Yes, Rodney is dead. But his tag line - "I never get no respect" can be said of the 49ers. Yes, I'm a 49er fan - who else composes blogs on any topic with dispassion? Not me. I'm an admitted Homer to the bone... a Homer who takes logical decisions and makes projections based upon factual matters. I contend the League and the NFL channel in particular, do not respect the 49ers.
The NFL does not like the Niners. I have my suspicions why - valid reasons. The manner in which the league and the NFL channel in particular assiduously avoid talking about the 49ers, or framing the little discussions they do direct to the 49ers with negative innuendos and left handed compliments bolsters my suspicions.
The NFL talking heads always denigrate the NFC West - implying it is a weak Division. Over the past decade, two teams from the West reached the Superbowl. Neither won, but getting there means something - a lot in fact. The West is brutal internally - teams play for all the marbles each Division game. And for all the assertions the West has bad teams - there is no Division in either Conference that doesn't include at least one bad team. Most have two. The Giants who won "the vaunted" NFC East had a W/L of 9-7. You want flukes - look there. Only two major errors by Kyle WIlliams permitted their reaching the SB. As I said, the league has its favorites.
The League favorites: Steelers, Patriots, Jets, NFC North, the Manning Bros., the NFC North, even the AFC West gets more respect. "Not a real Division" is implied and stated. The biases are striking... and untrue.
This hatred all began back when Eddie-D, Coach Walsh, and The Joe, transformed the 9ers and the league. More head coaches came from the Walsh training school than any other. Each team in the league has a graduate of the Walsh school - head coach, co-ordinator, other. Walsh's West Coast Offense is a league staple. The useful life strategy of a player philosophy, and, a methodical management team that literally worked the Salary Cap to their favor, combined to make the Niners the most successful franchise; and hated by the league. Only Eddie-D lost his ownership rights despite others doing the same things - cap wise. As other teams in the league adopted 49ers' philosophies, they were noted; grudgingly.
After Eddie was removed from office, the management aspect fell apart. It was only recently that problem was repaired. A carousel of coaching changes didn't help matters. By the time Mooch was fired, the die was cast. Poor draft classes and rotating coaching spelled doom. SF became a stopping over location. Players and coaches came to SF while waiting to find a Real Job. Management and coaches seemed at odds. Players had no focus or unity. This catastrophe happens at some point in every organizations life. But for the Niners, any improvements are ignored... labeled as a fluke.
Enter coach Harbaugh and several great draft classes and free agent acquisitions, and a new front office. The quality of players and management came into focus last year. Harbaugh brought a new culture and success. Only one team had a better record. Despite leading the league on defense and a 13-3 season record, a playoff win, and two eff up by the odious Kyle Williams in the championship game, the Niner get no respect. They are the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL.
No matter. I know Harbaugh will use this to motivate the players and fans. This year will be special. Mark it down. The 49ers will destroy the West, and reach the big game. They will annihilate the competition. I predict this year's team will go down in history. Alex Smith will be vindicated and the other players who have languished under the NFL's angst and indifference will prove to all they are force to be reckoned with.