This is a totally real (wink, wink) conversation that took place in Santa Clara this morning between Mike Singletary and Alex Smith. It’s actually the first time Singletary has spoken with this Sunday’s starting quarterback since the loss to Tampa Bay. Since then, the coach has holed up in his office, where he’s spent hours upon hours with the door closed doing two things: researching megachurches that may be hiring preachers in January, and trying on sunglasses.
This same office is where we find Alex, who figures he should at least get confirmation from his head coach whether he’s starting this weekend since, Singletary hasn’t told him so in person.
Singletary: (Holding a mirror to check out how he looks in his new pair of Vuarnet France shades) Alex, I wanted to let you know that you will be the starting quarterback this Sunday against Seattle.
Alex: Yeah, I know. I’ve known for a few days now. Coach Johnson told me, reporters have been asking me about it, Crabtree threw a little tantrum after getting that text from his dad. But yeah, I’ve been practicing with the first team all week. I think I’m ready to take the reigns off, really let it fly out there.
Singletary (puts the mirror down): Whoa there, son. What do you mean, take the reigns off? Going forward, I want to you to avoid turnovers and focus on keeping the defense off the field. And pound the ball up the middle. The 49ers are a team that eats clock for brunch. That’s a combination of breakfast and lunch, Alex. Listen to your coach, you may learn something.
Alex: But if we’re going 3-and-out, the defense has to play more. I thought this time it was going to be different. Not as many checkdowns, do what I’ve been doing in practice and really air it out.
Singletary: Have you talked to coach Johnson about this?
Alex: Yeah, and he agrees. Spread ’em and get ’em!
Singletary: Alex, that is absolutely profane, that kind of talk. (Yelling) RAYE NO. 2, GET IN HERE!
(Mike Johnson runs into Singletary’s office)
Johnson: Yes, coach?
Singletary: Going forward, were you planning to “air it out” (does air quotes with his fingers) on Sunday?
Johnson: I thought we were going to open up the gameplan, seeing as this is the most important game of the season and we’re about to get fired…
Singletary: You don’t need to tell me this is most important game of the season! What I will say is this: I’ve watched the film, and I realize after watching that we didn’t win in Green Bay. I thought we did, because Spencer and Goldson did some good things out there. Perhaps not in a tackling sense, but the energy and fire were there. The team was maturing, and there were some good things to build from. But I forgot to check the score at the end of the game when we were on the field, as I was busy with other matters, and apparently the reason why Mike McCarthy was so friendly after the game was because his team won. So, my new offensive coordinator, let me tell you that I know that we are 5-7 right now!
Singletary: Going forward, never correct me.
Alex: Listen coach, we’re working together here. We’re all fighting for our jobs..
Singletary: Who said that? That gosh durn Yahoo? Kawakimmy? Rosie O’Donnell’s son, Ennis or whatever?
Alex: It’s totally obvious to everyone who watches football. We have a worse record than we did last year, the fans are going to boo me this Sunday, and I want to prove everyone wrong. Don’t you?
Singletary: Yes, Alex. I want to prove everyone wrong that thinks I don’t know what I’m doing on the offensive side of the football, and that I can’t make adjustments. You can’t make adjustments when you can’t see, and that’s why I need to see the film after the game to figure out what we need to do to become a winning football team. Football games are hard to watch from the sideline.
Alex: Tell me about it…
Singletary: So I’m hoping that with these sunglasses, the glare will be removed from the helmets and I’ll better be able to see what’s going on and act accordingly. That is, when I’m not yelling at the officials or giving speeches to players who are sitting on the bench after coming out of the game. But by next season, I will tell you this: I will be able to figure out what’s going on in real time and make adjustments during games. It’s all about taking steps toward greatness. And sitting on Patrick Willis’ shoulders during the game.
Alex: That’s against the rules.
Singletary: Alex, what did I tell you about insubordination?
Johnson: When do you want to have our gameplanning meeting? You know, the one you say we’re going to have every week but you cancel so you can try on sunglasses in here by yourself with the door locked and choir music playing?
Singletary: Let’s have the meeting now. What’s the gameplan?
Johnson: Well, I was thinking, now hear me out, about setting up the run with the pass this time with some slants early to Morgan and Crabs. I’d also like to try to move Alex out of the pocket a little. Maybe a designed bootleg during our first series. I was thinking of utilzing Ted Ginn in a double-reverse play we’ve been working on, so that could be something. Also, I want to take a couple shots downfield to Vernon Davis early, but not across the middle this time because that’s what teams expect from us. And I want to go back to the wildcat for a play or two, but this time I want Westbrook to throw the ball downfield if Crabtree’s open, which he should be if….
Singletary: Wrong. I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. We’re going to utilize Moran Norris.
Alex: Oh, Jesus…
Singletary: Not in this office, Alex! Not in here! I am the coach and we’re going to give the ball to Moran.
(Singletary picks up the mirror and looks at his reflection again; Alex quietly sneaks out.)
Johnson: Wait, you mean Westbrook, right? And Dixon?
Singletary: Damn, I can’t tell the difference with these sunglasses. Paraag, get me some shades that aren’t do darned dark!!!