As many of you have heard by now, the 49ers (the cooler ones, anyway) have been growing mustaches all week to go with the throwback uniforms they’ll be wearing on Sunday against the Redskins.
It’s a logical step for the 49ers, who have been going old school in many respects. This year the team once again plays at Candlestick Park instead of a place called 3Com or Monster, control of the team has been handed to a young heir to the Debartolo fortune (Jed York), and they’re coached by a guy who used to give the 49ers fits from the middle linebacker spot throughout the 1980s.
The Niners could do worse than to try to replicate the glory days, but why stop at throwbacks and staches? Here are some things the 49ers can do this offseason to make next season look like 1989 instead of 2009.
1. Shaun Hill + mullet + perm = good times
Along with working with young receivers like Josh Morgan, Jason Hill and Dominique Zeigler this summer, Hill can do his best Joe Montana impersonation just by letting his Tennessee Waterfall flow. A little trim up top and on the sides is fine, but the hair in the back should be long enough by September that it is easily visible when his helmet’s on. Extra points if Hill gets a perm.
2. One shoe each for Joe and Andy
Whatever happened to barefoot kickers and punters? Back in the Eighties, seeing some Scandinavian guy with a bare right foot in -20 degree weather somehow seemed logical, as people thought, “Maybe the cold desensitizes the foot, making it easier to kick further.” It’s the same sort of logic that has also caused kickers and punters to wear two different shoes, because if the non-kicking foot was wearing the same shoe as the kicking foot, all hell would break loose. Andy Lee and Joe Nedney are definitely good enough to bring back next year; maybe the 49ers can offer an extra incentive to both players if they go barefoot.
3. A slow tight end
The 49ers did just fine for 20 years with slow, sure-handed tight ends. Russ Francis, John Frank, Brent Jones, even Ron Heller and Eric Johnson (until his body fell apart) did just fine lumbering across the middle and catching first down passes. Now the 49ers have one of the best athletes in the league at the position, and he hasn’t caught a pass across the middle in his life. He sure can block, though. Click Clack.
4. Get hyphy!
Another thing teams liked to do back in the Eighties was sing. “The Super Bowl Shuffle” is the most well-known song sung by an NFL team, in part thanks to “Samurai Mike” Singletary, who, as we all know, knocks ’em cold. The Niners were actually the first team to step into the studio however, with the (local) hit “We’re the 49ers“ back in 1984 (seriously … listen to it). And who can forget Dwight Clark, Riki Ellison, Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott lending a vocal hand to Huey Lewis on “Hip To Be Square” and “I Know What I Like” in 1986. (***Extra points to anybody who can come up with the title of the album those songs came from***) The 49ers should bring the team into the studio with another Bay Area star, like E-40, Rappin 4-Tay or Keyshia Cole.
True, the team still needs a speedy wideout, an offensive lineman who can pass block better than Barry Sims, at least one more pass rusher and a safety to replace the woefully inadequate Mark Roman if they want to come anywhere close to those great Niner teams of the 1980s. But paying homage to the good old days via these small changes couldn’t hurt.