Ray Ratto

Ratto: 49ers' Tired Act Exposed in Latest Embarrassment


Ratto: 49ers' Tired Act Exposed in Latest Embarrassment

Nov. 21, 201049ERS NEWS 49ERS VIDEORATTO ARCHIVERay RattoCSNBayArea.com
Thisis what you get for having hope. This is your reward for believing thepreposterous. This is the real gift that keeps on giving, week afterweek, year after year.The 49ers -- Setting You Up And Taking You Off At The Knees Since 2002.Sunday's effort, if you can call it that, killed their minimal hopesfor something not miserable this season. Being shut out -- no, utterlyowned by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 21-0, is one thing. Being sohopelessly addled that head coach (for the time being) Mike Singletaryreferenced the films he and the team must review to understand thedefeat a whopping 11 times.Well, they can look for whatever the hell they want, but here's what the films will actually say.This whole act is done. The season, the Singletary Era, the myth ofteam-wide talent, the whole underpinning of the franchise. It'sstarting over for the third time in eight years, because this isno longer plausible entertainment.And no, there will be no more references to the NFC West beingcomprehensively rancid, and therefore winnable. The 49ers are the primereason why the NFC West is a four-team dumpster on fire.So the only question left to ask you, the consumer is this: Now do yousee this for what it really is? In other words, don't you have moredeserving things to believe in this holiday season?Finally, haven't you seen enough?Sunday, they thought they could run on the 29th best rush defense inthe league, and Frank Gore ran 12 times for 23 yards. They thought theycould find their bliss in thirdsecond-first quarterback Troy Smith,and he managed to complete barely half his passes and got sacked sixtimes. They thought they could play a ball-control game and had theball less than 40 percent of the time.They filled and emptied Candlestick Park in two hours and fifteenminutes. The game took 2:51, and 101 was clear both ways by 5:15 p.m. People flee burning trucks in less time.The first noticeable booing came midway through the second quarter, andthere was never a full-throated rage at the team only because there isno way to monitor the decibel level of people booing in their cars.The only positive to come out of the game was KTVU-TV's thoughtfulattempt to mollify the mood by running six-week-old scores on thebottom of the screen. And even then, that was the week the 49ers lostto Carolina, the Panthers' only win all year. (In fairness to KTVU, there was clearly a computer glitch that couldn'tbe repaired; still, the metaphor was too delicious to ignore). But for all those ephemeral pieces of evidence telling you that you'vewasted your hope yet again, the central truth was Singletaryreferencing the absence of leadership yet again, a laughably tiredrefrain that means nothing because it explains nothing. He alsoreferenced miscommunication yet again, and at this point one can onlyconclude that the plays must be sent in in Esperanto, because therecannot be this many misunderstandings by a team that is used to beingwell prepared. The 49ers are not well prepared. They do not have enough good players.They do not rally around their coach, nor he around them. There are sixgames left, and a few of them will be won, but it will not be becausethey have finally seen the light, because it's too late for that. Waytoo late. They are so comprehensively revolting that every fan can pick hisfavorite villain and fulminate about his shortcomings and how he ruinedthe season. Singletary? Check. Jed and Paraag? Check. Alex Smith?Check. The offensive line? Check. The secondary? Check. In fact, tosave time, let's just exempt Gore and Patrick Willis and then let youargue among yourselves. But you must all agree on this, at least. This has run its course,utterly and completely. Not knowing what to say in a postgame presser(a longtime Singletary trait) is one thing, not knowing what to fix issomething else. There's too much to fix, and not enough people who knowhow to use a wrench.Will it get fixed? One should assume the last eight seasons (includingthis one) would make you assume that the answer would be no. But youkeep thinking that happy days are here again, just around the corner,just a week or two away.And unless you are very careful and very disciplined, you will do soagain this coming Sunday if they win at Arizona. You'll leap to yourfeet and shriek, "We're in third now! We're closing in! I can feel it!" Well, let us break it to you. No you can't. They can't. The hand hasbeen played, the cards revealed, and once again it's a dry ace(Willis)-king (Gore). Starting over is the only way out, and there areanother six weeks of waiting for winter.Yes, winter. As in the time that you start getting your hopes up for 2011. And good luck to you with that one.
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Celtics are the rivals Warriors fans need

Celtics are the rivals Warriors fans need

You don’t think you needed this game to go this way, but you did, and you do.

