Another year, another dismal first half for the San Francisco 49ers. Today’s post title represents the team’s first half record for the years 2006 – 2010. There seems to be a pattern here, and it’s not a good thing.
The 49ers have become a hard team to discuss. Usually, a win on Sunday is greeted enthusiastically by the blogosphere, but all the air has gone out of this season and been replaced mostly by morbid curiosity. The victory over Denver was greeted more by surprise than enthusiasm.
To some extent, the Giants triumphant march through the playoffs to a World Series title has occupied the interests of Bay Area fans, leaving the Niners to toil along under far less scrutiny than would be normal. Maybe after the parades are over fans will hunker back down to Niner obsession, but the restored passion is not likely to be of the positive variety.
Mid season report cards will be handed out by the local writers soon, and we all know what the grades are going to be. There’s not much to cheer about. Virtually every facet of the team has underperformed or outright stunk up the joint.
David Baas has been one exception to the general failure of the team. During Training Camp, nobody gave this guy any chance at all of being re-signed at the end of the 2010 season. He had become the butt of jokes, replaced by Mike Iupati, and seen as a seldom used backup this year. Yesterday, Eric Heitmann went on IR and suddenly Baas is the incumbent center, and signing him becomes somewhat of an off season priority.
The upcoming home games against the Rams and Bucs will be interesting to watch, mostly to see how Troy Smith plays. Long time Alex Smith haters should have keen interest in these games, maybe even some rooting spirit. If Smith II produces a couple of victories and the team seems perkier, Smith I is not going to get his job back.
This is precisely the same scenario that provided Shaun Hill a chance to ignite his career, which he took advantage of. 2-6 record, soft part of the schedule looming, no expectations, team showing life. Hill led the team to a 5-3 record in the second half, earning himself a starting gig and Singletary a Head Coaching job.
We all know how that panned out. Hill is now in Detroit and Singletary is probably making contingency plans for the next step in his life.
In light of these recent events, there is not much Kool-aid being guzzled in Ninerland these days. About the only events that seem likely to re-ignite the passion of the fans would be either making the playoffs or getting a new Head Coach.
For a fair sized chunk of fans, it would take BOTH of these events to get re-kindled. For most of the rest of the rooting populace, they would probably struggle to answer the question: “If you had to choose between firing Singletary or making the playoffs, which would you prefer?”