Blame and Fortune

The election is over, the World Series is over, the Bye Week is over. Time to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear. Hi yo, 49ers, away!

I can kind of see Jim Harbaugh riding around the West in a big, white steed, shooting the guns out of bad guys’ hands without ever blowing off a finger or thumb or even drawing blood, but riding off victorious with Tonto and pulling up his shirt and waving his belly around — that would be more Cicso Kid than Lone Ranger.

At any rate, we’ve got The Jaw vs The Mustache next Sunday. This will be the first of many games that remind Jeff Fisher he picked the wrong time to become an NFC West head coach.

Handing out midseason awards seems to be all the rage lately, but this site politely declines to do so. If you want to move air around the room just for the sake of movement, we prefer to recommend a Jerry Jones press conference. Jones, as most of you noticed, recently said he would fire himself as GM if he wasn’t actually himself, but since he is himself he promised Dallas fans that he would keep the incompetent GM in office as long as himselfness was the owner of the team. Cheers, Cowboy fans. Warm your hearts over that rosy promise!

We’re not sure if Jones’ speech amounted to throwing in the towel on this season or all seasons, but Mike Shanahan for sure tossed in the cloth after last Sunday’s loss. Until everyone on his team and elsewhere in civilization noticed this was kind of a quitter attitude, so Shanny quickly recanted his words by claiming he never meant them to be his actual words, but merely his virtual words which were prematurely ejected from his mouth and shouldn’t count as actually being real words.

Football can be a tough racket when your team stinks, it’s your fault, and you can’t fire youself to solve the problem.

Ken Whisenhunt is flirting carefully with this conundrum as his team sinks slowly into the desert sand after five straight losses. He decided to blame the team’s woes on guys who won’t play hurt, singling out Todd Heap and then refusing to discuss whether he had singled him out or not — the old failed Mike Nolan gambit. The real culprit, of course, is the guy who blissfully blew off getting any NFL quality beefers to play on the AZ offensive line, and waddled into the season with two backup QBs to try and function behind that porous mess.

But as humorous as it’s been to watch other teams and coaches flail around during this idle time in the 49er empire, seeing our own team spring back into action cannot come soon enough.

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29 comments on “Blame and Fortune
  1. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    “Top comp pct throwing to/past 1st-dn marker: Ryan 64.4 (85-132), A.Smith 62.4 (53-85), RG3 58.4 (59-101), Rodgers 57.7 (86-149). Avg 52.1”

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I thought Smith didn’t throw past 6 yards?

  3. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well, those throws come after a 1st down run of 5 yards. . .

  4. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, we’ve not had a third and long all year.

  5. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Wonder if Jim Trotter is preparing a piece on Eli’s waning confidence after two straight poor games (58.4 & 41.1 QBRs)?

  6. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Sensitive, ain’t we?
    As far as Eli goes, I’d say probably not since he has 2 Super Bowl rings to boost that waning confidence.

  7. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, Chuck, it was just a rhetorical joke.

  8. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry, that joke was incomplete, and there was a penalty on the play.

    Illegal use of verbiage . . .

  9. winderNo Gravatar says:

    This is great.
    I hope Eli breaks his leg.

  10. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    The winner of this election was me. I haven’t smoked weed since college, but it’s absolutely idiotic to spend all that money.
    Tax it, regulate it. Control it, and treat it like alcohol, but don’t classify it as heroin.
    Ask the voters of Colorado and Washington what they think. and the Governor of Colorado. Write to him if you’re pissed.

  11. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    You’ll stop half the crime in NM once they get it figured out. That stuff is important to me.

  12. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Cross posted from Chuck’s Den of Iniquity:

    Interesting argument, if you get past the Duck fangasm. Personally, I’d like to see someone try it out. I trust math more than I trust conventional wisdom.

  13. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Great article to spur debate. I’ve been capping on coaches all week because I keep seeing situations (3) where kicking a FG on 4th down deep in enemy territory gives a 6 point lead when a 1st down allows the game to end in the victory formation. Two of those timid coaches lost their game. One was the LSU-Alabama game.

