Welcome to the San Francisco 49ers 2011 off season. And a merciful end to one of the most embarrassing and disappointing seasons in franchise history.
Many 49er teams have been bad and painful to watch on a weekly basis. But few, if any, have been good yet painful to watch each week. There were only two games all season, at AZ and against Seattle, that resembled the team that this one should have been. In virtually every other game this year, the team looked unprepared, poorly coached, and a truly clueless, stumble bum operation. Fittingly, Sunday’s game in St. Louis, with the playoffs on the line and a week and a half to prepare, demonstrated the same listless, uninspired, clodhopper effort we have seen all season.
49ers owner Jed York got the off season rolling about one second after the team was eliminated from the playoffs by informing the world that this season was unacceptable. No shit. He also strongly intimated Mike Singletary would be fired, but not in an emotional moment like he was having after puking over the inept effort the team had put forth with the season on the line. Presumably, his emotions were brought under control during the flight back to the Bay Area, or maybe they even worsened, because Singletary was fired as soon as he landed.
Thus ends the strange and terrible saga of Singletary’s rise and fall as an NFL head coach. One year ago, he was held in high esteem throughout the league and the 49er fan base. Today, he will be lucky to coach at any level of the NFL ever again and his firing was greeted by thunderous applause from 49er fans throughout the world.
York also said he would be hiring a GM and that he and that GM would then hire the next coach. Reportedly, phone calls have already been made and candidates are already under consideration. Obviously, the organization has been ready to pounce in a new direction for many weeks now, probably since the ridiculous loss to Carolina.
Just as obvious was York’s desire to not spend one more second discussing this awful season, a desire most likely shared by everyone who follows or covers the 49ers. The Outsider certainly shares this view, at any rate. Enough has been written about this POS team and there are no new ways left under the sun to describe just how pathetic the 2010 team had become. A truly wasted year.
In the end, Singletary’s vision of his own greatness far outshone his vision for the team’s greatness. Somewhere along the line in the upcoming days and weeks, this pompous, arrogant, colossal megalomaniac will have to come to grips with the awful truth that he is not God’s chosen one. That his mere presence is not enough to create world peace. Or a good football team. It is difficult to feel sorry for someone who has yet to look in the mirror and see the man and not the self-created myth. But we’ll try. Happy trails, Mike. Hasta la vista, Baby. You are terminated.
All eyes will now be on Jed York. He has duplicated his uncle Eddie’s first disastrous choices as an NFL owner. Can he now duplicate his uncle’s second choices? More to the point, can he even come close?
He has stated that money is no object, and with the new stadium looming in the background and all the moola that will come flowing through it, you have to believe him. Money alone won’t cut it, of course, but it does help lure the better regarded talents. Not that being regarded means being any good, but at least the franchise would resemble a functional NFL franchise again. Right now, the 49ers are anything but a functional enterprise.
Contrary to the gutted 2005 team, this team has a lot of talent and with money no object, it should be an attractive choice for any GM or HC. The weakness of the NFC West division makes immediate success a reasonable option, also. Now it’s up to York to make the right decision. Nothing so far suggests that he will, but at least it will be more enjoyable to discuss and analyze than one more ugly day of Mike Singletary and the Sardine Can Offense.