49ers lose out to Raiders again, this time off the field 

click to enlarge Trent Baalke | Jim Tomsula | Jed York
  • AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
  • San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Tomsula, center, poses for photos with general manager Trent Baalke, left, and team owner Jed York, right, after an NFL football news conference announcing Tomsula's hiring, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Santa Clara, Calif.

The 49ers and Raiders are never going to stop trying to steal each other's thunder. It's what siblings do, and that's what these teams really are to each other. NFL brothers. Perhaps step-brothers is a more apt analogy, but you get the gist.

It's the exact same dynamic at play in Bay Area baseball, with the Giants and A's forever competing with great intensity against one another -- if not directly and on the field, in their own minds and in the hearts of their respective fan bases.

Oh, you're trying to bag Ben Zobrist? Um, yeah. No. We're going to go ahead and trade for him ourselves, just to piss you off with the transaction equivalent of a step-brotherly wet, chewed-banana Willie. Because we can. And don't even try to pretend it doesn't piss you off. Sure, you can say "Scoreboard!" and flash all those recent rings all you want, but we all know your ass is as chapped as that of a cowboy after an old-school bareback cattle run from deep-southern Texas up to the Wyoming expanses.

The Niners and Raiders do much the same thing. It just hasn't been as obvious in recent years, mainly because it's been obscured by the competitive imbalance. That nadir of a loss in Oakland this season aside, San Francisco has been outclassing its interconference regional rival for what feels like forever.

Oooh, there's that word again. Jed's new favorite. "Class." Never mind that he merely uses is as a window-dressing word in empty, sound-and-fury-signifying-nothing pressers and releases.

As opposed to, you know, actually acting with it. Were he and the Niners truly walking all this class talk, they'd be acting with it. They'd be carrying themselves with the quiet confidence so elegantly exuded by the franchise's legendary leaders, names such as DeBartolo, Policy, Walsh, Montana, Rice, Lott, Young, Craig, Sapolu.

They wouldn't squirm like spoiled and starving-for-attention brats when the local spotlight happened to fall on the East Bay for a day, as it was shaping up to do for much of Wednesday. They'd cede the floor momentarily, comfortable in their own skin.

You want to announce your head-coaching hire today? OK, guys. Knock yourselves out. Enjoy, and good luck. We'll make our own announcement in a day or so, and allow you to be the belle of the Bay Area ball for a quick spell.

But no. Forget about a quick spell, or even a single day. The Boy Jester -- Boy King is far too regal a moniker to bestow on such a font of poorly veiled petulance -- couldn't bear not being the center of attention for mere hours. Almost as soon as word got out that the Raiders were about to name Jack Del Rio their new head man, the Niners insisted on swinging that spotlight back to Santa Clara by naming Jim Tomsula their head man.

I'll see your head-scratcher of a hire and raise you by going all-in with an even bigger head-scratcher of a hire. You got a retread with a dubious track record of limited success as the big whistle? Well, check it out. We got ourselves a grunt of an NFL lifer with virtually no track record as the big whistle at all. At least our guy is undefeated as a head coach. Wasn't that interim win over the Arizona Cardinals to close the book on the Mike Singletary debacle back in 2010 just glorious?

No, Jed. It wasn't. It was meaningless. Just like pretty much everything you've said since you turned the once-glorious Jim Harbaugh Era into an all-out debacle, setting some sort of an all-time record for disenchanting a loyal fan base.

Ridiculous, but sadly typical. Gamesmanship is one thing. Playing silly games is quite another, and that's all the Boy Jester seems to be about these days.

Mychael Urban is the host of "Inside the Bigs," which airs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon on KGMZ "The Game" (95.7 FM).

About The Author

Mychael Urban

Mychael Urban

Mychael Urban has been covering Bay Area sports for 25 years and has worked for MLB.com, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and KNBR (680 AM).
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