The Golden State Warriors spat out a 17-point lead and lost, 92-88, in Boston Thursday night, in a game that was taut if not particularly elegant, and in a game that elevated the Celtics to a place that makes them the new heir apparent to the heir apparent.

The Celtics have been a difficult out for the Warriors during the Brad Stevens Era, losing six of nine but only being blown out twice, and Thursday was not one of those nights. The box score will tell you the shooting and rebounding problems, but the Warriors had that lead and didn’t hold it. Or, to be accurate, the Celtics had that deficit and refused to let it destroy them.

Which is exactly the kind of team you, the fully licensed Warrior fan, want to watch play your team in the NBA Finals. You want to see them genuinely challenged, forced to win outside their comfort zone, induced to show their greatness in the highest of high leverage situations.

At least we think that’s what you want. Maybe you prefer blowouts so you can drink and go to the bathroom without care or fear. After all, the Warriors have taught the area the true meaning of front-running by being in front so often.

But the Celtics play a level of defense typically reserved for the San Antonio Spurs, and yes, the Warriors. They have a spiky exoskeleton that the acquisition of Kyrie Irving has actually enhanced, and Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum give them a gifted precocity that fits well with veterans like Al Horford and Marcus Morris, and Boston’s overall youth (they are fifth youngest, while Golden State is third-oldest) ought to make them a more difficult conundrum than Cleveland or any other team in either conference.

They are not yet the superior team; that remains to be proven, and betting against the Warriors requires a level of irrational bravery left only for the truly self-destructive.

But they are, as we sit this evening, the team the Warriors will have to work hardest to finish, because on a night when they had the chance to do so, they didn’t. In other words, the fight for a third ring still goes through Oakland, but it looks more and more like a one-stop through Boston.

And as much as you may hate thinking about it, you’ll almost certainly remember, and savor, a Celtics-Warriors final more than another round of Cavs-on-the-half-shell.

Three reasons Draymond Green is the perfect college professor


Three reasons Draymond Green is the perfect college professor

Programming note: Warriors-Celtics coverage starts today at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming live right here 

Draymond Green spoke to a group of students at Harvard Thursday on the subject of leadership, and if you find that incongruous, shame on you.
I mean, who else would you want as a college professor?
Green has led, and been led. He has learned, and he has taught. He has certainly lectured, as any teammate, official and media member will testify. He’d be a hell of a teacher, and the subject almost doesn’t matter.
For one, homework would be different, as in I’d bet there would be no written work. I don’t see Prof. Day-Day poring over essays about the Industrial Revolution, M-theory or pre-Raphaelite art. Not even the history of Basketball-Reference.com.

For two, having tenured faculty audit his classes may find his choice of rhetoric a little strident, as in “What the ---- were you thinking, dude?” is not typically approved instructional methodology.
And three, nobody would get a grade. Green would mark every exam with a “35,” as in his draft position, and besides, the exams would be students arguing with each other over whether that was a foul or a no-call, and who pulled the better face when the call was made. He’d give either an approving nod or give the loser a second technical foul and kick him or her out of class.
But it would be a hell of a class. Not at Harvard, of course, because Green probably would want to teach a school that could better use his brand of wisdom, and Harvard kids already have a healthy lead off third base. He’d want his students to make Harvard students cry, you can just tell.
But wouldn’t he look perfectly Draymond in a cap and gown on graduation day, pulling a bottle out of his sleeve to make the valedictory speeches less painful. “Damn, dude,” you could hear him yell. “Peaking?”