Fasten Your Mind Belts

Sunday’s game agaist the Detroit Lions could be an earth mover in the NFC. If the 49ers win the game, they’ll vault into the same room as the Packers, Falcons, and Saints. The room at the top. The Contenders Room.

The networks have already begun drooling over a Packers vs Lions game on Thanksgiving, even daring to hope both teams will arrive at the contest with undefeated records. A relevant Green Bay – Detroit game that late in the season would harken back to the old pre-Super Bowl years of the NFL. Back to the Lombardi years. Back to apple pie and grandma’s house and fall out shelters.

It could be a mega-ratings day for the networks. In that light, the 49ers have the role of spoilers come Sunday. They could rain on this happy parade big time. A narrow loss wouldn’t derail the Lions’ train too badly, but a good butt whipping would definitely bring Motown back to earth in a hurry.

No matter how the game plays out, the Lions will be the lead story. They’re the media darlings this year. If they win, the media will continue the gushmobile, even pumping up the Niners a bit to make the win more important. If they lose, the talk will be more about failed expectations for the Lions than about what a great team those Niners have.

Out here in off broadway America, a 49er loss wouldn’t cause too much anxiety. The goal here is still modest — make the effing playoffs. A loss would not seriously affect that goal. But a win? Lordy, lordy. 49er fans would go from hoping to make the playoffs to wondering how we matched up with Green Bay. I.E., whether we were Super Bowl contenders.

This leap of aspirations would be quantum. The blogs are still trying to shake off the dreadful years, daring to believe they have ended. Going from this modest coping arena straight to the big time contender arena would cause some serious mental whip lash.

If the 49ers want to bring their fans slowly out of the dungeons into the light, a loss Sunday would probably be helpful. A lot of fans are still mired in the “we couldn’t possibly be any good look who our quarterback is” swamp. The guy who could never possibly even lead us to the playoffs suddenly being discussed as a SB worthy QB? Zounds! Get outta here!

This site chooses not to root for gentle persuasion, however. Stomp those Lions! Yeah, baby. Let’s put a scare into the Eastern Time Zone. Let’s get those boys thinking, “Oh, shit. Those tricky finessy bastards from San Francisco are back!”

As some of you old farts will recall, the reigning anxiety each season in the ’80’s and ’90’s was HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE. Making the playoffs was a given. Being the top seed was the goal. It made every game a sweaty affair because a down game full of fumbles could cost you the home field in January.

With all the new mega-corporate stadiums these days, home field advantage ain’t what it used to be. But it still helps. And local fans get to attend the games. Here’s hoping Sunday we bring that anxiety back into play in Ninerland.

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35 comments on “Fasten Your Mind Belts
  1. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs, your right…networks would love the Packers and Detroit to be undefeated when they meet…(personally..i dont think it would be much of a contest… ) but ive noticed the Niners have been getting some love from some of the talking heads …they are getting noticed …and if the Lions get pummeled …that balloon will loose alot of gas….if they really want to take front stage …this game on Sunday is REALLY importanat. And you can bet your ass that Harbaugh’s telling the team that exact thing…

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    You were the one stumping the hardest for Harbaugh last year, Tony. Great call.

  3. robNo Gravatar says:

    espn has us ranked 9th

  4. robNo Gravatar says:

    going into a fired up detroit will be hard but don’t sweat it if we lose … this team is for real !

  5. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    One week ago I thought this game was a definite loss. I sill think we lose, but I now give us about a 40% chance of winning.

  6. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, from the last thread:
    Here are our draft / FA needs as I see them at this moment in time:
    1. FS (Goldson is a SS. We need a centerfielder)
    2. CB (Can’t have too many)
    3. RG (Not sold on Snyder, and Chilo is now out of the picture)
    4. DE (ditto, and Justin has only a few seasons left. We need to see a little of Dobbs and Ian so we can evaluate exactly how to play this one.)
    5. QB (probably Alex, if he is willing to stay, but subject to changes depending on the next 11 games.)
    6. WR (maybe Braylon, maybe someone else. Depends if he can get healthy and if we can work out a deal.)
    After that, its depth and projects (pass rusher) and special teams. I’d like a left tackle project too, but we need to see what Person can do. Joe Staley is not consistent enough and I’d always look for a better guy, but I think that needs to wait for 2013 and beyond.
    I’d be willing to consider (in addition to signing our own FA) plunking down money on one of these, or maybe two, if the right people are there. Maybe. But Free Agency is usually a losing game – the price is high, and while there are exceptions (Justin and Rogers), most seem to not perform well enough to justify the expenditure. So I’d prefer to go via the draft as much as we can.

