For the past eighteen years, the last two weeks in January have been reserved for denial, anger, depression, avoidance — all the classic pysche tricks to deal with another disappointing end to the 49ers’ season. I was still a young man when this cycle began — more or less, with a strong emphasis on less. I hope winning it all doesn’t mess up my biological clock!
One thing doesn’t change about this time of year, though. It’s going to be a long two weeks till the big game begins. We’ll hear opinions from every expert and other types of idiots all the way up till the kickoff. I can hardly wait to hear from a New Orleans tattoo artist on the relative merits of Colin Kaepernick’s painted torso, complete with diagrams and philosophical import.
I’m guessing there will be more pressure on Baltimore QB Joe Flacco than Kaepernick. Flacco is busy chasing a new contract and inclusion in the exclusive “Elite QB” club. Kaepernick is just a kid playing football.
49ers LT Joe Staley will be one of the media favorites during SB week. Baltimore LB Ray Lewis will be asked, or should be asked, what it’s like to be an unconvicted double homicide accomplice, sort of a lightweight OJ Simpson. Anything to throw this preening, look-at-me thug off kilter.
The Ravens just took down Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on the road, so they are not a team to take lightly. But, the 49ers took down Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan, which is not too shabby, either. I just don’t see us losing this game. Both Manning and Brady are basically immobile QBs, which Kaepernick certainly is not.
It will be interesting to see how Jim Harbaugh handles next week’s media circus in New Orleans. Both Bill Walsh and George Seifert were comfortable around the press, and possessed a good sense of humor and quick wit. Harbaugh’s press relations are a bit more constipated, but he is capable of throwing out some wacky quotables from time to time.
While the waiting will be interminable, we can at least use it wisely and dust off our smug fanbase attitudes that have been packed away in the attic oh these many long and forlorn years. It’s time to walk tall again. Time to snicker at Raider fans in the supermarket. Or as we pass by the loony bins and prisons that house so many, but not enough, of them. Time to regain our rightful place at the top of the NFL mountain.