Colin Kaepernick’s great new deal is, like all other deals with NFL players, a lot greater for the team than it is for the player (courtesy Pro Football Talk, or in this case, Pro Football Shoe-Squeezing), and the 49ers have shown admirable restraint by not standing on the roof of their intergalactic headquarters and shouting to the heavens, “We’re The Smartest People In The Universe!” The $60 million “guarantee” is actually $13 million and the 49ers could be done with him in a year if they feel like it. That’s how “secure" the six-year, $126 million deal is for Kaepernick.
Then again, they probably know that this really is just your standard NFL player contract, where the team and player enter into a completely open relationship where the team gets to sleep around and the player doesn’t. This, then, is romance in the 21st century.
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Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is having another of his my-team-is-unprofessional fits, and he is about out of opportunities to play that card.
“It may be a day here or a day there, but it hasn't felt like a true team at this point where we're all on that Tommy Lasorda end of the rope and worried about the Dodgers and ‘This is where we're going and I don't care what happens today, we're going to get there,’” Mattingly said of his $239 million payroll on the hoof. “We talk about this all the time within the staff and with different guys. It's really not that hard to see that it's not happening.”
Frankly, this healing-the-wealthy gig would look like a perfect job for the Don Zimmer of 20 years ago, but sadly for most of baseball, he has passed from this realm.
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The hilarious story from The Guardian about the Ghanaian witch doctor, Nana Kwaku Bonsam, who claims he is causing the injury to Portugal’s megastar Cristiano Ronaldo before the World Cup has made the rounds more than a few times, because ‘It’s The Cup’.
Bonsam, described as “Ghana’s most influential witch doctor,” told a Ghanaian radio station, “I know what Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury is about, I’m working on him,” Bonsam said. “I am very serious about it. Last week, I went around looking for four dogs and I got them to be used in manufacturing a special spirit called Kahwiri Kapam. I said it four months ago that I will work on Cristiano Ronaldo seriously and rule him out of the World Cup or at least prevent him from playing against Ghana and the best thing I can do is to keep him out though injury. This injury can never be cured by any medic; they can never see what is causing the injury because it is spiritual. Today, it is his knee, tomorrow it is his thigh, next day it is something else.”
It is therefore a measure of Ghana’s disinterest in the rest of its group that Doctor Feelbad has chosen to do nothing to the Germans or Americans – unless you want to count the way he used some eye-of-newt-with-a-side-of-fricasseed-wombat-pancreas to make Jurgen Klinsmann cut Landon Donovan.
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The Seattle Times eavesdropped on a Seahawks town meeting, one of those off-season fan scams NFL teams must resort to keep the fan base properly generous, and Pete Carroll covered the full gamut of ‘Hawk news, finishing with this:
“Finally, Carroll was asked about the rivalry with the 49ers and Jim Harbaugh. He gave a lengthy answer in which he repeated his oft-stated philosophy about every week being a ‘championship opportunity’ and how the team can’t afford to make one game any bigger than the other. But he ended with an applause line in saying that Harbaugh is ‘a great coach and we love beating him.’”
Except for the part where he said Harbaugh was a great coach, I believe he was being sincere.
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And finally, the Scottish Championship’s Raith Rovers new uniforms will, like all other soccer teams, carry advertising on the front. Only Rovers are being sponsored by the website of crime novelist Val McDermid. A Rovers spokesman told The Scotsman newspaper, “It is an honor for a provincial club like Raith Rovers to be involved with a world famous author. With the arrival of Rangers, Hibernian and Hearts in our division, there will be many more visitors to Stark’s Park. There will be massively more media interest, with photographers and TV cameras sending images of our ground and our players all round the world.”
A sports franchise encouraging their fans to do more reading – especially fiction? Someone’s definitely getting fired for this.