The exhibition games have concluded and we blognoscenti now have all the evidence we’re going to get about what kind of 49er team to expect in 2014. Ergo, it’s time for the annual crystal ball efforts. Roll the old orb out and swami up to the plate, gentlemen. Predictions for 49er regular season record will be accepted through Friday of this week.
Those optimistic about the 49ers’ chances this year did not enjoy the Labor Day weekend. Aldon Smith was suspended 9 games, Ray McDonald was arrested for spousal abuse, and mean spirited other teams cherry picked a couple of the more decent players released on cut down day.
On the plus side, Alex Boone ended his hold out and reported for duty Monday. This puts the offense in good shape, better than last year’s season opening model, by far. The defense, however, is missing key players and plugging in some newbies. It’s anybody’s guess how well they’ll hold up.
No details have been released regarding the arrest of McDonald, yet he has been tried, convicted, and sent to hell by various members of the media and blogosphere. In addition, demands have been hurled at the 49ers for not immediately cutting McDonald to straighten up the moral compass of the team, which has been deemed wayward of late, racking up a league leading ten arrests over the past three years. Yet nearly half of those arrests — four by my count — belong to one guy — Aldon Smith.
It may well be that McDonald is guilty as hell, and needs to be punished, but goodness, the rush to judgment is more than unseemly. Expecting moral behavior out of a business is also quite naive. It may sound applaudible as a PR tool, but business works precisely like the justice system at large. Rich or elite entities get different and better treatment than poor or marginal types. It’s not fair, but it’s not news, either. To hold the 49ers to a higher standard of values than other teams is myopic and virtually begs for an impeccably mediocre franchise.
That said, jeez, Niner guys, will you cease and desist with the getting arrested shit?