The 49ers and Cowboys finished the 2010 season with identical 6-10 records. The Cowboys fired their HC and DC. The 49ers did likewise. The big difference is that the Cowboys kept the same offensive system intact by promoting their OC, Jason Garrett, to HC. The 49ers tried a similar formula two yeas ago. Ahem.
The Cowboys achieved their underwhelmingness last year by having the 8th ranked offense paired with the 31st ranked defense. The 49ers were ranked 24th on offense and 16th on defense. The spectacular approach to badness versus the mundane approach.
The national media viewed the Cowboys’ stinkiness as an aberration and the 49ers’ odor as a trend. Hoping to correct their aberration, the Cowboys hired the long-haired version of Buddy Ryan’s fat, loud-mouthed kids to fix the spectacularly bad defense. This is not necessarily an upgrade, however, since the previous architect of their defense was Bum Phillips’ kid, who has a longer and stronger resume of excellence than Buddy’s kid has.
The 49ers dipped into the gene pool themselves, hiring one of Jack Harbaugh’s kids. The other Harbaugh kid is the HC in Baltimore. The national media views this 49er hire as a long term trend reversal, but not a this very year fashion splash.
Reflecting this national bias bribery stoopidity follow-the-money opinion, the Cowboys strutted their 6-10 record into the 2011 season and were expected to contend for the NFC East penthouse, while the 49ers lugged their 6-10 record in and were expected to contend for the NFC West basement.
Obviously, all 6-10’s are not perceived equally.
Both teams attempted to lose fourth quarter leads in their opening games, but the Cowboys succeeded and the 49ers did not. Each team rose or fell by the performance of their special teams. Each team also looked a lot like last year’s team. The 49ers mundaned their way to victory and the Cowboys spectacularly lost.
Ergo to whitville, this Sunday we will see the Spectacular Failures vs the Mundane Duds, with the Mundaners holding a narrow 2011 lead of 1-0. While the Spectaculars bring no mystery to the table for this game, the same may not hold true for our clever Mundaners. Word on the street is that the boss Mundanist might have some surprises to haul out of his tool box come game day.
Suddenly, it’s the Spectaculars who are predictable and the Mundaners who are not. Can you feel the winds of change whistling through the bleacher seats? It’s a thought. Or maybe just a wish. A forlorn hope?
Sigh. Beat these SOBs, guys. Please?