49ers

House of York vs House of DeBartolo: Shakespeare without rooting interest

House of York vs House of DeBartolo: Shakespeare without rooting interest

In defense of chaos as we are, the news that Lady Lisa DeBartolo, cousin of Prince Jed of York and daughter of the abdicated King Edward, decided to retweet and endorse a column by Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat urging (well, stamping his feet and demanding, really) that Prince Jed renounce the throne of Ninervania for having driven it into its current Ottoman Empire-level status.

Under normal circumstances, such an odd demand would fall on deaf ears, as not even the dimmest of dairy farmers would willingly walk on a multi-million-dollar cash cow. In fact, the idea would be derided as ridiculous.

But in this case, Cohn’s piece smoked out Princess Lisa’s dissatisfaction with the prince and even the line of succession, thus revealing a long-rumored rift in the House Of DeBartolo (which is Italian for DeBartolo). Evidently Prince Jed has been a bit imperious with the outer edges of the palace court, and as this is a totally modern-day royal house, conscientious objectors start a revolution with Twitter.

In other words, it’s cheap Shakespeare without a rooting interest, or fun-filled blood splash. And all it really does is tell us that the family is no longer capable of keeping its business from leaking into the street.

None of which puts Prince Jed’s crown, or the head beneath it, in jeopardy, as he won the crown from his father King John, who had won it from Queen Denise, who had won it from King Edward after he lost the famous War Of Louisiana despite an alliance with the former Duke Edward of Edwards.

But it does mean that we now can see that the royal house is showing its tatters, and the queen’s discomfort is as profound as that of Helen Mirren’s in the underrated movie “The Queen.”

And who doesn’t love a bit of messy and even degrading palace intrigue?

See? The beauty of chaos.

The problem, of course, is that the rivals to the throne really aren’t rivals at all. Queen Denise ousted King Edward in a bloodless yet delightfully vindictive coup more than 20 years ago, and maintains a stranglehold on Ninervania and the shiny new palace that is its nerve center. Neither Princess Lisa nor King Edward has the army to muster to take the palace, and in all likelihood has only seen to it that their likenesses will be removed from the great hall and family photos will be dramatically redone by Michael Zagaris, the Hans Holbein The Younger of the Yorks.

But the nation shall not have new leaders (nor is there any guarantee that Princess Lisa is any better positioned to fix the problems than Prince Jed), as old King Edward is still mostly a very interested outsider at best. Queen Denise, whose pathological need for privacy has been blown to Smithereens (one of the smaller duchies of Ninervania), will defend her son’s lands and properties with an increased fierceness, and she is considered a most implacable enemy.

In other words, you throw shade on the boy, and she’ll show you your spleen on Christmas morning and sleep the sleep of the joyful that very night.

But it is fun to speculate on how dirty this fight could get in the interim. The National Football League is an alliance of royal houses, and though there has been no evidence of treaties through marriage, there is a growing trend toward direct inheritance as the way to power.

The last really good in-house coup before Ninervania was in Ramistan, when Prince Steve Rosenbloom lost a power struggle to Queen Georgia of Frontiere, who had risen to the throne by surviving King Carroll of Rosenbloom, her husband in a morganatic marriage. A similar scenario has played in New Orleans, the place where King Edward lost his power base, where King Thomas of Benson undermined his children and left the kingdom in the hands of his third royal consort, Queen Gayle.

In short, Princess Lisa shot her Internetic yap off to no useful end, but Christmas will now include a battery of royal food testers, because you never know when a malicious gnocchi will turn up on someone’s plate.

And we have embellished that last vision for purposes of plot development.

But there is this much good news: Colin Kaepernick is no longer the biggest spike in Prince Jed’s leathern hide. In other words, “Party Down, Yorks. It’s On Now.”

And no cheerier words for a fan of chaos can be uttered.
 

John Lynch explains how Dee Ford can make 49ers defense dominant force

John Lynch explains how Dee Ford can make 49ers defense dominant force

PHOENIX — General manager John Lynch wants to make the 49ers' defense a dominant force in the NFL and he thinks the signing of Dee Ford can help him achieve that vision.

There are currently four first-round picks on the 49ers' defensive line; Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas and now Ford.

Buckner had his best season in 2018, registering 12 sacks, 67 tackles, 44 of which were solo and 17 for a loss. He also recorded 20 quarterback hits. Lynch detailed how adding Ford will increase Buckner's productivity.  

