Whenever there’s an anniversary of something epic, be it The Catch trilogy, or crazy celebrations, you know we have to bring it up.
Today isn’t so much about a play, but it’s about a speech. A speech by one Samurai Mike, better known to you as Mike Singletary, AKA the former 49ers head coach who was better as a motivational speaker.
Mike Nolan had just been fired as head coach and Singletary was promoted to interim head coach. All signs of logic would have him going back to his duties as linebackers coach once the season was over and the 49ers had a coaching search. I’d like to think the above speech insured that didn’t happen.
On this day 10 years ago, the 49ers faced the Seattle Seahawks in a home game. During the game tight end Vernon Davis was penalized for 15 yards after slapping a Seahawk player. Singletary didn’t just bench Vernon, he sent him to the showers. After the game, the press asked about it, and the above speech took place.
Who wouldn’t want to run through a wall for this guy after that? The 49ers would go on to 5-4 under Singletary and he’d get the head coaching job as the season ended. This would prove to be a mistake, as Singletary’s final year had him taking the team to 6-10. The very next year, Jim Harbaugh took essentially the same roster and to over double the win total.
Beyond being ignored for what could have been a great Coors Light commercial, this speech also is what changed the attitude of Vernon Davis for the better. Getting pulled from the game and being told he’d be better off on the sidelines shaped him up as a player and a person and eventually led to the Vernon Post. Davis would be an anchor on the 49ers offense for Singletary and Harbaugh before his eventual trading in the Jim Tomsula-era.
For a slow Friday night, this video is always a great watch. If you can’t see the video or watch it here, you can always go here.