Ray Ratto

Ratto: Fleeced again; Goodell, Smith back paid


Ratto: Fleeced again; Goodell, Smith back paid

July 27, 2011


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So Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith are getting all their back pay, are they? I, for one, am stupefied.

Goodell and Smith, the men who yelled at each other until they were tired of yelling, had made great shows of taking only one dollar per month for the duration of the NFL lockout, which ended Monday. Thats how determined they were to endure the same hardships as everyone else.

Now, according to Biz on Football, Goodell will be getting 3.7 million in back pay, and Smith 670K. And they might also get bonuses for getting the deal done.

In short, what they pledged is a massive pay cut. What they got is a raise, and financial planning for retirement. And this, right here, is why the arguments about risk when applied to the guys in the suits is laughable.

What exactly did Goodell and Smith risk? Nothing, as it turns out. They argued about risks to players for months, but they were home safe and dry the day the lockout began, while making grand displays of their willingness to suffer with their troops.

The problem with this? Not having the money stashed away for safekeeping? No, thats prudence. No, the problem is that they had a chance to shut up about the hardships they were not enduring, and chose instead to act like the general in the rear pretending to lead his troops into battle.

The problem is being willfully disingenuous WHEN YOU DONT HAVE TO BE BECAUSE NOBODY ASKED YOU TO.

It is, frankly, one more reminder that what they say is never what they mean, that they are posers who mastered the art of the pose even when you know theyre posing. If youre going to say youre not going ton take more than a dollar during a lockout, it is implied that you will feel the pain with everyone else. They felt nothing, and in fact feel absolutely fabulous today.

Put another way, they ate fast food for awhile and told you about every crummy bite, knowing theyd be owning a restaurant at the end.

In sum, this was just another tale of oh, shut up that will be ignored in the post-David Baas euphoria of it all. But it deserves a mention. We got played. Again.
Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

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?”