Desolation Row

They’re selling postcards of the hanging
They’re painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town

— Bob Dylan

I’m sure Mr. Dylan had weightier issues on his mind than the San Francisco 49ers when he penned these opening lyrics, but it’s a song for all occasions of mindlessness.

Tuesday, I wrote that Alex Smith would have a defining moment this Sunday. Wednesday, I wrote that he would probably start and Troy Smith would be warming up in relief. Wednesday afternoon, the 49er “rat” revealed through Jason LaCanfora that Troy would be the starter. Mike Singletary has yet to make an official announcement.

Hahaha. I am an idiot. Our own Franchise had this rotation properly pegged last week and I had it completely backwards. The problem is in the logic. There is none. Not in Singletary’s world. No, Mike’s belfry is inhabited by wicked little bats.

If the team wins Sunday, they’ll have to do it on their own. The head coach has left the building. This mad scientist tinkering before the 17th and pivotal game of the 2010 season is probably raising eyebrows in St. Louis (or laughter), but out here in the Niners’ locker room, the line is quietly forming for surreptitious rabies shots just in case Big Mike decides to bite anyone during the game.

I am no longer depressed, however. It’s carnival time. Reality will have to wait a bit. It’s time for the show. Troy Smith will be on the highwire, Alex will be shot from a cannon, Vernon Davis will be in the tiger’s cage, Michael Crabtree will be juggling with knives, Takeo Spikes will be telling fortunes, Barry Sims will be in the tattooed man booth, and Patrick Willis will be lifting an elephant with one arm. It’s okay to point and stare, folks. The San Francisco Circus is opening its tents for one last extravaganza.

What a team. The early ’70s Oakland A’s were famous for fighting with each other, but banding together on game day because they all hated the owner, Charles Finley. It’s not rational, but it worked. This 49ers team will have to accomplish something very similar if their season is to continue.

This is good, actually. I have more confidence in the players now than the coaches. It’s not a firm confidence by any means (hint: 1% is stretching it), since this team has never shown much, or any, spunk. But better to trust them at this point than a coach who is chasing little wicked demons in his belfry. It is tempting to reconstruct history here and ask myself the question: Was Singletary ever sane? You could view his HOF linebacker career as an amazing feat by a wacko. His personal life as an amazing self-hypnosis cover-up. And his coaching career is speaking ever more loudly the scary words “I’m Delusional with a D. Come follow me.”

Sorry, Mike. This trip is all yours now. Good luck. Keep an eye out for the straight jacket fellows. They’re out there. And, uh, Merry Christmas. Don’t look under the tree. They’re there, too.

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Posted in Vulcan Mind Probes
9 comments on “Desolation Row
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    “What do we have for entertainment, the Magnificent Seven” – The Clash. Who cares that you mentioned 8 above, this is show biz baby. Accuracy just gets in the way.
    Just like our 49er going from zenith to nadir from the 80’s to the 21st century, we are not very accurate in picking coaches and GMs lately. I’ll be watching on my Zenith Sunday, just hoping they fire the coach at half time.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Right after the coin flip would be okay, too. During the commercial break. The Amazing Disappearing Coach act.

  3. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    How about after the Carolina game? Just another missed opportunity.

  4. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    He did a pre-emptive strike then, throwing Alex and Carr under the bus, instead of himself. The Yorks couldn’t fire him then without screwing up the London game.

  5. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    You know Skeebs, when you think abut it, you are actually correct. Maybe not about Carolina but when you give it some thought, think about Green Bay and San Diego. He pulls Troy after the GB loss and Alex after the SD loss. Neither QB was the reason we lost either game. Alex was actually one of the few players that looked OK vs SD.
    But it has to be be the QBs fault we lost those games right? it can’t be the game plan. Hey, let’s play our CBs 15 yards off the receivers and blame the QB. Yeah, that’s what I’ll tell them!

  6. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, what I see is a coach doing the time honored dance of shifting blame from himself to players. Trying to create the illusion he has shit to deal with and it’s not his fault. Spagnuolo said it didn’t matter which Smith played, they were defending against a system, and the system is Singletary.

  7. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Exactly! That is what I was trying to say.

  8. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    I can’t recall, does the league mandate that a team name its starting QB prior to kickoff? There might be some rule that ties into the gambling aspect, but I don’t remember. I mean, really. We’ve come this far let’s go the whole nine yards and not even bother to name him. The whole nine yards? Sounds like our entire first half production to me.
    I hope Santa got my letter in time and brings me a Sam Bradford jersey for Christmas. I wanna be able to wear my colors proud on Sunday.

  9. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, the truth is, Singletary has had a brainstorm. He’s going to start Moron Norris at quarterback, and run up the middle every play. At last, his favorite offensive useless POS is the center of our offense.

    Yeah, I’m kidding. Maybe.

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