  14. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    Bellicheat often does go for it. I remember him going for it on his own 35 yd line and not making it. He was quizzed about it after the game and was defiant about it saying he would do the same thing.

  15. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    12th- I remember that game. He was playing the Colts and Peyton Manning. If he gets the 1st he runs the clock out and the game is over. He didn’t get it and Peyton beat him. Manning had just been lighting it up. I think he loses anyway if he punts. Manning was going to win that game if he got the ball back. I thought it was the correct decision. It doesn’t always work but the odds are just better to get 1 yard than stopping a QB that is on fire.

  16. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    NJ, how are you doing? Record 80 degree temps today. Last year at this time I was shoveling mud left over from the snow.
    In three weeks when the temp hits -10, I’ll be snoveling snow again. Old crippled guys, old ladies, that’s how in works in NM.
    We’re all just getting ready.
    Let me know what I can do to help, OK?

  17. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    I think too often coaches will go with the ‘safe’ call, which is what everyone else would do in that situation. A guy who is a bit of a dick has an advantage, in this case, because he doesn’t give a shit what anyone else thinks. So Belichick, maybe Payton, maybe Rexoid. Of course, Rex won’t ever get that first down, because the Jets suck so bad they defy math. But if you have any kind of offense it sounds like it’s worth paying attention here.
    I will say this for Nolan, he did try the onsides kick enough. Partly because Nedney was so good at it, but he was willing to gamble there. He did not trust the offense on fourth and short though – and that was not about passing, IIRC. Our run game repeatedly would fail to get a yard in that situation. We had problems for the longest time in short yardage – seemed like the defense ALWAYS got under our pad level. So you have to consider that when judging him.
    I would hope Harbaugh would read this article and rethink his conservatism on 3rd and 4th down. Hope, but not expect. Most coaches are ultimately reactive, and as long as he is winning, he may be unwilling to change anything.

  18. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah I am a fan of going for it most times. Not sure I agree about that particular time but Manning was killing them. Big risk, but if it had worked I wonder if it would have forced coaches to re-evaluate when to go for it.

  19. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Thing is, no matter your approach, you are going to lose some of them. The other team is trying to win, too. What matters is what approach will win you the most games. If Kelly’s approach wins you a few more games over a period of time, as the math seems to show, it’s worth giving that a shot.

  20. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    It is also how you go for it. Going with a formation that allows the defense to load the box with 10 or 11 usually does not work. I advocate spreading the formation to give a play maker a chance to make a play. The defense will need to rely on a missed block or a great move to stop the play. In goal line it is about overloading the gaps.

  21. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    In the Nolan situation it was my opinion the worst thing he did was call a time out. When I say coaches are unprepared for this situation it is the time out that allows defenses time to rest and regroup. Typically, my feeling is if you need to call a time out it is probably best to kick. Chip Kelly seems to fully understand this concept. If you have a defense tired and on their heels do not back off. Giving them a rest with a time out allows them to re-strategize and even make personnel changes. If coaches were better prepared for this situation the time out would not need to be called in the first place.

  22. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    More on Darrell Royal.
    In the 1969 Game of the Century
    against Arkansas trailing by 6 with over 4 mins left in the 4th
    quarter he called a bomb to the TE
    on 4th and 3. The rest is history.
    He was one of the greatest coaches of all time.
    FYI the Texas QB James Street is the father of Padre relief pitcher Huston Street

  23. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    On Saturday, in a tribute to Darrell Royal, the Longhorns will line up in Royal’s classic wishbone formation on their first play from scrimmage in their game against Iowa State.
    It would be so cool if they ran the triple option and it went for six.

  24. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Just watched 49ers Central and Tarrel Brown had quite a game against the Cards.
    TB had 5 passes defensed in that game the most in the NFL this year.
    He’s become one of the unsung stars of the defense.

  25. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Veterans Day is coming and this story is worth watching

  26. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I just have one thing to say…bring back President Reagan!

  27. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    And while you’re at it, sign Peyton Manning.
    Make that two things.

  28. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 · 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 · 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 · 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 · 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 · 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17