  7. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Even if we lose, it won’t derail the bandwagon. So long as we play them tough, which I think we can.
    Beat the Browns and go 4-1 in our division and we’re already at 9-7 even if we lose the rest. This division should be ours for the taking. We’re already exceeding all reasonable expectations, and we are very close to making a run at Skeeb’s once improbable 11-5.

  8. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Thanx Skeebs….but at the time Harbaugh was only half the wish list ….i wanted Harbaugh AND Luck… 🙂 oh well…im plenty happy

  9. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Remember the last 3 or 4 years
    when there was a hue and cry that we needed to hire Holmgren either as coach or GM?
    Cleveland still has the same problems even with Holmgren in charge. If it doesn’t turn around in the next year they’ll be asking for his head. He was a mediocre GM in Seattle and that’s why they took that away just like
    they stripped Nolan here.
    The almighty Coach/GM is a thing of the past. Too much to do for one person.

  10. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Grumpy- Adding D-linemen should always be a priority. They are primary to messing up game plans for the opposing team as long as they have talent and are allowed to be aggressive.

  11. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit…yea…most talk was having an established head coach….either Holmgren who was living off his Green Bay success…but that was because Walsh’s WC system worked with Farve…and then there was “Chuckie” from his results when he went to Tampa Bay..but he didnt build that team and as the talent got older they faided….the only “established” coach i would have cared for was maybe Bill Cowher..actually our defense reminds me of Pittsburg’s …but their offense under Cohwer was as dynamic as Harbaughs…

  12. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    I ment “wasn’t as dynamic as Habaughs” i really need to proof read my posts before i hit the submit button…

  13. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Jared Crick DT Nebraska has just been declared out for the year with a torn pectoral muscle. (so many of these and hamstring injuries this year). He was going to be late teens or 20’s in the first round.
    He wears 94 and plays like our 94
    Justin Smith although he’s more inside. He’s more Suh than Carriker I hope. Food for thought?

  14. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- I’ve soured on Crick a litle bit. That was before the injury.

  15. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I haven’t seen a NT I like for the the upcoming draft. The two D-lines that I’ve really liked this year are LSU and Texas A&M. There are probably others but I haven’t paid as much attention this year as I have in past years.

  16. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Four comments from Berger this morning and not one use of the WOTD.
    You need to be benched like a certain quarterback that I know.

  17. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Benching Romo now would be like Dallas giving up on the season. Not gonna happen, Del.

  18. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    If a QB is looking flaxen he should be benched. If anybody is looking flaxen, they should be benched.

  19. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Did Barry Bonds look flaxen after taking that flax seed oil?

  20. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Bench Romo? That’s a good one. You can’t bench Tony. After returning from his bye week, Tony not only returns to his Cowboys but to both of my fantasy teams. I think I need ’em more than the Cowboys.

  21. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Not to mention, Romo is going against a bad defense this week. He should rake in some poins.

  22. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    For New England . . .

  23. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like the 49er front office is getting a lot oif respect.
    KNBR is saying the Raiduhs might hire away Tom Gamble our Pro Personnel Director to be their new GM. I remember all the hater laughing at Jed York for hiring
    Trent Baalke. Nobody’s laughing or even mentioning Baalke anymore.
    In fact nobody mentions Jed York anymore.

  24. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Apparently how the Safeties persorm against the Lions is crucial. The Bears just benched both of their safeties for what happed on Monday Night. Hoping for better results from Goldson and Whitner.

