There was something terribly familiar about this game. To have it nearly won--twice--and then have a stake shoved through our hearts at the end. And damn, this stake looks familiar...oh yeah: the [site decorum] 49ers. I remember now.
I don't know if it has occurred to anyone else yet (forgive me for not poring over your blog...I had less painful things to do), but the last time a quarterback broke the NFL passing yardage record, it was the 49ers who put him in his place. I was actually living in San Francisco at the time, as a diehard Miami fan. There seems to be no end to the pain the 49ers keep in stock.
I think we can at least put to rest the idea that the Saints can't win on grass. It wasn't the grass that beat us. It wasn't the road that beat us. It wasn't even the 49ers defense or the turnovers that beat us. With all those advantages, y'all still held us just two points short of our season average, and 32 points should have been enough to get it done against that lame San Francisco offense. Except: it was that lame offense, and King Alex the Afterthought, who came through twice in the clutch and saved the game. The unit that got short shrift is the one that won if for you. That happens so many times, I don't know why we didn't see it coming...except that we were hoping the disrespected unit that came through would be the Saints' defense. Instead, they just showed why they were disrespected.
I know there are bound to be some of you that actively hate the Saints (although I can't understand why...they're so lovable), and wish nothing but misery and woe on their fans. Well, you got your wish: this was probably the most painful defeat in Saints history (and that qualifies as an informed opinion, because I've been a fan since All Saints Day, 1966). And if I might venture a non-informed opinion, not being a 49ers fan: this has to be the greatest Niners game since 2003. There will probably be a lot of red-and-gold babies born in early October.
A lot of 49ers fans on Canal Street Chronicles have gone out of their way to be gracious, assuring us that we'll meet in the playoffs again. I'm not so sure. The Niners look to be a team on the way up--I'm tempted to say that only Alex Smith holds you back, except that this time he was the reason you won. If this can continue, you may have another dynasty in the making. As for the Saints: we have too many free agents, too many aging players on defense, and I can't see us repeating this season next year. There's a chance, of course; but I fear this was our window.
Whatever. It is what it is. The world goes on (i.e., badly) and the Saints go home. You'd think we'd be used to it by now. Actually, I kinda miss the days when I didn't have to hope during the playoffs. You remember those days, I'm sure. You brought five rings out of them.
I'd be remiss if I didn't end this by saying that you 49ers fans have been a classy bunch throughout the week: staunchly defending your team, rarely stooping to invective, putting up with a bunch of crazed, delusional Vikings (for instance...me). Believe me, we've seen a lot worse--you should have seen our war of words with Vikings fans after we beat them in the conference championship. I hope nobody was stupid enough to come over here after the game and talk that kind of smack...and if they did, feel free to rub their noses in it.
Later, y'all. If there is a later. Damn.