Monday, October 17, 2011
In The Middle of A Stupid Handshake Controversy An Excellent Game Happened
With all due respect to anyone with opinions on Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz close to throwing down, get over it. Schwartz is a fiery little dude and, not only because the great Neil blogs about the Lions here, I am a big supporter of Schwartz and what he's done for Detroit during his tenure. Ask any old Stanford beat writer and they say Jim Harbaugh has no off switch. These are two successful coaches who are tough as shit and have managed to turn around their respective teams by making their players believe in their vision and have adopted the identity of their coaches.
The 49ers have been the league's comedy (and schedule) relief for awhile. Our last coach, Mike Singletary, was also a fiery personality who had no clue how to scheme or strategize and answered all complaints and team defects by "looking at the film". During a shitty performance, he pulled down his pants at halftime and expected the team to wake up out of their mediocrity and play their guts out. The strategy didn't work as his Samurai buns did not know how to put players in the right position to succeed or give Alex Smith a gameplan he was capable of performing. It also helped that in a stalemate between two good defenses in the fourth quarter, Ted Ginn ran a punt 40 yards to give the Niners favorable field position for that game-winning touchdown drive.
The Lions have finally awoken from a slumber and listening to how hyped the crowd was for a Lions/Niners game was fucking awesome.
Granted, Anthony Davis is showing he is a smug ass, but he also was the first dude out there to back up Harbaugh. If that was Kwame Harris he'd have been called for holding and have been held accountable for a Harbaugh concussion.
Schwartz talked shit to Dez Bryant after a challenge on a play overturned a reception. I have no qualms or beef with that. He also seemingly yelled "Learn the rules, Harbaugh!" after Harbaugh mistakenly challenged and unchallengeable play. Harbaugh's whole M.O. since he was here was that the team wasn't taking shit. He has turned an "Us against the World" outlook and has taken things personal and used it as fuel for his team to succeed. I have no qualms or beef with either coaches. Fans and reporters have complained we get by-the-numbers answers and in a league that mandates everyone act the same it is funny to see the same people complain when people deviate from that status quo.
In the midst of all this stupid arbitrary politeness protocol controversy is that this game felt like a battle between two young, hungry, athletic and well-coached teams. The penalties racked up and it wasn't the prettiest thing ever, but the 49ers did what no other team could do -- stop Megatron from scoring.
Frank Gore is back from the dead, the O-Line looked solid and Greg Roman/Harbaugh were able to neutralize Suh with wham blocks from Delanie Walker. The Niners proved in the last couple of weeks that they can take advantage of the other team's turnovers and that if Alex Smith is the Trent Dilferiest version of "Game Manager" the 49ers can be competent enough for a victory.
Smith was an 8 on the Dilfer Scale, but he also gave up two turnovers with the defense not acquiring any takeaways and we STILL managed to get a win, on the road, with enough penalties to build the Tower of Babel.
The best part with both teams being heated and obviously on that ride-or-die tip with their coaches, I can't wait for the madness of these two young teams not just for this season but for the future. Both these teams look to be ready to brawl (in the game, fuck that post-game shit) for years to come.
After years of incompetency and the studio gangster leadership, the Niners beat a team that had not lost since December at their home with non-manufactured toughness. Harbaugh was surely overzealous and Schwartz was obviously upset, getting backslapped in his backyard after eating Niner dick. But both those coaches are intense as hell and is the reason why both these teams had the ability to headline NFL shows at the top of the hour. "The Handshake" was just some stupid thing that obscured awesomeness.