The lasting image I’ll have of Mike Singletary is with his back to the field. I shouldn’t get angry on the day after Christmas, especially after eating a ton of food and sitting in a comfortable spot in my Dad’s living room, watching our first Niners game together in God knows how long. But the actions of Singletary today absolutely pissed me off to the point where I was actually uttering the rallying cry that’s been a hashtag on Twitter nearly all season: #FireSingletary.
All Singletary knows how to do is yell. Yell at the officials. Yell at his quarterbacks WHILE PLAYS ARE TAKING PLACE ON THE FIELD. At least Singletary wasn’t wearing sunglasses today, or watching him would have forced me to throw a glass of eggnog at my father’s TV. Merry Christmas, Dad!
As a late Christmas present, the 49ers finally put us out of our misery by letting the Rams put them out of theirs. But what an embarrassment today was. The fight between Troy Smith and Singletary, while Smith was on the bench, was more awkward than a fart during Christmas dinner. Then Alex Smith warmed up on the sidelines — while actually rolling his eyes, and who could blame him — and then Troy was sent back in the game.
Then Singletary actually DID pull Troy a while later, giving Alex one last shot at redemption, even though the 49ers needed a guy who could complete a couple quick long passes at that point, which beyond the occasional run for a first down is Troy Smith’s only strength. (This was the point where Darryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa went into bash-Singletary mode, which was 100% justified.) Then after Alex lost a fumble, the most surprising thing about today’s game was that Singletary didn’t go back to Troy for the next 49ers’ possession.
The truth is that the 49ers should never have been in contention today. After several backbreaking penalties (Nate Clements is worthless), only a Patrick Willis sack and forced fumble (recovered by Manny Lawson) saved this game from becoming the blowout it probably should have been. The only touchdowns the 49ers scored in this game were on a punt return by Ted Ginn and a catch and run by Michael Crabtree on a Troy Smith pass that was probably intended for Vernon Davis.
Just pathetic, the entire thing. Thankfully, it’s over.
Another reason to be thankful this afternoon is that this awful showing finally sprung Jed York (Dr. KeYorkian?) into action. From Matt Barrows:
Team president and CEO Jed York made a brief appearance in the locker room following his team’s lackluster 25-17 loss to the Rams. York revealed that he would hire an outsider to be the team’s general manager moving forward and that he and the new GM would make decisions about the team’s head coaching position. While York did not say whether Mike Singletry would be fired, he said he had not decided yet whether Singletary even would coach Sunday’s finale against the Cardinals. York said he was most disappointed that the mistake-prone 49ers did not rise to the magnitude of today’s game.
Q: Will Singletary be the head coach next week?
JY: We want to take our time before we make any decision like that. You don’t want to make an emotional decision right now after the game.
Is that something you might want to talk about on the plane ride home?
JY: Obviously, we didn’t achieve the things the things we set out to achieve. We should be a playoff team. We aren’t a playoff team this year. I’m very disappointed about that. We need to figure out how we can get into the playoffs and how we can start to be a Super Bowl team again.
If you change a coach it will take money. Is that a problem?
JY: Money is no object. Our object is to win the Super Bowl, year in and year out, to be there. We’re going to make sure we get this right.
One thing York shares with his uncle is they both get extremely emotional after losing, and aren’t afraid to let the fans know. And that’s hardly a bad thing. While Eddie Debartolo came off pretty crass when he answered a question about Marc Trestman simply by uttering the two words: “he’s gone,” at times that’s what fans need to hear when they’re angry too. When the weather sucks, and people get together on a couch for an entire weekend day, performances like today’s against the Rams can ruin an entire day. It might not mean anything, but it makes you feel a little better that they ruined the owner’s day, too.
Funny thing is, I’m not as angry now as I was when I started writing this post, simply because I glanced over at Twitter and found the York interview on Barrows’ blog. Now I’m just relieved.
— Relieved that there’s a good chance Singletary won’t coach another game (I think he’s gone after today, and Greg Manusky will coach the team during their last game).
— Relieved that York seems to want to hire a GM from outside the organization.
— Relieved that in order to be good fans we no longer have to hope for a horribly coached, undisciplined team to go SEVEN and NINE to win the worst division in NFL history.
— Relieved that I don’t have to get my hopes up until the next QB fumble or interception.
— Relieved that I don’t have to watch Alex Smith play for the 49ers again after this season.
— Relieved that we’re one step closer to being free from having to listen to interviews and/or press conferences where Singletary treats radio hosts and writers like annoying children who should be seen and not heard.
— Most of all, relieved that the only time I’ll see Singletary on TV next season is during Coors Light commercials.
I want winners. Hopefully today’s last nail will be the start of a massive rebuilding project that actually works.