I was going to write a post on Jon Gruden, but then on my way to work this morning I saw a white guy on Market St. who had to be at least 75-years-old. He was walking with a cane and wearing a HUGE canvas vest covered with two very prominent “Johnny Blaze” logos.
It totally threw me off. Imagine your grandpa wearing a FUBU sweatsuit or a Rocawear jean jacket. I can’t be expected to remain focused on one subject until this evening, if not later.
And here’s where we try not to pile on the NFC West…
— For two straight weekends, the 4th quarter of the 49ers game became soapbox time for the announcers who can’t believe an 8-8 team or GOD FORBID a 7-9 team could HOST a playoff game in the first round against a team who’s 11-5.
— Makes one wonder whether there would be such an outcry if the division-leaders with .500 records played in the AFC East or NFC East.
— There’s a pretty easy solution to all of this. You can’t keep division-winning teams with lousy records out of the playoffs because NFL teams play less than half the teams in the league every year. However, the teams should be seeded solely based on record once all the teams make the playoffs. For example, if the playoffs started today the NFC seeding would look like this:
1. Atlanta (10-2)
2. Chicago (9-3)
3. New Orleans (9-3)
4. Philadelphia (8-4)
5. New York Giants (8-4)
6. St. Louis/Seattle (6-6)
Yeah, that still means the Packers (8-4) and the Buccaneers (7-5) would get left out of the playoffs entirely if the season ended today. While Brian Billick and Mike Tirico wipe away their tears, I’m going to yawn and grab a Coke Zero out of refrigerator.
— The NFC West gets all the mocking, but have you checked out what the AFC South has been offering this season? Jacksonville leads at 7-5 (and a point differential of -43); the Colts are 6-6 (and Peyton Manning is threatening to destroy Dan Marino’s record for “most teammates screamed at after an INT in a season”); the Texans are 5-7 (and are the “Groundhog Day” team of the NFL, since all their seasons are exactly the same); the Titans are 5-7 (and will only be remembered for Vince Young’s meltdown and making a Hall-of-Fame receiver completely irrelevant faster than any team ever has in the history of the NFL). If the Colts win this division at 8-8, Manning will get MVP consideration for heroically taking the rag-tag Colts to the postseason.
— That said, the NFC West IS horrible and the Cardinals would probably be running away with the division if Kurt Warner hadn’t left to dance on some show I never watch and bore us with his vanilla commentary.
— Just wasted five minutes of my life listening to the end of Mike Singletary’s press conference. What did I miss? He praised Shawntae Spencer and Dashon Goldson (what?) and could not confirm who the starting QB will be on Sunday. That’s right, Alex may finally get the second chance he’s been waiting for! Or is it the 13th chance he’s been waiting for? Whatever. If they decide on Alex, it’s going to be interesting to hear the reaction when he gets introduced at The Stick. That is, if anyone shows up before kickoff — I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a ton of no-shows on Sunday, and that those who do show up might “pregame” in the parking lot a little longer than usual.
— One thing I did get to hear, and I’m paraphrasing … he said that one of the saddest things about our society is that people can say and write things they are not responsible for. Singletary’s got to be a joy for the beat writers to cover. His profound respect of the media is evident during every press conference.
— The Warriors lost again last night. And as the kids like to say, it wasn’t anywhere near as close as the score indicated.
— Yes, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry kind of get in each other’s way, but that’s because they’re responsible for half the team’s production. Their third-best “big” is Jeff Adrien, and their second-best is Andris Biedrins, who has blocked fewer shots this season than Dorell Wright. If you face the Warriors, you’re taller than 6’8″ and you have any semblance of good inside game, you’re giddy every time Golden State appears on the schedule.
— The Warriors are 8-12, they’ve lost 8 of 9, and their upcoming games are @Dallas, @SA, at home vs. Miami, @Utah before facing the Timberwolves at home in the second game of a back-to-back. Five games in eight days. If they go to Portland on Dec. 18 with a record better than 9-16, it’ll be a miracle.
— Sorry Raiders fans, I know there was a great game played by a Bay Area team this weekend, and I was getting a Christmas tree. All I can say is this: the Raiders have certainly recovered quicker after a No. 1 overall QB bust than the 49ers.
— More comparisons: while the 49ers ran both of their RB’s 9 times yesterday for a grand total of 64 yards between them, Darren McFadden ran for 97 yards and a TD on 19 carries in the same game Michael Bush ran 23 times for 95 yards and a score.
— So if Jim Harbaugh accepts Stanford’s extension, does that mean he’ll stay? College coaches agree to contracts and then bail right afterward all the time, don’t they?
— The Padres traded Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox, which is only surprising because it didn’t happen five months ago. What is surprising is that “good” Padres fans thought Gonzalez was “droopy faced” and the “mopiest” player on the team, and those same “good” fans are really tired of the “bad” fans who don’t show up to games.
— Really, you can see the entire reason for this Gaslamp Ball’s anger if you read this. Remember that series? If a bunch of Padres fans did the same thing at AT&T Park you’d probably read a similar rant on this site.
— Until I actually see Pablo Sandoval in person or on television, I don’t believe any of the reports that he’s lost 10 pounds. Didn’t he also lose 10 pounds during “Camp Panda” before gaining 30 about a week later in Venezuela? Sandoval needs to lose more than 25 pounds, anyway. He was so big at the end of last season he couldn’t have fit into that old guy’s “Johnny Blaze” vest.