Monday, September 19, 2011

Nobody Respects Us, Inc.: 49ers Week 2 Review

The most disgusting and unnatural of abominations currently staining
God's Green Earth:
Happy Dallas Cowboys celebrating a success.

Well, that could've gone better.

After quite a lot of building up of and looking forward to yesterday's game, the 49ers lost to Dallas by the frustratingly narrow margin of 27-24 in OT. Losses are always annoying to football fans; it's a by-product of the cycle created by the weekly schedule, just like the heavy emotional investment and, let's face it, psychological addiction, are. Monday thru Saturday are spent thinking about the game, hearing stories and reading articles about the game, planning errands on your weekend around that several hour block on Sunday reserved for the game (sorry, Jesus, you'll have to take a number and sit in the waiting room for a while, MISTER PATRICK WILLIS is tackling someone right now). And nothing demoralizes a human being quite everything proceeding as planned and the result being less than you expected. i.e. your favorite football team shat away a multi-score lead late in the game you've planned your day, nay, week around watching, and losing it.

This goes double when it's Alumni Week in 49er land, a.k.a the game during the season where all the old guys from the winning days show up during halftime to receive plaques, or busts, or get their name added to the Improvised Ring Of Honor circling the unsightly upper lip of Candlestick Park's misshapen bowl where no seats fit and it's just as well because the seagulls have laid claim to it as their turf.

Also, it gives local newspapers an excuse to run THIS photo again.
And you know we NEVER get tired of looking at this one. What can you say?
Our Past is still more fun than our Present and Future.

But mostly the old guys come out to give rah rah speeches thanking the fans for sticking by a team and organization that once had the savvy to draft the guy giving the speech [this year it was Dwight Clark's turn, hence the above photo] but now drafts somebody like Taylor Mays who is (apparently) a prima donna malcontent who isn't even on the team one calendar year later. But we appreciate your support. Or perhaps we appreciate your overwillingness to believe that the New Golden Age (tm) is Just Around The Corner. It goes double again on top of that when the opponent is the modern version of an old foe we used to watch the 49ers beat up in the good old days, and no team fits THAT description better than the Dallas Cowboys.

The good thing about Candlestick being the loveable old dump that it is, is the "luxury boxes" are antiques at best and a hilarious misnomer at worst, and we got to make Jerry Jones sit in one of those fucking things to watch his damn team play, which after the fully-functional apartments in his Disney World Stadium that he's gotten used to, Candlestick's probably feel more akin to a Khmer Rouge era Cambodian Labor & Relocation Camp. Hope your tetanus shots are up to date Jerry!

But this is little solace after four hours of watching Jason Whitten lumber like an aurochs through the middle of the field while Carlos Rogers and the other 49er defensive backs, all about half his size, vainly threw ropes with grappling hooks around him trying to bring him down Lilliputian style. Or Miles Austin. Or some scrawny dreadlocked dude I've never heard of making his first career catches, including a 70-some yarder in overtime to set up the fatal field goal, some rookie wearing -- how cruel irony can be -- #16. [Probably not an accident, and I half-expect him to have a different, perhaps even more wide-receiverly, number next week. Seriously, fuck the Cowboys]. Or Tony Romo, skipping most of the 3rd quarter with an alleged rib injury only to "heroically" make his 4th Quarter return and not have that rib tested with repeated introductions to Candlestick's yellowy turf.

New Head Coach Jim Harbaugh did his part to let fans know this one was important to him, too, as he already went to the East Coast Bias well back on Tuesday, chaffing at NBC & ESPN's omission of 49er Week 1 victory Highlights from their recap shows. Now, the 49ers were hardly alone; a lot of teams got left out, as they had to make extra room to fellate the NFL itself for how "tastefully" it was handling the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and how much professional football had done to heal the nation since (can you hear my eyes rolling?). Many teams' moments of glory went unseen so that Chris Berman could read his pre-prepared pedantic pap three non-consecutive times, but that's not the point. The point is Jim Harbaugh is establishing himself as, and ideally establishing a team personality of, the type of aggressive assholes who are looking for an excuse to get fired up to get in your face and beat your ass because you blinked too slowly or too long at them. Basically, while in football coach mode Jim Harbaugh is a guy who'll have an exchange like this:

Person A: "Hi! How are you doing?"

