It was no doubt an entertaining revelation, this Jim Harbaugh-to-Cleveland drama that came to light Friday.
Oh, to be a pen on the desk when G.M. Trent Baalke took that call. Bet those wheels were churning when the Browns came dangling draft picks in front of his nose in exchange for his alpha male head coach.
Harbaugh wants $10 million without a Super Bowl ring, huh? I'll show him hardball, and ship him and his $8 khakis to NFL purgatory!
Though it is great theater -- especially since late February is like intermission for sports junkies -- this is the kind of stuff that kills dynasties. Or in the 49ers case, snuffs 'em out before they are built.
What are we doing here, gentlemen?
Here is what we know:
The 49ers have built something, and there is no reason to think they can't get better.
Harbaugh has been exceptionally successful, and you're not going to find a better coach right now.
Harbaugh has never led the 49ers to a Super Bowl victory.
Both Baalke and Harbaugh are currently getting owned by Seattle.
Neither of them really wants to break apart what's been built.
This posturing is dangerous. However captivating, the most likely result of you two slap boxing is someone striking too hard and a real fight breaking out. Put your egos aside and hammer out an extension and end this front office reality show.
The solution. Harbaugh will make $5 million each of the next two years and wants an extension at $10 million. But he fell short of the grand prize, so his argument for that amount is weakened.
So give him $8 million and help him work out a $2 million endorsement deal with Dockers (owned by Levi's). Bam.
And Harbaugh had better take it. Because Jacksonville might decide to dangle some picks in front of Baalke.
He's looking more like Kung Fu Penguin with all the weight he's lost, which was G.M. Brian Sabean's expressed desire. But the Giants should lock him up before he proves he can keep the weight off. That's where the discount comes in.
Even when he's overweight and struggling with injuries, he's proved to be productive. Since 2009 he hasn't played fewer than 108 games. He's never had an OPS below .732, which is just shy of above average.
The Giants need to lock him up now, while he's coming off hitting .278 with 52 runs (fewest since his rookie season). The good bet is the price will only go up from here.
Collins needs someone to pick him up to validate his legacy as a pioneer. If not Brooklyn, somewhere.
He might not be concerned about his legacy. He might want to get picked up solely for prolonging a career in the game he loves. But we've already propped him up as a new millennium Jackie Robinson. As it is now, he's much more in the John Amaechi, Wade Davis category.
It's not Collins' fault, save for his declined skills, a team hasn't signed him yet. But it's his reputation that's at stake. He received a lot of praise and adulation for announcing his sexual orientation. He took a victory lap around the country as a civil-rights leader. In the end, it all feels more like an exaggeration if he doesn't play.
History won't celebrate the difficulty of his decision the way the media did last year. His announcement made him the face of a new day without him ever having to go through the expected fire. Especially with Michael Sam's revelation, Collins stands a demotion to the ranks of every other player who came out after being done -- admirable in their own right but not history-book material.
He needs to be picked up by an NBA team. Or maybe we should chill before prematurely dubbing people as pioneers.
That's why I have no problems saying this: U.S. women's hockey choked.
If the San Jose Sharks or Boston College had a two-goal lead with 3:36 remaining and left and lost, we would say they choked. This idea you can't say such about female athletes -- as if they are too fragile and inferior -- is much more insulting.