  25. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    I think the Niners have to jam Merg at the line. Double his ass. Culliver at the line. Go nickel. Spencer deep. If they can take away Merg, then they have to watch Pettigrew.
    I’m not that afraid of Jahvid Best. Chicago really misplayed that long run badly. We don’t make that mistake.
    They have a solid line. How we get pressure is important. Play enough nickel and we can throw in a corner blitz or 3. They’d better get there, though.

  26. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    In case you missed it this week’s 49er Access with top five defensive games in Niner history.
    Tommy Hart holds the Niner sack record with 6 in one game.
    That’s unbelievable and will be hard to top.

  27. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Wrong link Bullitt…

    I remember that game. October 1976, Monday Night Football. Hart got six, the team had ten sacks. Their tackle, a guy named Williams, just could not block Tommy that night. Cedrick Hardman (86) and Cleveland Elam (72) were almost as good. Howard Cosell was his totally bombastic self. I think that game hastened James Harris’s exit from the NFL. We didn’t beat the Rams often back then, when they were the gold standard of hatred. That game was a lot of fun.

  28. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    That was a Monday Night game vs the Rams if I remember right. The Niners won 16-0. The ill-fated 1976 season.

  29. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Shit, Grump. That 76 season was an almost great one. The entire team was decimated by injury after going 601. Elam was a freak of nature. Dude was huge and fast. He would have been hall of fame if he didn’t break down.

  30. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    The beginning of the clip shows number 81 catching a TD pass. that was Willie McGee. Track star from Alcorn we got from TB in the Steve Spurrier trade. He was the guy who made the offense go. Gene Washington’s ankle was pretty bad by then. He was a very good possession guy but had lost that extra gear that made him great. McGee was the guy who stretched the defense and opened up the underneath routes. We went 6-1 in the first half… but McGee had his leg shattered in game six at Candlestick, when his foot locked in that awful turf and he got hit. From that point on, our offense sputtered. Our FG kicker, Mike-Mayer (‘Miss-a-Mile’) cost us three or four games down the stretch, and we slumped to 8-6. No wild card, no playoffs. Tough year, and then Joe Thomas brought in the dark times in ’77.

  31. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Wasn’t Jim Lash on that team as well? From Minnesota? Shattered both his elbows on that concrete?
    That field was basically painted cement. The ONLY thing Joe Thomas did right was put the grass back in when OJ came.

  32. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Cleveland Elam was special, for a brief moment. He was totally disruptive in ’76 and ’77. Alan Page-level disruptive. Then he got hurt, they moved him to end, they moved him back to tackle. He lost the explosiveness and was out of the league by 1980. One of those what-ifs… Elam playing on the line with Board and Dean would have been sick.

  33. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, I think Lash was McGee’s replacement. He didn’t last long either.
    As I recall, the turf was still ‘Candlestone’ for OJ’s first year in ’78. Probably took another year or two off his career.

  34. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Thanks for covering me and providing correct link. The 49er Total Access Show has good content
    and is superior to past efforts.
    I enjoy watching old footage and the interviews. Niners are really blessed with a rich and proud history. Hopeful that this year’s team is the start of a new great chapter.

  35. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2020 Schedule
9-13: L Cardinals 24, 49ers 20
9-20: W 49ers 31, Jets 13
9-27: W 49ers 36, Giants 9

10-4: L Eagles 25, 49ers 20
10-11: L Dolphins 43, 49ers 17
10-18: W 49ers 24, Rams 16
10-25: W 49ers 33, Patriots 6

11-1: L Seahawks 37, 49ers 27
11-5: L Packers 34, 49ers 17
11-15: L Saints 27, 49ers 13


11-29: W 49ers 23, Rams 20

12-7: L Bills 34, 49ers 24
12-13: L Washington 23, 49ers 15
12-20: L Cowboys 41, 49ers 33
12-26: W 49ers 20, Cardinals 12

1-3: L Seahawks 26, 49ers 23

2020 Draft Class
1. DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
1. WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
5. OL Colton McKivitz, West Virginia
6. TE Charlie Woerner, Georgia
7. WR Jauan Jennings, Tennessee
2020 Prognostications (Mulligan Version)
Bullit: 6-10
NJ49er: 6-10

Skeebers: 7-9
Winder: 4-12

Grumpy: DNP