Two months ago, the 49ers played the Raiders in an exhibition game and there was more passion by the fans for that game than there is for the one coming up this weekend. The one that counts. With its 0-5 start, the team has stunned its fans into a state of near apathy.
So far, the fans have not booed the team for its first offensive play of the game, but if it’s Frank Gore into the line this weekend, that might change. When the fans have all become acutely aware of the predictability of a team’s offense, let alone opposing defenses, it approaches voodooville weirdness that the team itself seems unaware of the problem. For a boo-down that can be heard from here to Tripoli, how about Gore into the line and he fumbles!
That’s the kind of season we’re going to witness if the losing continues. Instead of contending for the playoffs, the 49ers will be rivaling the government for Letterman/Leno monologue jokes. Somewhere along the line, a phrase will pop forth from somebody’s tonsils and a new description of ineptitude will be born. “Gosh, Sandy, this party is a real Singletary. Peeewww!”
Mike Singletary has a pretty large view of himself inside the robe of humble servant that he wears. I doubt very much that it ever occurred to him that somehow he would wind up being a butt of jokes throughout America. It’s gotten bad enough that the guy who is famous for turning around the lives of troubled players is now getting advice from Tony Dungy on how to turn around his own life. When Dungy gets associated with your life, its not a good thing.
Watching a man get his world yanked out from beneath his feet is a sad scene, but its also the stuff that tabloid America gobbles up in grim fascination. It’s doubtful he will continue to coach the Niners after this year, even if the team restores itself and closes the season strongly. It would take a miracle run to the playoffs for him to get another year at the helm.
Assuming that miracle does not occur, where does Singletary go from here? He might be able to get a job somewhere as an LB coach, but somehow that sort of downward career move seems beneath his large view of himself. He sees himself as a Leader, not a Lieutenant. For him, coaching was always about becoming a Head Coach. He’s not a lifer on the assistant coach treadmill. But with his mystique in shambles, I doubt anyone would even want him on their staff right now. Certainly, his HC aspirations have been mortally wounded.
The very things that marked Singletary’s roaringly enthusiastic beginnings as 49er coach (“Physical with an F” immediately comes to mind, as well as “Just watch us”) now mock him relentlessly. The fact that Raider coach Tom Cable, last year’s comic coach of the year, has more validity now than Singletary has to be making the Singletary household a grim affair these days.
Most fans assume Singletary will head off into the Ministry world from this debacle, and that is probably the only stage left that is big enough for his ego to thrive on. Politics would be another arena, but the fallen warrior image plays a whole lot better on the Religious Channel than the Political Channel.
Personally, I wish him the best, but damn, why did this movie have to get plugged into the 49er Channel this year? Hasn’t this franchise suffered enough? (Booming voice from the clouds: Ha ha ha. Suffer? You think this is suffering? Does the word “Cubs” ring a bell? Hey, dodo brain, I might not be done with you yet!).