Here we go, guys. Next Sunday, eight months of bloglosophy and theoretical football give way to the reality show called The 2011 NFL Season. Gulp. Be still my little pea pickin’ triple by-pass thumper. It’s agony or ecstasy time.
Jeez, football gods. Can we go light on the agony this year? We practically O.D.ed on it last year.
After a weekend of furious Turk butchery, the 49ers roster for Game One against Seattle has been carved in sand. The team will open the season with 3 QBs, 5 RBs, 5 WRs, 2 TEs, 9 OL, 7 DL, 9 LBs, 10 DBs, and 3 Specialists. I’m assuming rookie FS Colin Jones will be waived to the Practice Squad to make room for newly signed ILB Tavares Gooden.
Most of us will be expecting to see two things above all else next Sunday: innovative play calling on offense and an aggressive game plan on defense. Anything that gives the impression there is a light bulb glowing on the sidelines, where darkness prevailed the past two seasons.
Back in fashion: thinking. It will no longer be considered pansy to out-think an opponent. Of course, it’s possible we will be out-thunk by them, but at least we will be engaging in the process, rather than ignoring it.
In carrying two rookie QBs as the backups to starting QB Alex Smith, Jim Harbaugh is gambling like only a coach with a free one year pass can afford to do. The message is clear. He will be trying to win this year, but is planning for next year as well.
A goodly portion of the blogopolis seems willing to consider this season a lost cause before it even begins. The extended lockout, the new coaches, the new systems, and the old QB have lowered the expectations to as few as six wins as an acceptable year, with most fans predicting a seven or eight win season — the type of season that has been almost perfected here in Ninerland — the so-so, meh season. The national pundits have the 49ers punked into last place in the division, or in some cases barely beating out Seattle for third place. The Rams are the popular choice to win the division, but nobody is predicting the 49ers as champions.
Seems like an excellent time to shock the world. The Nobody Saw It Coming year. It would take some luck on the injury front and the core 49er players proving that they are as good as they think they are, and have just been held back by third-rate coaches and medieval systems. In fact, if these core players do not exhibit their skills this year, a few of them will not be core players next year. Not in San Francisco, anyway. This team is either entering its prime or about to be dramatically restructured next year.
Some of you might say, “Get real, Skeebaloney. They don’t have a prayer.”
This opinion stands more chance of having merit than the rah-rah pom-pom approach, but it just don’t have no agony/ecstasy juice. I’m sorry. I don’t follow football to balance my emotional books. I mean, it’s a new season. There’s sixteen games to watch. It’s the NFC West. We won’t be eliminated from contention until December, at the very least. It’s Game One of the Harbaugh Era. We’re tied for the lead. The magic number is ten. Let’s go Niners!