By Daisy Barringer
I’m baaaa-aaaack. Miss me? No? Fine. But did you at least miss football? Because I sure as hell did. Summer in San Francisco can be a little depressing, as we all know. The endless fog, the biting ocean wind, the Burners posting half-naked drug-hazed photos all over Facebook and insisting people care about their camp’s theme or how their life has changed forever
But then September arrives. Like sunshine. And the sun is blazing and the Burners (eventually) shut up and finally, after eight agonizing months, FOOTBALL IS BACK! And I have a reason to get out of bed on Sunday other than the lure of “Build Your Own Mimosas” at Zazie. Yay, football!
For many people, the first day of football is like Christmas. (And by “many people,” I mean “me.”) And I’m not gonna lie: It was a little depressing yesterday when they tried to ruin my favorite holiday with nonstop reminders of the terrorist attacks that took place ten years ago. There were huge American flags and little teeny American flags. There were military personnel in crisp uniforms and dramatic renditions of the National Anthem. And don’t ask me why, but those stupid tax-dollar-wasting fighter jets flying overhead made me cry and I only barely had time to wipe away my (stupid, stupid) tears before kickoff. Guess what you’re not supposed to do at a football game? That’s right: WEEP.
Luckily, we got all of that out of the way in a matter of minutes, which left plenty of time to get depressed about lots of other stuff.
Take, for example, the fact that for most of the game it felt like Singletary was coaching. You know, the guy we sent packing last year because he was overly conservative and completely ineffective? The guy we replaced with Jim Harbaugh, our alleged savior?
Listen, I get that it was Week One and Harbaugh is super into this whole “We’re blue-collar guys and we’re just playing to win the game” thing. Fine. Whatever. It worked. (Oh right: THE NINERS WON! Like, by A LOT! For us! MORE ON THIS LATER!) But after years of close losses and near misses and not going to the playoffs, Niners’ fans want to see inspired play calling. We don’t want two-yard passes and runs that go nowhere. We don’t want field goal after field goal after field goal. We don’t want to get to the red zone only to see seven straight run-calls. We want TOUCHDOWNS! And fine, yes, obviously if we win, we’ll be elated. However, there was a moment there when we were only up by two points in the 4th, and if not for Ted Ginn—TED GINN!—that game would have had a very different score, one that could've been a loss.
So, yeah. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big believer in Harbaugh. And I will assume he was being conservative because it was Week One, and Alex Smith is a bit, uh, precarious—although nice TD run, Alex; I like it—but he’d better change the game plan drastically by next week or Dallas is going to destroy us. Trust me on this one.
Also, before we get to Ted Ginn, I want to give a shout out to our defense. You guys (because they’re TOTALLY reading this) were great in the first half, if not slightly less stellar in the second. But I believe in you and every single one of your FIVE sacks on Tavaris Jackson (made even better by the fact that I have Seattle in my “Bad Quarterback League”). [http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/3686/introducing-grantlands-bad-quarterback-league] You’re going to have a great season and I look forward to more hard hits, forced fumbles, and quarterback sacks. Oh, and if you want to through in a few INTs, I’ll take those too.
Now let’s get to the star of the game. ME! Just kidding. Sourdough Sam and his crazy old school look. OK, again, just kidding: September 11th! No, not really. TED GINN! Three days ago, my friend Drew (who is going to totally hate me for calling him out), IMed me the following:
Andrew: Wait, we still have Ted Ginn? Seriously?
Daisy: Ha. Yes.
I wish now I had added: THANK GOD.
In case you live on Mars or the Mission or wherever it is that people don’t watch football, or at the very least SportsCenter, Ted Ginn returned a kickoff and then a punt for two touchdowns WITHIN A MINUTE OF EACH OTHER. He was the first player in 49ers team history to do this AND the first person to do this in Week One of the NFL AND only the 12th NFL player to do it EVER. Basically, that’s a really big deal and you should probably stop pretending to work and go watch the videos right now. No seriously: Go. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here when you get back.
So yeah. 49ers football is back. AND WE WON OUR FIRST GAME. And no, I wasn’t elated with the coaching or the offense, but when I stood on top of my seat jumping up and down, a smile stretch so far across my face that it’s actually a little sore today (what? I don’t smile much), none of that mattered. All that mattered was the fact that we won. And a spark of hope was reignited amongst The Faithful. There’s a lot of work to be done, for sure. But for now, I believe. And god, that feels so good.
Prediction for next week: Dallas over SAN FRANCISCO. (I know, I just said I believed. But better to be pleasantly surprised than totally devastated, right?)
P.S., a final note for the 49ers organization: Bands like The Plain White Tees who sing lullabies with acoustic guitars are NOT appropriate half-time entertainment! This is football not the high school prom.