Ray Ratto

Ratto: Change imminent after NBA All-Star snubs

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Ratto: Change imminent after NBA All-Star snubs

Feb. 3, 2011RATTO ARCHIVERay RattoCSNBayArea.com

You may think that when the NBA expands its All-Star teams, probably next year, it will be because of Monta Ellis.It wont. Itll be because of Kevin Love.Someone will notice that the last player to average 21 points and 15 rebounds was Moses Malone in 1983. Someone will notice that Steve Nash and Tony Parker didnt make it, too, and even a few folks will notice Ellis.RELATED: Warriors' Ellis snubbed from All-Star game
But this much is sure. Even though the coaches pick the reserves, and even though they cant vote for their own players, the league (read: D. Joel Stern) will notice that Loves numbers qualify him for some measure of notice other than his nightly attaboy from Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis.Were not saying the NBA is wrong to use the system they use. In fact, its exclusivity is one of the things that make its All-Star game the least in need of change. The players want to be named to the team, and they even want to play in it.What is more, there is no player whom we can honestly say screwed Love out of his place, which is going to lead someone in the league office (read: D. Joel Stern) to decide that the issue here is not enough spots to fit all the worthies as opposed to the NFL and MLB All-Star processes, which is about not enough worthies to fit all the spots.So bet on the system changing right after the CBA is renegotiated.As for Ellis, hes a Warrior. And the Warriors just broke the NBA, MLB, NFL and NBA record for most consecutive years without an All-Star 14. The old record was set by the Indiana Pacers, who went 13 years between Don Buse and Billy Knight in 1977 and Reggie Miller in 1990.Hey, maybe thats worth a banner in the rafters. Its not like theyre running out of room up there.What's on your mind? Email Ray and let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

Bortles the worst QB in the NFL? Yeah, he doesn't care

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AP

Bortles the worst QB in the NFL? Yeah, he doesn't care

Blake Bortles of America’s Jaguars represents something new and dangerous in American sports, and no, it isn’t because he is the national punch line who punches back.

Rather, the Jacksonville quarterback who is preparing for the AFC Championship Game against the New England Monolith, is dangerous because he seems genuinely not to care at all that he is routinely savaged as the worst quarterback in the National Football League. Not just passive-aggressively so, but actually and completely.

Have you any idea what this does to the smack-talking industry? If this catches on, our generation of semi-malevolent athletic parrots are stuck without a reason to talk that trash.

Of course, Bortles is unusual in this regard, in that he has been mean-mouthed not just by players but by regular citizens. He has been used as a prop for the Why-Isn’t-Colin-Kaepernick-Working movement, he has been compared unkindly to Ty Detmer, the previous low water mark in championship-level quarterbacks, and essentially disparaged almost universally.

Put another way, a case can be made that he has been savaged in his idiom as aggressively as the President.

And what does he do? Well, win, sure, but he has help, as all quarterbacks do. We always seem to forget that in our only-one-position-matters depth of understanding about the sport.

No, what he does is say with all sincerity that he doesn’t care one way or another, and that he never claps back at anyone for their more pointed views re: his skill set. If this is so, he is not only the owner of a rhinoceros hide, but he may be the living embodiment of a movement toward, “Oh, I suck? Yeah, okay, whatever. You’re probably right. You have yourself a good day.”

Andrew Luck does that after receiving a big hit. Bortles seems to do it on command, and if this is the future of sports in America, we are heading for a fascinating new world of relative silence.

But we know better. Bortles is an outlier, again, and this will not catch on. There’s no putting the mess-talk back in the tube. But if it helps, Bortles has another round of grief awaiting him this week as he is compared to Tom Brady . . . as a compost heap is compared to the Taj Mahal.

Only with more F-bombs.

Let Steve Young's brilliant Monday Night Football idea come true

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AP

Let Steve Young's brilliant Monday Night Football idea come true

Steve Young recently told KNBR’s Tom Tolbert that he still wasn’t interested in replacing new Raiders coach Jon Gruden in the Monday Night Football analyst’s chair – “still,” as in he’s been approached before and declined, for the only legitimate dodge left on the books -- family reasons.
 
“I cannot take a job where you disappear for four days a week for five months,” Young said, later adding, “If I could do it from my backyard, sure, I’d do it.”
 
And therein lies an idea – a brilliant idea, if I do steal and say so myself.
 
Let Young do the games from his backyard. Put a camera back there and let him work from a lounge chair beside what I imagine is a pool. He should have a beer and snacks at hand, and his kids should be allowed to run in front of him and make noise like they would normally, because that’s how most of us watch the games. Maybe he can bring the neighbors over for a little ‘cue, as long as they don’t F-bomb through his pregame chat with Sean McDonough.
 
After all, these are not grand secrets he will be imparting. He is not going to be able to articulate the secrets of the bubble screen or the two-deep zone any more cleverly than any other analyst – he will just sound more agreeable and less cartoonish doing it. And if the payment for that sense of informality is him in a Tommy Bahama shirt, cargo shorts, flip-flops and a frothy IPA, well, what’s the harm.
 
I mean, it’s not like he would be torpedoing ratings momentum. This has been another year of diminishing viewership for the NFL, which continues to struggle with the “F” in its acronym – football. Catches aren’t catches, fumbles aren’t fumbles, holds aren’t holds, first down measurements need office supplies, and nobody can explain why the overseer on the Planet Replay is no better at getting calls right than the guys on the ground.
 
So why not Young lounging in his backyard? Or his garage? Or the hardware store? Or the local tavern? If McDonough needs company in the booth, there is a vast wildlife preserve of ex-players roaming the hills and flats just waiting to share insipid tales of jet sweeps and momentum shifts while Young sits working the business end of a pina colada and providing the big picture the sport is so weak at providing. Frankly, I'm stupefied that it hasn't been done already.
 
This has been A Tramp’s View Inside The Television Garbage Fire, and I will happily accept the standard consultants fee when this is universally adapted.