It was exactly two years ago that Mike Singletary yanked a turnover machine named J. T. O’Sullivan from the starting lineup and inserted Shaun Hill, which led to a turn around in the 49ers 2008 season. This week Sing will attempt to repeat that magical move by yanking David Carr after one half of play and inserting Troy Smith.
When Carr signed on with the Niners, he was assured by Singletary that his play would matter. Unfortunately for Carr, that assurance was honored, because his play was not very good and his time with the team will therefore be quite brief.
Smith II will either be surprisingly effective this Sunday, or the 49ers and Singletary will fly home with a 1-7 record going into the bye week. For those who don’t add too well, a 1-7 record would guarantee that the team will not win 10 games this year. It will not guarantee that Singletary will give up on the notion of finishing 9-7, however.
Most Bay Area fans are not thinking much about the 49ers these days. The San Francisco baseball team is back in the World Series for the first time since 2002 and they have captured the hearts and minds of the area. 2002 was the last time the 49ers were in the playoffs, too, but it’s nearing the point where it will be mathematically impossible for the football team to duplicate the baseball team’s return to postseason play.
In baseball, the month of September gives teams that are out of contention a chance to play the role of “spoiler” by beating contending teams and causing them considerable grief for blowing a game they should have won. It looks very much like the 49ers will be playing the spoiler role for the rest of this season.
In the upcoming weeks, the Niners will have a chance to pop the bubble of the Rams and the Buccaneers, two teams who are feeling a little giddy about themselves this year. The Niners will also have a significant say in the matter of who wins the NFC West, since they have two games left against the Cardinals and one against the Seahawks. They will also have an opportunity to get Norv Turner fired in San Diego and put a dagger in the Packers hearts.
This is probably not much comfort to fans who expected the team to make the playoffs this year, but for fans who just like to have some reason to be fans, however ridiculous, it is at least something. Or for guys who write blogs and need something interesting to discuss each week.
So, it’s Troy Smith front and under center this Sunday. Hopefully, we will not see a couple of botched snaps and bumbled hand offs, but it would not be surprising. We will also probably see receivers going one way and the pass going somewhere else, Kyle Orton eating our secondary alive, and the team getting its butt waxed.
But it’s no fun thinking that way now. There’s all of next week and the following week to grind the butt waxing topic. Perhaps this will be the game the gods of football, who love to confound the masses, decide to have a little fun and make every bounce of the ball wind up in the hands of a red and gold bloke. It happens once a year or so, why not this week?