For those of us with fertile imaginations or ravenous little children, Peter Cottontail will be hop, hop, hopping into view this weekend, and I’m sure we all breathlessly await his arrival. In keeping with the Tradition perversion fetish of the 21st Century, Mr. C-Tails will be carrying an NFL marketing contract in his back pocket and replacing his basket of eggs with a football helmet filled with little chocolate footballs. Shamed as I am to admit it, but this pleases me. I never liked biting off Peter’s head and munching it down like some depraved cannibal.
Easter, like Christmas, has a religious and a secular significance. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ and Easter is about His death and resurrection. How the secular world has managed to cram a fat old goofball like Santa and an indiscriminate baby machine like Peter into these solemn events is a mystery of civilization that no uncivilized society would ever entertain. They might be cow worshipers, but never, ever would they chow down little chocolate moo mooers in wanton sacrilege.
Then again, Sunday marks the beginning of the 2013 baseball season, which probably holds greater interest to many of you than either salvation or gift laden bunny rabbits. The SF Giants are defending World Champions. The SF 49ers are not. In the previous century, this was equation was reversed. The Giants always choked and the 49ers never did.
2013 will be Jim Harbaugh’s third year as captain of the Good Ship Niners. Year three has been a problem for every 49er coach since Bill Walsh — thirty-two years ago. Walsh won the SB in his third year. George Seifert’s team missed the playoffs for the first time in ten years during his third year as HC. Steve Mariucci had two great years, then crashed along with Steve Young in Arizona. Dennis Erickson got the pink slip before the third year. Mike Nolan had two promising years, then flamed out. Mike Singletary went bust in his third and final year.
Can Harbaugh beat the odds this year? History is not on his side. No Super Bowl loser has come back to win it all since the early 70’s Dolphins. There’s also the matter of the Seattle Seahawks, who thrashed the Harbaughians pretty convincingly last December. And that pesky third year jinx.