Today, the world is one minute brighter than yesterday. This trend will continue for the next 183 days, give or take a few hours. A cheery thought, unless you are a vampire.
This may not seem like it has anything to do with football, and it doesn’t. I just get a little giddy when the shortest day of the year has finally occurred and will not return again for one solid year.
Not so cheery are the prospects for a 49ers victory this Sunday in St. Louis. Unless you are a vampire. Nothing about this team and its performance this year suggests there should be optimism about this game. The Niners are not a good football team and they are really lousy on the road. Barrows pointed out this week that 49er QBs have about a 95 rating at home and a 62 or so rating on the road. [Note to nitpickers: I did not verify these facts.] This is the biggest disparity in the league — by far.
On the other hand, the Rams are not a good team either and they are a familiar opponent whom the Niners have beaten four or five straight times, twice in St. Louis. [Note to nitpickers: I did not verify these facts.] Mike Singletary has not yet revealed who will start the game at QB, but nobody has much doubt the starter will be Alex Smith, with Troy Smith ready for miracle second half or 4th quarter duty should Alex flop.
Ten weeks ago, the 0-5 49ers were written off and left for dead. Since then, the other teams in the NFC West have performed like they were also dead, leaving the undead Niners still in contention after a whopping 5-4 run. The Zombie Division. A favorite haunt of vampires.
A win this Sunday will not vanquish the gloom 49er fans have for this team and its coaching staff. It will only prolong the agony of doubt surrounding the team’s future. There’s a sense that the Rams and Seahawks are rising and the Niners have hit a wall. A cameo playoff appearance would only be significant for bragging rights over the Raiders. Not that this is trivial. But the Raiders suck, let’s face it. If the best you are is being better than them, you have landed on skid row. Which is where the franchise has been for eight years.
A loss Sunday would end all doubt about the team’s future. IOW, it would have none, as long as the current regime continued in place. Even Denise York would know it was time for a change. A big one. Disaster on Sunday would probably bring more excitement to the blogosphere than a win.
This is an extremely unhealthy situation. Skeebette would be the first to point this out to me. She already has. More than once. Her triumphant, gloating smile Sunday night, as I sulked over dinner, would not be a pleasant event.
As you can see, despite the extra minute of daylight today, I am still depressed. Rooting for the Niners is becoming as unrewarding as having a lousy job. You can always quit a lousy job. Not so being a lifer fan, which is a terminal condition. Sigh. Perhaps I will go sit in the pumpkin patch now and say my prayers.