Ray Ratto

Ratto: York off mark on 49ers-Raiders violence


Ratto: York off mark on 49ers-Raiders violence

Aug. 22, 2011


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PROGRAMMING NOTE: Chronicle Live is at Raiders training camp in Napa, where the topics will include Saturday night's violence at Candlestick Park, the drafting of Terrelle Pryor, Jason Campbell's condition and more. Tune in at 5, 9 and 11 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and 6 p.m. and midnight on Comcast SportsNet California.
Ray Ratto
Of all the things to be said about Saturday's violence-besotted Raiders-49ers game, the one thing that is absolutely true is that this doesn't have anything to do with the NFL not having an 18-game schedule.Yet there was 49ers president Jed York on the radio, saying it anyway, an absurd notion that may have actually made the possibility of an 18-game schedule even more remote. If that's a case you think needs to be made, your case is too weak to be saved.We dont need to go through the reasons why Saturday's events happened, or why it might be impossible to prevent large numbers of angry and liquored-up people from becoming violent on what is essentially neutral territory. And whether the Mercury-News report about the series ending is correct, premature or off-base, we do know this.If there was only one practice game every year in the Bay Area, this would have been it. And the brawls and shootings took place because people in a mood to fight gathered together to do so. Even if, as the Mercury News claims, the game is no more, a smaller schedule wouldn't have changed anything. Jed York knows this, or should, or shouldn't speak on the subject until he does. The last thing this is about is game inventory, and he should be at least moderately ashamed to suggest that it was.
PFT: York suggests 18-game schedule could impact fan violence
Frankly, he never should have even tried to bring it up, and credit to Raiders CEO Amy Trask for not suggesting it, maybe because it probably never occurred to her to try. The 18-game schedule was already killed for the life of the current CBA by mutual negotiations, and the issue of fan violence at practice games was never raised, I would bet real money.The only issue with practice games is that a lot of people dont attend or watch them, a fact which was correct Saturday night on Candlestick Point as well. The 69,000-some-odd announced were actually about 40,000, and it wasnt like another 30,000 was going to change the mood or mellow the crowd.Some folks came to drink and get ugly. Some folks came to drink and found ugly. Some folks just wanted ugly. And this was the perfect opportunity for all those options to be in play.KILLION: Candlestick Park violence, tragic, but not surprising
If the two teams feel that never meeting again is a good idea, then fine. If there arent enough police and security to make the game a safe place for spectators, then it deserves to die. But the notion that things would have been different if this were a for-real game is downright hilarious. If anything, it might have been worse.And well see what Jed has to say the next time that scheduling quirk comes around. Maybe, This wouldnt happen if there was an optional bye.I mean, that sounds idiotic, but it wouldnt be as risible as this explanation was.Ray Ratto is a columnist at 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?”