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49ers-Saints on Monday Night Football: No Moral Victories

I've always hated the idea of "moral victories." Generally speaking, in order to achieve a moral victory you first have to lose and I'm fairly certainly most folks don't enjoying losing. While a team can certainly take something from a loss, if that team goes into the game thinking about potential moral victories it seems to me that they have already lost the battle of confidence.

The 49ers have endured one of the toughest weeks in recent memory for the franchise. An ugly loss up in Seattle has people jumping ship like we're on the Titanic and we're taking on water. People are ready to fire Mike Singletary and blow this team up at the first hint of adversity. I have to imagine part of that comes from the frustration of years of 49ers struggles and I can certainly understand how that frustration can bubble over. After all, the 49ers were destroyed by Seattle and things actually managed to get worse from there thanks to the Yahoo article.

Whether you think somebody should get fired or some kind of change is necessary, tonight is an opportunity for the 49ers to make a monstrous statement for the entire country to see. The 49ers come into tonight's game as decided underdogs, and really if the team continues playing like it did last week they have no business being a favorite in any game the rest of the season.

However, a victory tonight could at least stem the bleeding for now. I don't think a win guarantees this team anything other than not going 0-16. One could argue tonight is a perfect storm for either a stunning upset or another ugly butt-whuppin. We're not here to discuss a loss. Why do I see this as a perfect storm for an upset? Well, the team is coming off an incredibly ugly defeat in which they were thoroughly embarrassed by the Seahawks. The team is under fire from all corners, which could create a sort of rally around the flag effect. And of course, this could be a trap game for the Saints. Although, seeing as the entire free world is talking about this as a potential trap game, can it still be considered a trap game?

While I think it's best to maintain some semblance of an even keel, I also recognize the importance of tonight's game. Nothing rectifies team turmoil like a win. Make it a huge upset and I'd imagine sports talk radio hosts would be doing a complete 180 in the coming days. While I always want a win, I also want it just to see the reaction of the press after the beating the team took this week in the media.

Obviously none of this matters if the team doesn't come ready to play tonight. I really don't think Sean Payton is going to let his team come in to San Francisco thinking this game is a gimme. If the 49ers are going to pull off the upset, they need to come out early and punch the Saints in the nose on both sides of the ball. The 49ers confidence could not have been all that high following last week's loss, so a fast start would be huge for team confidence.

The 49ers CAN compete with and defeat the Saints. And I don't mean that in the "any team can beat any other team on any given Sunday" kind of way. I mean that in the sense that the 49ers are a talented team. Yes they have question marks on both sides of the ball, but they're talented enough to defeat a team like the Saints. The Saints might have more talent in certain areas than the 49ers, but I refuse to accept that as an excuse for defeat.

The 49ers beat themselves last week, and if they pull that garbage tonight they have no busy beating the Saints. Let's hope the team realizes the problems and has dealt with them in a sufficient manner. It's time to take down Who Dat nation.

Enjoy some quality YouTube after the jump (I watched this almost every day leading up to the bar exam)

40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 minutes