Odds & Ends-Volume 160

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lewwolffWe begin Odds & Ends this week with the resignation of A’s managing partner Lew Wolff.

Wolff had been co-owner of the team,along with John Fisher,who is now the full owner,since 2005 when the two bought the team for $180 million. Wolff was the more public face in the ownership group who took a lot of the heat for the team’s poor record and attendance as well as the team continuing to call the Coliseum home while trying to move to Fremont and San Jose.

In addition to Wolff’s departure,team president Michael Crowley will serve in a new role as a senior advisor and was replaced by San Jose Earthquakes president David Kaval, who has remained tight on the team’s focus on building a new stadium in Oakland,whether it’s at the current site of the Coliseum or elsewhere in the city.

With Wolff gone,Fisher and Kaval have their work cut out for them,which includes trying to shed a label of the team being cheap and not operating like a major league franchise. While there are many who think that may happen overnight,I’m not one of them.

Why? Because the A’s have a long history of operating this way long before Wolff and Fisher were ever there. I have high doubts that the team is going to do an about-face and sign high priced free agents to play in that sewage treatment plant off I-880 anytime soon,at least not right now they aren’t. They’re more than likely going to focus more on getting the team a new home than putting a quality product on the field in seasons to come. I could be wrong,but history has shown how right I am and have been.

Meanwhile on the other side of the bay, former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo,Jr. had some praise for his nephew,49ers CEO Jed eddiedYork.

“I have great respect for Jed and I think they’ll get this thing turned around,” DeBartolo said in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, “They’ve got the nucleus of a pretty good football team. I know he cares. I know he cares deeply, and so does his family, about making that a winning organization.

DeBartolo also says his tenure as owner was nothing compared to what his nephew is experiencing now.

“I think I had it rougher than Jed,” DeBartolo said, “When I came to Candlestick Park a couple of times, I mean I had people throw things at me.I got hit with a full beer can once. I had people spit at me. That’s how much they cared and felt about their team.”

The 49ers currently have a 1-9 record,their latest defeat came at the hands of the New England Patriots in what looked and sounded like a West Coast home game. The Patriots won 30-17.

While York’s uncle may have faith in him,and understandably so,I really don’t. Aside from hiring Harbaugh and the seasons that followed, it’s clear that York and his family have next to no idea what they’re doing, they got the stadium that they wanted (and frankly,they needed) and don’t exactly care who fills it or if it even gets filled.

jerryjonesJerry Jones has become the latest critic of the connections between CTE and football in a recent piece in Sports Illustrated.

The 74-year-old owner of the Dallas Cowboys claims that there isn’t enough data relating to CTE and a link to football-related injuries, claiming that he himself has the brain of a 40-year-old despite playing college football at Arkansas and using his helmet as a weapon.

Jones was also critical of the focus of head injuries being solely on football when other sports have had their own share of head-to-head hits.

“I’m going to carefully choose my words here,” Jones said. “The game of football is convenient to involve in the discussion of head injuries. Anybody who stops and thinks for a few minutes will realize that many other sports involve contact with athletes’ heads.

Many other occupations do, as well. . . . I don’t become unduly alarmed. We don’t have the answers. There is no such thing as the answer.”

Earlier this year, the NFL admitted for the first time that football is linked to brain damage.

Honestly,Jones is wrong here. The long-term effects on these players have time and again been proven to show signs of CTE,especially in players who have taken their own lives as a result of experiencing brain trauma. Jones himself may not be experiencing the problems a lot of players are having now,but he needs to know what’s happening with these guys is absolutely real and that a lot of work needs to be done to protect the health of these players anyway they can.

Week 11 has brought something no other week in the NFL has,the most missed PATs.nugentmissedpats

On 12 different occasions this past Sunday, a kicker lined up for an extra-point attempt following a touchdown and walked away empty-handed. Two kickers did it twice-Mike Nugent and Robbie Gould of the Bengals and Giants,respectively. The record set yesterday is the most point-after attempts missed since Week Two of the 1985 NFL season,with 10.

From the aforementioned Nugent and Gould to Stephen Hauschka to Stephen Gostkowski, it seemed as if no kicker’s extra point was safe. After Cincinnati’s 16-12 loss at home to Buffalo Sunday Nugent noted the performance might have cost him his job, per Joe Danneman of Fox 19 in Cincinnati:

“If I’m lucky enough to be back,” said Nugent,regarding his future with the Bengals.

Nugent’s worry about the safety of his job is warranted. Minnesota released kicker Blair Walsh last week after missing four extra-point attempts this year.

The NFL made the extra point a 33-yard kick instead of a 19-yard kick to make it more of a challenge for the kicker to make the point after since the latter kick was almost always automatic.

I honestly feel like the extra-long extra point was never a good idea in the first place nor was it something that was immediately needing fixing with the game. Why not make it a 25-yard or a 28-long extra point? These kickers are getting worn out and their lifespans and jobs are getting cut short because of the new rule. It’s also costing fantasy owners points and possibly wins in their leagues. I know a lot of people disagree with me on this,but when you see these guys miss a field goal that’s only worth one point and it’s so damn far away, something’s gotta give.

That’s about all I have for Odds & Ends this week, we will see you again on Thanksgiving Day with Week 12 Pigskin Picks!

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