Current . . . no, wait, former 49er linebacker Chris Borland is the new best player in the NFL because he is a former player. His decision to retire at 24 is a sign from somewhere that players are less eager to give everything to their sport without much return other than a picture in the Super Bowl Who Died This Year montage.
The next frontier, then, is football executives acknowledging that what they pay others to do contributes to the most elemental fears of their most prized employees. Don’t hold anyone else’s breath.
[RELATED: Borland informs 49ers he's retiring]
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In other 49er news, Ray McDonald isn’t going to football limbo without a fight . . . err, a lawyer. The former 49er is suing the woman who accused him of rape last year for defamation, which is an indication that he is either sure of his innocence, thinks he’s immune from post-prosecution prosecution, or thinks he can intimidate his former fiancée. In all cases, the 49ers are stuck with this old nightmare awhile longer, while having to confront the new nightmare of being on the vanguard of players leaving for all the reasons in the world.
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Matt Schaub, we hardly knew ye. No kidding. We didn’t get to know you at all.
[RELATED: Raiders release Schaub]
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Here’s one way in which the NBA’s Most Valuable Player was, is, and will continue to be LeBron James rather than Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden or anyone else.
Namely, empty seats.
Curry has played 34 road games, with trips to Dallas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Portland and San Antonio still left. In those 34 games, 26 were either sold out or oversold, and 28,429 fans who had a chance to buy a seat chose not to, even allowing for the NBA’s generous crowd counts.
James, on the other hand, has played 35 road games, 31 of which have been sellouts (Boston, Brooklyn, Memphis, Miami and twice in Milwaukee still to do), and only 2,189 fans chose to skip the opportunity to see him.
Now you may still be one of those old-fashioned types who thinks basketball is basketball, but in the real world where basketball is code for “money,” James is kicking everyone’s seater but good.
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The Philadelphia Eagles held a tryout for Tim Tebow, and with that news Chip Kelly’s plan is finally revealed to us.
He wants a team made up entirely of quarterbacks. After all, if you can’t tackle them without being penalized, well, the logic is unassailable. Chip Kelly, you mad, impetuous genius/bastard, you.
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Pete Rose, on the other hand, just petitioned Commissioner Rob Manfred to have his lifetime ban from baseball lifted, which is an indicator that Rose forgets (or is unaware) who got Manfred his job.
In other words, maybe the next commissioner will do you that solid, Petey. Can you live to be 98?
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On the commissioner front, Jameis Winston, the putative first pick in the upcoming NFL flesh-peddle, is indicating he doesn’t intend to attend the TV show for the first round. The cover story is that he wants to spend it with friends and family, though conspiracy theories about why he would skip a chance to be hectored by the NFL Network abound.
The one we prefer here? He would go, but only if he doesn’t have to have his picture taken with Roger Goodell.
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More NFL news: Super Bowl 45, the one in Dallas where bogus seats were sold, netted $24 million on site, $17.6M more than 44, and $21.7M more than 43. We know this because of the lawsuit by fans who got bogus-seated and won a whopping $76,000 in damages, in which the game had to open its books.
We haven’t seen more up-to-date figures on 46, 47, 48 or 49, but 50, the one scheduled this coming February in the Santa Clara Pants Pavilion, is expected to make a profit of eleventy-billion-skillion dollars, because we as a society clearly want it that way. No word yet on whether the league will use dynamic pricing to cover any seats that actually point toward the field.
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The oddest thing about Bubba Watson and J.R. Smith being golf buddies is that one guy excels by taking the fewest shots possible, and the other one lives his career by being diametrically opposed to that standard.
A.K.A., J.R. Smith.
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And finally, did I mention that Chris Borland is the best player in the NFL? If I did, consider this iteration. And if I do it again, it will be reiteration. And with that, this is Doctor Annoying Pedantry, signing off.