“We felt we were just missing that edge piece,” Lynch said. “If we just had one guy there. It’s not like brain surgery. I think DeFo is a guy who has played at a high level but he’s had so many rushes that he hasn’t been able to finish because they aren’t getting it from the edge. 

“Now we have that. Dee is known, I think, for having the best first step in football coming off the edge. All of a sudden you have a tackle who doesn’t feel so good about hanging in here to help on DeForest because ‘If I do that Dee’s gone.’” 

Lynch doesn’t believe that the defensive line will be too crowded. The 49ers are very open to the idea of adding another first-round selection to the defensive line on April 25th. The defensive line room could potentially have Nick Bosa, Josh Allen or Quinnen Williams added to it on Day 1 of the NFL Draft. 

“I think there’s enough to go around,” Lynch said. “I think you want to be great at something. I think some people want to think that’s one guy. Well, for us, that’s always been collective.” 

There were games in 2018 when it seemed like a challenge to get every defensive lineman playing time.

Lynch explained the thought process behind the rotations. 

“We walked into a situation where there were some guys that had been drafted very high,” Lynch said. “I think two years in, we’re figuring out what everyone does best. What I would say is there is enough snaps to go around, but collectively we want to become a dominant force there, because we think that’s very important. It can really change the course of a game.”

[RELATED: 49ers considering all options with No. 2 overall pick]

Lynch has recently mentioned needing "closers" and "game changers" on the defense. He may not only have one of those in Ford, but he also may have just given the team their personality.

“You start to get excited about all those things,” Lynch said. “Those still have to come to fruition but I think we put the pieces in place. That’s the vision we have for that group.” 

NFL draft: 49ers considering all options, including trade of No. 2 pick

NFL draft: 49ers considering all options, including trade of No. 2 pick

PHOENIX – The 49ers have not necessarily narrowed down their list of potential targets for the No. 2 overall pick.

Although there is reason to believe former Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa tops the team’s list, the 49ers are still formulating a plan to consider all options, including potential trades, that could become available prior to next month’s draft.

The 49ers have six draft picks, including the No. 2 overall selection.

“We’re looking at a ton of people right there and kind of figuring out, ‘OK, if we’re here, this is what we’re doing,’ ” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “If not, we got to be prepared to understand who are the guys we like that we think can make us a better football team.”

The NFL owners meeting is a time when coaches and general managers can get together over a cold, icy or neat beverage to discuss different trade scenarios.

On the surface, the 49ers’ decision at No. 2 looks simple: Come up with two names, in order. If the Arizona Cardinals take the first player on the list at No. 1 overall, select the second guy on the list.

Boom! There you go.

But 49ers CEO Jed York said it’s imperative for Lynch, coach Kyle Shanahan and executive vice president of football operations Paraag Marathe to have a more detailed plan in place.

“We’re very, very happy with players who will be there at two,” York said. “And we need to be prepared, if somebody offers a trade that is too good to pass up, we need to know what we’ll do if we move back and what would we not take.

“You have to have that planned out beforehand because if you’re trying to figure all that stuff out, it’s OK in the second or third round, but when you’re the second pick in the draft, you can’t do that on the fly. It’s way, way too hard, so you need to get a sense of it.”

Bosa, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen are scheduled to visit the 49ers next month. Each is worthy of serious consideration for a high draft pick.

“You really want to come out of it with a player who is really going to be able to change the fortunes of your franchise,” Lynch said. “This year is a draft that’s very deep and there are also very good players at the top, so I think we’re in good position.”

The 49ers finished last season with a 4-12 record to be assigned the No. 2 overall pick. They need at least one difference-making player to make an immediate impact.

“I don’t expect to be drafting in the top two again, and if that’s the case, you have to add really, really talented players,” York said. “Or you have to get a ton of capital in order to move back, so you can make up for maybe not getting that No. 2 guy in the draft, but you’re getting a lot in return if you’re going to give up that opportunity.”

[RELATED: Lynch says McKinnon fits 49ers' plan for upcoming season]

The first wave of free agency has ended, and the attention shifts toward the three-day draft, which kicks off on April 25. The conversations at the owners meeting are an important part of the draft process.

“Things aren’t fully in focus, yet, in terms of what everybody is going to do,” York said. “But this week helps you at least get a better sense of that and just keep working toward your plan so you’re ready when the whistle blows come draft day.”