has in mind you should not respond positively or negatively or ask any questions but instead refer him to the NHLPA."Likewise, you may not suggest hypothetical proposals that the league might make in the future or that the league might entertain from the union."This was the first time club officials were permitted by the NHL to talk to players since the lockout took effect Sept. 16.

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

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AP

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

If there is such a thing as being “due” in sports (and there actually isn’t, so you can probably stop reading now), the San Francisco 49ers had Sunday coming to them.
 
After all, the anomaly of being the “best winless team in football” based on margin of defeat lasts only so long until the “winless” part trumps the “best” part, because even the Los Angeles Chargers – the previous “best bad team in football” – aren’t the Chargers all the time.
 
So it was that the Dallas Cowboys exposed every weakness the 49ers have with the simplest thing there is.
 
Talent.
 
The Cowboys did everything they wanted, but only whenever they wanted it, in a 40-10 dope-slapping that could actually have been worse than it was. The 49er offense was properly stymied (again), gaining only 290 yards (4.5 yards per play) and the defense was thoroughly Elliotted (as in Ezekiel-ed, who averaged 8.1 yards in his 27 touches). San Francisco’s warts were rubbed until they glowed, and if not for the fact that head coach Kyle Shanahan already knew where they were, he’d have been shocked to see how visible they were.
 
And therein lies the takeaway from another day at Not-So-Great-America. It turns out that the 49ers weren’t very good at much of anything before Sunday except just how far away they are from what Shanahan and general manager John Lynch believe is their destiny. C.J.  Beathard remained the rookie quarterback he is, and Carlos Hyde's hard-won 68 rushing yards led to no scores. Indeed, San Francisco's only touchdown came on a four-yard improv sprint from Beathard, who is by no means a running quarterback except in abject flight.

Next week in Philadelphia figures to be no less grisly, if you’re waiting for that magic moment when “0” becomes “1.” That is, of course, unless Washington exposes the Eagles as less than what they seem, which is very often the case in the new parity-gripped NFL.

But there are subsequent get-well games at home against Arizona and then at New York against the Giants the week after, so whatever dreams you might have about them running the table backwards and getting the first overall pick in the draft are still light years from realization.
 
This is, however, another healthy reminder that the job to be done is at least two more years in the undoing before the doing can actually begin. Not that the players or coaches needed another lesson, mind you – they know.
 
But maybe you needed it, just to keep your delusions in check. Maybe the people who were “due” were all of you.
 
But that’s unfair, too. You didn’t undo this franchise. All you did was believe, and there’s nothing wrong with that – as long you know there will be more days like this before your team starts handing out the 40-10’s.
 
In the meantime, there is beer.

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

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AP

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

SANTA CLARA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 40-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7 on Sunday:

1. A major step backward
So much for the 49ers’ somewhat-impressive streak of close losses.

There was nothing encouraging about what transpired in the 49ers' worst loss at Levi’s Stadium. It was also the franchise's worst home loss since Mike Singletary's team absorbed a 45-10 thumping against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 11, 2009.

Was there anything positive to take from this game?

“No, not right now,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It was disappointing. I think all three phases, players and coaches, we’ve got to play better than that, a lot better to give ourselves a chance to win.”

The competitive nature of the 49ers’ past five games was one thing. But with a big home loss on such an emotional day, it is fair to say that the honeymoon is over for Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. The 49ers looked like a team devoid of any leadership, and brings more scrutiny onto the organization’s decision last week to release linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

Now, the 49ers face a crossroads. With another cross-country trip ahead, the 49ers have to regroup in a hurry in order to avoid another embarrassing blowout against the Philadelphia Eagles.

2. Beathard’s first start
Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard certainly was not the reason the 49ers got blown out. In his first NFL start, he showed a lot of toughness, which was to be expected. He was sacked five times. But most of those sacks could have been avoided. He has to get rid of the ball quicker, especially on three-step drops.

Beathard also showed some promise, too. He let the ball fly deep for Marquise Goodwin, who caught four passes for 80 yards. Beathard completed 22 of 38 passes for 235 yards.

Beathard accounted for the 49ers’ only touchdown with a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. There seems to be little doubt it was in the best interest of the organization to begin evaluating what it has for the future with the permanent switch from Brian Hoyer to Beathard.

3. Dwight Clark’s Day
The 49ers, of course, did nothing to evoke any memories of the great teams on which Dwight Clark played. Well, they did look a lot like Clark’s first team with the 49ers.

The 49ers of 1979 lost their first seven games of the season. This year’s team matched that start for the worst beginning to a season in franchise history.

More than 35 of Clark’s teammates off the 1981 Super Bowl team were in attendance to honor a pay tribute to Clark, who is battling ALS. Now in a wheelchair and considerably lighter, Clark delivered some poignant remarks at halftime.

Clark, 60, told his old teammate, Keena Turner, who works as vice president of football affairs, that all he wanted was to see some of his old teammates.

“And the 49ers heard that and flew all these players in, so I could see them one more time,” Clark said.