"Alex Smith sucks. Jimmy Raye sucks. Mike Singletary sucks. Fire them all. The 49ers are horrible. They got whipped by the Seahawks, so the end of the world is here! They won't win 6 games! It's all over!"
These are just a few of the things many 49er fans have been blurting this passed week. And while I understand your frustration, I feel like "the Faithful" haven't lived up to their name as of late. No, I'm not recommending you have blind faith, but it isn't like this is the hopeless Erickson era. Calm the (bleep) down, dammit!
It was one game. One - fricken - game. Yes, it was ugly. Yes, it was humiliating. But so many of you guys are giving up. It's really pathetic. In fact, I'm more ashamed with those 49er fans than I am with the 49ers performance last week.
While listening to Fitz & Brooks on KNBR earlier, I heard them point out that if something goes wrong early in the game tonight, the crowd will get ugly. Say Smith throws it away or gets picked; maybe Crabtree drops a pass or Gore gets hammered in the backfield; Say they go 3 and out: The crowd will boo heavily.
So what if those things happen? Are you 49er fans really that weak? You can't stick with your team through thick and thin? Is this the reputation we want to build as fans? Fans that just pout at the first sign of adversity?
Whatever happened to home field advantage in San Francisco? If the statements made by Fitz & Brooks are the reality, that is really sad. Really, really sad.
When I watch the game tonight, not only will I be watching what happens on the field, but I'll be watching you, 49er Faithful. Don't let your team down.
After the jump, I'll point out some reasons for you fellow 49er fans to stop over-reacting.
The 49ers were ambushed in Seattle. In fact, it would have been incredible if they won that game. That may seem like a blasphemous statement, but here is how I justify the statement:
I believe strongly that NFL games are 90% preparation. Why do you think Peyton Manning is so great? No, he isn't more talented than everyone else. No, he doesn't make amazing plays. He is simply more prepared than his opponent, and he consistently exploits that advantage on the field.
The Seahawks had every advantage imaginable. You can checkmark everything on this list as an advantage for the Seahawks in this scenario:
- Home field
- Visiting team (SF) has no true game film on "new" home team (SEA), while (in most cases) the home team has loads of game film on the already established visiting team.
- Scot McCloughan knows the 49ers personnel inside and out.
- Jeff Ulbrich knows the 49ers defense inside and out.
- Michael Robinson knows the offense and special teams.
- Kentwan Balmer also knows the defense, especially the line.
This is beyond a pitcher tipping his pitches. This was a severe problem, and it showed its ugly face last Sunday. Teams with new coaches that have their debut game as a home opener have a built in advantage. Many weak teams have upset great teams (even Superbowl Champions) in that scenario. It's pretty obvious why: The favorite in that game cannot properly prepare. They have no game film on their opponent. Film from college or preseason does not suffice, because that film is not the reality of the team at hand.
While I do not expect the 49ers beat the Saints, I do expect them to perform considerably better than last week. And 0-2 is not the end of the world.
You may keep hearing that stat: 0-2 start means 13% chance of making the playoffs. Sure, that's fine and dandy, but what are the chances a team is in a division with such pathetic opponents? The chances of a decent team like the 49ers winning that division is pretty damn high, regardless of an 0-2 start.
Also, is 13% really that bad? And does it even mean anything? Consider this: There are 32 teams in the NFL, and 12 of them make the playoffs. That means, as a whole, every team has a 37.5% chance to make the playoffs when the season starts. All 0-2 tells me is the team has to put a winning streak together at some point and they can be right in the thick of it. When you consider this pathetic division (and the list of very winnable games on SF's schedule), the 49ers (by far the most talented in the NFCW) could go 0-3 and still have a fighting chance to win the division.
It isn't the end of the world. This 49ers team will certainly win 8 games this year, and that will probably be enough to win this lame division. It may not be the glory we all want, but stop acting like you have it so bad. You may not believe in Alex Smith, Mike Singletary, Jimmy Raye or all of the above, but they did break the long losing-seasons streak last year, and that is certainly better than what we'll be seeing in Seattle, Arizona, and St. Louis.
Give them a chance to play games. One game and making a conclusion is not giving a chance. Be a 49er fan, not a detractor.