(By Daisy Barringer)
When the 49ers schedule was released in April, I immediately sent my mother an email:
I just want to put this out there.
The 49ers play the Ravens (in Baltimore so I won’t be going to the game) at 5:20 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. If there is not a lockout, I will insist upon watching this game. It will be over at approximately 8:20 p.m.
Maybe we could do Thanksgiving Dinner earlier this year?
And yes, I am obviously insane.
Thank you for all that you do,
That's right. We hadn't even celebrated Easter and I was already ruining Thanksgiving. File under: Just one of the many reasons she sent me to reform school.
Also: remember the lockout? God, I spent HOURS worrying about that thing. And kind of amazing that I thought my mother would know what the lockout was. Anyway, not the point.
The point is: The 49ers travel to Baltimore tomorrow for a very special Thanksgiving HarBowl. The first time in NFL history that two brothers have faced of as head coaches. And, as a result, I'm skipping Thanksgiving. Because you know what I'm thankful for?
THE 9-1 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS.
A few of you “yelled” at me for predicting that Baltimore would win this game. It’s as though you think my predictions are what I want to happen. No. Rather Well, let’s just break it down and I think you’ll see where I’m coming from.
• This is a short week for both teams, but the 49ers lost of lot of practice time due to travel.
• Ray Rice. The 49ers haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in two full years. That being said, we also haven't faced off against many rushers of Ray Rice’s caliber.
• Baltimore's tough defense It'll look familiar because it's very similar to ours. Baltimore fans will be crazy and loud. The Niners have practiced for that, but they've got to take the crowd out of the game by scoring early.
• David Akers. You know what? Nevermind. I’m going to assume last week was a fluke.
• Ray Lewis is out. According to Ray Rice, that means the 49ers will have the best healthy linebacker in the league on the field.
• Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio knows Baltimore’s defense. You know, since he helped coach it pretty recently.
• Alex Smith can handle the blitz. (Um, did I just say that? YES. Yes I did.) Niners are 4-0 on the road. Also, we’re just kind of good. Suck it, Baltimore!
The Rest Of It
Gotta say. After breaking it down, I kind of think we can do this. I mean, sure, mainstream media is STILL not giving the 49ers any respect, but who cares what they think anyway?
Fine. I DO.
ESPN says "The 49ers must move outside the NFC West to measure themselves." Well that’s weird ESPN since the 49ers have only played TWO division games and our record is 9-1.
Bleacher Report says “Throw out the 9-1 record because the San Francisco 49ers were never going to get the full respect until their Week 12 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Actually, Bleacher Report? Even if the 49ers win tomorrow, I bet we’ll STILL hear excuses and backpedaling about why that happened. Just say what it is: The 49ers aren’t going to get respect unless we win the Super Bowl. And even then
Basically, the Niners better win tomorrow because if we don’t, all we’re going to hear is "I told you so." And, ew, like we won’t be hearing enough of that from our parents? (Except me. Since I’ll be at the bar.)
Watch San Francisco at Baltimore tomorrow at 5:20 p.m. on NFL Network 5.
Also, Happy Thanksgiving. Go Niners!