By Daisy Barringer
The San Francisco 49ers—YOUR San Francisco 49ers—are 4-1. Take a moment to enjoy that. To enjoy the fact that the Niners completely dominated Tampa Bay in a 48-3 rout where we showed finesse, heart, efficiency, physicality, and the will to not just win, but completely destroy.
Let’s break it down:
- The 49ers have won three straight games for the first time since 2006.
- We remain two full games ahead in the NFC West.
- Alex Smith ranks THIRD in the NFL with a 104.1 passer rating. ALEX SMITH, PEOPLE!
- Smith’s TD pass to Delanie Walker amid three defenders: INSPIRING.
- The 49ers turned three takeaways into THREE TOUCHDOWNS.
- Gore had his second straight 100-yard game (20 carries, 125 yards, 1 TD). Also, the only turnover of the game.
- Vernon Davis caught two TDs.
- Offensive line looks SO much better. Smith had time.
- Rookie Aldon Smith had two sacks.
- Carlos Rodgers had his THIRD interception in thee games, this time for a 31-yard touchdown. “Hands of stone?” More like hands of magic and/or super glue.
- Rookie Chris Culliver got his first INT.
- Patrick Willis finished with a game-high 12 tackles.
- Ricky Jean Francois didn’t miss a beat while filling in for Sopoaga.
I mean, I could go on and on. Every single player and coach came out with heart and executed with proficiency unlike anything we’ve seen in years. It was truly a pleasure to watch, and even when people started filing out during the third quarter, I stayed until the clock ran down in the fourth so that I could applaud my boys and show them how proud of them we are all.
Unfortunately, the win was slightly overshadowed by my game day experience. I don’t even know how to describe it--and certainly part of it is likely that I am old and exhausted--but I’m fed up with all of the drunken, rowdy fans who scream in your face, demand constant high fives, and hurl insults at every single opposing fan. I’m sick of the fact that half of the “fans” spend more time walking up and down the aisles buying food and beer and souvenirs than they do watching the game. (Side note: I happen to sit on the wrong side of the aisle and I have to stand for the entire first half if I want to see actual football and not just the crotches of passerbys. I don’t mind standing; in fact, I wish more folks stood at Candlestick, but it’s somewhat rude in that once the person in front of you stands, you pretty much have no choice but to also stand. Luckily, the girl behind me admitted she had no idea what was going on and was only there for her boyfriend, so I don’t think she minded staring at my ass the entire game. I mean, I do have a nice ass... if you’re into things like that. I digress.)
Seriously though: I’m the first person to high five strangers after an amazing catch, an INT, or a TD. I totally get that feeling of being so overwhelmed and ecstatic that you start grabbing and hugging strangers. However, for some reason yesterday, it all felt contrived. Like it was the booze and pot (SO MUCH OF THE POT), not the amazing things that were happening on the field.
It also didn’t help that starting in the second quarter, the woman two rows in front of us, turned around every ten minutes and screamed “Stop throwing beer bottles at me.”
I initially tried to calmly explain to her that we were not throwing beer bottles at her, nor would we ever do that, but she clearly did not believe us, or anyone around us. She just continued to get more and more irate.
To be honest, I didn’t even realize what she was talking about at first. I didn’t see any beer bottles being thrown, but just assumed that they must be otherwise why would she be screaming at us? However, by the third quarter and twelve accusations later, I realized she was verbally attacking us every time a beer bottle rolled down beneath the seats and landed at her feet. Because people can totally control what happens to their empty beer bottles in windy Candlestick Park.
Finally, when one beer bottle too many rolled beneath her seat, she picked up the empty bottle and did what any rational person would do: hurled it at my boyfriend.
I mean, the 49ers are annihilating Tampa Bay, every single player looks unstoppable yet I have to deal with people throwing beer bottles? Sigh. I just don’t know if it’s worth it anymore. It’s easier to watch at home or go to a bar where at least I can guarantee the biggest asshole around will be me.
Also, this may be an incredibly unpopular opinion, but I have to say it. First of all, Harbaugh did an amazing job coaching yesterday. I am so excited to have him at the helm, and I honestly credit him with so much of the change and improvement we’ve seen with our players.
But that being said, I think Harbaugh made some huge mistakes in the 4th quarter.
I don’t think you go for it on 4th and 3 on Tampa Bay’s 20-yard line when you’re up by 38 points with only a few minutes left in the game. I totally get that Harbaugh wanted to give Kaepernick playing/practicing time, but I think going for it on 4th down when you’ve already ripped the opponent apart lacks class.
The whole thing reminded me of when Stanford beat USC 55-21 in 2009. Despite having an enormous lead, Harbaugh called for a (successful) two-point conversion late in the game leading to the infamous “What’s your deal?” exchange between Harbaugh and Pete Carroll when they met at midfield for their post-game handshake. In many ways, I get it. It gives your guys the chance to “practice” a play against a real opponent. But if that play goes wrong? If a key player gets hurt? Then you're kind of just a smug jerk who not only rubbed your win in the opponent's face, but also put your player in danger for what?
Listen, again, I love Harbaugh. But instead of kicking the field goal on 4th and 3, he called for a 19-yard pass to Josh Morgan. Morgan caught the pass on the one-yard line, but he also broke his ankle. The loss of Morgan (second on the team in receptions) leaves the 49ers with only three healthy receivers (Crabtree, Ginn, and Wiliams). I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have won the game 44-3 and not have watched Josh Morgan get carried off of the field.
Still: NINERS WIN. And that's something to be very, very happy about. Congrats to everyone. It was a great win. Enjoy it.
Prediction for Next Week: San Francisco over DETROIT. Detroit will be coming off of
a short week and, yes, Detroit looks good, but I think we can do this.