The blogs have been a bit quiet this past week. It’s difficult to tell if this is lingering apathy, exhausted anger, or careful optimism. Being a 49er fan has been no picnic this year. A draining experience, for sure.
Any way you slice it, the 49ers have been one of the major disappointments of this 2010 NFL season. The fact that the team can be termed a disappointment is somewhat of a change, since it implies they were deemed to be a good team on the rise, instead of the ongoing butt of league wide jokes, which their dreadful performances have once again made them.
The Seahawks play at New Orleans this Sunday and the Rams play at home against the Falcons. A victory by either team would be considered a massive upset. If they both lose as expected and the Niners beat Tampa Bay, there will be only one game separating all three clubs. If the fading Cardinals can somehow beat the Chiefs in Kansas City, it would be a foursome at the top, or maybe more appropriately, at the bottom of the NFC West. As comical as it sounds, coming from a 4-6 team, the 49ers would actually be in better shape to win the division this year than they were at the ten game mark last year.
If we are indeed looking at this scenario come Sunday night, it would be hard to resist getting some juices flowing out here in fan land. A three game winning streak in the NFL, by any team but the eliters, is no small accomplishment. Especially when that run of victories can be traced almost exclusively to a player who has been a difference maker. A guy who turns an underachieving club into a team that wins close games instead of losing them.
Unfortunately, Joe Nedney is out this week, and … just kidding. Troy Smith has made believers of his teammates, if not yet the fans. When your guys start thinking YOU can do it, sooner or later they start believing THEY can do it, too. Another win come Sunday might just get this squad to finally turn the corner, a corner that has been as elusive for this franchise as Wiley Coyote’s dream of catching The Road Runner.
One thing good about having your enthusiasm squashed repeatedly during the team’s 1-7 start is that there is no agony left to experience should the team fall flat come Sunday. This site has already produced two Monday morning obituaries for the 2010 season, so the team is already twice dead. Which would make them zombies at this point, I guess. Somehow, zombies seem a lot scarier than physicals with an F. If I was a Tampa player, there’s no way I would want to be going up against a team full of zombies.
At any rate, I’m not dreading this game, I’m looking forward to it. Even a little pumped up, you might say. Are we witnessing the birth of a legend here? Or the final act of a box office flop. The beginning of a playoff run, or the third and final R.I.P.
It’s not Colts vs Patriots, but it will have to do. Go Niners!