I was almost done with this on Thursday evening, when an attempt to insert a hot link in mai hot take made my browser crash. But that turned out to be a blessing in disguise, at it allows us to discuss what is now an immediate Golden Age of Niner hating in this week's preview. First thing first though- fuck you, Denver. TELL 'EM WHAT TIME IT IS QUIK!
After the Raiders' strong performances the last two weeks, this game takes on more of an air of a mulligan than the march to slaughter it felt like after the Broncos dismantled the Ravens on opening night. And with all the joy the Niners have given me over the last week already in the bank, I feel like I should ditch any and all pessimistic self-deprecation and go all in here. You never know. I like Peyton Manning and have the utmost respect for him as a football player and a human being. But we will be blitzing the shit out of the Broncos tonight, and should Peyton have to get scraped off the field at some point... I won't exactly be beyond consolation. You never know. It would be far from the first time the Raiders pulled off a shocker in prime time at Denver.
Version 1.0 of our Week 3 Preview contained missives about comparing and contrasting the coverage of Tebow and Pryor, and about how Elway swapping Tebow out for Manning made them so much more goddamn grudgingly respectable. Then the Browns traded Trent Richardson and elevated their third-string QB to the starting job, so I figured an analysis of applying NBA-style tanking to the NFL would be appropriate. Except the Browns won yesterday... guess that will have to wait a few weeks.
But there is one NFL storyline that steadily picked up steam all week, and is now probably the hottest topic in sports- TROUBLE IN NINER LAND! He he he. First came the slap to the face in Seattle, making it loud and clear that they are not the best team in their division. Then came that lovely married couple from Marin leading the charge to put a decibel cap on NFL crowds, because you know, cheering is for barbarians. As soon as the laughter over that began to subside, Aldon Smith decided he would take a little nap in his car at 7 AM Friday morning in some random person's driveway. With his foot on the gas for fifteen minutes. He blew a .15, was in possession of weed and pills, and is now on an "indefinite" leave of absence from the team.
Allow me to reemphasize... NOW he is on "indefinite" leave. Because he played yesterday. In a crushing twenty point loss to a team they were favored to beat by ten. And that is where things get delicious.
The Seahawks are an incredible football team. Their secondary alone is unbelievable. There is really no shame in looking up at them. The Marin wine-and-cheese crowd, nothing new there. My boss at the day job stays in Marin, and informed me that's actually how it goes down for fucking HIGH SCHOOL football out there. After every big game, the losing team's fans complain that the opposing fans were too rowdy. Their definition of "rowdy" meaning clapping and cheering enthusiastically. Suffice it to say, this side of the Bay is not a football hotbed.
Players getting DUIs and doing dumb shit is obviously not reserved to the 49ers either. But when everybody in your organization starting from your loudmouth coach on up talks about how they have higher moral standards than everybody else in the league, you have to back that shit up when the time comes, or you become a complete fucking joke. If Harbaugh doesn't learn to keep his mouth shut after this, he never will. I doubt he's any worse of a person than the majority of other pro football coaches. But he is a bigger idiot than every other coach in the league, because unlike the rest of them he's painted himself into a serious corner with his mouth. Every reasonable person knows the NFL isn't full of choir boys. Why you'd choose to insist that your team is, and always will be, will forever remain one of life's great mysteries.
Now Niner fans are pining for Alex Smith. Because you know, everything would be better if they had a QB with a weak arm who can't run throwing to the same group of crap WRs. And I'm thinking about starting a pool on how long Aldon Smith's "indefinite" leave of absence will last. I saw somebody somewhere sneak it into print that he's expected back for Week 5. So I got my money that Aldon will be cured of all that ails him by next Tuesday. He sounded contrite in his post game remarks last night. Hopefully he gets his act together... and then pulls a Glen Coffee. Fuck the Donkeys. Go Raiders.