Has an NFL franchise ever won a division title on the last day of the season, playing at home in front of a crowd wearing paper bags over their heads? With Sunday’s splutz out by both the Seattle Seahawks and the St. Louis Rams, this window is now open for wagers.
I know one thing, it’s better than being a New York Giant fan this morning. Wowzoozie! What a melt down! 28 points in the last 7 minutes of the 4th quarter! Some of you sadists out there would pay dearly to see Mike Singletary face the press after a collapse like that. One hint of having to “look at the tape” would cause howls of laughter that would be heard at the South Pole.
This football fanning stuff is a tough racket. It leads to philosophical quandaries about whether it is better to have a good team that is a loser or a crap team that ends up a winner. Whether it is better to have a top ten draft pick and a new coaching staff or a #21 draft pick and a cameo playoff beat down described sneeringly by whomever is telecasting the game. Out sneered, of course, by the super hip 49er fans who would attend this playoff game still attired in the above mentioned paper bags. It would be fitting, since the franchise that made paper bags famous, New Orleans, would most likely be the Niners’ opponent.
For the first time since 2002, the 15th game of the year is a meaningful game for the Niners. During the Nolan/Singletary years, winning the 15th and 16th games of the season has become almost a sure thing. However, can the team do it when it matters? (Hint: They’ll blow it.)
Those who are praying for a Singletary axe job could not have asked for a better opportunity. Losing to the Rams would make it impossible to retain him. But, beating the Rams and getting into the playoffs would make it hard to fire him. It’s edge of your seat drama, one week away. Putting aside the embarrassment and pain of this underwhelming year, isn’t this what any fan could hope for out of a season? Nooooo? Okay. Just throwing it out there.
Personally, I’m not ashamed to admit I hope we win this game. I’ve laid too many eggs in life to get huffy about style points. Sneak in, crawl in, bribe your way in, who cares? Just get in. It’s the same game plan I have for The Day of Reckoning (Dear Lord, I plead severe confusion. Let me in. Please.) Give these bums a taste of victory at last. It’s one more game to watch. It’s an end to the Takeo Spikes playoff jinx. It’s Alex Smith tripping in the end zone while trying to spike the ball. Wait. Where’d that come from?
This is the way I used to feel about the game that would give the Niners home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Hmmmm. Not a good comparison. I’m depressed again. Where was I? 2010. Right. Sigh.
Below, NoFear checks in with a horrendous play from the San Diego game, which was duplicated almost precisely by the Patriots in Sunday night’s game, almost getting Tom Brady killed, like Smith was in 2007.
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4th and 1 at the goal line following Smith’s near TD run stopped short in the first series of the 2nd QTR. Did anybody block it right? Maybe the TEs.