Deep thoughts, cheap shots & bon mots ...
⏩ A couple more things you didn’t know about Nick Mullens: He sleeps under the roller coaster at Great America to practice being calm and relaxed while everyone is screaming and panicking . ... Mullens is a volunteer barista at a Starbucks, because doing that helps him learn to shout out complicated, playbooktype terminology under pressure.
⏩ It’s nice that Stephen Curry was given credit for helping Klay Thompson break Steph’s three-pointer record. But what did anyone expect? Steph to freeze out Klay? A lot of NBA superstars would do the same for their teammates, but no team shares the glory like the Warriors.
⏩ Who had a better game last week, Klay or Nick? They’re both wild and crazy guys.
⏩ With the $100 million Mark Davis is paying Jon Gruden, the Raiders’ owner could have built a new stadium in Oakland.
⏩ OK, I know you can’t build a football stadium for $100 mil, but that amount is more than 10 percent of what it would have taken to build the subbillion-dollar stadium Davis once said he would be happy with in Oakland.
⏩ Usually when a high-rolling loser comes to Vegas, the casinos set him up with a comp hotel room. With Davis, they’re giving him a comp stadium.
⏩ Maybe this is a small thing, but 31 of the 32 NFL head coaches, starting an undrafted rookie at quarterback, would open the game with a running play. Kyle Shanahan had Mullens drop back and pass. The rest is history.
⏩ On the other hand: Shanahan says he hasn’t decided if Mullens will start the 49ers’ next game. What Shanahan should have said: “I’m not going to make my decision public yet.” Because if he really isn’t sure Mullens will start that next game, Shanahan has no heart, no sense of theater, and no feel for the emotions of players and fans.
⏩ Trade Jimmy Garoppolo to Chicago for Khalil Mack? Just a thought.
⏩ Garoppolo could become Wally Pipp Once Removed. (Google it, kids.)
⏩ One thing that’s very cool about the S.F. Giants: They treasure and look after their old stars. The decades-long love affair between the team and Willie McCovey was a beautiful thing, and they both benefited enormously.
⏩ We’ll never know if Joe Lacob and the Warriors were trying to weasel out of their debt to Oakland or if they sincerely believed they had a right to stop payments on Oracle Arena once they move out. But the arbitrator’s ruling, that the Warriors must pay the remaining $40 million, is a karma gift to the city. Not just because the Warriors are leaving, but because between ruthless sports owners and clownish politicians, the citizens of The Town have been getting ripped off for decades.
⏩ Gruden’s job would appear to be safe through 2020. Mark Davis is still paying Jack Del Rio for this season and two more, and Davis probably doesn’t want to have three head coaches on his payroll.
⏩ All those players phoning Gruden to say they’d love to play for the Raiders, I wonder how many of them are under 50. ⏩ And how many current Raiders are phoning Gruden to ask if they can leave?
⏩ Boston could run the table — World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup. Maybe two more opportunities for Boston fans to shower their heroes with full cans of beer. That’s how they make it rain in Boston. Ticker tape and confetti are for wimps.
⏩ The Giants picked up their option on Pablo Sandoval. He’ll report to spring training somewhere between 160 and 360 pounds.
⏩ Historical footnote to the recent Pumpsie Green story by John Shea and myself: You knew Pumpsie was the first black player on the Red Sox, the last team to integrate, in ’59. Of the 17 men who broke the color barriers on the 16 major-league teams, from Jackie Robinson to Green, only four are still alive: Pumpsie, Chuck Harmon (Reds, age 94), Nino Escalera (Reds, age 88) and Ozzie Virgil (Tigers, age 86).
⏩ Schadenfreude is the German word for taking joy from watching the troubles of others. Alameda resident Jarrett Moyer invented a new word for what many grumpy Raiders’ fans are feeling right now: Grudenfreude.
⏩ On the 49ers-Raiders telecast, other than blimp shots, they didn’t show any shots of the crowd. Guess the networks like to cooperate with the NFL and not embarrass teams by showing empty seats.
⏩ World Series TV ratings were down 25 percent from last year. One factor: Other than the marathon game, the other four games averaged 3.5 hours. Too little action packed into too much air time. Like a huge potato-chip bag that’s mostly air. New rule: Once the batter leaves the on-deck circle, he can’t refasten his Velcro gloves.
⏩ POTUS had time to tweet out a second-guess criticism of Dodger manager Dave Roberts’ strategy during the World Series. Maybe after next Tuesday’s midterms, the football-savvy prez will have time to send Gruden suggestions on how to stop invaders, and to fire the 49ers’ take-a-knee cheerleader (#DOB).
⏩ Caesars Entertainment is officially the “first Founding Partner of the Las Vegas stadium.” The press release features an artist’s rendering of a lux suite in the Raiders’ new digs. It looks like a hospital operating room, but without the warmth and charm. Maybe the stadium motif is Chill Modern.
⏩ Meanwhile, the state of Nevada just announced it is relocating the Raiders’ new stadium slightly. To Winnemucca.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) shakes hands with 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens on Thursday night after Mullens leads his team to a 34-3 win over Oakland at Levi's Stadium.