Tonight in New Orleans, the San Francisco 49ers officially begin the 2011 NFL season and the Jim Harbaugh era. It’s been seven and a half months since we last saw our boys play some football. It was not a fun time at all, but we have survived it. Hallelujah, brother! Pass the suds and let’s get this season rolling!
The game itself will be more of a glorified scrimmage than a true contest, but we will get to observe what our new coach looks like standing on the sidelines and form our first impressions of his stature. I think it’s safe to say, he will not be wearing a suit, posing sternly from the captain’s deck. Nor will he be wearing a hoody or sporting any large, gold pendants. He will most certainly not be standing there mute, with arms folded, staring out at the world in a humorless stupor.
The starters will be playing about one quarter, so we will get an extended look, finally, at our 2011 draft class. Fourth round running back Kendall Hunter, third round cornerback Chris Culliver, second round quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and first round OLB/DE Aldon Smith will be the main targets of our pointy little orbs. All four of these gents could see significant playing time this year. Unless they don’t play too good and set off a season long blog gripe against GM Trent Baalke for wasting a draft pick on them.
As of this writing, we are not sure whether our game day photographer will be working this event, but by mentioning it, we hope to spur him into action. True, it’s pre-season, and the new CBA does not require him to get to work until opening day, but no harm poking a stick into his hive anyway. It’s always fun to rile up grumpy old men.
The first order of business for the new season is to lose this game and get the 4-0 perfect pre-season jinx removed from the premises. It shouldn’t be too hard, considering we’re playing a very good team that has been smugly preening all offseason about their wonderfulness and how their offseason was better than anyone else’s. Hmmm. Maybe we should trounce them just for the hell of it and tank the last pre-season game instead. That’s the ideal game to lose, since none of our starters will be playing in it, which is the very essence of a meaningless game.
What we don’t want to see tonight are any injuries — to our team. The Saints can have some if they want, we don’t mind. Seattle had a good one Thursday night right off the bat when their best offensive lineman, LT Russell Okung, was carted off with the dreaded high ankle sprain. We would commiserate with Seattle coach Pete Carroll, but, you know, hahaha. Better you than us, Pete.
As an opening day ceremony, this site hearby declares a truce on all previous blog disgruntlements and issues a blanket pardon for everyone. We are all forgiven and today we start this season in harmony and as brothers in the 49er hood. May good fortune shine upon our team this year and all of us experience the most enjoyable 49er season since 2002. Amen and Go 49ers!