The Exorcist

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has been publicly wringing his hands about having to learn a new playbook in his second season. Ha ha. Whiner. Try learning a new one every year for five straight years, Sam, then get back to us.

The 49ers took a break from the installing-a-new-playbook treadmill last year, but it certainly didn’t result in improvement. Quite the opposite. Some fans think this is because the playbook was Jimmy Raye’s. Others think it’s because Alex Smith sucks no matter what the playbook is. And all fans agree that it didn’t matter whether there was a playbook or not, as long as Mike Singletary was patrolling the sidelines.

The playbook that gets installed this year belongs to the newly hired Head Coach, Jim Harbaugh, so it will undoubtedly remain in force for at least three years, hopefully much longer. Right now, three years looks like an eternity in Ninerville.

In retrospect, Mike Nolan’s biggest mistake might have been hiring Norv Turner as his second OC. Nolan’s first OC hire, Mike McCarthy, was a WCO guy who continued the Niner legacy installed by Bill Walsh. But Turner came in and scrapped all that to install the offense he ran with the 49ers’ greatest rival, the hated Cowboys.

This poisoned the 49er tree. Turner then completed his sabotage by skipping town in the wee hours of the 2007 season, leaving Nolan with scrap heap Hostler and then onto the desperate hire of Mike Martz. The next two years completed the destruction of the 49ers identity as Singletary rammed the philosophy of another hated 49er rival, the Bears, down the franchise’s throat.

We wuz demonized from within.

In that sense, Harbaugh can be seen as the exorcist. The guy to come in and drive out these Cowboys-Bears evil spirits that have polluted the soul of the franchise. No franchise can avoid having some bad years from time to time. But when a franchise loses its identity, it becomes a forlorn hulk wandering helplessly through the NFL landscape, praying for a Golden Child.

The vast majority of NFL franchises do not have an identity and most never came close. Since the 1970 merger of the NFL and the AFL, only six franchises have acquired long term brand name recognition: the Steelers, the Raiders, the Cowboys, the Giants, the Bears, and the 49ers.

The Ravens have an identity, but it all derives from the career of Ray Lewis. The Patriots likewise are more the identity of Bill Belichick, than the franchise itself. This is evident by the lack of success Belichick’s disciples have had when going out on their own, versus the success Walsh’s disciples have had. Ditto the Colts and Peyton Manning. The Packers are identified more by their ownership and history than they are by any particular brand of football. No one ever says, “That’s Packer football, ladies and gentlemen.”

I should have left the Cowboys off the brand name list because they are known more for headlines and shameless self-promotion than they are for any particular brand of football. That franchise gutted the legacy built up by Tom Landry when Jerry Jones bought the team and hired Jimmy Johnson as his first HC. After some early success, the club has floundered for fifteen years and is now known more for its marketing prowess than its actual football product, which has become a gutless, squabbling, diva-driven joke.

Let’s all hope that the 2011 season, no matter how it turns out, will at least restore the 49ers WCO identity. Once that is accomplished, the rest of the NFL world, and especially the NFC West, will be on notice: The Niners are back!

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16 comments on “The Exorcist
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The effluviam of our Niners since 2003 has not been more than slight. Let’s hope Harbaugh brings a fresh start to get rid of the stench.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Good to see you made it in today, Berger. Hope your snot holder is feeling less puffed.

  3. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Can i get an Amen….. Hey Skeebs…the more im thinking (yea i know..that cant be good) anyway…whoever we draft QB wise… Dalton, Ponder…they probubly woudnt be starting…and i dont want Kolb or mcnabe etc…dont want to give up draft really like to see what Harbaugh can do with Alex…(if he’d even consider ) If the Niner nation could give him some slack..(when his miss fires a pass) with good coaching he’d surely be better …dont yea think?

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I feel better. Just in time for an early morning meeting at work. This should be a good one, be there or be fired! Yesterday, I told the boss if I die tonight I might miss tomorrow’s meeting.

  5. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Hey, Tony. I thought you’d died and gone to heaven after Harbaugh was hired.

  6. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    馃檪 Might have ..if we’d had gotten Luck …early in the season after the first couple of losses…if you remember i wanted Sing out..and calling for Harbaugh and Luck…Well i got half of the combo..cant die till we get another super bowl….( oh crap…shouldnt have said cant…..)

  7. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    “Effluviam” should have been yesterday’s WOTD. It would have fit in swimmingly with Skeebers’ toilet humor thread. That’s the very definition of a “silent but deadly” fart.
    More toilet humor and less talk of bringing back Alex. Wait, that shit’s all the same.

  8. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Let’s face it. The Niners have been cursed since they crossed me and drafted Jim Druckenmiller instead of Jake Plummer. Then pissed me off bigtime drafting Alex over fellow Cal Bear Aaron Rodgers. It takes time to take a curse this strong off. I hereby decree that they can remove it by luring Jake out of football retirement and professional handball. He’s only 35 and in his last full season before Shanny went nuts and benched him (then tried to trade him to TB), took the Broncs to their only post-Elway AFC Champ game. I bet he’s still better than Alex. Get Jake, I end the curse.

  9. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Hey NoFear! The article making the rounds a couple months ago had him interviewed in Idaho, where he was having a good ol’ time playing – either state champ or former state champ. My understanding is that pro handball players have to be in terrific shape, which is why I bet he can still play with da feet! Getting him back to football after what Shanny did to him is no doubt impossible, but I can dream…

  10. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear, back in college days I had a friend who had been Idaho State Chess Champ when he was in HS. I don’t think being Idaho State Champ at anything is any great shakes (my friend didn’t go to university but wouldn’t have qualified for the Cal team – SJSU yes), but I got the feeling from the Plummber article he was having loads more fun than he did playing football.
    Rte 66 still does go through some towns in NM where it veers off from I-40, it’s just that the towns all died for some reason. After the pretty mountains in the western part of the state, there’s not much to see though you can keep an eye out for runaway nuclear ants!

  11. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    You two are bringing back a lot of memories for me. For various reasons, I traveled back and forth on Rte 66 many a time in the 50’s and 60’s. I had relatives who lived in two of those towns, Ashfork and Winslow, AZ. Not only did the highway stop going through those towns, but the train quit stopping there, too. That’s why all those towns dried up.

  12. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    An awful lot of pretty country between Ashfork and Winslow. Can’t say the same for NM, unless you like nuclear missile testing ranges. The southern Rockies are cool, though. Right now downright cold! I’m just ticked. I lived in Santa Clara County most of my life, I finally move for good, and NOW they move the Niners there.

  13. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    The Pack 31, Steelers 17

  14. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry this is a little late, (8:30 1st Q) but I’ve got the Packers 38-27.
    Christina Aguilera botched the lyrics to our National Anthem. Shoot the dumb bitch. And that Doritos commercial was creepy. Pepsi Max on the other hand was a winner.

  15. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I was lucky enough to have missed Christina. I was too busy trying to find a web stream broadcasting the game. and were shut down on Tues. due to a homeland security threat and I somehow missed the news. Terrorists, it appears, have been broadcasting NFL games for free. I found another stream. Ha ha ha.

  16. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Dang, I was that last Steelers TD over.

2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 路 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 路 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 路 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 路 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 路 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17