So, we didn’t get lucky for a second week in a row - the Seattle Seahawks took a nosedive last week, which was fantastic schadenfreude, but the Rams failed to lose to a slightly more distant rival, the Dallas Cowboys. Obviously, there will always be a stench around Jerry Jones and Co. for 49ers fans, but considering the divisional, proximate, and coaching staff (McVay) clashes, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to assert that the Rams might be the more hated opponent at this time.
With all respect to my colleague ak4niner, most of us still hate the Cowboys, and it’s a virtual guarantee that we were all hoping that both teams (Cowboys and Rams) would somehow both lose and their respective stock portfolios would tank and such, but I was definitely rooting for more of a Rams loss. No matter, however, the Rams will likely have to go through the buzzsaw that is New Orleans next week. Sure, the Saints still have to beat the Eagles today, but that’s something of a foregone conclusion. I know the Saints are another team that 49ers fans tend to dislike, but this particular writer happens to live in the city of New Orleans, where the New Orleans Saints are tantamount to religion - and as much as I’ve grown to hate the Saints (kind of like when you have that friend who tried forcing the Beatles down your gullet until you found yourself irrationally disliking the band because of the rabid fanbase), I’m ready to watch them tear Goff and friends to shreds next week.
If you’ve ever watched the Saints play a home game, you’d see an entirely different team that you’d see if you watched them on the road. The Superdome, home of the Saints, provides an unusual kind of homefield advantage. It’s the not the noise that affects other offenses, like in Arrowhead or the Clink, but it tends to imbue the Saints offense with something extra - even the driest of compilation statistics reflect this. Obviously, there is the added benefit that Mardi Gras, a time honored tradition down here which results in school and work closures so everyone can do their best Flounder from Animal House impressions (going through life fat, drunk, and stupid - at least for a week or so), turns into a different beast when the Saints have won the Superbowl.
Ultimately, I decided to leave “story time” out of the body of the article, for what it’s worth.
Playoff fandom is a strange, strange burden to bear. One’s normal hatred of teams meets uneasy compromise, leading to the kind of tough soul-searching that leaves one feeling dirty. “Which team do I hate the least? Which fanbase would be least unbearable if they were to win?” are the kinds of questions that come up as the number of teams dwindle down. I suppose I’ve already made up my mind the way I’d like to see things shake out. Ideally, the Saints close it out again, the city has the normal aura of despair lifted for a few months, Drew Brees retires at the top, and the Saints quietly descend back into mediocrity.
Where are you folks at on this journey?
49ers among four teams that could be in the running for Antonio Brown | White, NBC Sports Bay Area
George Kittle aims to continue building on his success | Chan, NBC Sports Bay Area
Levi’s Stadium looks to be finalist as Raiders’ 2019 home | Montero, KNBR
Cowboys-Rams game had a few intriguing free agent options for 2019 | Madson, Ninerswire