Harbaugh: "What the fuck is that supposed to mean, asshole? C'mere!"

"They left our highlights out. Nobody respects us. Well okay, we're going to MAKE them respect us." Elementary Motivational Speech Stuff. Let's hope it plays as well in the locker room as it does with us fans, because after all, as we saw all too often last year with his predecessor, a chip on your shoulder the size of your shoulder is only endearing after a win. A losing streak makes the act get stale quickly. And while seeing a slight and looking for a fight everywhere isn't stale yet -- in fact, it's still amusing to me. Football is a game whose nature is one of violence, and willingness to out-violence the other side, and if Harbaugh imposes his attitude on the 49ers and infuses them with it like he did with the Ubernerds of Stanford, the 49ers could become nasty, aggressive, and insecure enough to be pathologically preoccupied with forcing everyone to respect them on a weekly basis. However, after one narrow, disappointing loss to a hated foe, they are not there yet. There were some highlights, and -- dare I say it? -- Alex Smith looked decent with leanings in the direction of Above Average for the second week in a row. But you didn't see them, because the 49ers did not win this game, and thus did not force anyone to show them the respect of looking at their highlights.

Alex Smith, as he has done many times before, chased down a bad snap that sailed over his head, but this time he scooped it up cleanly, scrambled to the sidelines, and not only threw it away, but threw it into the end zone to draw a pass interference penalty that set up Touchdown #1. Josh Morgan caught about 4 straight 3rd down passes for successful conversions. Justin Smith is still forcing his opposite number to hold him virtually every play. Exiled Eagle David Akers still has 50+ yard field goal range. Ted Ginn caught a couple drive-extending passes and almost gave me cause to recycle that Kick Return TD picture again (I will wear that one out at the slightest provocation) There are some good signs with this team, and things to get encouraged over.

But there were not enough of them, yet, and so nobody else noticed, and the rest of the nation has no reason to be made to care. All people nationwide likely saw of this game was Tony Romo "courageously" demanding his helmet back at the end of the 3rd Quarter and throwing TD passes to Miles Austin. Progress, and the external validation of respect that comes with it, will have to wait for another week. When you have a 10 point lead with 7 minutes left, yet cannot hold the ball long enough to run that time off, that's a wasted opportunity.

And Thus Football-Watching America was forced to watch the
condensed version of THIS GUY being "Gritty". When you lose to the Cowboys,
you let ALL of America down. Sorry, everyone.

Next week: another chance against some old allies (Manny Lawson, Nate Clements, and Taylor Mays), in the skin of another old whipping boy in the good old days: The Bengals.


UpHere said...

The aurochs thing. So good. The Niners can still kiss my ass (no offense intended), but the aurochs thing......

Raven Mack said...

yeah, this was fun. I still hate the 49ers like almost no other team on earth, but still, you almost made me feel compassion. plus, they were playing the cowboys, so I was feeling weak towards you.

Whiouxsie said...

Oh believe me, I dream of the 49ers earning a new generation of Hate soon. The Steelers' resurgence and Dallas' semi-resurgence have us feeling more than a little left out, and of course the modern Patriots are sickeningly familiar to how things used to be out here. There's envy in our eyes when we look at those teams and compare them to ours.

Harbaugh constantly spoiling for a fight like the Joe Pesci character in Goodfellas is a nice start, because that'll get real obnoxious real fast with everyone else, but nothing gets the "FUCK those guys" feeling boiling quite like a playoff elimination. Shit, why do I hate Brett Favre so much? 95, 96, and 97. It really is that simple. I still can't stand the Giants for 1990, too.

Except everyone else kinda hates the Cowboys all the time, so it does feel like your team has let a nation down when they lose to Dallas, because now there's 31 fan bases who have to listen to those fairweather chests being thumped.

AERose said...

That Holley kid catching passes was hilarious to me because I think I was the only person who watched the shitty reality TV series he won to make it on the Dallas roster to begin with.