By Daisy Barringer
This morning I walked into my local Peet’s (iced tea, not coffee; life is hard enough without going through it fully awake) and for the first time in my entire life, I overheard the baristas and customers bantering about the San Francisco 49ers. Not to me, mind you. No, no. I’m a girl [twirls hair], so no one randomly strikes up football conversations with me, a dame. However, folks at my local coffee dealer did so with the other customers: you know, the ones with penises? Them.
And while this should have made me happy because, holy cow, the Niners, MY NINERS, are 5-1 and beat the undefeated Detroit Lions 25-19—On the road! In the Eastern time zone!—It didn’t. Instead it kind of bugged me. Because, holy bananas, I am that selfish.
Anyway, enough about me, let’s talk about the 5-1 San Francisco 49ers. In a digestible manner because someone complained last week that they can never figure out which parts of my posts to skip. (Hint: NONE OF THEM.)
Team Stuff You Want to Know
• This is the 49ers first 5-1 start since 1998.
• First time we’ve had four straight wins since 2001. 15 penalties for 120 yards. Considering the noise level at Ford Field, I’ll forgive them the false starts. Regarding the rest of them, that many penalties loses games. I think everyone was shocked we were up at the end of the first half (11 penalties for 99 yards).
• The Niners are three games ahead in the NFC West. So what if the Cardinals and Seahawks didn’t play on Sunday? Facts are facts.
• A lot of people are saying we are definitely going to the playoffs. I am saying nothing because I tend to jinx things like that.
• Does anyone else think Detroit was totally stupid for going for (and missing) the two-point conversion after the Burleson TD?
• Niners take the lead 22-19 in the fourth, but 22-20 is a lot more intimidating. Right?
• My green undies are my new red undies. Lucky. And yes, you sickos, I washed them since last week.
Offensive Stuff: Some You’ll Want to Forget; Some You’ll Never Forget
• Alex Smith had an ugly game. I don’t know why, but he insists on throwing high to Crabtree over and over again. He finished the game with: 17 of 32 passes for 125 yards. 1 TD. 1 INT. 1 lost fumble (Joe Staley’s fault, not his). 2 sacks. 60.0 rating (his worst of the season).
• But here’s the thing. It doesn’t matter. Smith had a bad game, but the rest of the team rallied around him and played even harder and better. And when it mattered, when it REALLY mattered, Smith delivered a 6-yard TD pass to Delanie Walker on 4th and goal to put the Niners up by 3.
• The O-line held Ndamuokong Suh to only 2 tackles. That’s what happens when you talk smack, Suh. We hear you. And we prepare. And then we destroy you. Slight exaggeration, but whatever.)
• Frank Gore: 141 yards on 15 carries and 1 TD. When the offensive line makes a hole for Gore and he runs through it: there’s nothing I love watching more.
Special Teams: They are special
• Ted Ginn is so fun to watch. And his 40-yard punt return in the 4th meant Alex Smith only needed to lead the team 35-yards for the go-ahead 4th quarter TD. Thank God. Because Smith was struggling.
• Akers: Oh, hello 55-yard field goal. You’re so pretty!
• Andy Lee: Anyone who has read these columns before knows how I feel about Andy Lee. (Love.) He averaged 47.8 yards on nine punts. I like it when we see less of him, but when he does come out, he rarely disappoints. Kind of like my boyfriend’s penis. Kidding. Also, wow. Did I mention penis twice in one post? Impressive.
Our Defense is Unstoppable
• Rookie Aldon Smith: 2 sacks, 1 safety, This guy is for real. Just Smith: 7 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 heart captured forever (MINE.)
• Patrick Willis: 7 tackles, 3 passes defended, He might be a wizard.
• NaVorro Bowman: Game-high 13 tackles. Pro Bowl perhaps?
• They kept media darling Calvin “Megatron” Johnson from scoring a TD. He had nine of those in the first five games. Na na na na na na.
•We’re still the only team in the NFL to not allow a rushing TD. In fact, we’ve gone 28 straight games without allowing an opposing rusher to finish with 100 or more yards.
• Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio said the team’s defensive performance was the best he’s been a part of. How long has Fangio been coaching, you may ask? Oh, right: OVER 25 YEARS.
Elephant in the Room
Obviously, I can’t write this post without addressing the post-game handshake between Coach Harbaugh and Coach Schwartz. My take on it is twofold:
1. Harbaugh was emotional. He truly meant no harm by his overzealous handshake/back slap and Schwartz overreacted like a little bitch. While Harbaugh certainly should have toned it down, Schwartz is the one who chased him down the field, bumped him with his shoulder, and was looking for a fight. Harbaugh should have acted like he’d won before, but Schwartz should have acted like he’d lost before. It’s not like he’d have to go back that far to remember how.
2. Unfortunately, the media no longer cares about news. It’s impossible to tell the difference between CNN, TMZ, and ESPN. Instead of focusing on the outstanding play by the 49ers and the fact that we beat the undefeated Detroit Lions, all anyone wanted to talk about was that handshake. I get it. I love drama. I mean, I’m in my 30s and I still watch The Real World. But to let that ridiculous story overshadow the real story—the story of a team no one believed in at the beginning of this season coming to Detroit and winning against all odds—that’s a shame. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. Because we feed into it. And we like it. Harbaugh said that it was on him. That’s as much of an apology as he’s going to give, and frankly, by doing so, he was the bigger man.
And now, back to the game.
Prediction for Next Week: My heart rate will not reach dangerous levels as the 49ers have a BYE.