TICKLE FIGHT! High-five! (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
I have an empty feeling in my very being right now. I feel like my dog just died. I'm literally depressed, have minor chest pains and labored breathing. I also feel apathy starting to creep in and engulf me. What's wrong with me?
I'm a 49ers fan.
The game, you know, that pitiful performance displayed on Sunday against Tampa Bay...was an abomination...like the snow-man with the same moniker...it should be sent to the far-off mountains and confined there where it can no longer scare children and adults alike.
I coached youth flag-football (ages 6-8) last winter and watched with great frustration at times as my team struggled to do even the simple things right. We looked as though we'd never done it before...never had a practice...as though the players weren't familiar with this odd game they were being asked to play.
Something similar was what I saw on the field Sunday against the Buccaneers.
Hey, let's run the ball because, I mean...it's Tampa freaking Bay! They're ranked in the bottom of the league against the run! So let's put, oh...say...three dozen eggs in that basket? No need to have a contingency plan...it'll work like the sun rises.
Oh, crap...it seems the Bucs are stuffing the run. Let's try a pass or two. Wait, you mean we need to block those big guys trying to kill the quarterback?!? That's just insanity! You can't expect us to...back to the run...let's just give it to Gore. Hey, is that Jimmy Raye in the booth? Oh, it must have been a mirage.
Passing, yeah...let's try that. Just throw it to Gore, remember he's the only one really capable of moving the ball. Those other guys are blockers and decoys. Oh, we have that Davis guy at tight end. I think he might be good. Let's throw him a screen pass too! Man, these pesky defenders are like, tackling our guys. What do we do?
We don't know. The game plan says "run". Ok.
Hey, we can stop Tampa Bay's own running attack though. We're a heckuva run defense and they just aren't that spectacular in that department. What? Who's that big ole kid with the ball? No matter, Patrick Willis can stop him. But hold on a minute...someone just BLOCKED Willis! Someone else will have to tackle that large man and...ewww...that didn't look good. Someone should go check on Parys Haralson. Bring a spatula.
We're holding them pretty good though! No points thru a quarter, low scoring first half...it's ok. Let's make some adjustments. SLAP! You should know better, we don't do THAT! We game planned all week and that's what we're sticking to.
CB's: We'll need you to line up WAY off the receivers and let them get a free release. Don't turn to run with them immediately either...remember, we're a run-defense. Safeties...don't expect any deep routes. Those guys are faking. Just be ready to hurl your body in a disorganized fashion at anyone with the ball. Keep your ams out of it...they have no business making tackles. Hey, can we tape them behind their backs trainers? No? That's illegal? That's a dumb rule.
Well at least we have a mobile quarterback who can make some things happen on his own...wait...you mean he needs more than an ever decreasing sealed-off circle from within to work? C'mon...he's a Heisman trophy winner! Hand it to Gore!
We need to move the ball and get some points. 3rd and 5...I know...DRAW PLAY! Just punt. We have this new kicker and new means "can't kick 48 yard field goal" in our Dictionary.
OK, desperation time...going for it on 4th down. Vernon, run WAY down the field but don't ever turn around and look for the ball. I'll hit you between the butt-cheeks so it sticks there. Just keep running.
Hey, what? The game's over? Man! We didn't even get to score any points! No fair! Oh shucks.
What was the problem? I have no idea. We can't be expected to know anything without watching film. In fact, we all close our eyes the whole game. We put pictures of eye balls over our own so people think we're looking. Next question...what's that? Have to look at the film. What color underwear am I wearing? Have to watch the film. I'll get back to you (not really).
Hey, we're still in this thing! Remember...we want to pick in the most awkward spot in the next draft so we are forced to take a player we don't really need and wont help us. Besides...all we have to do is keep repeating ourselves and eventually it will happen (the winning thing). Wait...what? We've been doing that for over two years now? Crap...what'll we do now?!? Hmmm...
I'll have to watch the film.