One of the unique parts about writing a “Bay Area Sports” blog instead of a team-specific one is when one of the local teams becomes a much bigger story than the rest. In these cases, I have to be careful not to ignore the other squads. And with the Giants dominating the conversation due to the strength of their play and the weakness of some of the other teams around here, along with a bachelor party and a heap of wedding planning decisions (which my fiance would argue I have spent less than 10% the time she has on figuring out), I have some catchup to do.
— Just like the 49ers, whose owner recently became part of the news cycle for the second-most ridiculous NFL-related text message revelation from the past week. It’s tank-city for the Niners these days, whether they like it or not, because there’s no sense of urgency. How dare I make such a claim?
1. Mike Singletary is obviously a coach who’s in over his head and has completely lost the team, but the 49ers have no viable candidates in-house and must deal with his vague, inconsistent, pseudo-motivational style of coaching for the rest of the season.
2. The 49ers went into a nationally televised game 0-4, and ran up the middle with Frank Gore on each of their first 8 first-down plays. Every. Single. One. That sound you heard during the first half was me booing from Tahoe before heading to some of the skeeziest casinos South Lake has to offer.
3.Â Alex Smith dropped the ball without getting touched after flailing around for yet another game, yet somehow still talked his coach into putting him back in (The same coach who booted his starting tight end off the field in his first game as head coach lets his QB push him around when he’s looking at an 0-5 start. OK.). Smith also reportedly has the support of Vernon Davis and Gore, which either means they’re terrible talent evaluators or David Carrcia’s breath smells like rotten hard-boiled eggs in the huddle.
4. Smith didn’t look like he wanted to make a quick decision between the first drive of the game and the last two possessions. And yes, he moved the ball at the end, but it was against a PREVENT DEFENSE. Hell, the Eagles’ defense isn’t that good the rest of the game, let alone when they’re protecting a lead. De La Salle could have moved 80 yards against the Eagles at the end of that game.
5. The 49ers defense gets a free pass most of the time, but they were terrible against Philly. Poor tackling, huge cushions on receivers, mediocre-to-non-existent pass rush on most plays. It’s like nothing ever changes in Santa Clara, except for the people cashing the checks.
— Never thought I’d pine for the days when we all wondered whether Mike Nolan would be allowed to wear a suit on the sidelines. Now I’m just pining for the “Singletanky” era, where Singletary does the best he can and the 49ers still end up 2-14 with a choice of either Andrew Luck, Jake Locker or Ryan Mallett.
— One interesting thing about hanging out in Tahoe last weekend: I found out that the Raiders sometimes wear black uniforms. Didn’t know that.
— I kid, but the Raiders are probably going to crush the 49ers, especially now that San Francisco can’t even stop the run. And good thing I have Zach Miller on multiple fantasy teams, because the Niners don’t really have the patience to stay with tight ends longer than 2 or 3 seconds before they’re allowed to frolic across the middle like little girls in a meadow.
— Stanford’s win over USC proved that all that talk about a new, tough, physical defense was a little overblown. Okay, A LOT overblown, as the Trojans and Cardinal traded punches in a game that showed once again that while the Pac-10 is extremely exciting, they’re not playing the same game SEC teams play. Still, one of my favorite moments of my bachelor party weekend was watching an upset Lane Kiffin trudge off the field after yet another last-second conference loss on a field goal. Couldn’t happen to a better visor-wearing guy who’s never proven anything anywhere he’s been.
— With Cal tromping all over the Bruins on Saturday, and an offense led by Shane Vereen, Keenan (Young Brandon Marshall) Allen and Marvin Jones, along with the fact that the Cardinal spent the last two conference games trading punches with Oregon (taking punches in the second half) and USC … let’s just say that if I were in Vegas before the Big Game I’d definitely take the over.
— After Vereen goes pro you could put together an NFL backfield full of nothing but Cal running backs. Although with Marshawn Lynch around, things might get a little too hyphy.
— Glad to hear Gary Radnich this morning making fun of Tom Verducci for holding his microphone with two hands during the Giants/Braves series, something my buddy Carp and I laughed about all weekend. Who does Verducci think he is, Sarah McLachlan? “I am providing secrets from the dugout. This is serious business!”
— One last Giants note: in my NLCS roster post from yesterday, I didn’t even think about the fact that the Phillies have more lefty power bats than the Braves, meaning Runzler will probably get the call over Chris Ray. Add that to the list of 100 things I’ve forgotten or done incorrectly that I’m blaming on my bachelor party.
— As for the Warriors, they’re playing preseason games, which mean less than NFL preseason games or MLB spring training games (if that’s possible). Case in point: they held the opposition to under 90 points in both of their first two games (a new commitment to DEFENSE!), but those were at Oracle. Last night in Sacramento, they gave up 116. News flash: the Warriors will be better at home than on the road. In other news, Don Nelson really enjoys Maui.
— However, what the Warriors do in practice DOES matter, and a little birdie told me that I might be able to check out on of those practice-type things in Oakland in the next couple days. I’ll keep you posted.