Monday Night Football. Home game. World Champion Saints. Games like this don't come often.
Sure, unproven teams will get the rare MNF game. But this combination of scenarios is phenomenal.
The 49ers have talent, and they have a lot to prove. They just got their asses handed to them by a mediocre division rival (albeit an unknown and mysterious team). The 49ers have a coach, coordinator and quarterback trio that is getting hammered by many of the fans and media members (including an infamously controversial Yahoo! article). The coach is aggravated, even emotional.
Could things be set up any better for the 49ers?
Alex Smith has been the football equivalent of Barry Zito. Both players were paid big with high hopes. However, each has fallen flat on his face. They have battled serious confidence issues riddled with inconsistent performances. Both players get hammered by fans and media day in and day out. They are the Nor Cal whipping boys.
However, there is a cure-all: Winning.
On Thursday during the "Steve Young Show," Steve echoed my exact feelings that this is the greatest of all opportunities for the 49ers and Alex Smith. These are the defining moments of a career. The world is watching, and you're hosting the World Champions. This is your time. Not next week or the week after. Now. You can change the world's entire perspective on your franchise, your coach, and your quarterback.
I'm not one to say a single game can define a career, but this coming MNF game very well may define the career of Alex Smith. This is his chance. This is the chance the 49ers have to prove they are indeed worth all of the hype. This is the chance for Alex Smith to show he is more than a merely mediocre quarterback. With an impressive Smith and 49ers performance, the world will be abuzz. They will be the talk of the land, and that could truly catapult Alex Smith's career from disappointment to excitement.
Alex has to take the bull by the horns. He doesn't have to go out there and be Peyton Manning, but he needs to make a point. As Steve described, he's waiting to see "a signature Alex moment." A moment where even when things aren't going as planned, he wills his team to win. He leads and demands victory.
The pieces to the puzzle couldn't be laid out any better. This is the game of a career. This is why we love football. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. I'm excited, because this game has the chance to be historical. After Monday night, we will have a very good idea what we have in this 49ers team.
Go get 'em, guys. This is your chance.